08.01.08

On a glorious late summer’s afternoon, the Gay Head Cliffs glow with color on one side; the sea gently laps at the warm sand on the other. Ah, nature!

But on the strip of sand between cliff and sea there is what looks like a trade show for outdoor furnishings: umbrellas, coolers, chairs, tents, tote bags, volleyball nets, entire patio sets. Oh, naturists!

Mike Seccombe

08.01.08

Friends of mine have so many house guests in summer that they keep a color-coded bar chart on their kitchen wall, indicating which guests sleep where on which dates. My husband and I used to have a lot of guests, especially the first couple of summers after we moved to the Vineyard year-round. Our friends back in New York missed us more then and often invited themselves up to visit. We were, I must say, excellent hosts, giving everyone the Island tour, taking them to the beach, and feeding them sumptuously.

Laura D. Roosevelt

08.01.08

Edward Trotter Wesley Junior breezed into Harlem in May of 1954, just days after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools, a landmark decision that Eddie was certain must conceal some sort of dirty trick. He possessed a degree from Amherst, a couple of undistinguished years of graduate work at Brown, a handful of social connections through his mother, and a coveted job on the Amsterdam News, although he quit in disgust three months after starting.

Stephen L. Carter

08.01.08

The Clintons? The Obamas? Or is this island big enough for both families to vacation here? Several months ago, when it looked like the shark from Jaws was circling the Democratic Party, I would have said “no way.”

Kate Feiffer

08.01.08

“Can you give me the address of the Vineyard Playhouse?”

“Oh, just drive up Main Street, turn left onto Church–”

“No, please don’t give me the directions. Just give me the street address.”

“But it’s really easy to find. All you have to do is–”

“No, no, no! All I want is the address.”

Shelley Christiansen

07.01.08

Heads turn as my friends and I march purposefully down Circuit Avenue. The nine o’clock crowds looking for ice cream, the Game Room, fudge, and souvenirs part to let us slip through. It is guaranteed that we are noticed.

Meredith Downing

07.01.08

It’s the kind of thing you would never expect to happen twice. One day in September, after Labor Day, my friend Jules and I went for a little R and R at South Beach. At lunchtime, Jules pulled out a perfectly constructed Italian hoagy. Having just taken a second delicious bite, out of the blue – or rather, over his left shoulder – a seagull swooped in and grabbed Jules’s sandwich. You would think this a once in a lifetime event, no? Well, actually, no. It happened again in the spring.

Carolyn O'Daly

07.01.08

We’ve had house guests leave everything from a bottle of wine to a box of designer chocolates to a card as a thank-you. I’ve been fine with all of these. Okay, truth be told, at first I was a tad peeved about the card, but that’s only because relatives stayed for an entire week, treated our guest house like a frat house, and left us with dozens of empty beer cans; but after I used the redemption money from their beer cans to buy scratch tickets and won enough to pay for a deep tissue massage and a facial, I was no longer irritated about the card.

Kate Feiffer

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