Town Column : West Tisbury
Once again we have gone from shorts and T-shirt weather to turtlenecks and sweaters. All of my gardening friends are hoping for rain with the cooler temperatures.
So it seemed appropriate when a message on our answering machine said, "I'm making a turkey for dinner tonight. Why don't you plan to come?" Mike and I enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner in April with our friends Bill and Betty Haynes. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and broccoli. We forgot to make cranberries and pumpkin pie, but otherwise it was a delicious replay of November festivities. I wish I still had the whole winter ahead of me with its lovely sense of unstructured time.
Betty had the most impressive display of daffodils as her centerpiece, all from her garden. The colors ranged from pale to bright yellow, their forms from delicate multi-stemmed narcissus to heavy-headed double flowers, all fragrant. Part of Betty's garden is edged by an old stonewall, the perfect setting for early daffodils, warm and protected. They looked beautiful in the yard and on the table.
Earlier in the day, I had driven over to Sue Hruby's house, both to visit with Sue and to admire the ever-increasing number of daffodils along her road. I think Ann Burt and Tom Hodgson are responsible for dividing and planting the bulbs that now stretch from Music Street all the way along Tiasquam Road. Both of them have notable plantings in their yards. I am always grateful to everyone who makes the effort to brighten up the daily travels of passersby.
I saw Tom walking up ahead as I approached Sue's house, accompanied by two unknown gentlemen. Tom and his wife, Christine Gault, had as houseguests for the weekend Jonathan Smith and his wife, Laurie Redfern-Smith, from Nelson, N.H., and Peter Athearn from Stoddard, N.H. The guys, long-time college friends, had been out on a two-hour tour of West Tisbury cellar holes and other archaeological/sociological treasures. I asked Peter if he had any connection to the West Tisbury Athearns; he suspected there was some distant kinship, a conversation he had with John Athearn.
Leo Waring celebrated his 13th birthday this past April 18. More correctly, Leo Waring began celebrating his 13th birthday. Leo, a jaunty lab, is a much-loved member of the Pat and Diana Waring family. Pat claims that Leo seems to know when his birthday comes around and behaves as though every visitor has arrived to acknowledge his special day. When I spoke to Pat, she told me Leo had already had two birthday parties and two cakes. A third party at the Vineyard Veterinary Clinic is planned for Tuesday and a fourth party with family and friends will take place at Pat and Leo's home later this week. Although chocolate cake has been Leo's traditional favorite, he has had to forego chocolate for white cake with cream cheese frosting, festooned with Black Dog dog biscuits, a nod to his older age and health status. Happy birthday, Leo, and many happy returns. "Woof, woof," from Tallulah and Murphy.
There has been a terrible amount of trash strewn along the roadsides lately, especially along our Edgartown Road leading to the Transfer Station across from the airport. It's really been a mess. Please, please, please, make sure the lids are tightly on your trash barrels. Thanks.
The Vineyard Gardens lecture this weekend is called "How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn." The program will begin at 11 am this Saturday morning, May 3. I saw Chris Wiley earlier this afternoon when I stopped in to buy an "Elizabeth" clematis for my friend Elizabeth Taft's birthday. Chris said she has been making plans for a special series of events for Mother's Day. Keep it in mind.
I noticed that Gail Craig, my counterpart who writes the Edgartown column, referred to the issue of our photographs accompanying our columns. We have all fought for years against having our pictures in the paper; I am especially un-photogenic. But there they are. I suppose I should be grateful to be smiling and looking at least five years younger (trying to remember when that picture was taken).
Don't be surprised, however, to see a different picture someday. I have fantasies of being like Gael Greene, the legendary restaurant critic for New York Magazine back in the 70s. She always wore dark glasses and a broad-brimmed hat and that is how I want to be photographed. I don't need anonymity as she did, needing to be unrecognized so as to judge service and the fine points of local cuisine. It's too late for me to be anonymous, anyway. But I would like to present a dramatic figure atop my weekly byline. Let's see what happens next.