Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Bittersweet 4th of July

I know I said I would write my BrittCon recap when I returned, and I still plan on it. But I want to write about something a little more close to my heart.

This last weekend, while I was on vacation, I had a wonderful time. Misk had driven up n Thursday night, and we were having a great family vacation. It was kinda cloudy and hazy, but we still all had a fun time enjoying the warm weatehr, and being a family. We went to the parade, saw the Celtic's NBA Championship Trophy, and watched fireworks on the beach, while the waves crashed on the shore and whipped our hair around. We spent some relaxing time with our extended family and friends, and except for the traffic there and back, it was a vacation I thoroughly enjoyed. But it was not all joyous. The 4th was shadowed by a tragic event.

On July 4th, there was a fire in Vineyard Haven, the next town over.

The owners of the Cafe Moxie, that is now destroyed and no longer there, had just acquired the business in May. Everything they put into this business that depends on the Summer Season is gone. I cannot even begin to fathom the loss these folks are enduring.

The Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, which I have been going to since I was a kid, is right next door. Not even 18 hours prior, I was there right before Misk's boat pulled in to VH, making a purchase. When I heard the initial reports that Cafe Moxie was burning, my immediate though was, "Holy crap! That's right next door to Bunch of Grapes!" Yep, in fact, the two businesses shared a wall. Much of the bookstore was badly damaged by smoke and fire. All of the books now have black soot on them, some simply burned up completely since they were on the wall that was shared with the Moxie.

It's a devastating thing to see. Much like on my trip to BrtitCon, when we went to Ground Zero, I do not wish to see the damage. I don't do well with this kind of stuff. I know I don't have a great personal connection to the Bunch of Grapes, other than having been a patron for at least 20 years, and having ate at Cafe Moxie several times when it first opened 10 years ago. But to me, that's enough. I like things to stay as they are. I hate change, especially my childhood haunts. Every time I go back to the Vineyard, something is different. This time, the differnt is not just a new business where an old one's actually gone.

The good news? Bunch of Grapes has every intention of repairing and reopening. I am hoping for my birthday, when I head back for a visit, I can go and make a purchase. But who knows?

I am saddened by this, but I can find hope in the thought that I know The Vineyard Community will pull together and donate, help to rebuild, and climb from the ashes. I have no doubt that they will help to bring these two great businesses back to their former glories. That's somethign oddly unique about Martha's Vineyard. People are always doing benefits for something or another. I have no doubt, someone will step up and have a benefit for this tragedy. I only wish I could be there to help.

In the meantime, while I wait for my next trip to the Vineyard, I can keep the people who are really affected, the owners of the cafe Moxie and Bunch of Grapes, and their employees, in my prayers.


1 flame(s) added to the fire:

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about what happened - - at least you had a chance to get away from your daily routine and spend quality time with your family.

From what is old, comes a new.