Interview with Stan Lair (1902-1987)

Interview with Stan Lair (1902-1987)

by Seventh Graders Missy Maciel and Kathy Young
17 Jan 1980

Transcribed by C. Baer, 1995.

Comments? Questions? Corrections? Suggestions? Write the compiler.
Back to the Tisbury History Home Page

Your name?

My name is Stan Lair. Now this is January seventeenth, nineteen hundred and eighty. I'm being interviewed by Missy Maciel and Kathy Young. O.K. (Laughs.) You're both in the seventh grade, is it? Yeah, O.K.

And your parents' names?

My parent's name was Leroy Lair. My mother's name was Marion Lair.

And have you lived in Vineyard Haven all your life?

Yes, I was born in Vineyard Haven.

Did you go to the Tisbury School?

I sure did. (Laughs) OK, you want me to tell you a little bit about the Tisbury School? OK. The old Tisbury School was right where the tennis courts are now in Vineyard Haven. You know where the tennis courts are? And I lived right next to it. All I had to do to go to school was jump over the fence. (Laughs.) It's that new house they're building there now - the old house burnt down. Do you know where I'm talking about? Uh, huh. And the whole school was there including the high school from Kindergarten right up all in one building... two buildings - they had a little... what they called a portable building, outside, with two classrooms there. Uh, what else can I tell you about that? They had a school bell. The school bell would ring, like a church bell. It would ring about fifteen minutes before school started. We called that the "first bell," and the "second bell" they'd ring when it was time to go to school.

Do you remember some of the teachers?

Yeah! Let's see. I have pictures of all these, you know. I've got all that stuff. (Laughs.) Kindergarten teacher was Miss French. First grade teacher was Miss Winter. Second grade I think was Miss Summer. Winter and Summer, right in there. Third Grade was Miss Russell. She was a terror. (Laughs.) Very strict. See, you know, in those days if a kid acted up she'd take you out in the hall and pull out a ruler and let you have it. Right across your hand. I don't think they can hit kids today. And, let's see. There was Miss Frost, fourth grade. Were getting all kinds of... Frost, Winter, and Summer. (Laughs.) Miss Frost was fourth grade, and ...can't remember who the fifth grade was. I tell you who one of my teachers was - she was Miss Partridge then. Bobby Tilton - you know Bob Tilton? Works up at Dutton's Lumber Yard? His mother was one of my teachers. Her name was Miss Partridge and she taught in that portable buildings I was telling you about. In high school we had Mr. Benchamal, was the principal, he was a pretty popular fella. Everyone liked him. Let's see - I'm trying to think of who the... who some of the other teachers were. We had a Miss White.

Did you do well in school?

Did I do well in school? Just average. (Laughs.) No, I just did average, I would say. Some of the games we used to play before school were kind of rough. We played a game called... oh, what was it.... relybo. And it was a big school yard in front. The schoolhouse sit way back. What it was was one kid would be what they called "it," you know, would be in the middle. And the other kids would start running from one end and you had to grab him and throw him on the ground and hit him three times on the back. Then they were with you. And that would go on and on and on until there was only one left. Kind of a rough game. (Laughs.)

Did you play that?

Oh, sure! And all kind of games like that.

Can you tell us what the town was like?

In my early days? Sure I made a tape on that, (laughs) describing all of Main Street as I remember it as a boy. Some of the side streets... I got a whole lot of tapes. Well, the town was... my memory goes back to about 1910. See I was born on October seventh, nineteen hundred and two. That would make me about eight years old. Well I really can remember things from around that age. Well, for instance, used to get out penny candy at - you know where Mardell's Gift Shop is? That used to be a paper store and candy store. It was Charlie Vincent's, C.M. Vincent's.

Has any one store been around since you were little?

Still there, you mean? Well, most of the stores are still there, but different owners, you know. Like, well, let's see. [Phone rings.] Oh, excuse me. Want to turn it off for a second?

