From the Editor

Last Thanksgiving I served cranberries grown on Wampanoag tribal lands. Since the Wampanoags were the Native Americans at the first Thanksgiving gathering, those cranberries feel historically significant in their own small way. My link to Island cranberries is through my husband’s work in Aquinnah, and as I think about this year’s harvest, I
realize what makes the Vineyard special are the connections that we share.

The influence of community is strong on the Island. Many are blessed with lots of relatives living here, and others find “family” at a church or a twelve-step meeting or even a book group. People connect in town meetings or on school field trips or on the ferry, and summer brings new and long-standing associations.

These myriad Island kinships are evident throughout the magazine, where we find nature is often a uniting force. The winter walks hosted on conservation lands bring many people together (page 20). For West Tisbury brothers Nelson and Danny Bryant, their love of the outdoors was a strong bond despite their very different personalities (page 38). And Suzan Bellincampi’s back-page essay (page 84) gets humorously creative in naming the ubiquitous ties we share.

The connections we establish radiate not only through our own lives but off-Island as well. The jail in Edgartown works to have a positive influence both behind bars and in the wider community (page 30). Stephanie Danforth’s artwork brightens many homes and helps support children in Kenya (page 64). The outside world can also bring us together: Thanks to the Boston Bruins, we’ve hosted the Stanley Cup twice (page 48).