One June day I arrived home to find a surprising message on my answering machine: “Hi, this is Luanne. I’m in Aquinnah and I have an orphan baby here. I’m looking for a sitter. It would mean giving him a bottle and loving him up. He’s pretty darn cute!” It was Luanne Johnson, Island skunk whisperer, who has been researching skunk habits and habitats since 2004.

By Margaret Knight


I do not ask for much in life (and friends of mine say that sometimes it shows), but this springtime I do ask why the Vineyard staged Jaws Fest, the all-Island hullabaloo over the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Jaws three summers ago, but – at press time anyway – shows no sign whatsoever that it’s going to hold a Jaws 2 Fest to honor the 1978 release of the first of the three sequels to follow it.

By Tom Dunlop


The Pilgrims didn’t think much of Cape Cod. “A hideous and desolate wilderness,” William Bradford called it. “Full of wild beasts and wild men.” Rather than stay, a small party from the Mayflower sailed ahead, searching for a winter haven. In December 1620, they reached Plymouth, a place “fit for situation,” Bradford wrote. “At least it was the best they could find.”

By Tony Horwitz


On June 24, 2007, a group of twenty-three ten- and eleven-year-olds, fresh out of the Oak Bluffs School for the summer, gathered with their families along the Black Dog Wharf in Vineyard Haven. Accompanied by six chaperones, these students were about to cast off their normal summer luxuries – television, video games, indoor plumbing, families – to set sail on the Black Dog’s tall ship Shenandoah, owned by Captain Robert Douglas and his family.

By Meredith Downing


Just look down. As Jill Bouck, curator of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, explains, “You’ll find arrowheads all over the Island. If you’re tilling a garden, digging a foundation, or just walking down a dirt road, keep your eyes open – you never know what you might find.” The archeological history of the Vineyard is a rich one, stretching back to the Paleoindian Period – 9,500 to 11,500 years ago. While very rare, a handful of spearheads have been found dating back to that period.

By Geoff Currier


I’m not much of a gardener. Don’t know the practical difference between a shovel and a spade. Can’t figure out what to do with a hoe – seems like after I use one, my back aches, and while I use one, I look like I should be strapped into a straightjacket and sent to a loony bin. Maybe there’d be some nice gardens there.

By HJ Bernstein


I became interested in moving to Martha’s Vineyard about thirty years ago through my conversations with Terry McCarthy. He was a state representative based on the Vineyard, and I was assistant regional director of Region Six [Boston] for the Department of Youth Services. I met Terry at the Golden Dome pub on Beacon Hill. A lot of state business was conducted there, and I was familiar with the place because I used to sit in the barbershop next door talking with Billy Bulger [who became president of the state senate during this time].

By Jim Kaplan


Honeysweet, sticky, mysterious. Seductive. The stuff of poets, prophets, and pharaohs. Egyptian hieroglyphics depict apiarists collecting honey for cooking, cosmetics, and mixing into ointments. Legend has it that honey is the elixir that Cupid dips his arrow into before aiming keenly at the desired one’s heart. For most of us – love struck or otherwise – honey is the simple melting sweetness that swirls and dissolves into a steamy cup of tea.

By Ali Berlow