Actually almost half of Henry Beetle Hough's (Country Editor; The Road) autobiography takes place in the cotton mill town of New Bedford, Mass., where his newspaperman father first imbued him with the ideals of ""crusading and raising hell' and his frugal New England mother crooned ""life is real, life is earnest"" (as real and earnest as HBH himself?) -- or on Morningside Heights, New York, where young Henry apprenticed at the new Columbia School of Journalism -- or in Washington at the Office of Naval Intelligence keeping an eye on such suspicious persons as Pope Leo XIII (who was dead anyway) and Woodrow Wilson -- or even back, way back into Henry's ""rootstock"" of whaling-captain and Yankee Puritan ancestors. But Henry and wife Betty received the Vineyard Gazette as a wedding gift from his father and ever since he's been devoted to his dry, direct, traditional good neighbors and the ""unique biotic community"" that was Martha's Vineyard before the creeping blight of condominiums, pizza palaces, Dairy Queens. Unlike Anne Simon (whose plea to save the Vineyard, No Island Is an Island, was published in 1973), Hough is, by now, just plain fed up with ""a world in decline."" Ergo, no doubt, the womby-warm, dream-like spottiness of his memory of world wars, the Great Depression, etc. -- good times all. Salt and sugar, fifty-fifty.