Town Column : West Tisbury
It's lovely and cool again following the breath of rain we had last week. Talley and I finally had our first beach walk of the season with Ellen Weiss, Mary Beth Norton, and Brooks Robards. We used to go every Tuesday morning to Hancock Beach. Last year I don't think we made it once. I don't understand how four women and a dog can be so busy it takes a major scheduling effort to go for a walk, but there you have it.
The beach was beautiful. A hazy sky floated like a scrim curtain, making the colors a softened version of their greens and blues. I came home filled with images to paint of one of the prettiest places on the Island. Talley ran and swam so much she needed an aspirin in her supper. We can't wait to do it again.
When we'll go again is another question. Mary Beth has had her brother and sister-in-law, Clark and Catherine Norton, visiting her from Narrowsburg, N.Y. Clark is a travel writer who has recently completed a guidebook to the Dominican Republic. He has a website if you are interested: smartercruising.com. Brooks is busy writing film and art reviews for the Martha's Vineyard Times and having sons, daughters-in-law, daughter and son-in-law, and grandsons to visit. Ellen is working on her book, having coffee and conversation on Alley's front porch, and being a sought-after dinner guest. But persevere we shall.
August is when everyone Mike and I know appears on the Vineyard. After a long winter with occasional dinner parties and our weekly breakfast, we become Mr. And Mrs. Socially Active for the remainder of the summer. First, my cousins start to arrive. Malcolm and Harriet Gran got here last week from Philadelphia, accompanied by their son and daughter-in-law, David Gran and Kim Sajan, here from Shanghai, China, where they both teach art. Michael and Linda Dzuba have joined the Grans for two weeks. Robin and Norman Landis, their daughter Hannah, and Mal and Robin's mother, Sally, will come this week. Then, our dear friends, Bob Henry and Dorothy Barthelmes, arrive at the Slocum House for six wonderful weeks. That plus the Fair will keep us busy every night for the rest of the summer.
The sign "Come to the Fair" is up at the corner of Scotchman's and State Road. Opening day is August 21. Fair books are available at the Ag Hall office if you are planning to exhibit. The Fire Department has begun setting up the hamburger booth. There will be lots of activity as other groups begin their preparations.
My unimpeachable source for news of the Friends' book sale, Henry Bassett, reported the largest (number of books as well as people attending) and most successful sale ever. Over $18,000 was made that weekend. Henry worked every hour the sale was open, following most of the month of July he spent working with his grandmother Susan Wasserman and all the volunteers. Please note: the committee has already begun collecting and sorting books for next year's sale, so we already need bags at the library. Please drop them off next time you are there.
Chris and Nelia Decker hosted a wine and hors d'oeuvres party at their home last Tuesday evening, a "thank you" to the many volunteers who work on the book sale and help the library in a variety of ways. We had perfect weather to stroll around and admire Nelia's beautiful garden, to sit outside on the lawn or deck, and for kids to play on a swing. Clair Chalfoun, Leslie Baker, and I particularly enjoyed all the paintings in the house and an opportunity to look in Max's studio. The door was invitingly open and we are all admirers of his work. Everyone had a good time and it was nice to have a social evening to enjoy one another's company.
I also had a chance this week to see Carrie Smith's show at the library. Her paintings are of houses and landmark buildings around West Tisbury and Chilmark. I think everyone will enjoy these familiar sights, beautifully painted. Carrie will speak about her work August 13, 4 pm, at the library.
Earlier in the week, Ruth Kirchmeier and I saw the NYE Gallery in Oak Bluffs. Leslie Baker joined us Thursday evening to see Allen Whiting's show before the July paintings are taken down. We had a nice visit with Lynne and Bea.
Bea Whiting had a bit of a reunion with former high school friends as they all met at Chaya Thanhauser's family's summer camp in Cape Breton, Canada. Chaya came from New York City, as did Maya Glavin. Hannah Keefe and Andrea Silva traveled from Los Angeles. The friends spent their time together swimming, fishing, hiking, cooking, looking at beautiful sunsets, and catching up with one another. Cell phones and computers were not allowed.
Muriel Bye took the week off to, as she described it, "be chief cook, bottle washer, and laundry lady" for her son and his family. Steven and Brenda Bye, with their children Caitlin and Derek, came from their home in Wakefield to spend the week. They were joined on the weekend by Caitlin's friend Ryan Rexford, a student at Southern New Hampshire University. They spent a lot of time enjoying the surf at Katama Beach. Muriel sounded quite happy when I spoke with her, so I assume the cooking, bottle washing, and laundry were not too onerous and left plenty of time to have fun with her guests.
I hope everyone gets time for a walk on the beach this week. The summer goes by so quickly.