There was a slight interruption while we answered a telephone here. (Laughs.) Uh, now, you were asking about stores on Main Street? Well, I could go on and on about that. But, (laughs) it would take too long. But some of the stores were: Tuckermans, was where the gift, uh Flea Market, what do they call that? Mayhew something-or-another. Something Mayhew Limited or whatever it is. Tuckerman was in there. He was a sheet metal man, plumber, and, let's see, the next one would be a grocery store, called SBS store - "Soak 'em, Beat 'em, and Skin 'em," we called 'em. (Laughs.) It was actually Smith, Bodfish, and Swift Company.

Is that still where it was before?

Yeah, the building is still there. That's Murray's of the Vineyard. You know where they are? That was the old SBS store. And we come to the theater. I remember when that was built. Before that there was a real estate office there. That's gone.

Is the police station still where it was?

Oh, no. When I was a boy there was a police department with one man. He was called a "constable," and his name was Mr. Gould. He also was a lamp lighter. We had gas street lights in those days. And every night he would go around with his little step ladder and light up the lights. But he was the whole police department. His name was Mr. Gould (laughs) and there was no police station. Then later on, of course, they had that little police station which is now the French restaurant - where you go down to the wharf, on the right. That building was the police department for quite a long time. I guess Mr. Flowry was the first chief of police we had.

Was there a lot of crime?

No, very little. What else can I tell you about the police? Well, there was Simeon Pinkham. He was a chief there. Bill... what's his name? Hmm.

How about the park in back of the fire station? Was that there then?

No, that was made by the American Legion. That was just swampland when I was a boy. Just swamp. They filled it in and made the park there. On that corner, where the post office is now, of course the post office is in what used to be a First National store. But before that, even, there was two houses there that were moved off. And right on the corner was John's Fish Market, which is now up on State Road, and the paint shop, which is now right across - Vineyard Color Center - you know right across? That was right on the corner by the post office, where the post office is. Then there was two other houses that they tore down going up the hill, where they made the fire station, right in there.

When was the bowling alley built?

The bowling alley? We did have a bowling alley here, oh probably in the thirties, maybe? Right before that. It was right underneath Ben Franklin, down in the basement of Ben Franklin store. And they had about three or four alleys there.

What was your first job?

My first job? (Laughs.) Uh, well, I had several jobs. My first job was a fifty cents a week job (Laughs.) I'd go to school and take out ashes for old widow women and bring in coal and that sort of thing. And I'd pump the church organ. In those days. they'd have somebody to pump the organ, so the church organist could play, you know? It was just like a pump handle stickin' out of the wall, in back of the organ, in a little room, there. You'd pump that thing to keep the pressure up. And I guess the first I... no, I worked up at the Makonniky brick yard, when they tore that down. That'd be about 1917-18, along through there. I worked up there one summer. I worked over on the Woods Hole wharf one summer, catchin' lines and lockin' boats, and that sort of thing. I guess my first real job and when I started my... what eventually wound up to be my career, which was plumbing, was I went to work for Tuckerman, A.C. Tuckerman for one summer. Then I went to work for Lester Bumpus, who had a plumbing shop right in back of V.H. Drugstore. And I worked for him until he was killed, drowned, then worked for H.N. Hinkley who ran it for a little while and then Jack Hughes for about a year. That's when we quit and I went into business for myself. Had a little shop right on Drummer Lane, that little old barn that's going down the hill on Drummer Lane. You know where Drummer Lane is?

I think so.

Goes down between William Street and Main Street. There for a long time, then finally the war came along and we quit. I went to work for Mr. Van Riper who's building boat models, ship models. There's some of the little ones right there. We made all kinds of models. I worked for him for about seven or eight years. Then I went to work for Manny Maciel. I worked for him for about seventeen years. Still do a little work for him now, you know, although I'm supposed to be retired.

Was he the longest you worked for, for anybody?

Yeah, I guess he was. Seventeen years.

And has Main Street changed a lot?

Yes, it... the street itself hasn't changed much, but I mean the businesses, of course, have all changed.

