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An Open Invitation To Aung San Suu Kyi

Come Spend a Healing Day on Martha’s Vineyard!

What could be better therapy for a modern-day Joan of Arc who has recently endured some 24 years under house arrest in her native Myanmar—the country formerly known as Prince, I mean Burma – than a fun day trip to our island?

Having just spent her past week addressing students at Harvard and Yale (and, by the way, why do those schools always get the coolest speakers?), Ms. Suu Kyi may still be in this vicinity, so I’m going to be among the first, as one of her countless admirers, to invite her to our shores.

Here is my proposed one-day dream itinerary, but I do invite Patch readers to send in their own suggestions: 

I’m imagining that Ms. Suu Kyi is traveling under the protection of our state department; so I’d like to request that those guys in the black SUV’s, after they greet our esteemed guest at the airport, could they kindly convey her to Biscuits in Oak Bluffs? Obviously we’ve got any number of great breakfast joints on the Vineyard, but Biscuits has a way with French toast that strikes me as a culinary clone of whatever’s done to make doughnuts taste like doughnuts, so how better to start a day that’s designed to be sheer fun from start to finish?

For each of the towns, I suggest a local luminary provide Ms. Suu Kyi with a guided tour: Could we, accordingly, issue invitations, to David Letterman for Edgartown, Spike Lee for Oak Bluffs, Rose Styron for Vineyard Haven, David McCullough for West Tisbury, Ted Danson for Chilmark (and maybe he can knock off Aquinnah too, since by then we’ll be coming up on sunset?)

While these tours are taking place, we’ll assume that visits to the Flying Horses, a sail on the Shenandoah, a picnic on Lucy Vincent Beach catered by L’Etoile (or Linda Jean’s – depends on where Ms. Suu Kyi’s appetite stands after the Biscuits French toast), a drop-in at Alley’s, and a joy-ride on David Whitmon’s yellow Velomobile through the State Forest, are on the docket.

The last thing we want to do is to exhaust the Burmese dignitary, but considering she was only released from house detention in November of 2010, it’s conceivable Ms. Suu Kyi is still making up for lost time. And by the way, lest anyone imagine that house arrest in a lakeside abode is anything but a punishment, consider that a cyclone in May of 2008 blew the roof off her already decrepit house, and she lived without electricity for quite a long spell. She also endured all manner of personal sorrows, but we won’t delve into them here because this Dream Day is devoted to forgetting.

Now that the Myanmar government has loosened up, and Ms. Suu Kyi herself has been voted a member of that country’s parliament, it’s a given she’s feeling better about this whole crazy experience called life. And yet I still feel an abiding desire for us to do our bit to show her a good time.

So let’s add to the festivities a walk on the splendid path to Lambert’s Cove Beach, including a special dispensation to bring her dog, if she happens to have one with her (private joke between you, me and the West Tisbury town voters)! Ms. Suu Kyi should also be given the keys to all five of our lighthouses, with boys on the wrestling team at the high school enlisted to carry her up to the tippy top of each one.

And we haven’t even discussed dinner yet!

State Road? Hooked? The Charlotte Inn? You know what? I’m thinking Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols will want to have Ms. Suu Kyi over to dine at Chip Chop. Maybe the Obamas will fly in for the occasion to show their own undying support for this island.

It’s becoming clear that this whole excursion will require more than a simple day trip. Shall we extend the invitation to a couple of overnights? The Harbor View? The Mansion House? Ah, what the heck, maybe Lady Gaga will offer her place on Chappy – yes, we know some random business guy put his name on the deed, but maybe he can lend the Burmese leader the house in Lady Gaga’s name?

Michael West October 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Now I'm confused. I thought Lady Gaga was some random business guy. Ah well, that's aging for you. I'll be happy to make Suki a happy shake or some raw vegan mango ice cream with cacao nibs, if she has a little extra time.
William Waterway October 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Why the star/tourist-oriented, product placement treatment? I am sure, Ms. Suu Kyi may, would prefer to meet our "normal", hard-working, every day kinda folk like fishermen; waitresses; ship builders; house cleaners. Instead of fancy soirees with celebrities - how about a visit to our local Martha's Vineyard Museum, and art galleries such as the Granary Gallery; Louisa Gould Gallery; Gay Head Gallery, and Kara Taylor Fine Art (oops - 4 more product placements!). Or, an afternoon with the Cleaveland House Poets at the famed Cleaveland House home of authors Dionis Coffin Riggs and daughter, Cynthia Riggs (who was recently engaged to be married). Anyhow, get the idea? Hell, while I am on a roll - don't forget the water book I did with the United Nations that features Ms. Suu Kyi"s country of Myanmar. The title of my book is, "Water Voices from Around The World" - it has photos from Myanmar showing under-privileged folks, some holding innocent children - standing in a long line with clay pots just so they can obtain some survival water from a hand pumped well.
Holly Nadler October 01, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Honestly, William, don't know how we could get any more proletarian than Biscuits!
Mathea Morais (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Yay for Cynthia and her recent engagement! I'm sure Ms. Suu Kyi would love to sit in Cynthia's front room by the fire and hear that story...before she takes it to The Moth performance in NYC!

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