There are certain people who, when they go on vacation, are never sure they're at the right place. It isn't a question of the facilities as much as whether it's the acceptable resort of the moment.

The "in" island at the present is Martha's Vineyard. Those of us who have been coming here over the years never planned it that way. As a matter of fact, many people fell in love with the island because it wasn't "in." We sailed, fished, clammed and tended our lobster pots oblivious to the goings-on in such Gucci-ridden places as Southampton, East Hampton, Newport, Bar Harbor and Malibu.

How did this all change? It dates back three years ago when a violent storm blew up off Cape Cod. A ship was sunk and one of the passengers, a reporter from Women's Wear Daily, was thrown up on the beach off Edgartown wet, bedraggled and exhausted.

She was washed up on a private beach and at first the owner wanted to call the police and have her arrested. But when he saw her condition he carried her up to the house where he decided to nurse her back to health before he pressed charges.

In a few days the WWD reporter was fit and her only problem was that she faced a deadline and had to phone a story into her paper by six o'clock.

Desperate for anything, she decided to write a piece about Martha's Vineyard, declaring that it was the new resort for the nouveau beautiful people.

The following week the beautiful people all over America were in panic. No one had heard of the Vineyard or the people who spent their summers there, such as Walter Cronkite, Beverly Sills, Katharine Graham, Carly Simon, Lillian Hellman, James Reston, Mike Wallace, Bill Styron, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. But since the reporter put their names in the story, everyone assumed they were important.

WWD, who can make or ruin a person's summer vacation, declared that the Hamptons were finished and Newport was ready for urban redevelopment.

Then John Belushi, of "Saturday Night Live" and "Animal House," and the person to whom the beautiful people look to set trends, purchased Robert McNamara's house. When Jackie Onassis heard Belushi had bought a place, she had no choice but to buy one of her own, to be near him.

In no time at all Martha's Vineyard became a household name and the "only" place to be in the summer. The National Enquirer, Town and Country, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and People magazine all sent reporters to the island to keep the legend alive. It would be only a matter of time before the paperback publishers would discover the place.

They did this summer when Stan Hart, a local resident, wrote a book for Dell titled "The Martha's Vineyard Affair."

The copy on the cover displaying a nude man and woman clinched our reputation for us. It read "Scotch got them through the day . . . sex got them through the night . . . and money got them through every jam until . . . 'The Martha's Vineyard Affair' . . . An island paradise where anything can happen -- even murder."

I am happy to report that, in spite of all the attention, those of us who have been coming here before Women's Wear Daily are the same simple people we always were. Of course, there is a lot more drinking and promiscuity, but we only do it when the tourists are in town.

We'd much rather go back to clamming and sailing than drinking and fooling around, but we have to think about real estate values first.