These two are about wonder and fun and imagination.
To Scale – 16 x 20
Menemsha is a magical place. In, of, and surrounded by the sea.
Imagine what a young child feels, standing in the shadow, of the behemoth swordfishing hulls that line the wooden docks.
The mysteries that await them in the swirl of eddies behind the jetty, running full tilt across the crescent of sandy beach, or wading slowly, slowly, with net in hand, as a tiny creature wiggles under the nearby stone.
Tales, both tall and terrifying can be overheard sitting on the bench at squid row. Sloppy sided rubber boots drip salty puddles. Floppy brimmed canvas hats get tossed on coils of rusted ropes and chains. Whip thin rods and lines cast delicate wakes, and listen… to all the sounds that water can make…
it’s the definition of childhood.
Two, such curious and adventure bound children, were walking along the new pier, built in the wake of that dreadful fire which razed the Coast Guard boathouse. I don’t remember if it was before or after the ice cream cones, but the energy was high and the sun was shining.
The boy ran ahead. He had spotted this fish, laying so perfectly, and with nary a fisherman in sight, as if it had just leapt out of the sea. His sister remarked on the brilliance of the colors, and he reached into his pocket and layed the three bottle caps he had collected in a neat row alongside.
All of this and more is dancing in that shadow.
Solo – 18 x 24
Now take yourself to the other end of the island. The long grassy strip of heath that leads, over the line of dunes, to South Beach and then…the ocean. You are at the Katama Airfield. Actually, you are in the Right Fork Diner which is in the field next to the tiny airport.
It’s a Wright Brothers era kind of a place. With all the wooden propellers and greasy rags, it can easily fool the 21st century visitor into thinking they saw their great grandfather, sitting on the old ladderback, in the shadowed corner of the hanger.
My great-grandfather actually did work for the Wright Brothers. Which must have been what drew my attention to the bits of fabric hanging from index cards, which were thumb tacked in a neat line, all around the ceiling’s edge of the dining room.
The gentleman next to me noticed my curiosity and told me that when a student pilot flies their first solo flight, the instructor ceremonially tears off a piece of her or his shirt. Each of the cards had the pilots’ name and date of flight and the word, “Solo” written in block letters with a ratty bit of shirt tail attached… here and there a button or a cuff.
The earliest ones I could see were from the 60’s. I don’t think the place would have looked much different back then. A little less rust maybe, but isn’t that true for most of us.