August was looking like a complete bust — which isn’t all that unusual for August — when I pulled into the beer store on the last Sunday of the month and there it was: West Virginia. The parking lot that the beer store shares with a deli and a fish store is not large, but gems do show up in out-of-the-way places. It was almost like spotting Hawaii at the Vineyard Haven dog park last year.
As we head into fall, six states are still AWOL: that usual cluster in the Upper Midwest — Nebraska and the Dakotas — plus Wyoming, Alaska, and Hawaii.
The beer store, by the way, is properly M.V. Wine & Spirits. Technically it’s on the Edgartown side of the Airport Business Park, which is important because Edgartown is wet and West Tisbury — the other, smaller side of the business park — is mostly dry. It feels like having a liquor store in West Tisbury. For sure the two or three miles to the airport makes a quicker round-trip than the ten miles to Oak Bluffs or the nine miles to the outskirts of Edgartown center.
* * * * *
On a more somber note, Don Lyons passed on August 24, age 94. As the obituaries and appreciations make clear, Don was a multi-talented guy: former minister at Grace Episcopal, ad sales rep and sports reporter for the Martha’s Vineyard Times, leading man in countless island theater productions . . . What they don’t say is that he introduced me to the license plate game when we were colleagues at the Times, around 1988 (when the Times was still in the old Spaghetti Pot building, which no longer exists, behind Woodland Market). I’ve been at it ever since. Next time I spot North Dakota, Don, I’ll let you know.