From the Editor

This issue marks the end of our thirtieth year in publication. Over the past twelve months we’ve had a lot of fun peering back at old issues of the magazine and looking ahead to future challenges to the Island: thirty years of fresh and local food, thirty years of citizen unrest, thirty years in gardens, thirty years of too many houses being built and not enough affordable houses to go around.

You won’t find any birthday roundups in this Winter-Spring issue, because it takes us over the hump into 2016, and thus also marks the beginning of our thirty-first year of publication. That said, there are two unhappy reasons to look back one final time. Not long before this issue went into production, two very different friends of this magazine died, one after a prolonged illness and one quite unexpectedly.

The first was our bird columnist, the gentle genius Wes Craven. Wes’s death was, naturally, front-page news because of his immense fame as a movie director. It’s probably no surprise, given his background, that his bird column wasn’t merely a rundown of what strange travelers blew into the local dune grass in the most recent howlers from the sea. They were instead fantastical feathered flights of imagination, often ominous and just as often hilarious. I remember reading the first one he turned in, about the angry fan mail he was receiving from red-tailed hawks and local free-range chickens, and thinking, “Well, what did you expect when you asked the creator of Freddy Krueger for a bird column?” And also thinking, “This is what makes it fun to create a magazine.”

Just as memorable as his creations was Wes himself. Accomplished as he was in the wide, glamorous world of film, he unfailingly made us feel that nothing was more important to him than making sure his column in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine was word perfect. Nothing pleased him more, it seemed, than hearing how much we enjoyed his writing. We miss him.

The other passing was of William Marks, who founded this magazine in 1985 and ran it for five years before selling it to the Vineyard Gazette. Marks, who later changed his name to William Waterway to reflect his passion for the planet’s fluid resources, was many things to many people on the Island: environmentalist, poet, historian,
Native American flute player. He, too, will be missed.

In one of his last editorials for the magazine, written on the occasion of its fifth
anniversary, he wrote: “We can only say thank you to the Island as we promise to do our humble best to continue giving Martha’s Vineyard its very own magazine.”

Still true today.