Politics is a noble calling though its practitioners rarely meet that standard. When Greg Mayhew and I met in the early 1970s, we discovered that we were the same age. He was a politician, and I was in the newspaper game. We ought to have been genial or perhaps contentious adversaries, and he ought to have prospered in his safe State House seat as the representative for Dukes County. But, when we saw one another on his political rounds, we talked boats, fishing, Fairhaven where I was from, Vineyard life and people – not bills, not votes, not elections.

Greg had no windiness, no hollow conversation, no self-satisfaction, no arrogance. He kept at the job, but it didn’t fit. When he had served a decent while, he stepped aside and went home to make a life fishing with his Chilmark family. Had he continued in his inherited profession, would the clatter and toadying native to the species have transformed him? Not a chance.

He was a fine man, fun loving, plain spoken, kind, and determined to be himself and to live life as it fit him. In recent years, before his death this week, when he and I met, we talked admiringly about our children.