Ever since the rumor was announced that Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had purchased 375 acres of one of the most important tracts of land on this island, no one has talked about anything else. Reactions have ranged from fear and apprehension to excitement and envy that one of the world's most famous women will make the Vineyard her summer retreat.
My phone hasn't stopped ringing since the story was published.
One lady who knows everything called and said, "Did you hear that Bergdorf Goodman is breaking ground for a new store next to Jackie's land?"
"I hadn't heard that," I said.
"Yes, it will be in the same complex with Gucci, Van Cleef and Arpels and Halston's, who have all decide to build next to her."
"That's fantastic. What about Yves St. Laurent?"
"He's building in Apelier down the road with Saks Fifth Avenue in the same mall. It will be just behind the New York Museum of Modern Art annex."
"The Museum of Modern Art is going to have an annex on the Vineyard?"
"Of course, Jackie loves art."
"Gosh," I said, "this is exciting. Keep me posted in case you hear any more."
The next morning my informant was on the phone again.
"The National Enquirer has decided to set up a five-man Martha's Vineyard bureau. People magazine is thinking of moving its entire staff up here. Three hundred free-lance writers from movie magazines have already applied for press credentials. And Eastman Kodak is going to construct a photo lab on the beach to develop all the paparazzi films, so the photographers won't have to send their stuff to Rochester."
"Where on earth are they going to put all these people?" I asked.
"You didn't hear about the Sheraton Vineyard Hotel?"
"No, I haven't been out this morning."
"They bought a tract three miles away, and they're going to put up a 33-story hotel to house all the journalists who will be staying here in the summer. It will have a rooftop restaurant and 15 coin-operated telescopes, all aimed at where jackie will be sun-bathing. For 50 cents you can look at her for two months."
"That roof is gonna be crowded place."
"I got this from a travel agent, so I can't confirm it, but the QE 2 is thinking of anchoring offshore on its way to and from Europe."
"It won't be the same Vineyard that we used to know," I said.
"I heard at the post office that everyone in East Hampton is selling his home and moving up here."
"What on earth for?"
To be where the action is, East Hampton is out now and the Vineyard is the place to be.
"But Jackie hasn't event built a house yet. Maybe she won't."
"Then what are the French interior decorators doing on the island?"
"You mean there are French decorators on the island?"
"All I can tell you is that Air France has asked for permission to land the SST five times a week at the Vineyard airport."
"How are all the people on the island taking this?" I asked her.
"At the moment there is a lot of grousing. But when the new cultural center is built at Menemsha they'll change their tune."
"Are we going to have a new cultural center?"
"Of course. You don't expect Nureyev and the New York City Ballet to dance in a tent."