Has the Steamship Authority changed?

Yeah, well of course they didn't have a Steamship Authority when I was a boy, but they had what they called the New England Steamship Company, which was the same thing. They ran ferries, not ferries but steamers. There were paddlewheel steamers in those days. You know, they had paddle wheels on the sides to make them move? The Uncatena, the Gay Head, the Martha's Vineyard... they were all paddlewheel steamers. Until they finally build one called the Sancaty, which eventually was burned in New Bedford. I don't know what ever happened to it after that. But she was the first propeller-driven vessel they had.

How much did it cost?

You could go to New Bedford and back for $2.10. A round trip was $2.10 to New Bedford and back. And Woods Hole, I don't remember. It couldn't have been much. Probably less than a dollar one way.

Did you go to the movies a lot?

Well, I used to go a fair amount. They had movies down in the... they called it the Capawock Theater, then. And in those days they used to run what they called serial movies. Like Pearl White and some of those old movie actresses. You'd see a little bit one week, then right in the middle of the exciting part it would cut off. You'd come back next time to see the rest of it. That thing went on for, oh, weeks and weeks and weeks. (Laughs.)

How much did that cost?

About a quarter to get in. (Laughs.)

What did the kids do for fun?

What did the kids do for fun? Well, we didn't have TV, we didn't have radio, we didn't have cars, so we had to make our own fun. We'd play card games, and made up our own games. One thing we used to do when I lived on Center Street was in the evening we'd all gather at the corner up there, which was right on the corner of Franklin and Center Street. You know where that is? And we'd play hide and seek and all kinds of things. Rollyvone... (Laughs.) And we'd play until dark until Mr. Gould come around to light the lamp, then we had to go home. The people who lived next door to me were named Luce - Luce girls - and there was all girls except one boy who was quite a bit younger than rest of them, so most of my games were played with the girls, and I got to be pretty good at hopscotch, jumpin' rope, ... (laughs) all those sort of things. Another thing - I never had a bicycle - I used to rent - the girls had a bicycle next door and they'd rent it to me for a nickel an hour. I learned to ride a bicycle by renting their bike and ridin' around the block for an hour. (Laughs.)

Have the kids' dressing styles changed a lot?

Oh, yeah, sure. We used to wear... boys your age now would be wearing what we call "knickers," just below the knee, with long black cotton stockings, and then way before that they used something they called "Buster Brown suits," which were long frock-like things. I used to... I had one of those when I was a kid. (Laughs.)

Did the girls all wear dresses?

Yeah, they all had dresses, yep. Every one of them. And most of them had hair ribbons. The style then - they had braided hair, you know, they had hair ribbons tied in their hair, that sort of thing. (Laughs.)

One thing you didn't ask about, and probably you wouldn't know about anyway was the fire, the big Vineyard Haven fire? You heard about that? Of course I don't remember it, but my mother remembered it, and she said it was like a night without any day, it was bright, you know, all night. It started in what they called a harness factory, which is where the bank is now, the Martha's Vineyard bank. It burnt both sides of the street, all the way up, clear up to the Youth Center, both sides. Wiped it right out. That's why most of our houses aren't as old as you know like Edgartown has some real old houses and businesses. Of course ours aren't as old as that.

Which way would you rather have the Island, the way it is now, or how it was back then?

Which way would I rather have it? Ahh... I don't know. It was pretty good back then (laughs) at least we thought so. Well, I guess now we have a lot more conveniences, and all that sort of thing. I seem to like it in the old days, the way it was. Of course it was really kind of crude, 'cause we didn't have any indoor plumbing, you know. We had what they called an outhouse, and then we didn't have any electricity. We had all kerosene lamps. For heat we had stoves, parlor stoves and kitchen range which burnt coal, coal and wood. When we went to bed, the house was on the cold side, of course. When we went to bed, we had what they called soap stones. They were a piece of stone about a foot long and about six inches wide and maybe an inch and a half thick, made of soap stone. And those things were kept right on the top of the parlor stove. They were kept there all the time. When you went to bed, you'd take one of those things out, wrap it up in newspapers, thick newspapers, and wrap an old flannel cloth around it, tie it up, and put it up in your bed. Keep your feet warm. They work good, too. You'd stay warm all night long.

