Town Column : West Tisbury
Welcome to West Tisbury. This is our week to shine and offer our hospitality as the entire Island comes to The Fair. Best recipes, showiest flowers, art, crafts, and photographs, rides, concessions, and food booths are being readied for the four-day event, August 21 through 24.
I never remember the sweet pepper bush being so prominent as it is this summer. Along the roadsides and walking paths, it seems to be everywhere, more resplendent and more fragrant. The cardinal flower is blooming in bright red spikes by ponds and marshes. There is just a suggestion of the fall colors to come in the shrubbery around the Mill Pond.
Besides the Fair, the big news in town is from Bea Phear and the Town Hall Renovation Committee. Bids for the construction project were opened last week. The committee recommended to the selectmen that J. K. Scanlon get the job. Their bid, $3,415,000, was below expectations, so it looks good for the entire project totaling within the amount voters approved. Congratulations for an excellent job by the committee. Hopefully, the construction and results will be excellent as well. Work is expected to begin by Oct. 1 and last about 18 months.
This Saturday afternoon, there will be a gathering to remember Wendy Jenkinson. Bring your best finger food to the Chilmark Community Center at 2:30 pm. May we weep and laugh together, and bring some comfort to Wendy's family.
Town Clerk Prudy Whiting wants to remind everyone that the last day to register to vote and/or change your party affiliation for the Sept. 16 State Primary is August 27, next Wednesday. The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 15. Nov. 4 is the Presidential Election, so it is important for everyone eligible to be able to vote. Please stop by Town Hall or call Prudy at 508-696-0148 to confirm your voter status. Also, if you have moved or not replied to the annual town census, you need to confirm your address with Prudy. She receives too many mailings marked "Return to Sender."
Last Friday evening, Mike and I were at The Square Rigger with a table full of my cousins, celebrating Sally's 93rd birthday. Soon after, Tony Resendes sat down at the next table with his daughter Amy DelTorto and her two children, Kendra and Devin. We all had a good bit of conversation (and always a good dinner) and a good laugh. As soon after our waitress came to our table singing "Happy Birthday" as she presented a special piece of birthday cake to Sally; she was back performing the same ritual for Amy and Kendra. Their birthdays both fall on August 15. On Sunday afternoon, the entry to Tony and Doreen's yard was festooned with colored balloons, heralding a family party for the birthday girls.
As we all are overwhelmed with quantities of tomatoes at this time of year, here is a really good recipe: In a baking dish (I use a porcelain quiche dish) place a single overlapping layer of tomatoes, any kind, any color, sliced 1/4 inch thin. Sprinkle with minced garlic, fresh thyme, Italian parsley, salt and pepper, halved or quartered imported black olives, and goat cheese. Add a second layer of tomatoes and sprinkle with the same combination of enhancements. Put breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle with good olive oil. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. This is easy and delicious, just as good hot or at room temperature. People like it as much as my corn pudding recipe.
Every time I drive out of Cronig's parking lot, I smile at Ruth Adams's outdoor displays. To me, Ruth is the hands-down master of arranging things to pique one's interest. Her plantings are lush and her combinations of art, antiques, and oddball ornaments are whimsical and so creative. Thank you, Ruth, for so often making my day special.
Just a mention: At the Farmers' Market and in parking spaces around the Island I still see dogs left in cars with the windows barely cracked. Please don't do it. If you need to bring your dog along, at least leave all the windows fully open, leave a bowlful of water, and park in the shadiest place you can find.