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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sentimental Postcards -- dreaming of an Island that I love --

This might be the author in 1976.  Zack's Cliffs.
When I sorted through my mother's belongings after her death, I found myself setting aside certain things to study and reflect upon at a later date. Today, I found myself sorting through my mother's postcard collection.  There were several that drew my focus and left me feeling nostalgic.  I saw Martha's Vineyard Island, a place that I love, with new lenses.  Zack's Cliffs has changed radically since this picture was taken.  The large boulder in the foreground is still there, but the colorful cliffs have eroded and none of the clay is exposed in this way any more.  It was upon this very boulder that I once left my clothes while I was swimming. When I returned, my clothes were gone, leaving me with a very peculiar dilemma.

Harbor entrance,  Oak Bluffs.
 Remarkably, this view has changed very little since Fisherman's Paradise was printed.  It is the
street above Town Beach that has undergone significant transformation.
View of the Harbor and Sunset Lake.
 The Harbor has continued to be developed over the years, but, for the most part, The Harbor and Sunset Lake below it, remain landmarks today.
A photo of Sunset Lake in the 1890's.
Notice its shape differs from above.

My eye noted the unfamiliar shape of Sunset Lake in this photo from the 1890's.  I was drawn to the Tabernacle in the background on the right.  The Tabernacle is located at the heart of the Martha's Vineyard Methodist Campgrounds.  It has been visible on the horizon from this spot since 1879, when it was built.  The Tabernacle is a place of constancy and relevance as much today as it was then.
The Oak Bluffs Harbor shown in the last postcard is without moorings and a concrete sidewalk, both so integrated today that no-one pauses to remember a time that they were not in view.  This image shows a harbor that is remarkably undeveloped and pristine.  Of the two, time and place, these postcards take me to another time, but the place remains the same.

Oak Bluffs Harbor (called Lake Anthony) in the 1940's.

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