West Tisbury

Computers elude me. Mine died last week, hence no column. Being a night owl and a procrastinator, I settled in to write my column about 2 am, and found an intractable black screen. A few days later, Brian Athearn fixed it in no time at all. But now, in the middle of the night before my deadline, I’m sitting at the computer to write my column and seem unable to connect to the Internet. I’ll head down to MV Tech tomorrow morning where Brian will address my problem with both hands tied behind his back, but at the moment I’d like to throw this miserable thing out the window and drive over it several times. With Mike’s big heavy Dodge Ram. Several times.

So, if you sent me an email during the past three weeks, I haven’t seen it so it’s not in the column. If there actually is a column. If nothing else, this portrays the reliability of pen to paper and face-to-face human contact.

Diane Jetmund called a couple of weeks ago to tell me about the Summer Bazaar and Fancy Fleas Sale to be held this Saturday, Aug. 14, 9 am -2 pm, in the MVRHS parking lot in front of the Performing Arts Center. The sale is to benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Center4Living, an organization that encompasses supportive day programs Island-wide, the 55+ section in The Times, off-Island transport for medical appointments, emergency food distribution (over 56,000 pounds in 2009,) and the Culinary Arts Program’s weekly lunches during the school year. This amazing organization wants to raise awareness of who they are, what they do, and the value they provide to our community. They are desperately in need of new office space, and need support for the sale and their efforts. You may also consider joining their board. Call Karen Achille at 1-508-360-5842.

Preparations for the 149th Ag Fair are proceeding apace. The familiar sign has appeared at the corner of State Road and the Panhandle, announcing this year’s dates as August 19, 20, 21, and 22. Families are riven by opposing schedules. As I drive by, I can see the bright red Fireman’s booth going up, trucks parked outside, as the guys meet many evenings to prepare for four days of non-stop cooking. Ag Society members and the Fair Ladies are busy day and night. By next week, rides and lights and exhibits will be set to attract one and all.

It was a treat that Mike had time for two date nights this weekend. We made dinner for Michael and Linda Dzuba Saturday night. The conversation over drinks lasted so long we had to eat inside. We were invited to Sue Hruby’s for dinner with her and Mike’s brother, Jared. Hamburgers on the grill, the quintessential summer dinner. Sue made corn with basil and mint, a delicious combination. We all went down to the Grange Hall after dinner to hear The Flying Elbows.

Ann Howes and Ben Cabot opened a joint two-week exhibition at the Old Sculpin Gallery Sunday evening. This Sunday, Aug. 15, they will have a second reception from 6 to 8 pm, giving everyone another opportunity to see them and Ann’s watercolors and Ben’s stone sculptures.

It has been a sad time of loss for several West Tisbury families and their friends. Hal Miller, a long-time summer resident of Tiah’s Cove Road, died in Winnetka, Ill. Nancy Smith and Barbara Cotterill both died after long illnesses. My condolences to everyone whose lives they touched.

West Tisbury selectmen have declared this The Year of the West Tisbury Library. Selectman Richard Knabel presented the declaration to Trustee Chairman Linda Hearn at the Library Foundation’s kick-off event, Library After Hours, a couple of Sundays ago. It was an occasion of great enthusiasm and good will, with wonderful food and music. The speakers all shared reminiscences of the libraries of their childhoods and of the place the West Tisbury Library holds in their hearts and daily work lives. Most encouraging was David McCullough’s noting there are still more libraries than McDonald’s in America. Mr. McCullough’s reading from his new book next August will be the closing event of the Foundation’s year-long fund-raising efforts.

The library will hold its next public forum Monday, Aug. 16, at 4 pm. Please come to the library, listen to our presentation, and share your thoughts about our future.

Thanks to the Friends of the Library for the success of their annual book sale. Their efforts and continuing support are a gift to our whole town. It is “the event of the year” and the highlight of many a summer vacation.

A week from today, August 19, Robert and Marjory Potts will show and speak about their film “You May Call Her Madam Secretary” at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. The film, made in 1987, is about the tenure of Frances Perkins as Secretary of Labor in FDR’s Cabinet. Much of the film was shot at the old Lambert’s Cove Inn. Frances Sternhagen portrayed Secy. Perkins, a woman of high ideals and tenacity, responsible for many of the social policies of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. A musical score written and performed by Jeffrey Bryant and Peter Huntington runs through the movie. Joan Merry made the dress worn by Ms. Sternhagen. Learn about a remarkable woman and enjoy some West Tisbury history. The program begins at 7:30 pm.

Sunflowers, zinnias, and hydrangeas are at their peak. Take the time to pick a bouquet for your table or drive down Old County Road to admire Krishana Collins’s flower-filled fields. Summer’s bounty. Summer’s beauty.