Town Column : West Tisbury
When Mike and I walked outside the Ag Hall after dinner Saturday evening, the air smelled like early summer. There was a soft warmth we both commented on. The pinkletinks were peeping loudly as we rounded the curve onto Edgartown Road, past the Mill Pond towards home.
We had been at the potluck supper celebrating the beginning of spring. The hall was filled with almost everyone we knew, families from all across the Island. The food was fabulous and varied; it always works out that people bring just the right combination of hors d'oeuvres, main dishes, vegetables, salads, and desserts. It was an occasion to catch up before the busy days, when working every waking hour is necessary, and free time a luxury.
As we were standing in line moving towards the laden tables, Kelly McCarthy's name was called out by her husband and children, walking through the hall behind us, carrying a candle-lit birthday cake. Everyone joined in singing "Happy Birthday" to Kelly on her April 5 day.
There was lots of talk about a variety of CSA's and other opportunities for Island-grown food, growing and marketing it. With all the concerns about safety and healthfulness of our food supply, the energy costs of producing and transporting it, and the financial component in a down-turning economy, we are so lucky to have the infrastructure, knowledge, and desire to take care of ourselves in these uncertain times.
It was a busy weekend all around, between things to do and the brief hours of balmy sunshine Saturday afternoon that made everyone want to be outside.
Earlier in the day, the family and friends of Virginia Besse came together for a memorial service at the West Tisbury Church. The service was lead by Terry Newberry and Alden Besse. They, and the speakers who reminisced about Virginia and her accomplishments, made everyone remember what a remarkable woman she was. I suppose her most lasting legacy to the Island is the establishment of Featherstone, well known and appreciated even by those who never knew Virginia. But her art, her opinions, the things that made her laugh, her competitive streak as a sailor, and her kindness and grace to all who knew her, are remembered and cherished in many hearts. I have to comment about the young great granddaughter, a red-headed toddler named Ava, who traversed the church's pews holding a pencil in one hand and a pad of paper in the other. I'm sure Virginia would have delighted in that image.
I saw Beth McElhiney at the library, just returned from her sunny winter away. She is happy to be home.
I found a cheery email message from Tony Friedman. He is still living in West Virginia, managing a Hampton Inn. He had seen the ad in last week's paper for his former Red Cat Restaurant and his house, listed for $1.6 million. His comment: "Gee, I could get back in the cooking business... For 1.6 million here you could buy a huge house on 500 acres of farmland and a thousand head of cattle, and get change. Think anyone will snap the old place up?"
Nicole Cabot invited me to the Super Reader Celebration at the West Tisbury School last week. I was terribly disappointed not to be able to attend, but here is Nicole's description of what happened. Teri Mello and Victoria Phillips and their kindergarten pupils arrived in the school cafeteria wearing red capes and golden crowns. Each child had a table set with their favorite books to read to the gathered assembly of parents, grandparents, and invited guests (Dr. Weiss and Skipper Manter were in the audience). They had practiced reading their books to the first and second grade classes in the week before the program. The program was designed "to celebrate the youngest readers in West Tisbury and the beginning of their journey." The invitation proclaimed "Reading is Fun," and indeed it is. Congratulations to you all.
The Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, NAACP, and Island Diversity Council are co-hosting a discussion for the public this Thursday, April 10, at 7 pm, "Moving Beyond Race: A Dialogue." It will be held at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven.
Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish will be tuning up their instruments and pleasing the crowd at the West Tisbury School this Friday, April 11, from 7 to 9 pm. The PTO is hosting a community dance for parents and children. Beverages and delicious desserts will be served. The cost is $7 per person or $20 for the whole family. Please call 508-693-3007 for additional information.
Vineyard Gardens begins its Summer Lecture Series this Saturday morning, April 12. Come at 11 am to learn everything you need to know about "Starting Plants From Seed." All programs are free and special discounts and plants are offered to those attending. Call 508-693-8511 for more information.
There will be a Community Poetry Reading at the West Tisbury library this Sunday afternoon, April 13, at 5 pm. All are invited to read your own poetry, a favorite poem, or to sit and listen. Call 508-693-3366 for more information.
Henry and Louise Bessire have arrived for a stay at their home on Edgartown Road. I'm glad they are in time to enjoy the bulbs coming up in their garden.
Laura and Morgan Emily Caruso have spent a few days with Laura's parents, Glenn and Linda Hearn. Besides walks along the pond, trips to the library, and playing with friends on Nana's living room carpet, Morgan attended the potluck at the Ag Hall and ate delicious shortbread made by her mother for a tea party with me. It was a lovely visit, just not long enough.
Hannah Beecher and Brian Ruddick have had company at the Slocum House. Brian's daughter, Justine, has been here from Cleveland. Her brother, Brian Jr., will join the family later this week.
Wyatt Jenkinson celebrated his tenth birthday with his family last week, April 3. I always remember Joanne Scott's birthday because it is April 15, tax day. Happy birthday wishes to you both.
Town reports are out. They are available at Town Hall, the library, and are usually passed out at Town Meeting. The Town Report is good reading and gives an overview of what's been happening in West Tisbury. Joan Jenkinson's is always the highlight, with a humorous perspective on her adventures as ACO.
Don't forget to vote today at the Public Safety Building. Polls are open till 8 pm.