Americana: Arch Enemies

McDonald's Corp. spent years looking for a suitable location from which to put the bite on summer visitors to Martha's Vineyard. When the hamburger chain finally found a scenic waterside site, executives promised a dignified New England façade—no Golden Arches. But Vineyarders, who have fought successfully in the past against traffic lights, shopping centers and jet planes, mounted a sizzling attack on Big Mac.

A quarter of the year-round population (8,000) organized a No Mac committee, with support from summer visitors, including Singers James Taylor and Carry Simon, Actresses Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon, Authors John Updike and William Styron. Although the...

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