Best of Traditions

This being the 200th edition of Cape Cod Life, I found myself thinking a little about our first issue. It was 1978 and I was meeting with graphic designer Dick Vecchione in his office upstairs over Puritan Cape Cod on Main Street in Hyannis. He was showing me a variety of typefaces for the Cape Cod Life front cover logo. I said, “I think we should use something very traditional.” It seemed to me appropriate for how readers feel about Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

Selecting the cover photo has been fun from day one. Although nowadays, I must admit I am sometimes out-voted by the staff. That’s what I get for having such talented team members creating and producing the issues. In this issue we have included a number of covers that have been very popular with our readers, including a few from the very early years.

The annual return to the Cape and Islands is very traditional for so many. Open the cottage, coffee, the local paper, maybe lunch in the village; visit the harbor or beach, drop by a few of your favorite stores and be greeted like an old friend. Weather permitting, we may launch a small boat, play a round of golf, or take a long walk on the beach. Evening time may well find us at one of our “favorite spots” for cocktails and/or dinner. Once again, “Welcome back.”

The Cape and Islands are blessed with many “favorite spots,” as proven by our Cape Cod Life readers’ choices of “The Best of the Cape & Islands” every June now for decades. One of which, very popular with our readers, also for decades, is The Chart Room in Cataumet. Talk about tradition, the season begins and ends for many when all of our “favorite spots” open and close. Judy’s and my boys, Josh, 17, and Max, 14, have never known a summer when after dinner did not include a stop for candy at Karen and Tom Woods’ Periwinkles Gift Shop adjacent to The Chart Room.

Dave Jarvis founded The Chart Room in 1972. Story has it the main room is a conversion of an old barge. At the heart of the room is a baby grand piano. I don’t know what year Dave got Eddie Scheer, piano player extraordinaire, to start playing, but I remember Eddie first playing at The Silver Lounge in North Falmouth. When Eddie gets going, the room comes alive! One tradition in my family is my mother’s visit to Cataumet, always carefully planned to include an evening at The Chart Room when Eddie Scheer is playing.

I am sorry to report that Dave Jarvis died in April of this year. He was a charmer, is dearly missed by many, but his legacy lives as his family continues to gloriously carry on the strong tradition of The Chart Room. A reception following Dave’s funeral was held at Bill Zammer’s Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth. This was the perfect location for this occasion, particularly when you think of our personal traditions. Not only were so many of Dave’s customer friends present, but also his peers. Well-respected restaurateurs showed up—for example, Bill Weaner, founder of The Silver Lounge in North Falmouth.
Dr. John Manning, the youngest 90-year-old I have the honor to know, is father of my friend Jack Manning, and he played golf for many years with Dave Jarvis at The Pocasset Country Club. I am told that when Dave and Dr. Manning began playing less frequently, and maybe nine holes instead of 18, The Pocasset Country Club introduced a new tiered-back membership level tailored to the playing times of these two gentlemen and their peers.

So, as we revisit our traditional “favorite spots” this year, let’s remember Dave and those who make it all possible for us. Just think of the wonderful memories of so many happy times for so many years. As the saying goes, “The memories we collect and give, brighten our lives as long as we live.”
My best,
Brian Shortsleeve, President and Publisher


Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the President and Publisher of Cape Cod Life Publications.

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