Just like hot water bottles now.

Yeah, that's right. But they'd stay hotter longer than a hot water bottle. Anything else you'd like to know?

We've pretty well covered anything. Is there anything you'd like to tell us?

Well, yeah. I don't know if you noticed it when you came in - you probably didn't. I made a model of a trolley that used to run between here and Oak Bluffs. I'll show it to you before you go. But it used to stop right on where the Bethel is now. You know where the Bethel is? That was the end of the line, there. And it used to run from there to Oak Bluffs. It ran along - let's see - the water side of the street - right across from the A&P on that water side. And then it crossed over to Five Corners and went along on the other side. It would be like by the bowling alley. Went to Oak Bluffs that way, for ten cents. It was pretty good. It only ran summers because they were open cars, you know. They didn't have any closed cars. I used to go over there - ball games, when I was about - I don't know - twelve years old or so. Save up my pennies and ride over to Oak Bluffs to watch baseball.

Did you do a lot of fishing or anything?

Fishing? I never was much of a fisherman. I didn't care much for that. Although I do recall - you don't see much of it now, but we used to go to... I used to go once in a while - I wasn't a great fisherman, but go down on the dock down here - the Vineyard Haven dock. Cold nights, like this time of the year, and catch what they called hake. You could throw your line over and you'd pull 'em in two at a time. They weren't a very good fish to eat, but well, people used 'em. Then there's frost fish, would come right up on the shore and flop around, you could pick up. But, no, I was never much of a fisherman, or hunting, or anything like that. I enjoyed sports, played baseball, basketball. Didn't have any football in those days. The high school never had a football team like they do now.

Was the stone church here?

Stone Church? No. There was another church there - the "Wooden Church." That burnt down 1921 or 22. And then they rebuilt it with this Stone Church you see there now. Someday if you're really interested in the history of the town, why you can come back. All those books up there are chock full of pictures. Old pictures. That's one of my hobbies - copying old pictures. There's a whole section on Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, and Up Island.

How many books do you have up there?

I don't know. Must be what? (Laughs.) You count 'em! Must be thirty, twenty-five, thirty or more.

What's all this equipment for?

That's Ham Radio. Amateur radio. Talk all over the world with that.

What's the farthest you've talked to anybody?

Mmm... probably South Pole, I would guess.

[Tape ends]
Slight interruption again. (Laughs.) Ok - holidays. Halloween was never a big deal like it is today. We might go out and... do a few little things, but not very much. Anyway the big time we enjoyed was the night before the Forth. July third. And we were allowed to stay out all night, and raise the dickens. Tip over outhouses. In fact we tipped over one one night, and the guy was in it. (Laughs.) Drag wagons around and put 'em on roofs, and all that sort of stuff. Tell you one thing I did, I recall. You took a nail keg, and put it on top of the schoolhouse flagpole. Now the way we did that, we took a post pole about eight feet long, something like that, a couple of half inches on the halyard, the lines that goes up to the top, you know? A couple of half inches on the top, two on the bottom. Set the other thing on the top of the stick, when you pulled it up it was hanging over top of the pole. So we just lowered it down, and there it was. It was up there for a long time. I think we had to go back and take it down eventually. They couldn't figure out how we got it up there.

Did you have any animals then?

We had cats, about all we had, and we had plenty of cats, maybe as many as a dozen or two. (Laughs.) Always had cats around the house.

How long have you been into radio?

Since 1939, when I started. So that's how many years - forty years, maybe? Something like that. Yeah, forty years. I'm very much interested in model making. Well you're interested in hearing more about the town than hearing about what I was doing.

No, we can do that! We were going to ask you about your hobbies and things.

