Town Column : West Tisbury
The rain of the past week has made such a difference in the landscape and my mood. Everything looks fresh and nourished, grasses and gardens, the replenished ponds. Our rain gauge measured just under three inches, although I have heard reports from other parts of town that had well over four. With the humidity diminished, humans are looking perkier as well.
My friend, Claire Chalfoun, had a birthday last Saturday and requested, as she always does, a picnic on the beach. Ruth Kirchmeier, Lyn Hinds, Claire, and I set forth after work to Squibnocket Beach. Our car was laden with picnic baskets, beach chairs, blankets, and good cheer. Ruth made delicious bass, caught by Nelson, marinated with fennel and garlic. I brought bread, a variety of cheeses and olives (I found out that it was Claire's husband who loved olives; Claire hates olives, but the rest of us enjoyed them). Lyn made the dessert, an amazing peach upside-down cake. Sitting on the beach, looking at the light changing over the beach and the ocean, I was captured by the possibilities to come back and paint. It was a beautiful night and we all had a wonderful time.
Carrie Mae Smith, another Vineyard plein air painter, will be showing her landscapes at the West Tisbury Library for the month of August. Carrie was one of our models before leaving the Vineyard for her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She is a wonderful painter. I have admired her spare still-lives, carefully composed and painted in variations of mixed grays, which she exhibits at Etherington Fine Art in Vineyard Haven. I have never seen her landscapes, so am excited about this show. Carrie will speak about her paintings at the library on August 13 at 4 pm.
Paul Karasik attended the San Diego Comic Conference, where he won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Archival Collection for his book "I Shall Destroy the Civilized Planet." Paul announced that his new book, "You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation," is being released in 2009. Together, these two volumes constitute the "complete Fletcher Hanks." I am eager to line up Paul for an author's talk when his new book comes out; he is a great speaker. Meanwhile, he and Jules Feiffer will talk about graphic novels at the library on August 8 at 5 pm.
The library is hosting two other talks this week. On August 6 at 7 pm, Jim Kaplan will read from and take questions about his latest book, "Walkoffs, Last Licks and Final Outs: Baseball's Grand (and not-so-grand) Finales." Jim, who writes the bridge column for the Gazette, swears there is a connection between bridge and baseball, his two favorite subjects, but that remains to be discovered on August 6. Dale Pomerantz will speak about the "Secret of Great Parents" August 7 at 4:30 pm. I'm afraid I know nothing about either the author or the subject, so we will all have to find out together.
The Friends' Book Sale was a huge success, better than ever. I'll give a full report in next week's column.
Joan Jenkinson asked me to thank everyone who came to the family's memorial gathering in remembrance of Wendy. It was a lovely day and I think all of West Tisbury attended. Some folks left trays and platters without names on them. Joanie has them at home and asks that you call her to arrange their return. Her phone number is 508-645-9450.
McCaull Reid has been transferred to Spaulding Rehab. Douglas and Beth are going up frequently and see "glimmers of hope every day." They ask that we pray for him and for all who are ill or injured and need our prayers.
Congratulations to West Tisbury's Women's Muster Team. They came in first at the 2008 Muster on Sunday, winning the "Midnight Alarm" in 55 seconds. Members of the team are: Beth Kaeka, Jennifer Haynes, Marisa Kaeka, Denim Bettancourt, Chick Dowd, Jenny Dowd, and Laura Knight.
The guys didn't do as well as the ladies. Jesse Oliver wasn't sure whether they were fourth or fifth; Edgartown took first place. It's still a lot of practicing and camaraderie, so "good job" to the guys as well.
One of my summer painting friends, Jan Lentz, has just arrived on the Island from Ohio, and stopped by to set up some painting dates. She is staying on Old County Road, "just two and a half miles from your house," as she described the location. Jan is a real Monet-style impressionist, specializing in landscapes and paintings of her garden, newly redone and featuring three rose-festooned arches a la Giverny. She has delivered new work to Holly Alaimo's Dragonfly Gallery in Oak Bluffs, where she has shown for the past four years.
Tony Rezendes is a regular member of the group who gathers on Alley's front porch for their morning coffee and an overview of what's happening in town. He can be seen, on occasion, squiring a most attractive young lady. She is his granddaughter, Kendra DelTorto, from Watertown, Conn. When Kendra visits Tony and Doreen, her morning request is always the same, "Can I see Shirley and Cliff?" She also enjoys accompanying Pa on his other morning errands, but coffee on the porch is the best.
Kendra should get Tony to take her up to Mermaid Farm to see West Tisbury's newest residents, a pair of "Jersey girls from New Hampshire." They are Sally and Moxie, two Jersey cows newly purchased by Caitlin Jones and Allen Healy. They are bursting with fresh milk, so anyone is welcome up to the farm if you are interested in buying the delicious unpasteurized milk the farm specializes in. While you're there, check out the girls.