From Gazette editions of July, 1960:
Joseph C. Whitney of Edgartown and Westwood garnered an experience Friday afternoon that will make more than a footnote if he ever decides to write an autobiography. He landed a single engine Commanche, of which he was the only occupant, without the benefit of wheels. Mr. Whitney came into the Martha’s Vineyard Airport with the hydraulic landing gear of the plane still unlowered. The reason the gear was not lowered was simple: Mr. Whitney just forgot to do it. Remarkable though it seems, the plane was only slightly damaged, and its pilot suffered only injured pride.
At the Red Cat in North Tisbury last night, Jonathan Revere, a tall, lanky young man with a visage suggesting a Modigliani, sat himself at a table and began to read poetry out loud to a group of coffee drinkers. The event was called an experiment, and it worked. The selections were chosen with a keen regard for a balance between seriousness and levity, and the evening concluded with a reading of one of Mr. Revere’s own works, written in his capacity as class poet of the Class of 1960 at Harvard. Mr. Revere’s performance was further evidence that the Red Cat has established itself on the Island scene as a comfortable haven for those who foster a gentle but impertinent and spontaneous kind of intellectual foment.
Boatsteerer Amos Smalley of Gay Head, who crossed his 83rd meridian a few weeks ago, sailed sou’west of Noman’s on Tuesday, aboard the Cachalot, Cap’n William Sawyer’s boat out of Duxbury, looking for swordfish. Mr. Smalley, who is one of the few whalemen left on the Vineyard, had not been around Gay Head by sea since 1910, and he did not propose either to stand his masthead or iron the fish, if one appeared. But all hands agreed that despite his more than four-score years, he could have done both, shipshape and in Bristol fashion, if it had been necessary.
As a boatsteerer, Mr. Smalley distinguished himself while engaged in active whaling by the killing of a white whale, similar to the one described as Moby Dick. There are few traditions in the entire history of whales being seen, and fewer yet, if any at all, of one being killed. Whalemen from ages ago held a white or partially white whale in superstitious dread and would hesitate to “go on” to such a whale.
Visually stimulating might be an apt phrase for the new Blakesly-Accorsi Gallery on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs. In a shop where appliances once stood, there is now the brilliant color of oils, watercolors, prints and mosaics gleaming through the windows.
The gallery is operated by William Blakesley, whose ability has already been recognized by Vineyard gallery-goers, and William Accorsi, a newcomer to the Island’s art colony. They have adapted the building, which, before it was a shop, was one of the Gothic structures whose unintentional whimsy had accounted for much of the latter-day fame of the Camp Ground, to the uses of a gallery in admirable fashion.
The opening show is dominated by the works of Blakesley and Accorsi, who have their individual studios in the upper reaches of the building. Mr. Blakesley has a fine flair for capturing the activities of the Vineyard summer, evoking memories of golden days, salt spray and all the other ingredients for a healthily constructed nostalgia. Mr. Accorsi is a demon of versatility, showing some striking prints, wire sculptures, and mosaics.
A real estate sale of considerable importance, because the property commands a majestic view of Katama Bay and the Atlantic, was completed recently when Mr. and Mrs. William Caldwell of Ridgewood, N.J., purchased the house of the late Mrs. George N. Descoteaux on Pond Lot Road at Katama. The house was built in 1950 for Mrs. Descoteaux by Manuel Swartz Roberts. Mr. Caldwell is associated with the Bergen Evening Record.
Edward W. Brooke of Roxbury and Oak Bluffs recently won the endorsement of the state Republican convention for the party’s nomination for the office of secretary of state. He and Mrs. Brooke have been coming to the Island for twelve years, and acquired a summer home on Canonicus avenue eight years ago. More recently, Mr. Brooke had purchased the former Morningstar property on Nashawena Park.
The Gertrude D., a 60-foot Island dragger, has been sold by her former owner, Capt. Horace Devine, to Capt. Charles Vanderhoop Jr. of Gay Head. The vessel is now on swordfish grounds under her new skipper. Capt. Devine had the vessel built and operated it, dragging and swordfishing, for a number of years. He told the Gazette that he was seriously considering retiring from vessel-fishing.
Compiled by Alison L. Mead