Letters to the Editor -
To: the Editor—
Having had the pleasure to be a part of the recent play “I Hate Shakespeare!” I must congratulate the Drama 911 club for doing such an incredible job. The director, actors and staff were just incredible. The kids played their roles so beautifully, as did the few adults. Thank you Andre.
To: the Editor—
I have just read in the May 12 issue, the second reference to “Nonnie’s Cottage,” as someone has dubbed the darling historic West Side Studio that I have sold to Mary and Ned [Phillips].
I am torn between amusement and annoyance and feel that I need to clarify this mis-nomenclature before it goes any further!
First, my amusement relates to my name, which is Nonie (rhymes with Toni) and not Nonnie (as in “hey nonny, nonny”). The house has never borne my name.
Second, this house built circa 1850 has been known on the island as West Side Studio for over fifty years. Taxes are sent to that name, Mr. Schaller bills annual plumbing to that name, it has always had a sign over the door of that name, UPS delivers to that name, and when it was in active commercial use a road sign hung from the streetlamp next to the house saying West Side Studio.
I quibble about the name because of the significance of the studio itself. It was, during the 1960s and 1970s, a commercial studio where my aunt, Helen Cullinan, compiled and printed the HOOTER (predecessor of the Block Island Times), as well as developing and printing her photographs for the first ever four-color photographic postcards of Block Island. (See Bob Downie’s “Block Island’s History of Photography Volume 2” for a more complete picture of Helen Cullinan’s contributions to Block Island’s history.) Some of Helen’s enlarged island photographs remain on the walls of the working lower half of the studio today.
I would be very sad to think that Helen’s precious working studio had been lost to “my cottage,” and with an incorrect pronunciation of my name only adding insult to injury!
Nonie Hartnett White
To: the Editor—
The beach clean-up sponsored by the Committee For the Great Salt Pond was held on Saturday, May 12, an extraordinarily beautiful day.
Participants collected 2,800 pounds of trash. Forty-one adults and children signed up to help, but many more actually took part. They deserve an island round of applause.
The CGSP extends thanks to: Bryan Wilson from Deepwater Wind who again paid for the food and beverages served after the event; John Hopf, who helped with transport of tables and chairs and hauled large loads of trash back to the collection point from the far-away beaches; Cliff McGinnes whose front loader lifted many items and trash bags up into the dumpster donated by Block Island Recycling Management; the Littlefield family, who again this year loaned the large grill for the barbeque; Debbie and Bud Martin who helped Bruce Johnson prepare and serve the food; Todd Tremble and Martha Ball who spent hours to better describe the location of island shoreline areas to be targeted for pick-up. Sven Risom and Henry duPont were great contributors as well.
Last, but not least, David Roosa who for many years personally has spent thousands of hours collecting tons of litter from our beaches. His work, knowledge and advice about pick-up areas have been priceless for Block Island.
Corn Neck Road
To: the Editor—
West Side mythology aside, I’ve long wondered what the heck is really going on down Cooneymus. Hedges that should not have been planted were, and next thing we knew we were off to the races. They became a campaign issue, a star to which a wagon was hitched. Then, after countless hours and untold legal fees, there was a real, positive solution. The town finally owned a strip of land running to the shore replacing the three ill-defined roads shown on various maps for over a century. (Declaring a road does not equate to ownership as we learned when the old Beacon Hill Road was regained by the abutters, never mind that the very subdivision of their land had been predicated on the existence of said town road. Yes, check the record.)
Cooneymus access was settled, it would not rise again, like that monster that populates the sewers of Derry, Maine, coming to life once a generation (thank you, Stephen King). It seemed a time for the neighbors who brought the matter to public attention to be happy, but the rancor continued, prompting me to cite a New York sportscaster admonishing an especially rabid (is there any other kind?) Yankees fan yammering about a bad play in the previous evening’s game: “Calm down, you won!” Or, plant a flag, metaphorically, declare victory, enjoy the sunset.
Now we learn those neighbors want to plant a very real flag and claim town land as their own? Remember when the Lees (the ones who deeded a strip of land to the town) were accused of attempting a hostile takeover and having a “voracious appetite” for town land?
Overlay music familiar in memory or through the magic of endless re-runs and listen carefully, you might hear: “You thought you were going to the West Side but, instead, you have taken a detour that has landed you in . . . the Twilight Zone .”