July 10, 1929–May 31, 2010
by Hermine Hull
Carved into a stone bench at the West Tisbury cemetery are the following words: “Come and sit by Katherine C. Long and Thomas P. Vogl, who love this Island, books, cooking, ideas, science, words, and above all else, each other.”
Tom loved his life. He always knew where to find the best of everything, from chocolate ice cream to the prune lekvar he loved as a child.
Of course, they always have the best eggs. Every carton is like an Easter parade of colors from different varieties of chickens, of which he knew the history of the breed and all its qualifi cations. When you walk into the house in early spring, you are greeted by the peeps and cheeps of newly-hatched chicks in a pen in the living room.
The last few months, he spent more time in his chair directing the action rather than running up and down with it. His eyes still sparkled as he spoke. His head and hands still gestured with his unrestrained enthusiasm for whatever subject engaged him at the moment. Often in his lap sat a regal companion, a Silkie hen named Fern, who didn’t get along with the other hens, but loved Tom.
Wrapped in an afghan Katherine knitted for him, Tom died quietly on Memorial Day afternoon.
By Hermine Hull. Reprinted with permission from her West Tisbury Column in the June 3, 2010 issue of The Martha’s Vineyard Times.