West Tisbury


It’s been the week of flowering trees. The double row of Callery pears leading into the cemetery is spectacular and the magnolias and cherries at the Polly Hill Arboretum make one want to pull in for a closer look.

I did just that on Sunday afternoon, treated to a special guided tour by my neighbor, Karin Stanley, who works there. She invited Karen English, Jane and Trish Wiley, Martha Fleishman, Edna Ofori-Mitchell, and me. The highlight of the day was standing underneath that “Accolade” cherry, immense from the road, but up close it engulfs you in a world of pink and bits of distant blue sky. The camellias along the stone wall are blooming — pink, white, red — as the rhododendrons and azaleas in the play pen are just beginning, and the kousa dogwood allee remains leafless, beckoning in memory.

If anyone is interested in joining the arboretum’s tour of Belgian gardens, an opening has become available. Please call Karin at 508-693-9426.

Fan Ogilvie read a poem at last week’s town meeting, ending her term as poet laureate. Justen Ahren assumes the appointment at a Community Poetry Reading at 3:30 pm this Sunday, April 22, at the West Tisbury Library. The reading celebrates April as National Poetry Month and will likely be the last such event in what will soon become “the old library.”

The Monday Night Movie at the library is “Mad Hot Ballroom,” continuing the month’s documentary film series. It begins at 7 pm.

Nicole Galland will read from her new book, “I, Iago,” the story of Shakespeare’s Othello from the villain’s point of view. There will be time for questions, too. The program begins at 5 pm, Tuesday, April 24, at the library.

Bring a brown bag dinner to the library on Wednesday, April 25, 5:30 pm. Dr. Enid Haller will show the film, “Under Our Skin,” and lead a discussion following the movie. It is a powerful documentary about Lyme disease, its effects on its victims, and on the medical community.

When I wrote about my own seder last week, I didn’t mention the one I attended the first night of Passover. It was hosted by Robert Herman and Madeline Way and their children, Julian and Rose. Madeline always makes everything she does appear effortless and gracious; Robert engages everyone with questions and comments about ritual and current events. It is one of my favorite nights of the year. (p.s. Congrats to Rose for her gymnastics prowess and hard work.) (p.p.s. Congrats to Julian for finding the best newspaper clipping. I went right home and found my copy to save. Thanks.)

Penny Uhlendorf urges everyone to celebrate Earth Day at the Annual Vineyard Conservation Society Earth Day Beach Clean-up this Saturday, April 21. Plan to spend a couple of hours, from 10 am to noon, at Cedar Tree Neck or Lambert’s Cove. Volunteers will be on hand to provide supplies and assistance. There will be free tee-shirts for kids (while they last — the shirts, that is, not the kids). Afterwards join other volunteers at Tisbury Wharf Company on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven for refreshments and Flatbread pizza (while it lasts).

Or you can learn how to start and maintain your own vegetable garden, the subject of this week’s lecture at Vineyard Gardens. The Saturday morning program begins at 11 am.

Also this Saturday, learn about the history of the Campmeeting Association at the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living’s luncheon, held at The Grill, from 12 noon to 2 pm. Tickets are $25. Call Leslie Clapp for reservations: 508-939-9440.

It’s been another week of losses for town residents. Jane Cottle Baker died last Monday at the Henrietta Brewer House. Margaret Logue lost her brother, Milton DeVane, who lived in New Haven, Conn., and spent all of his summers in Chilmark. His daughter is Kate DeVane, his niece is Kathy Logue. Condolences to all of the families and friends.

I went to see Lynn Christoffers’s photographs at the airport health club. Although not the ideal space in which to look at art, I enjoyed the images tremendously. Lynn has been working on a book about Vineyard cats and cat lovers for as long as I have known her and these photographs represent a portion of the finally soon-to-be-published book. What struck me as I looked at them was the history she has chronicled. Babies are now children and the children are all grown up. Adults are turning gray. Kittens have become old cats; some are gone. It shows the life of our town and our island, moving steadily along, measured in love and fur.