Tisbury

Why is it that when everything gets complicated, my old car wants some attention, too?

I used to have a dog like that. He really knew when events began to pile up and things got busy that he would have to insist on some time for proper attention. He hasn’t been with us for a long while, but I do still miss him. Animals become such an important part of our lives, don’t they?

I imagine with this being school vacation week, it should be quiet all over the Island. The upside is there are lots of parking places, no restaurant reservations are necessary, and standby on the ferry is very quick!

Lobster Roll Sunday is this week at Grace Church. The time was changed to noon because so many of you were coming in early. Then the traditional Shrove Tuesday pancake supper is from 5:30 to 7 pm on Tuesday, March 8. This is a very festive event and families are welcome. Kids love the menu of pancakes, waffles, bacon, and ice cream.

My English mother had a quick childish ditty that she chanted, which began, “Pancake Day is a very happy day. If we don’t have pancakes, we’ll all run away.” I never had to run away and became enchanted with thin pancakes rolled up with orange juice and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. They never appeared on our table at any other time. Grace Church says that a free will offering will benefit Martha’s Vineyard Homeless Ministries.

Also on Fat Tuesday at 7 pm you can go to the V.H. library to learn more about the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living. The focus is now on living rather than aging. Diane Jetamund and Leslie Clapp want to talk about the resources for people over 55. Where else can you learn about Island programs, get an extra can of tuna when you need it, or get a ride to your doctor’s appointment in Falmouth? How else can you enjoy a great lunch through the Culinary Arts Program at the high school and get there using the VTA?

There’s even more: the Supportive Day Program has become important to our Island. This is a social program for individuals who may be at risk if left alone or those who will experience social isolation. It is also a respite for family caregivers. The program provides walks, picnics, brief trips, exercise, even current events. Special presentations by local talent with snacks and family style lunch make up the program.

On Wednesday at the library our own Herb Ward, who has local family history dating back to 1642, will retell the events of the morning of January 24, 1910, when Captain Levi Jackson, his great-grandfather, and Jackson’s brave crew saved 14 souls from the wrecked schooner, the Mertie B. Crowley. This is at 7 pm.

That harrowing story begins as the schooner began to sink off the Skiff Island Shoals. Mrs. Haskell (wife of Capt. Haskell) was lashed to the crosstrees, a hundred feet above the deck, dressed in her husband’s rubber boots, her nightgown, and an overcoat. Eventually the captain and the whole crew would lash themselves to the rigging and the main mast crosstrees.

Mrs. Haskell was the first to be rescued as Capt. Jackson and his crew of four other Island men began their efforts. Because of rough seas, the crew had to rescue each member from the Crowley by rowing Jackson’s catboat, Priscilla, to the schooner and back again, one at a time. The captain and his crew were later honored with a medal from the Humane Society of Massachusetts and the Carnegie Hero Fund for their bravery in saving 14 lives at Martha’s Vineyard.

Thursday evening at 7 pm the Discussion Group at the library will talk about Germany’s ascendancy and learn about Germany’s new world leadership.

Cape Cod is lovely this time of year. It was a bit colder than at home, but not enough to notice. They have had more snow than we’ve seen, with huge dirty piles in every parking lot to remind us.

Monday from 4:30 to 6 pm is the only sign-up time for ACE spring classes at the high school. The ACE Authors’ Readings has been rescheduled to a week from Saturday, March 12, at the Bunch of Grapes from 2 to 4 pm. These popular ACE authors will read from new and old works: Nancy Aronie, Mike Ditchfield, John Hough, Susan Klein, and Cynthia Riggs.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out on Sunday to Jonathan Scoggins and Laurel Chapman. Evan Kristal parties on Monday. Happy birthday to Michelle O’Donnell on Tuesday.

Heard on Main Street: Thoreau said it: “Be not simply good, be good for something.”

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