Temperatures in the low 70s with no humidity have provided a welcome respite from last week's hellish heat. Former West Tisbury-ite and library trustee Hallie Mentzel called from the "Baked Apple," sending us into fits of laughter and speculation about frying eggs on the sidewalk, and other such silly stories. Hallie called to hear all about the David McCullough talk (it was fabulous) and preparations for this weekend's Friends of the Library Book Sale, which opens Friday, July 29, at 9 am and runs through Monday, August 1, 9 am to 3 pm every day. Don't forget it's at the Regional High School cafeteria this year.
The bench on Alley's porch has been a little lopsided since regular Cliff Athearn fell and broke his hip, and took up temporary residence in Martha's Vineyard Hospital. I was at Morning Glory last week and saw Debbie. She and John Athearn report that he is feeling better, enjoying the harbor view, and would like visits or calls from his friends. Meanwhile, Shirley Howell, Tony Rezendes, Ellen Weiss, and Dick Burt are minding the bench in the mornings and awaiting his return.
The West Tisbury Church will host an Ice Cream Festival on their front lawn this Saturday, July 30, from 11 am to 4 pm.
Library After Hours will take place Sunday, July 31, 5 to 7 pm. Local chefs, local authors, and local music will be featured, all to benefit the West Tisbury Library Foundation.
Remember author Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline, walking two by two with her friends and Miss Clavell? Well, Madeline is paying a visit to our library this week. She will attend the regular story hour on Thursday, August 4, at 10:30.
Also on August 4, Dr. Lorna Andrade invites anyone interested to attend a presentation by Dr. Stan Rome in the conference Room at Windemere at 6:30 pm. Dr. Rome will discuss training programs in Phlebotomy, EKG, and Medical Coding, available for Vineyard residents.
Ann DuCharme will turn 50 on August 4, but she has been celebrating for quite a while now. She has spent the past week at the Murphy house on Music Street with her parents, her brothers, and their families. On Tuesday, Ann's husband, Ted Murphy, will arrive with their daughter, Julia, and several friends. It is always wonderful for Mike and me to have the Murphy/DuCharmes here. Time we spend together is very special, but I even enjoy driving by and seeing the lights on at night or cars and bikes going in and out during the day. Happy birthday, darling Ann.
I am missing Linda Vadasz, who was here for an all-to-brief visit with her daughter, Nicole Cabot, and family. Linda brought Nicole a wonderful picnic basket outfitted for two with china plates, silverware, and stemmed wine glasses. Very Edwardian and greatly admired. I hope Linda and Gaston will return early enough this fall to take it to the beach themselves.
A multi-generation Gault family reunion occurred last week, as members arrived from Virginia and Colorado to join those already in residence. Bob and Cindy, with their children, Taylor and Jesse, Richard and Lorrie, their daughter, Mindy, and her daughter, three-year-old Bella, joined Kayla and Bob Parkhurst, Marisa, Neil, and Dylan Estrella, and the Grande Dame herself, Millie Gault. They kept Millie pretty busy with cookouts and trips to all the Island sites. Especially fun was a visit to the Alpaca Farm, where they saw a four-day-old baby alpaca. Bella actually turned three on the Island, on July 24.
My Gran cousins have been here for the past two weeks, shorter than usual. Since David and his wife, Kim Sajan, have been teaching art at an American school in Shanghai, their parents, Malcolm and Harriet Gran, have chosen to spend more time there throughout the year. And since Amaya was born, Mal and Harriet could easily spend every waking moment with her in China. This year, Jackie was able to join us, taking time off from her job in Washington, D.C., where she has been working on education policy and strategies. And our Grande Dame, Malcolm's mother, Sally, who usually celebrates her birthday here, will turn 96 next month at her home in Florida. We all had a great time together, especially doting on Amaya, a truly amazing child who seems to be learning new things every second and engaging us all in her discoveries. Did I mention that she is bilingual? Mike and I miss them more than I can say, as does Talley. She was the perfect dog for a hesitant baby, just lying on the floor in my studio and letting Amaya pet her. And pet her. Woof.
The comings and goings of relatives and summer friends is part of the rhythm of all who live here. Not only are we working more hours, but we are dining and partying more hours, as well. It's all wonderful when it's happening, but I wish it were a bit more spread throughout the year.