W hen I heard recently that the Discovery Channel is coming to the West Tisbury Dumptique to shoot a series about the famous giant sword maker of Martha’s Vineyard, I was filled with remorse and fear on multiple levels. What if those worn-in, but not worn-out Spanish boots of Spanish leather I left there not long ago get discovered and are worth a fortune? What if I forget about the filming and drive by in the background with my pickup truck  embarrassingly full of recycling?

Paul Schneider

It's stated (oftentimes to tease)

That apples don't fall far from the trees,

But pumpkins never leave the nest,

Not even at their mom's request.


I thought I’d try to shed some light on the increasing tensions between hawks and doves by organizing a simple colloquy. A hawk on one side, a dove on the other, all within a safe environment. 

I approached a group of doves in a nearby park and asked for a volunteer. “What’s a colloquy?” they asked. “A simple get together where you can air your feelings regarding hawks,” I said. “We’re there,” they all said. “We’ve been wanting to vent about those guys for years.”

Wes Craven

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.

Paul Schneider

Like many Vineyard regulars, writer Elizabeth Gates is wondering how we got here and where we're going.

Elizabeth Gates

I knew it was only a matter of time before my mother sent her first text message.

Julia Rappaport

So when you get the call, well, will you have the guts to go?

Wes Craven


What Goes Around, Comes Around

My girlfriend Janice saves the papers for me when I’m off-Island. I’m always afraid I’ll miss something destined to become Island lore, such as last year’s biggest Derby fish – just shy of fifty pounds, dragged aboard a boat by a twelve-year-old girl. There are things so uniquely Vineyard that you wouldn’t want to miss them.

DAW: Sure Signs

There’s not a parking space to spare...

A Gift from the Rafters

“Right above the table, the little mouse paused, leaned over as if to join the conversation, then tumbled over the edge and landed with a thud on the table.”

Clumping Like Crazy

I found myself on the defensive when I first heard the accusation.

Pardon My Thong

Sometimes there can be a certain charm to being vaguely naive.

Between Cats

A young man marks off major life events by the deaths of his family pets.

How Hard Can it Be to Hitch to Aquinnah?

My assignment: Find out the answer by getting myself from Oak Bluffs to Aquinnah and back, using thumb power alone.

A Garden (Barely) Grows in Katama

A gardener finds that the land at Katama giveth, but mostly it taketh away.

A Room of Her Own

If the heart of a house is its kitchen, our house used to be almost all heart. For seventeen years, most of the daily life of my family took place in one room. The room, about sixteen by twenty feet, functioned as kitchen, living room, dining room, and playroom, but it felt more as though it was a kitchen with a couch and a couple of armchairs, a table, boxes of toys, and a piano. It was a cozy room with a wood stove, kind of like a nest that held our family life.

On the Moon

Anyone who has ever visited or lived on an island knows about island time. Surrounded by water, you enter an ambiance of permissiveness, a hiatus from the ordinary. For some, it is the long, slow summer, never changing out of shorts, slouching into the post office and grocery store in flip-flops, waving cars languidly onto the road in front of you. For others, summer is when tourists, like the richly laden ships of old, wash ashore with their bounty.