Sections

9.1.19

Inside Jobs: New Work From Our Friends and Colleagues

With the Fishes: A Collection of Seafaring Songs and Stories
By Mark Alan Lovewell

In his own words, Mark Alan Lovewell has been wandering the Island as a journalist for our sister publication the Vineyard Gazette for forty years: talking to seafarers, gathering stories on the lore of the sea, and taking photographs. And yet he may be best known on the Island as a singer of shanties, teller of yarns, and squeezer of concertinas. His new album, With the Fishes, is a collection of this life experience. Many of the stories – such as the history of the fabled Shenandoah, the 108-foot topsail schooner that was designed by Captain Robert Douglas and has prevailed against Vineyard storms for more than fifty years, or the legend of Captain Kidd, the alleged pirate whose journey was said to have graced Vineyard waters – sound as though they were first told long ago in the dim light of a port-city pub and are now being passed along in the time-honored tradition by Lovewell through the medium of vocals, olive-oil-can guitar, banjo, bodhrán, and, of course, concertina. The album is available at markalanlovewell.com.

Historic Tales of Oak Bluffs
By Skip Finley

Skip Finley, the director of sales and marketing for the Vineyard Gazette Media Group, which publishes this magazine, wrote the Gazette’s widely read Town of Oak Bluffs column for five years. His columns often started with a historical anecdote, and as he dug through the archives he became increasingly absorbed by the deep roots of the community. His new book, Historic Tales of Oak Bluffs (Arcadia Publishing), is a narrative history of the town, gradually unfolding from the pre-colonial days to the Oak Bluffs we know today. Along the road, the whaling industry soars and crashes, a city of tents is erected and evolves into gingerbread cottages, and the town establishes a name for itself through its 1880 secession from Edgartown. Weaving through the historical events is a collection of characters who seem as though they wondered out of a Mark Twain book. Among them are Old Harry, who deserted a ship in Vineyard Haven to escape slavery; Ichabod Norton Luce, a whaler who got rich during the California Gold Rush; and Uncle Nathan, the blind candy vendor of the original Oak Bluffs arcade.

Martha’s Vineyard Fish Tales 
By Nelson Sigelman

Nelson Sigelman has been writing about fishing on the Vineyard for decades, first in his Gone Fishin’ column for the Martha’s Vineyard Times, where he also served as editor, and more recently as the Outdoors columnist for this magazine. In the process he has not only entrenched himself in the fishing culture of the Island, but gathered a vast supply of intel on the pulse of the water. His newest book, Martha’s Vineyard Fish Tales (Stackpole Books), is an informative read that drifts in and out of fishing tactics, fishing stories, and short profiles of the Island’s legendary fishermen who, like Sigelman himself, “Prowled the rocks and the dark shores in utmost secrecy, drawn to the water’s edge by the single minded pursuit of a fish that in many ways they mirrored.” The book is a fine addition to any angling library, but is particularly useful for novices who wish to learn more about the Vineyard’s waters and gain a better sense of connection to the long and proud history of sport fishing on the Island.   

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