April 6, 2020
The message went out across the Island that it might be time for a Thank You Parade, and yes it happened. A guestimate of 65-70+ friends and family cars of all sizes and shapes gathered at the ferry dock to greet the noon boat.
We can’t imagine what M/V Race Point’s captain and crew must have thought. When coming through the Rack into Silver Eel Cove, they saw the cars in the Stand-By Lane were ‘out the door’ onto Whistler Ave., more were parked in the staging area and even more people were gathered in their surrounding back yards – all practicing social distancing during this spectacle.
(Click any photo to see a larger version or the [ ] in the bottom right video corner for a bigger screen. Photos contributed by Allison Sargent, Lily Starbuck, Pierce Rafferty, Annie Ahrens, and Jane Ahrens)
And so it began. Greeting the noon boat with hoots, hollers, bells, and noisemakers, too many cars to count, to thank the crew, the freight, the office and the engineers for all they do to make sure the ferries make their scheduled runs – even during times like these, with a reduced schedule. Without them, it would be literally impossible to live on the Island.
The ferry tooted back a thank you horn blast, perhaps when a bit of relief set in that we were not all trying to evacuate the Island at once!
After waves and more thank yous, the parade of cars began to pull out of the ferry lot to continue east, past the Post Office with more honking and waving to show our appreciation.
Making its way past the ballfield for another most important thank you. The paraders, again with the waves, blowing kisses, holding the handmade signs and noise-making, showed the Village Market crew how much we appreciate them – for without whom we quite literally would go hungry. Here’s to the staff who now are working flat out, filling orders with speed, accuracy, and remarkably good cheer.
Here are some comments shared after the parade:
- It was so nice to see all the support!
- That was great! Thanks everyone!
- That was such a nice thing to do and it was very successful.
- It was awesome – great idea!
- Pierce said, there were too many cars to count!
- It was such a great tribute, it gave me chills!
- That was so nice. I got a little teary at the dock when all the cars came. All good!
- We were amazed at how many cars & people participated.
- I was on Whistler with 12-16 other cars!
- I think it was a great morale booster for all of us
- Fabulous community event! So glad to be a part of the big thank you.
- What fun it was and so big!
- I think it was a great morale booster for all of us.
- Fantastic celebration for those on the front lines.
- That’s why we all love this island and its beautiful people.
From the Post Office:
- In tears, what an amazing community we have!
From the Village Market:
- That was awesome!
- Wow, what a great thank you from everybody. Love the parade. You all make Fishers Island a special place.
From the Ferry:
- The crew thought everyone was trying to evacuate the Island, all at once! Then they realized and were ‘very touched’ by the outpouring of thoughtfulness.
A bird’s eye view from FI Ferry Captain Tony Mirabelli.
There are so many others to thank as well who keep things going. The Transfer Station, the Mobile Station, the Hardware Store, the teachers for distance learning, the team that keeps the bike path clear and safe, the DOT and utility teams, the emergency responders and healthcare staff for being at the ready, all the time. And the IHP and ICB representatives for keeping all of us up to date and informed during this pandemic. Please take the time to thank everyone when the chance presents itself.
Please send any additions you would like to contribute to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added. We are also starting a column to highlight random acts of kindness and thoughtful gestures.