Menemsha Sunset by
(305 Stories)

Prompted By Cutting the Cord

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Menemsha Sunset

Like most of us I’m sure,  the one thing I can’t leave home without is my cell phone.   If I forget mine,  I rush back to get it, and can’t imagine how we lived without them, or their precursors the car phones.   So here’s a car phone story,   but first let me tell you a joke.

A police car was cruising down the highway when the cop saw the passenger door of the car ahead of him suddenly fly open and a woman come tumbling out.  The cop stopped to help the woman,  who miraculously was unhurt,  and they sped ahead to catch up with her husband.

When the cop pulled him over the husband hadn’t even realized what had happened.  “What a relief”,  he said,  “I thought I was going deaf!”

We heard that rather sexist joke years ago in Martha’s Vineyard where as a young family we spent many idyllic summer vacations.   If you know the Vineyard you know that Menemsha is the best place on the island to watch the sun go down,  and one night we headed there for dinner at the Homeport,  a large,  noisy,  fun seafood restaurant on the water.

We had dinner,  took in the glorious sunset,  and then walked across the road where there is a bakery and a fish market.  I bought a few things and was carrying my purchases as we headed back to the car.

My son called  “Shotgun”  and jumped into the passenger seat.  I opened the trunk to stow my packages,  and that done,  I was about to get in the back seat when my husband stepped on the gas and pulled away.   I watched the car disappear down the dark country road and laughed at my family’s bizarre sense of humor.

Then as minutes passed and they didn’t come circling back for me I grew perplexed to say the least.  But thankfully we had a new car phone,  so I walked back to the restaurant to call.  This is what had happened.

Not realizing I’d opened the trunk,  my husband heard it slam and thought it was me in the back seat slamming my car door.  He started for home but after a few miles spotted a historic marker on the side of the road and pulled over to get out and read it.  It was when he and my son were getting back in the car that the kid suddenly asked,  “Where’s mom?”   As he and my husband peered into the empty back seat,   the car phone rang.

”Did you realize you left me in Menemsha,”  I asked,  “or did you think you were BOTH going deaf?”

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Martha’s Vineyard MA, Car phones
Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Funny story, Dana. Thank goodness you had that car phone back in the day. Now cell phones are indispensable!

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    Good thing you had a common joke to ease the angst! And a car phone. Mobile phones have changed our lives.

  3. Marian says:

    This is great, Dana, and thank goodness for the car phone. I’m glad you can laugh about the incident now.

  4. Suzy says:

    Funny story, Dana. I have to think they would have figured it out and come back for you even if you hadn’t called on the car phone. Noah noticed you were missing even if Danny didn’t.

  5. John Shutkin says:

    Funny story, Dana. Life imitating jokes or vice versa, right? I hope you used the extra time to savor the sunset. Or were you too worried you’d also get to see the sunrise?

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    LOL, Dana! Your story and that old joke fit so nicely. I remember those car phones that gave us a false sense of security when our youngest daughter Dana went out. Unfortunately, she often forgot to bring it and woke us at 2:30 AM on our landline from a pay phone when she got a flat on a deserted street.

  7. pattyv says:

    Actually read this on Saturday but busy week. I shared with sis & a few friends. So funny Dana I can’t stop remembering it. How dare they took off without you but thank God for that phone. See, technology definitely has improved our lives.

  8. Dave Ventre says:


    Cars, kids and late night phone calls; I am SO glad I am not a parent. But one night, in college, I was on one of my first dates with a young lady. We were at a theme park in south central NJ; she lived way up in Bergen County. We got in the car to drive home as the place was closing. I turned the key. It tried to start, made a horrible noise, and quit. I knew immediately that the starter had died, and as it was an automatic, no push start was possible. No auto club, either. Nothing to do but trudge to the security office and call my Dad. He came and got us (about 50 miles) and we took her home (about 65 miles). Next day we returned to the park and installed a new starter right in the lot. Security was very nice, and Dad never said a word of complaint.

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