After winter walks in and constricts your style of living, simply existing inside of your own heartbeat can seem like the hardest task given to human beings. Winters on the Island can be heavy, a weight that summer life makes you forget – only for that surprisingly familiar chill to creep back in when fall comes.

Ben Williams


It is seven o’clock on a Monday, a time when most Vineyarders are settling in for the night. Few drivers are out and the lights in the houses that line the roads are on. Parents have returned from work, children from school, and together they gather around the table for dinner.

Julia Rappaport


When Antonio “Tony” Grillo was three years old, he and his mother, Kate, were at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs picking up his father, Joe. As it happened, President Clinton and his entourage were on hand. Seeing the adorable little shaver, who had white-blond hair and was missing a front tooth, a Secret Service agent envisioned a perfect photo op with the chief executive.

“Do you know who that was?” someone asked Tony after he posed with Clinton.

Jim Kaplan


It’s a lucky thing for Steve Ewing that he works on the water. If he toiled on the land, he’d never earn a dime, because he’s one of those Vineyard guys who can’t walk more than twenty-five yards down a village street without running into someone he knows.

Tom Dunlop


Sporting buttery leather boots that seem a tad handsome for farm chores, Ed Child makes his way down the path from the backyard, through the grape arbors and to the sheep pen. Five merino sheep greet him with gentle baaaas. They hope they’re in for a mid-morning snack. They settle for pats on their heads. “The brown ewe is especially affectionate,” says Barbara Child. “Her nose feels like velvet.” Barbara is bent over double, deadheading in her perennial garden.

Shelley Christiansen


Henry Louis Gates Jr., known as “Skip,” is a professor at Harvard University, where he is also the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. A prolific writer, editor, and film producer, he has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” a National Humanities Medal, and nearly fifty honorary degrees from institutes for higher education.

Laura D. Roosevelt


The late summer sun beat down on us and we halted at the fork in the road. The prissy stroller that we were pushing our two-year-old daughter in was no match for the ragged terrain that lay ahead. We had not seen another human being since we left the ferry more than a mile back, and our water and snack supply was meager. The smell of failure hung in the air.

Ellen Willson Hoover


In the 1950s and ’60s, Chappaquiddick was considered the backyard of Edgartown. Not many people had heard of it – before Kennedy – and the summer population was small, including a few extended families. My family spent summers here, along with about fifty relatives in seven or eight houses scattered across the island. People knew each other, and most kids could roam wherever they wanted as long as they came home at the end of the day.

Margaret Knight