09.01.06

Most people think of wampum as the Native American form of money, but Berta and Vernon Welch of Aquinnah turn that old chestnut on its head. For the past ten years the Welches have worked as master jewelers, helping revive and modernize the ancient craft of wampum making. Their children Sophia, sixteen, and Giles, twenty, join them in the work, which takes a great deal of time and effort.

By Brooks Robards

09.01.06

The Revolutionary War was not one of Martha’s Vineyard’s shining moments. Unable to persuade authorities in Boston that it held any strategic value, the Island felt exposed and undefended from the start of the war to its finish and was reluctant to take sides, lest it wind up fighting for the losers. But neutrality did not protect it from invasion.

By Max Hart

09.01.06

As a kid, hanging around the Concordia shipyard in Padanaram in New Bedford, Frank Rapoza was fascinated by the way boats were caulked. Everyone said, Why learn a dying art – after all, fiberglass is the future. Undaunted, Frank convinced one of the old-timers at the yard to teach him his craft, and today, what with the building of so many large wooden vessels up and down the eastern seaboard, Frank’s services are in great demand.

By Geoff Currier

08.01.06

As we sat in the control tower, Michelle Meyers, the tower manager of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, glanced out at the horizon and said, “All right, see this plane coming in?” “Ah, no, I don’t.” “Look low, just above the tree line; see it?” I walked over to the window. “Damn, Michelle, I don’t see a thing.” Of course, by this time Michelle had already turned her attention to about fifty other things and I was left thinking to myself, I could never do this.

By Geoff Currier

08.01.06

Tom Dresser of Oak Bluffs – writer, essayist, and the editor of the calendar in our own magazine – has an interesting day job: He’s a school-bus driver during the fall, winter, and spring, and a tour-bus driver during the summer season. A former nursing-home administrator on the mainland, he moved to the Vineyard in October 1997 to be with his future wife Joyce. He’s been giving bus tours since the summer of 2002.

08.01.06

In Oak Bluffs, at the turn of the last century, the houses that line Ocean Park had earned the nickname Millionaire’s Row. Philip Corbin, who made his fortune in locks, built what is now a favorite sightseer’s stop – the Peter Norton house – a few doors down from the home belonging to John and Sharon Kelly.

By Brooks Robards

08.01.06

Bob Holt of the West Tisbury Fire Department flips burgers at the Agricultural Fair each August. We gave him a disposable camera last year and asked him to shoot what he sees from his perch. “It was bloody hot behind the grill,” says Bob. “Thursday was the biggest day the hamburger booth ever had, and I’ve been doing this at least fifteen years. My two sons Ron and Bobby helped out.

By Tom Dresser

08.01.06

Lobsterville Beach after dark in summer months is particularly alluring to Vineyard fishermen. And to young children, the adventure of fishing Lobsterville at night is about as good as it gets. We were introduced to Lobsterville by my friend Bob, who was a master of the tides at Lobsterville.

By Joe Tate

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