Welcome. Edgartown News was born from the simple fact that I have ink and Dektol in my veins and I need to write and photograph more than I need air or food, and from my love for this little town where I grew up and raised my family, the town I have left a few times but can't quite shake for good. Here you will find wanderings and musings, photographs and commentary; the people, places, and happenings - past and present - of a small island town: my home town.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Out and About

Sometimes it feels as if I haven't left my property in days (because I haven’t), and when I do leave I am usually walking or biking so I don’t venture that far, but today, feeling a little stir-crazy, as well as a bit hemmed in by the gray and drizzling skies, I made a break for it and climbed into the Grand (Ma) Caravan and took a little cruise. I had the newly-serviced Lumix along with me and was eager to get my hands back on her, though when I came across the kite boarders on Sengekontacket a part of me wished I had brought the big cameras along for the ride; another part of me, however, likes keeping it simple and enjoys the challenge of working with the tools I have on hand. And you know what? For what the little Lumix is - a handy high-end carry-around camera - it did a more-than-acceptable job, even with its limitations of focal length and shutter speed.

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
This is not the first time I've photographed this path to South Beach...

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
...or these retired-for-the-season life guard stands.

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
Fishermen, heading home up Kelly Street.

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Music of What Happens

An excerpt from The Music of What Happens by John J O Riordain c.Ss.R Celtic Spirituality: A View from the Inside

If you know me or anything about my life you will understand why this segment jumped out at me: 

On the matter of hospitality, there is a curious traditional expression and it relates to the use of music. I experienced it only once in my own life but it was obviously part of the longer and broader tradition... ...I have a beautiful and abiding memory of being welcomed with music as well as the offer of food and drink. It was during a mission in the parish of Ballinskelligs in west Kerry and I was doing house-to-house visitation prior to the week of preaching. The scenery was exquisite as I rose into the side of a mountain overlooking the Atlantic and Valentia Island. There was a lone house there between the mountain and the sea; and in the house there was a lone man, a retired blacksmith. He was standing at the door as I entered the yard. Upon seeing me, he didn't come forward in greeting, as I would have expected in that part of the country where people are so warm and hospitable. Instead, he retired into the house leaving the door still open. It was only when I got to the door that the situation unfolded for me. He had gone inside, taken down the fiddle from over the hob, and played two tunes to welcome the missioner into his house. After that he laid aside the fiddle and reached out both hands in warmest greeting.

Ireland, hospitality, Celtic spirituality
County Kerry, December 2019.

 
Ireland, hospitality, Celtic spirituality
Valentia Island, watercolor by Irish-American artist Joan Walsh. This painting hangs in my living room, the setting for many an Irish traditional music session. 

 
Ireland, hospitality, Celtic spirituality
In July of 2018 I had the pleasure of welcoming the Sisters of Life onto my porch and into my home when they were on their annual mission to Martha's Vineyard. This was shortly after I played them up the sidewalk while they danced a jig ("There are nuns doing what on Main Street?"). Photo by Deb O'Hara Rusckowski

Monday, October 5, 2020

Down at the Docks

In the evening I like to ride my bike through town and down to the docks. I find the salt air and the locals and the fishermen - and the stories they tell - to be a welcome relief from the day's news and the confinement of my four walls and my own mind. What I found tonight was a serious case of derby fever, though I am told it's not the same derby without the bass. Seems that many things are not the same at the moment.
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
The Tigress, colorful sail furled, and put to bed for the night. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Janet Messineo, Island fisherwoman of legend. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
The ubiquitous Dennie Jackson, showing off his Katama University tee-shirt. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
What's in the bucket? Butterfish. Serious fishermen catch their own bait. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Porch Life

Sometimes I think that if I didn't have a front porch only steps from Main Street in the heart of downtown Edgartown I might have no life at all. Thank God for my porch and the people who wander by and drop in, with extra points for people traveling with musical instruments.
Michael

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Underwater

 Okay, the other day I thought "Summer's over." How wrong I was. Today we were back in the upper-80s and the only place to be was underwater.

 
underwater photography, bend in the road,
My new friend.

underwater photography, bend in the road,
Spider crab graveyard.

underwater photography, bend in the road,
The sand below perfectly matched the water activity above: gentle swells, coming from? Not a boat, as is sometimes the case, but some kind of off-shore weather activity.

underwater photography, bend in the road,
Under-water light show.

underwater photography, bend in the road,
The young man in the center was having his very first salt water experience. The jury was deliberating.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Main Street, August 2020 - a sampler of bikes, buses, cars, and people.

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
Main Street, Edgartown, corner of Main and Green on a typical August day. Headed out-bound is #97, the 40' Xcelsior x 8'5"diesel.
vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
Corner of Main and Green.  

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
Cyclists think it is safer to ride on the sidewalk, but it is not - not for them or the pedestrians they are vying for space with. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
Dilemma

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
This is an older VTA diesel bus, an International RE, (There are six - 40' long and 3 35' long in the VTA fleet, all 8' wide). Some of the electric buses are 6" wider than this (not counting mirrors). 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
You can see the truck getting ready to pass the cyclists, only a short distance from the blind corner at Green Avenue. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
This car is giving proper safe distance to the cyclists, with little room to spare. Cars coming from the opposite direction find themselves in a bind when passing bikes at the blind corner at Green and coming upon this scenario. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
#103, BYD K9S - 35' long x 8.46' wide x 11'3" high. Corner of Main and Green Avenue. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
International RE, exiting Pease's Point Way.

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
International RE (looks to be 40'), exiting Pease's Point Way onto Main. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
This is the corner of Green Avenue and Main. The juxtaposition of vehicles with pedestrians on the sidewalk is very close here. In order to avoid oncoming traffic, vehicles sometimes come right onto the sidewalk - sometimes going very fast - or, while trying to avoid bicyclists here will veer into opposite lane, and since the corner is blind, find themselves suddenly facing oncoming traffic trying to avoid bicycles on the other side.  

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
An example of the young families that populate the sidewalks during the summer. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
This car is allowing a safe margin between it and the bicyclist and will pull back into its lane just in time to avoid oncoming traffic - a dance that takes place with bicyclists and impatient drivers all day long. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
This bus is 8.5' wide, BYD electric. The distance between the center line and the sidewalk is 10'4." This demonstrates the recovery time the bus needs after passing through the curve. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
More car/bicycle dancing - passing (because who has time to wait a few seconds - got to get down town and get a parking space!)...

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
...and pulling back in in the nick of time. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
Collision course.

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic


vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
There's room for recovery here, but sometimes cars from both directions are passing bikes unsafely at the same time (because, you know, it's important to arrive at the next traffic jam on time). 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic


vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
#103, 35'x 8.5'x11'3" BYD electric, rounding the corner at Pease's Point Way, rear tire straddling the sidewalk. Pat and John Hayes' fence is damaged at least once every summer by a VTA bus.

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
New Flyer Midi, diesel, 8' wide, outbound, corner of Main and Green.

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic
BYD electric (K9S, 8.5x35?) Outbound, corner of Main and Green. 

vineyard transit authority, main street edgartown, big buses, residential, historic


VTA buses, July 28, 2020 Corner of Main and Green looking west, Friday evening August 14 from approximately 5:30-8:30 PM. Sunday morning August 16. A sample of VTA bus views from a few different angles, recorded on a rainy Sunday morning; focusing on size and maneuverability in the context of a residential and historic neighborhood, a compilation of clips gleaned from approximately two hours of recording.