Well that's one of 'em. See some of the horses right there I've started? The little wooden horses? See 'em on the bench, there? They're just started, but they'll be the Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs. A model of the Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs. I'll show you before you go. It's down in the basement, but I'll show you how much I've got done on it.

Are you going to sell it or keep it?

Oh, no, I wouldn't sell it. I don't know what I'm gonna do with it, to tell you the truth. Like that trolley I made out there. It was down at the Historical Society for over a year, and I just got it the other day.

How long does it take you to carve out one of the horses?

I really don't know. I just do it when I feel like it. I'd make a guess and say - well with that stage there, which is very rough, you know, maybe you can do one in maybe an evening, two evenings. But they have to get their ears and their eyes and saddles and harnesses, and tails, and all that stuff.. Have to be painted, of course.

Did you collect anything? Like coins or books or comic books or anything?

Not really. My daughter has a collection of antique dolls, she's a doll collector. I'll show you hers before you go. No, my hobbies have been, well radio, and now lately it's been historical stuff. Collecting old photographs of the Island, principally the Island. Anyone that has an old picture, I ask if I can borrow it, I copy it and I get the negative, and I can print 'em up, as many as you want. That's a hobby that takes a lot of my time. I used to do a lot of boat model making. I don't have any of that around now, these are VanRiper's models here. I worked for VanRiper I worked on model - what they called a T2 tanker - this was during the war, made for Henry Kaiser on the West Coast. That was an all-metal model, we built it in sections, never did see it completely put together, 'cause it was... all together it would be twenty-two feet long. It was half-inch scale. I used to make T2 Tanker models, about, oh, five or six feet long. They were eighth scale, we called 'em. My job was to make all the deck piping, all the venting, the catwalks and all that stuff. It would take me just about a month to make one of those - all the piping and all that stuff goes on the deck of the thing. So you'd probably got a pretty good price for 'em, I guess.

What big events took place, or anything really exciting that happened?

Big events? Oh, yeah. Let's see. What could happen?

The street fair?

They didn't have that. That's only something fairly recent.

Or the fair in West Tisbury?

Yeah, that's been going on for years and years and years. That was sort of a big event for kids, if you could get up there, you know, you never had transportation. If you could get up there some way. I finally, I played in the Vineyard Haven Band, that's how I used to get up there. Band would play up there one day, you know. Concerts and stuff.

There wasn't as many tourists then, were there?

No, no there weren't. Another thing they don't have now that they used to have up there is sports. They used to have running races and jumping and all that stuff. Pole- vaulting.

Did they have the horse shows?

Not like they have them today, no. But they had exhibitions of horses. Like they do with the cattle, and all that stuff. And they didn't have any of those games like they have today, all around the hall. It was more of a place you could go to meet old friends and meet old people you hadn't seen for a year. You know, just sort of a get-together.

When did the ferry start to Chappaquiddick?

When did that start? I don't know. But there used to be - before the ferry you see there now - there've been two or three of those - but there used to be one man - his name was Jim Yates - who had one boat, and he would row you across. If you wanted to go, he'd row you across. I have a picture of him, too. He was a ferry in those days.

Tell you an interesting thing that happened in 1918. Boat called the Port Hunter - she was an English transport, she was going over to England, she was coming from Boston, and a tug - I think it was the Covington, the name of the tug - went out of here one foggy morning and plowed right into the side of her and sunk her off of East Chop. So that morning I went downtown, and I saw all these English sailors all over the place. I couldn't figure out what was going on, and I inquired around and they told me. Finally the word got out that stuff was coming ashore down on the North Shore, down by the Herring Creek, down by Katharine Cornell's, down that area? So, a bunch of us went down there, and yeah there it was, all floating ashore, all kinds of soap in boxes, candles, shoe dubbin, and you name it.

What did you do with it?

