Noepe: "Land Amid the Streams."
August 22, 2009 4:48 PM   Subscribe

This weekend the Obama family arrives on the Massachusetts' island of Martha's Vineyard for a week-long vacation. While known as a summer colony/destination for New Englanders, tourists and the famous1 the island has a storied history from its early pre-colonial days to today. The Obamas' visit highlights the island's proud connection to its deep African-American heritage as a "well integrated" community (especially Oaks Bluff)2 from the days that freed slaves and retired black whalers settled and established homes and businesses on the island.

* -- Art Buchwald, Carly Simon, Dan Aykroyd, Henry Louis Gates Jr., James Taylor, Jim Belushi [buried in Abel's Hill Cemetery in Chilmark], Mike Wallace, Spike Lee, Ted Danson, Vernon Jordan, Walter Cronkite, etc.

'Finding Martha's Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island' by Jill Nelson.

Noepe: Land Amid the Streams.
posted by ericb (25 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Screw the Congressional healthcare plan, I want the Presidential vacation plan.

(and John Belushi died, not Jim)
posted by Frank Grimes at 4:52 PM on August 22, 2009

You are right!

It's *John Belushi*! As memoralized in his friend's song "That's Why I'm Here"
posted by ericb at 5:08 PM on August 22, 2009

A Shearer Cottage Inn register from 1934 features names of notable African Americans, including that of composer, arranger, and baritone soloist "Harry" T. Burleigh, in Oak Bluffs, on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
posted by netbros at 5:12 PM on August 22, 2009

Oak Bluffs, not Oaks Bluff.
posted by Zambrano at 5:16 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Martha's Vineyard was a famous Perth band. I knew of the band before the place. Then I had one of those quirky "I knew the least famous version before the most famous version" moments that I'm sure most of us have had.

JFK? Martha's Vineyard? WTF?!

The big news in Australia regarding this was that Michelle was wearing shorts when she alighted from Airforce One.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:23 PM on August 22, 2009

Oak Bluffs, not Oaks Bluff.

My bad. Too much “Ale to the Chief
posted by ericb at 5:39 PM on August 22, 2009

Meanwhile, Obama's visit means the airports on Martha's Vineyard are largely shut down for a week.
posted by Nelson at 5:58 PM on August 22, 2009

There's only one real airport, and it didn't shut down when the Clintons came for their vacations, why should it now?

I lived there for eight years, it's beautiful, but living is hard if you don't have big bucks. I often worked two and sometimes three jobs, spent summers doing illegal guerrilla camping in tents and vans. Whenever they mention the highest gas prices in the US just add 50 cents and you'll have the price on MV.
posted by mareli at 6:22 PM on August 22, 2009

Chappaquiddick is right next door.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 6:25 PM on August 22, 2009

Cindy Sheehan is waiting there for him, to protest the war. She's also really peeved that the TV networks and newspapers are ignoring her.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:51 PM on August 22, 2009

The Vineyard's alternative voice, WVVY, low power community run FM radio station, real live Islander's ramble and muse between music and the odd technical glitch.
posted by flummox at 8:01 PM on August 22, 2009

Chocolate Pickle: "Cindy Sheehan..."

Sheehan states she initially questioned the urgency of the invasion of Iraq, but did not become active in the anti-war effort until after her son's death.

Lila Lipscomb

It is tragic that tragedy is required for some to see the truth. It is just as tragic that I suspect those people only see the truth because of their relatively-tiny consequent tragedy.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:47 PM on August 22, 2009

Like I can talk... wtf have I done...
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:48 PM on August 22, 2009

Me: "I suspect those people only see the truth"

This is being disingenuously generous to myself. The actual thought was more like, "even after their personal tragedy, they do not see the truth; they see only the horror of their personal experience."

either way I'm just as culpable... what crooked timber...
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:51 PM on August 22, 2009

I want the Presidential vacation plan.

You know, if we here in the US could have, basically, the entire month of August off, the way most of Europe (not involved in the tourist trade) does, perhaps out economy would be as quick to rebound as France and Germany's?

Sometimes it sucks to live in a second-world country, where you squirrel away your comp-time and vacation just so you can be around when your wife gives birth...
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:11 PM on August 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

Slap*Happy: "Sometimes it sucks to live in a second-world country..."

Are you saying your corn-syrup rations are unsatisfactory, Citizen?
posted by Rat Spatula at 9:15 PM on August 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I love the Vineyard. I fell in love with it despite the people crowding it. Like it had a shining.
The whole damn island's almost like a spa, even when you're working a grill and getting orders yelled at you. Worked like a dog and felt refreshed just by the commute back home.

Thanks Moshup!
posted by Busithoth at 6:22 AM on August 23, 2009

Was there a couple of weeks ago for a stay. Lot's of scary black helicopters doing flyby's. Goddamn Gubmit!!

*Shakes fist at sky.*
posted by Skygazer at 10:50 AM on August 23, 2009

You all know they are there for Chelsea Clinton's wedding?
posted by A189Nut at 11:49 AM on August 23, 2009

Yeah, well I'm just freaking thrilled that the Prez can hop off for a vacation after only a few months of pandering to lobbyists, Republicans, Blue Dogs, and ramping up Afganistan.

Meanwhile 50 million Americans are still without healthcare, millions and millions have lost their jobs and their homes, tent cities are springing up around the country, food bank shelves are empty, social services don't exist, and people are carrying loaded semiautomatics to "town halls".

Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.

There are no words to describe how disappointed I am by this presidency. Hope, my fucking ass. There is no hope. There is only money speaking truthiness to power, same as it has ever been.

Enjoy the vacation. Those of us without jobs or health insurance who are praying that we don't get sick, or that our kids don't fall down on the playground, and wondering how we're going to pay off the credit cards that are floating us...we sure do hope you and the richy-richs you bailed out with our money don't have to see any of the suffering you helped create while you play tennis and go yachting.
posted by dejah420 at 7:38 PM on August 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

McCain/Palin would be better?
posted by ericb at 9:05 PM on August 23, 2009

McCain/Palin would be better?

The point is that according to the filmstrips I saw in third grade, we're supposed to have solar-powered hovercars by now.

Instead we have the POWER OF THE INTERNET broadcasting TAILS OF SANTAMARIA in the White House.
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:29 AM on August 24, 2009

Sorry to interrupt the political ramblings - just meant to point to a recent article by the Financial Times on the rather interesting Brazilian presence on the island.
Feel free to get back to your regularly scheduled politics debate - I am sure that is what the OP intended.
posted by MessageInABottle at 7:33 AM on August 24, 2009

It is still OK if Jim Belushi is buried there, though, isn't it?
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:00 AM on August 24, 2009

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