The Vineyard’s Yankees Fans

At the Xtra Mart convenience store and gas station in Vineyard Haven, manager Joe McCarthy wears one of those caps nearly every day. He quips that he’s a low-key Yankees fan. He’s so low key, he stenciled a Yankees logo on his personal parking space at work, to stir the pot. “People have urinated on it, poured beer on it,” he says, “but most of all they laugh at it.”

A Wider Pool of Sailors

On a breezy July day, a fleet of a hundred sailboats of many shapes and sizes gathers in Vineyard Haven, united by a love of sailing and racing. The harbor bustles with its usual mid-summer activity, and the diverse fleet dodges the Island Home and other vessels on their way to and fro. Out on the course, the skies are hazy as boats round a bell buoy serving as a mark, some with barking of orders and frantic cranking of winches, while others have sailors with glasses of wine in hand.

Off the Beaten Path

As I pull into the Grange Hall parking lot in West Tisbury five minutes before nine, I see Ashley Hunter eyeing the cyclists assembled for the weekly Vineyard Off-Road Bicycling Association (VORBA) ride. It’s a cold, but not frigid, early winter morning, and the half-dozen riders are regulars, which simplifies Ashley’s task: gauging the abilities of the group and deciding on the skeleton of a route – though the ride’s path always changes once we’re underway.

A Swinging Success

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.

Finding your Yoga

“You should try yoga.”

It was a suggestion I’d been hearing for years – everyone from my mother, to my doctor, to any number of bendy, mat-toting friends seemed to have an opinion – but it wasn’t until a well-meaning pharmacist delicately noted my frequent splurges on over-the-counter sleep aids that I finally sat up and took notice.

“I hear it helps you sleep,” he said, eyeing my basket full of Benadryl and Tylenol PM.

The Mighty Mites

The ice is slippery tonight!” Five-year-old Veronica Wendt is trying to skate with the covers still on her skate blades, and thus can’t stand up on the ice. With help from her dad, the problem is fixed, and she glides off into practice. As much as hockey for five- to eight-year-olds resembles the adult game, there’s a certain humorous, adorable factor that the big guys can’t match. I can’t imagine Pittsburgh Penguins phenom Sidney Crosby lying down on the ice in the middle of a shift, or new Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez pausing during practice to pick his nose.

Biking the Vineyard

Before deciding to move to the Island last year, the first calls I made were to several bike shops to ask about the cycling scene here on Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve biked cycling meccas from the Alpe d’Huez in France to the Slickrock Trail in Utah, from our national parks to the (not so) mean streets of our nation’s capital. I’ve raced, commuted, and cruised to the beach on bikes. And I wanted to be sure that there was a cycling community here on the Island I could join – the simple reason being that bike people tend to be good people.

Harpooning a Swordfish

A swordfish harpoon is generally a 12-foot aluminum pole with a 3/8-inch diameter metal shank on the end to which a detachable barbed dart or “Lily Iron” is attached. A 12-foot pole is difficult enough to throw on dry land, let alone when you’re balancing on a stand, or “pulpit,” that extends 30 feet out from the bow of a moving boat.

Flying Horses

On the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, there was only one place to be – John and Kappy Hall’s farm, for the big race.

Up, Up, and Away

Why is this man smiling? Wearing jeans, sweatshirt, and flip-flops, Nevin Sayre sits sipping a coffee frappe at Linda Jean’s restaurant in Oak Bluffs, gleefully recounting the fall morning he has spent windsurfing in gusts up to forty knots. Such strenuous activity is ill-weaved ambition for most of us, but strictly routine for Sayre, forty-five, the five-time U.S. champion and two-time second-ranked windsurfer in the world.

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