Well, we didn't have any transportation in those days, but there was a fella going along - an old fella that had a shack down there, and he was pickin' the stuff up and puttin' his initials on it, S. V., S. V., and the kids were comin' along in back of him and throwing it into the bushes. (Laughs.) And we were gonna pick it up later. (Laughs.) That S.V. didn't mean anything to them. But, that went on for a long time, then eventually they had - fishermen were going out there and jabbing down in the holes with long eel spear-like things, and pulling out all this stuff. They pulled out dozens of, I remember, vests, leather vests. Still a few of 'em around now I guess. They were sleeveless vests, leather, lined with felt inside. They were selling those for a dollar apiece, off the boat. You could buy one for a dollar, and you could buy two of 'em and the tailor down here - his name was Issokson, he was located where True Value Hardware is now, Shirley's. Issokson Tailor Shop was there. And he'd make you a jacket out of two of these vests for five dollars. It was sort of fun in those days. Another man from New Bedford came down he was buying off all this stuff. He hired the sanitary laundry in Oak Bluffs, and he had to build a fence around the back of it, a wire fence so he could dry the things after he laundered them, you know, 'cause they'd been in salt water. And the men were on the other side at night with fishing poles, fish lines, tryin' hooking the vests back. (Laughs.) And you could take those things around and sell 'em. They pay you four dollars apiece for 'em.

How long was school? What time did it start and end?

I'm trying to think. It seems to me it was around eight-thirty or nine o'clock when we went. We had recess in the morning and we had an hour at noon for lunch. I could go home 'cause I could just jump over the fence, you know. But most kids brought their lunch.

You had an hour at lunch?

Yeah. You'd go back to school at one o'clock and get out around four, I think, something like that.

We only have half an hour at lunch, and then we get out at two-thirty. A

t lot of the kids nearby would just go home for dinner, or lunch, they had time enough.

We have a cafeteria where we get hot meals for forty cents. They're pretty good.

Well we didn't have any cafeteria or anything like that, you know. You had to bring your own lunch, or go home. One or the other.

Did you eat outside most of the time?

Well, I ate home, but a lot of the kids did, yeah. They could eat outside if they wanted to. Rainy days they'd eat at the desk, of course. ...What else? (Laughs.) I better get out my set of questions over there. You wanna shut that off a second?

How many brothers and sisters did you have?

I had two brothers, and one sister.

Can you tell us the prices of some of the food and stuff?

Prices of food, oh yeah. Is that down there? (Laughs) Yeah, I was looking at a picture I had the other night of the front of the First National Store and some of the signs you could read said Swordfish - 38 cents a pound, hamburg was 18 cents a pound. I can show you those pictures later, if you like to. But anyway, prices were way, way down then.

Did you grow a lot of your food, and make it?

The food? Oh my mother made it, yeah. She was a good cook. She made all her own bread, like on a Saturday night she would make up the dough and put it in back of the stove and let it rise, you know, and Sunday morning we'd have hot biscuits. It was great, yeah.

When did you first have electricity?

I would say around 1922 or 3, somewhere along through there. (Laughs.) Before that it was all kerosene lamps.

Did you have telephone before or after?

It came after, about that same time, I guess. It was a party line. What they called a party line, there was one of those phones that had a crank on the side you turned to ring it, you know. There'd be about twelve people on your line, and you had it to, well, you had to wait until the line was clear before you could make a call. Also if you wanted to spend a little time you could listen in onto other people's conversations by just listening. (Laughs.) Twelve different people.

Who were some of the characters that you remember?

Oh, boy! Well, one that comes to mind is a colored fella by the name of Ben Turner. He lived at the bottom of what was then Renear Stable. It was right where Ben Franklin is now. And he was an old colored gentleman - a nice fella. Another one they called Dukey Reynolds. He always wore brown overalls and a brown jumper-like thing, but he had quite a bit of money. He was always goin' around that way. A lot of characters around.

What about cartoons and stuff? Are there any cartoons that were back when you were a kid that are still there now?

Oh, you mean in the funny papers? Oh yeah. Well, I imagine there's still a few of them. Ones I recall were Buster Brown, Happy Hooligan, Captain and the Kids. I think they still, once in a while see that one. Maybe a different name to it.

