Though we’ve settled on the Vineyard, many of us still feel like wash-ashores. As the daughter of a diplomat who moved around the world every year or two, feeling rooted is a challenge. Then, a few years ago in the Vineyard Gazette, I came across some lesser-known names of early settlers of the Vineyard and was surprised to see my husband Jeff’s surname: Wass.

Deborah K. Sillimanwass


I recently had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and not meet the Obamas. I was hoping to run into them, perhaps over dinner at the White House, but that didn’t work out.

Kate Feiffer


Growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, I’m a born host. Friends start popping up with the crocuses in the spring, checking our availability for weekends in July and August, and my husband, Dave, and I are happy to oblige. Last July, an unplanned and uninvited visitor arrived seeking haven. This was not a college friend or long-lost cousin, nor even the same species.

Linley Dolby


Out on the water the sun starts to go down, an orange ball dropping into the ocean, the kind of daily finale the tourists applaud at Menemsha in August. Lev Wlodyka watches it appreciatively, and suddenly prime time has arrived. The monofilament peels off my reel, and as I wait for the moment to set the hook Lev starts to coach.

“Hit him, hit him, hit him!”

David Kinney


When you live on an island, it’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself in unlikely relationships. Sure, there are the regulars in your life – family, friends, the people you work with – but then there are the others, the unexpecteds.

Kate Feiffer


In my car aboard the freight deck of the Governor, headed over choppy waves to Woods Hole one fall morning, I couldn’t help but notice the large windshield sticker on the car in front of me: VINEYARDERS. While I considered whether or not a true Islander would ever own such a sticker, the reality of my own Island status hit and humbled me.

Barbara Leham Smith


Oh, we loved those baby trees. Scraggly little things: bare-root tulip trees. One hundred and fifty of them. Let me repeat: One hundred and fifty of them. Only eighteen inches tall, they would eventually soar to eighty feet, with trunks too thick to close your arms around. And there were (did I mention this?) one hundred and fifty of them.

Nicole Galland


The first time I ever came to the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, I had never heard of it, and nobody I knew had ever heard of it. That was sixty-plus years ago, in 1946. Today, it is surprising to meet anyone in the world who has never heard of it.

Shirley Mayhew