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A bird’s-eye view of Wes Craven’s Vineyard ties

Wes Craven (pictured in 2011) died Sunday of brain cancer. He was 76.Lucas Jackson/Reuters/File

In the May 2014 installment of his column in Martha's Vineyard Magazine, Wes Craven imagined a world where birds lived among humans.

"This movement is not driven by preference for our company, but by a perception among birds that few other choices remain. Their habitats gobbled, unable to beat us, they have decided to join us. Literally."

Craven, the master horror filmmaker — who died Sunday at 76 from brain cancer — went on in that column to describe a Hitchcockian scene where birds convened at a bar at Logan Airport.

"I happened to see a woodpecker, a blue jay, and an Arctic tern walk into a bar. If they had flown in, many people would have spotted them. But they just sauntered in, like businessmen killing time between flights. No one noticed. . . . 'Where's the bar tender?' the woodpecker punned in a perfect Boston accent. 'I'll have a Grasshopper,' rasped the jay. 'What's the house specialty?' the tern asked. The barkeep, who I noticed was actually a crow disguised by a fake mustache fashioned from bar straws, rattled off: 'Folks like our Fluffy Ducks or Yellow Birds — or Duck Farts, if you like coffee drinks.' The tern made a face. 'Sex on the Beach,' he said with a decidedly high-flown air, eyeing the funky Audubon prints on the wall. 'I have so many miles, I could be in the first-class lounge,' he muttered to his friends."

Monday morning, Martha's Vineyard Magazine staffers were organizing their online archive of Craven's columns so that fans could easily find them. In the film world, Craven is known for movies such as "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream," but once he became a full-time island resident a few years ago, locals were entertained and haunted by "Wes Craven's The Birds," his imaginative take on what could have been a simple column for birders.


Martha's Vineyard Magazine editor Paul Schneider said that when he asked his friend Craven to write a birding column, he didn't expect stories about woodpeckers hanging out at Logan.


"I knew he was a bird watcher and a bird lover. Of course, if you ask Wes Craven for a bird column, you don't get 'what I saw at my feeder,' " Schneider said. "They were sort of these moral fables. They're hard to describe, and only Wes Craven could have written them."

Schneider suggests that fans read Craven's last column, which ran in June. It's a tale that has Craven flying with the birds, using an ultralight that allows him to travel through time. Schneider says it was a fitting and "elegiac" final piece.

Schneider said, of his friend, "He was the sweetest sort of avuncular character you could care to meet. I don't know anyone who knew him who didn't feel lucky to know him. And his imagination was so unique."

He added, " We will not soon find another bird columnist like him."

Names can be reached at names@globe.com. Follow Meredith Goldstein on Twitter @MeredithGoldste.