Every time I drive by the fairgrounds there seems to be a new bit of building or piece of equipment being assembled. By the time you are reading this, preparations will have been completed and the 150th Agricultural Fair will be well under way. I hope we have good weather, good crowds, and a good Fair.
I am particularly looking forward to George Hartman's newest display of toy steam engines in the Antique Engine Barn. Culled from George's and Bill Honey's collections, the toys are designed to enchant a new generation of enthusiasts to all things mechanical.
I am also looking forward to seeing Katherine Long's sister, Mary Ruth Flores, renowned quilter and genuinely lovely person, who comes to help in the Fiber Tent every year.
The highlight of this past weekend was the roar of engines and the lines of polished-to-perfection bikes, as Harley riders gathered for their Annual Run to the Rock. I always wish Mike and I were among them, but this past two years Mike has told me that paying for Talley's knee surgeries has supplanted buying a Harley. Last year it was the Sportster he saw listed in the paper. This year it's a major hog. Maybe some day....
Meanwhile, a soft and much-needed rain is falling. I'm listening to it hitting the awning over our living room windows, a breeze carrying moist air to my cheek. Laptop computers have certainly been a great invention, allowing one to sit on a comfortable sofa or even outside, instead of being stuck behind a desk when working. Talley is resting comfortably by my feet.
This peaceful moment is being savored, before the busiest week of the summer. Not only the Fair, but Illumination Night on Wednesday, fireworks Friday night, and still the array of wonderful lectures, musicales, art openings, dinners, arrival and leaving of guests, that continue to mark our summer nights.
Ann Leggett has been here the past week, taking a break from her Long Island City studio to paint outdoors here on the Vineyard and spend time with friends and relatives. She stopped by my studio for a visit. Ann is not showing her paintings on the Island this summer. She has been devoting her energies to a project raising money for tsunami victims in Japan, where she has traveled and painted for the past several years.
Habitat for Humanity has arranged their Second Annual Fireworks Cruise aboard "Seastreak," leaving from the SSA dock in Oak Bluffs at 8 pm, Friday, August 19. Enjoy the fireworks from the water. Tickets are $50 for adults and $35 for children under 12. Habitat is still looking for volunteers to wield hammers, paintbrushes, and brooms. If interested, please call Neal Sullivan at 508-696-4646.
If you need a night off from cooking dinner, or just want to have a special meal, come to the Chilmark Church between 4:30 and 7 pm Tuesday evenings for the best lobster roll on the island. Visit with neighbors and help support the church.
Liz Taft will speak about her concepts and experiences as a plein air painter at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 23, at the Shaw Cramer Gallery. Liz is an amazing painter and storyteller, so plan for an entertaining evening. The event is free and all are welcome.
A group of knitters has been getting together at the West Tisbury Library every Monday night for several years. They have created a 57- x 73-inch afghan/quilt of knitted squares in complex patterns and colors. All wool was sheared from local sheep. It is beautiful and looks warm and cozy for the winter's cold nights to come. The knitters are raffling off the quilt to raise money for the Library Foundation. Please stop by, admire it, and buy your chance to own it. Tickets are $5 each or $10 for three. The drawing will be on October 8.
Enjoy "One Fair Summer Evening of Poetry" at the West Tisbury Library Wednesday, August 24, at 5:30 pm. Featured poets are Justin Ahren, Ellie Bates, Samantha Barrow, Maureen Hall, and Jill Jupen.
John Christensen, West Tisbury's Emergency Management Director, has discovered Twitter and encourages residents to sign up for his daily tweets. You will receive information about any weather-related emergency, including blocked roads, downed trees or power lines, snowdrifts, flooding, dangerous surf advisories, beach closings or openings.
See you at the Fair.