From the Editor

Fall is a sort of second summer. One with shorter days, it’s true, and cooler evenings. But the water in the ocean and in the Sounds is warmer than in July. The local produce so beloved in August is, if anything, more plentiful, as are most of the fishes. There are not just bass and blues now, but blistering explosions of false albacore and – could it be? – bonito. There is a fair chance in September and October of clean waves sent our way by distant (one hopes) hurricanes, and the beach guards at the usual access spots have gone back to school. Most of the migratory automobiles have returned to their off-Island roosts, leaving only the resident population.

There is always a certain amount of good-natured talk among the year-round crowd about “getting our Island back from the summer people,” talk which is not so much the product of any kind of real antipathy toward the crowds of July and August as it is of relief after a season of labor. Summer is when the year-round crowd works the hardest, often making most of their living, sometimes not even living in their own homes, which they have rented out for additional income. Summer for most year-round folk isn’t summer at all, in fact – fall is.
Summer people and year-rounders are often the only groups you hear about. But there are also fall people. You see them on the ferry in sweaters, down for a long weekend at an inn or a bed and breakfast. Or they are staying at an old family place that they and their various cousins and siblings rent out for July and August to pay the bills. It’s a load of buddies with rods galore on the roof, come to win the bass and bluefish derby. Or college lovers on a lark and a credit card.

Some fall people are actually the three-season types you never really manage to see during the summer crush, because, no doubt, they are too sensible to traipse from party to party talking of how the kids have grown up and the joints have grown old and the world has gone mad. They spend August instead at the very far end of the beach, where they reliably arrive late in the afternoon and stay until shooting stars begin to fall.

One of the unexpected benefits of living in a place where so many of the people you run into are on vacation is that you get to know the side of them that comes out when they are at rest or play. Whatever demons and burdens they carry around with them off-Island, they are generally trying their best to ignore or forget. And often they are succeeding to a remarkable degree. People on the Island are usually with the people they want to be with, doing the things they enjoy, eating the foods they crave.  

Sure, there are some who play too hard, or who can’t really leave whatever it is they were leaving behind back there, or who can’t understand why some people (their year-round friends) have work to do. But you don’t find so many of those in September or October. Generally speaking, if a person has figured out how to organize life to be here after Labor Day, he or she must be doing something entirely right.

It’s all about fall.

Winter? Never heard of it.