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The "Martha's Vineyard 1956" Story
Martha's Vineyard 1956Painted in 05 / 2010
8" x 10" - Acrylic on Canvas

The caretakers hut (facing left) was not child proof. I was curious as to it’s contents thinking something really special was in it? Alas, it was mainly filled with tools, nets, fishing gear, and boat making materials. The roof had become home to several sea gulls, sparrows, etc. who made homes with hay from nearby farms or horse stables on the mainland.

I wasn’t allowed in the hut. The main house pictured on the right, was comfortable, but cold at night. I could hear the waves crashing on the beach all night long. One day my curiosity caught up with me, and I actually had the nerve to eventually push back a boarded window when my parents weren‘t looking. They were always looking at maps to take me to some historical place of interest even though the weather was a blistering 90 degrees! I didn’t want to do anything but go to the beach.

It was on the nearby beach that I first started seeing artists painting. I couldn’t imagine how they tolerated long, hot, hours at their easels? I guessed that they were so absorbed they forgot about everything. My dad told me the artists usually started working very early in the morning, and would quit before noon mostly for a cold drink of ice tea.

The hut near the beach revealed several Victorian dolls, finely crafted, with porcelain heads, and yellowing clothes. They must have belonged to the caretaker’s family I thought. I didn’t dare ask my parents, but I wished I could grab one of the dolls for closer inspection. Mother said, “I’ll tan your hide if you go in that hut!” She meant it. Later she explained that I could get hurt or cut from nails and tools.

Most of the time our family spent under beach umbrellas, and in bathing suits all day until dinner. Later, we wore out best summer clothes, and Dad drove us to get soft ice cream. “Frozen Custard” was what it was also called. It was all the rage then because it was new, and sold at a drive up building that was a Dairy Queen that catered to tourists like ourselves.

Mostly, I remember when our family was happy and enjoying summer.

The summer my family toured the New England States was full of adventure, and memorable, sweet family times.


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