The Block Island Times

In Case You Haven't Heard

By Fran Migliaccio | Oct 17, 2012

About town

Visiting his son on Block Island in early October was Wesley Lent, the father of Derek van Lent. We spotted them on October 3, passing through the Block Island Boat Basin where Wesley was staying. Both were sporting special T-shirts, and as Wesley explained, “We’re twins today! Fifty-seven years ago I was given the best birthday present I’ve ever had, and that was this guy,” indicating Derek.

A few days later, Derek elaborated a bit on the happy occasion. “My father was born in 1933 and I was born in 1955. He graduated in the class of 1955 from Cornell, and I graduated in the class of 1978. We both went to Cornell, and we’re both landscape architects. My mother graduated a year earlier from St. Lawrence, and joined him at Cornell the year he graduated.”

Asked about the difference in names, Derek explained that research done by some family members indicated that the family had originally been van Lent, but the name had been changed to Lent somewhere along the line to be more English. “Some members of the family changed their name back to van Lent, but my father and mother never did,” he added.

50-year reunion on Block Island

A 50-year reunion occurred recently when Susan Murray, who spent her childhood and teenage summer months on Block Island during the 1950s and early 1960s, returned to to the island for the first time in over 50 years. Her husband Ennis had been hearing about Block Island all those decades but had never been here before.

A surprise reunion was organized at the home of Bobbie (Beck) and Kip Reynolds. Included in the reunion of close friends, in addition to Bobbie and Kip, were Susan’s husband, Ennis Adkins, Mike Mooney, Terry Mooney, Lulu Kiley, Graham Jones and son Graham, Denny and Gail Heinz, and Vin McAloon.

Susan, who grew up during the summers with Bobbie Beck Reynolds and spent a lot of time at the old Beck House on Sands Pond Road, was able to see the beautifully rehabbed house now known as Lynn’s Way, courtesy of owner Frank Walsh.

Trivia tease

Two weeks ago in this space a trivia question appeared, courtesy of Block Island Trivia author Robert Ellis Smith. The question was: “Who is regarded as the oldest person on the island?”

The answer: Walter Gasner, 100 years old, and holder of Block Island’s gold-headed Boston Post Cane.

This week’s trivia question from Bob is, “What entity on Block Island has no ZIP code?”

Answers and guesses are welcome, emailed or phoned in to your columnist at the email address and phone number that appear at the end of the column.


Congratulations to newlyweds Maureen Quackenbush and Fred Betts, who were married under gorgeously sunny skies on Saturday, September 22, the autumnal equinox, at the Ocean View Pavilion.

Happy 50th wedding anniversary to Suzann and Frank Walsh, who were married October 13, 1962.

A very happy anniversary to Linda and Sam Spak, married October 15, 1966.

Of cakes and candles

Happy birthdays to Sheila Lemoi, Jessie Edwards, Pamela DuLong Williams and Michael Shields, October 16; Barbara Hobe, October 19; Everett Littlefield and Norris Pike, October 23; Steve McQueeny, October 25; Jock Sisto, October 26; and Kip Reynolds, Joan Ballard and Gail Pierce, October 27.

Let us know what’s happening! Visiting relatives, special occasions, updates on friends near and far, projects… Deadline is Tuesday morning, and Fran can be reached at 466-2892 or

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