Word on the Block: Summer is here, and so are we
During this first week of the summer season, the Block Island Times was out and about town asking people why they’re here and what they’re looking forward to in the upcoming season.
Met first crossing the ferry lot near the Chamber office were three friends from South Kingston: Karly Gregory, Olivia Dodd and Katie McElkenny, all seniors at South Kingston High. Karly and Olivia are visiting their friend Katie, whose family has had a summer home here for 12 years.
Karly says, “This is definitely a beach-oriented community and the beach is very important to me in summer!” Olivia added, “I love shopping and the shops are so cute. I love the water activities, too — we actually went paddle-boarding today — and the food’s always so good. I’ve come back here dozens of times.”
Katie, who’s been coming with her family to the island since she was four, explodes with enthusiasm: “Block Island’s absolutely my favorite place. I love everything about it!”
Found sitting on a bench overlooking the Old Harbor ferry dock are Rich Bulat and his daughter Winnie. Rich is effusive about the island as he explains, “We rush out here as early as we can. We’ve been doing so for 50 years. My Mom would bring us when we were five or six.”
Now, he says, “We’re here for four nights and more of our family — my wife and other children — will come out for seven nights at the end of August.” Winnie adds, “I like it a lot … like to do everything: bike, hike, go to the beach — everything.”
Island cab driver Dennis Riordan says he is absolutely anticipating a good summer on the island. “I even like the tourists,” he says. “They represent a culture on the island; they bring a different mix of people to the island. They are fun people. I’m an optimist: I’m looking forward to the coming season.”
Riordan’s colleague Brien Cawley also says, “I’m anticipating a pretty good season because the economy is a little bit better and because spring hasn’t been that bad.
Seated below the porch of Building Blocks on Water Street, a couple from just outside of Hartford, who declined to give their names, describe a long-standing relationship with the island. “It’s lovely here and we’ve been coming for a long time,” the man says. Looking at his wife for confirmation, he adds, “Since some time in the mid-80s. We usually stay from four nights to a week — as now at the Rose Farm Inn.”