From Gazette editions of January 1987:
The Wintertide Coffeehouse reopens for its 1987 season on Saturday in a new location: the Manter Memorial Youth Hostel on the Edgartown Road. Featured musicians on opening night will be John Budris with Lynne and Richie Bittner and Sarah Tomasetti; Peter Huntington with Jeff Bryant; Merrily Fenner with Jamie Nielsen; and Die Kunst der Drum Afro-Latin Drum Ensemble. All performers are donating their time to help Wintertide raise funds for what promises to be an exciting season. Performances every Saturday night will offer special concerts with mainland musicians as well as Island entertainment. Patty Larkin, a favorite with Island audiences, is scheduled to perform this month.
Every Sunday evening, below deck on the MV Islander they serve sirloin steak with sauteed mushrooms, mixed vegetables and a baked potato. For dessert the crew gets Boston cream pie. No, this isn’t the latest from Neptune Catering. This is the fare served to the crew aboard Steamship Authority ferries. Francisco (Sam) Graca, chief cook aboard the Islander, said he enjoys cooking for the 18 crew members aboard the ship, and that the rolling seas have never spoiled a good dinner. Mr. Graca has worn kitchen whites as cook for the Steamship Authority for nine years. He got his sea legs as a cook aboard the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution vessel Atlantis II. Many crew members with the authority have spent time on WHOI vessels.
The galley is a white-painted room of some 20 by 30 feet, just below the freight deck. Occasionally a whiff of dinner will rise up and catch a passenger leaving his car by surprise, but most travelers are unaware of the feasts being prepared below. More often the automobile fumes blow downstairs.
Cooks, like captains, are important figures aboard ship. As on any ship, the accommodations are the temporary home for the crew. For 24 hours, crewmen work, eat and sleep aboard.
There are disadvantages to being an authority cook. “You always get invited to banquets. People always say, ‘Come early.’ You do, and they want you to help them in the kitchen.”
Soon the Art Workers Guild will be razed to make room for a supermarket and a new Vineyard Haven bank. In this building, nearly 13 years ago, a revival began.
In the summer of 1974 a group of Vineyard artisans banded together and revived the Art Workers Guild, four decades after its inception. The guild was first formed during the Great Depression to provide a means for people to earn money through the sale of things made at home. The new guild was something different, a cooperative, a gathering of some of the best artists and craftsmen who flocked to the Vineyard in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. They needed a place to weave and make jewelry and share tools and work space, year-round. Travis Tuck, a well-known Vineyard metal worker and prominent artist, was the first guild president. Looking back, he recalls those early years with fondness.
The building was built by singer and songwriter James Taylor in 1970 for John Parkinson, a mechanic who had an auto shop behind the Black Dog Restaurant. It was called the Nobnocket Garage. The garage later folded, and in 1974 a group of a dozen young artists met to discuss the idea of a cooperative on the site.
Travis Tucks remembers: “The first meeting was in Anna Edey’s living room. There were about a dozen of us. We met with Bill Honey [then president of the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank], convinced him we were serious and would do well. We were planning to start a new entity, but he said, ‘Wait a minute’ — he went and found the old organization and for a modest amount of money we revived it. Bill was our advisor and our mentor. The main reason for starting it was that work space was hard to come by then, and now of course it is even harder. There was also the stimulation of being around other people who were artists. Helios restaurant, which was not there in the beginning but was started soon after we converted the building, was like our own private club.”
In 1985 the building was sold to MVY Realty Trust, owned by Alfred Ferro and Edward Redstone.
Another chapter in the long history of the nearly century old Cape Pogue Light ended this week when the lighthouse was moved by helicopter 500 feet back from the precipitous edge of a ragged and eroding cliff. It was moved in two parts. First the lantern, which weighs 5,000 pounds, was removed from the top by the helicopter and laid gently on the grass. The base of the lighthouse was slowly lifted off the ground, swaying gently beneath the huge helicopter, as it was carried to its new foundation. It took several tries to center the tower on the new foundation. The lantern was gingerly, gently placed atop the lighthouse. And then it was over. Coast Guardsmen worked to reconnect the batteries for the light and by nightfall the Cape Pogue Light flashed its warning beacon to mariners as it has for the last 94 years.
Compiled by Cynthia Meisner