When did you get your first electric refrigerator?

Well that was after I was married. That'd be around 1930-31, something like that.

When did you get your plumbing installed?

Indoor plumbing? Well, in my home where I was brought up it was around, oh, 1925, something like that, before we had indoor plumbing.

What were some of the doctors like?

The doctors? Well, there was Dr. Lane, Dr. Charles Lane. Dr. Mayhew was a well- known doctor, in fact he brought my daughter into the world. And Dr. Butler was the one that brought me into the world. He lived right on the corner of Franklin and Spring Street, right near the Town Hall. Dr. Lane was sort of a character, 'cause he had the first telephone company here on the island. Very often you'd - I wouldn't see him, but they say you'd see him on a telephone pole repairing his wires with his - he wore a tall silk hat and swallow tail coat, you know. Real fancy dresser. He'd be up there repairing wires.

What was Girdlestone Park?

Girdlestone Park? That was up just about where the high school is, little bit this side of it. It was a horseracing park, it was cut out of the scrub oak there by a man by the name of George Smith. Half-mile track, they used to race horses up there. They were what they called salky races - they weren't - you know, two-wheeled gig? That sort of thing. They weren't saddle horses.

Were people betting and stuff?

Oh yeah. I suppose they did on the side. They didn't have any regular - they'd made bets on the side.

Who were the Whitings? You have it down next to Girdlestone Park.

Oh, the Whitings are a racetrack, too. They had one up in -no you know where Dead Man's Curve is - they call it Dead Man's Curve?


No? Do you know where... Hmm. Let's see. Well, you know where the cemetery is in West Tisbury. If you're going up from here you make a very sharp left and then a sharp right right there by the cemetery. Well just where you make that sharp left on the right hand side - that big field - Whiting's Field - that's where the race track was.

What was the ice skating like back then?

Oh , all our ice skating was on a pond, like Lake Tashmoo.

We just got that ice skating rink going up by the high school...

Yeah, that's great now. I'm glad to see that go up because it's a lot safer and a lot better for kids. We used to go skating in a place called the Mink Meadows, which is down at West Chop. Small pond there. There was another little pond over the old Marine Hospital called Ben Luce's Pond - we used to skate there, too.

How about roller skating, did you do much of that?

In Oak Bluffs, yeah. We used to go over there and roller skate.

What were the ice boats?

The ice boats were up at Tashmoo one time I remember at Tashmoo Pond, Tashmoo Lake, and there was about four or, five of 'em up there, which would be 1930, around through there somewhere.

What was the Tivoli dancing?

The what? I'm a little hard of hearing, I didn't...

Tivoli dancing?

Oh - Tivoli dancing, in Oak Bluffs. That's where the town offices now - there used to be a big dance hall there. There's, oh, hundreds of people would be there dancing in the summer, sure.

The Flying Horses were pretty new then, weren't they?

Pretty new? That's the oldest carousel in the United States, you know. Course it's been there ever since I... I think I rode on 'em, my father rode on em. I've got the whole history of those things. Used to be a nickel to ride, now it's what - thirty cents? Thirty- five cents?

Were the winters colder back then?

Oh, yeah, I think they were. Seemed like they were. Very much colder.

Did you have a lot of thunderstorms? Y

eah. Had a lot of 'em. All that seemed to stop when they put the Cape Cod Canal through, for some reason. Right after they did that why the thunderstorms didn't seem to be anywhere near as bad.

When did you get your first radio?

First radio? The first radio was a battery set, and we had a man make it. It was I'd say around 1920, somewhere in there. Had to listen with earphones, no speakers.

What were some old stories you may have heard?

Old stories I may have heard? (Laughs) Gosh, I can't seem to think of any old stories, right off the bat.

If you had to go through this again, would you have changed anything?

Ah, no. I think I would... I was very happy the way we lived, how things turned out, mostly.

Well, I think that's about all we had to ask you. Thank you very much.

(Laughs.) OK. You're welcome!