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These are just a few of the bazillion pictures I’ve taken of the Tabernacle. Seriously, a bazillion of them.
I live in NJ but my heart and soul live on MV… and on MV they like to live here at the Tabernacle in the Campground . It is my favorite spot on the Island… an oasis of serenity and calmness in the middle of the Vineyard’s most bustling and lively town, Oak Bluffs. This magnificent iron structure was built in 1879… in 1979 was listed in the Natl Register of Historic Places… in 1999 a major restoration began, and in 2000 it became a project of Save America’s Treasures. Those are some of the facts of the building but not necessarily what constitutes the heart and soul of it.
Inside the Tabernacle is a banner that says “truly God resides in this place” and so he does. I am profoundly attached to the Tabernacle and visit it several times every time I’m on MV whether it’s in the heat of the summer, or the cold of the winter… I just magnetically gravitate there, I have no choice.
Many events take place at the Tabernacle. There are of course religious services held during the summer months. The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School holds its graduation there. There are concerts also and what a magnificent setting for a concert. Three that I particularly enjoyed were… Harry Connick Jr and his special guest Carly Simon in Sep 1990 and two Boston Pops concerts.
One of the best events of the summer is Illumination Night in the Camp Ground… it’s a magical fairy land and for me it’s hard not to become 8 years old again. The evening starts with a rousing community sing… the band plays… the whole Campground is alive with the sounds of happiness and joy. All the gingerbread houses are decorated with Japanese lanterns… many of them handed down from generation to generation and some still being lit by candles. Suddenly all lights are extinguished and the ceremonial first lantern is lit…. it’s walked up the aisle of the Tabernacle and illuminates it… as that happens all the gingerbread houses come alive with lanterns… it takes my breath away every time.
So there it is… a little bit about my favorite place on MV. I shall end this post by simply saying… amen.
One of my favorite things to do on Martha’s Vineyard is to roam around with my camera and take pictures of whatever captures my attention. This trip I was decked out with my Nikon D60 and my handy-dandy Kodak Easy Share (which I’m never without).
Took some pictures Monday and some on Tuesday morning. Met with a dear friend on Tuesday afternoon to share coffee and to give her a gift I’d made for her. We took a few pictures of us and that evening at supper when I was checking my camera to see how the days pictures had come out, this is what I saw:
My picture card was blank. B-l-a-n-k. I took it out, shook it, blew on it, begged it to restore at least the pictures of my friend and me. It staunchly refused. I’m not a novice with a digital camera, I’ve had two Kodak’s and love them, I’m familiar with how they work and how to delete and NOT delete pictures. I wanted desperately to blame this malfunction on anyone but myself.. but I knew that it had to have been me somehow.
First thing next morning I went to the camera store in Vineyard Haven hoping they might find a way with their magical machines to find the pictures. They could not. Somehow the card got re-formatted and well, there went the pictures.
At least it happened the first day on the Vineyard as I was able to retrace some of my steps and retake some pictures, along with new ones of course.
Here are a few I’ll be using in upcoming posts.
You know, I’ve read where there’s some sort of magnetic force that surrounds the Vineyard and thus make it a perfect place for creativity. I’ve also read that Martha’s Vineyard sits on a separate tectonic plate from the United States. I’m wondering if either of these could have erased my pictures !!! Yes, I’m digging deep for something or someone to blame other than myself .
Wait a minute, wait just a minute… look what I found in the camera !!
I just returned from a trip to the Vineyard. Here’s a sneak peek of some upcoming posts.
(CLICK HERE for Campground picture at my ‘Through Jersey Eyes’ blog)
Ocean Park, the jewel of Oak Bluffs was designed in the late 1860′s.
The seven acre park is criss-crossed by paths which are dotted with benches. From the days when women with parasols and gentlemen in suits strolled through the park… to the present time when fireworks and concerts are performed… from the days of baby parades with the little ones riding in brightly decorated strollers and carriages… to today’s kite flying, frisbee throwing and sailing boats in the pond, Ocean Park has always been a popular place for people to congregate.
Ocean Park’s beauty changes with the seasons. Colorful and vivid in summer…golden hues in autumn, stark black and white in winter and budding flowers in spring.
Ocean Park’s beauty changes with the seasons… colorful and vivid in summer… golden hues in autumn, stark black and white in winter and eager with budding flowers in spring.
Enjoy the beauty of Ocean Park day or evening.
Born in Waterville, Maine
Raised on Martha’s Vineyard
Married a Jersey boy…
and had a Jersey girl.
The next to the last Mother’s Day I spent with my mom was May 1975. My parents were vacationing on the Cape and she was unaware that we were driving up to surprise her for the weekend. I gave her the book ‘Mostly On Martha’s Vineyard, A Personal Record’ by Henry Beetle Hough, as I knew she’d know some of the people mentioned in the book. I am so glad I did that because after reading the book she decided she wanted to sail over to the Vineyard to visit her mother’s grave. It turned out be her last trip to her beloved Vineyard.
Posts about my mom:
This is the house of my childhood summers.
Awhile back I wrote about the house in a short, very short story (Click here to read it)
They say you can’t go home again. I say, pish tosh, you can but you won’t always find things have stayed the same as you remember. Unless… you do !!
Years ago when I was driving past I saw a young woman on the porch. Something made me stop the car and get out to speak with her. She was pleasant and seemed interested when I said that more than 50 years ago I had spent all my summers there with my family. We chatted for a bit and then she asked me if I’d like to come inside !
Would I ever. But, was I prepared to step back into my childhood … would I be disappointed or pleased ! Even though the rooms had somehow become smaller the house was a lot like I had remembered it.
Memories came rushing back like mini-tidal waves… it must have been the familiar smell of the house that evoked them. They say the sense of smell is the strongest memory inducer and I agree. The kitchen was pretty much the same, the original sink was still there. The screen door out to the yard still creaked… I wonder if they’re deliberately ‘built in’ to screen doors!
I felt my heart quicken as I started up the stairs to the second floor where the bedrooms all were. You know how sometimes you just know something great is going to happen. It did.
The same exact wrought iron beds were STILL in the same bedrooms. A-maz-ing, just really blew me away. Wow. As I headed down the hall to the room that had been mine I glanced into the bathroom… yup, clawfoot tub, slanted floor, low ceiling that my 6’2 father bumped his head on every single morning.
My room was at the back of the house just off the upstairs back porch. It was small, only room for a twin size bed, a small dresser and a chair but lots of room for dreaming and thinking about the future.
On this porch my girl friend Jackie Robinson and I used to put on shows and play dress up. ( By the way, I didn’t know until I was much older that there was ANOTHER Jackie Robinson). On this porch was a glider where I spent many hours reading, watching hummingbirds and gliding back and forth. On this porch we played board games and drank lemonade. On this porch we watched the sky darken and the stars come out. On this porch and in this house…summer happened.