A large crowd gathered at the Chappy Community Center over the weekend to celebrate the combined sixty-nine years of service of four Chappy Ferry captains: Brad Fligor, Jeff Lamarche, Becca Hamilton Lamarche and Maddie LeCoq. Until recently, all four captained the boat year-round, getting to know residents and summer visitors alike as they made the trip back and forth, thousands of times, from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick. The turnout reflected their wide reach and the impact these four had as the gatekeepers to our little island.
The event was co-hosted by the Chappaquiddick Island Association and the Chappy Community Center. Guests signed copies of Edwina Rissland’s Morning Shore and Gail Rodney’s A Martha’s Vineyard and Chappy Sketchbook, one for each captain, and enjoyed a range of appetizers and drinks while mingling. The crowd was so large, it spilled over onto the front lawn and included a wide range of ages as well as a mix of year-rounders, seasonal residents, and summer visitors.
All managed to squeeze inside for a short presentation led by Sidney Morris and Woody Filley which included a slideshow of photographs of the captains at work. Cheers were heard at some of the more dramatic ones: Maddie at the helm of the ferry in a frozen harbor, Jeff and Becca’s wedding on one of the ferry decks, Brad in a raging snowstorm. Afterwards, Chappaquiddickers shared stories and poems about the captains and expressed their gratitude for the reliability these four offered our community over the years. In addition to the signed Chappy books, each captain received a parting gift of Dana Gaines’ map of Chappaquiddick.
Thank you, again, to Brad, Jeff, Becca and Maddie. We wish you all the best in your next endeavors.
— by Lily Walter, from the Chappy Column in the Vineyard Gazette, 8/30/19.