West Tisbury


Lobster rolls are back! Judy Mayhew called, expecting to see me Tuesday evening, as lobster rolls return to the Chilmark Church for the summer. I am looking forward to my summer treat, spared from down-Island traffic, welcomed at the entry table by Ted Mayhew and Emmett Carroll, smiled at by Judy and the ladies as they hand me my bag. Oh boy!

Leslie Baker and Katherine Long had a date last Friday evening at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, where Leslie accepted the third-place award for her portrait of Katherine holding one of her silkie hens. It, and all the entrants in “Island Faces,” will remain on view at the museum through the summer.

My efforts to remake the square herb beds leading to our kitchen have come to naught. We are working with Nanuk to keep her from digging it up as soon as I turn my back. Karen Ogden suggested making another spot, softly dug, to be as appealing as the garden. After telling me that I should just give up that part of the garden to his dog, my husband has come around, fencing it off and keeping vigilant, leading her to her allowed spot under his boat.

Hoping for help, I attended Debbie Dean’s talk about herb gardens at Vineyard Gardens last Saturday. Unfortunately, she agreed with my assessment that the trees arching over our yard had grown up to shade most of the sun needed for success as an herb garden. (I didn’t even mention Nanuk.)

When I began it almost 30 years ago, it was the sunniest spot in our yard. I would like to have a patio there now, nice care-free bluestone or slate. Mike is opposed. So for now, my 24 tidy germanders, bought in a week-ago flush of optimism, remain in their pots till I find another spot. I’m thinking about the middle of our vegetable garden, a nice raised bed edged with germander, filled with herbs and maybe a vine-covered tuteur….

The Vineyard Gardens lecture this Saturday, June 23, discusses low-maintenance shrubs. It’s funny how many of my gardening friends are tearing out established perennial borders in favor of, hopefully, lower-maintenance shrubs. As I’m battling deer, rabbits, slugs, my stiffening back, and Nanuk, the idea of that patio surrounded by hydrangeas sounds pretty good. The lectures are free and always informative.

The Farmers’ Market has opened for the summer. Besides the gorgeous produce, it encourages summer reunions, quick or lengthy conversations, and dates for dinner or a walk. There seem to be some new vendors as well as familiar ones. One of the new faces is Spencer Hilton, directing traffic in the parking lot. He seems pretty unflappable and good-humored, important in that job. Nice to meet you, Mr. Hilton.

Take a break, if you can, to hear the J.C. Trio play wonderful jazz at the West Tisbury Library this Friday afternoon, June 22, at 4.

There will be a full calendar of events around town this Saturday. The library will host an open house to inaugurate the Annual Summer Reading Program. Sign up, get your log books, see the tote bags and tee-shirts (this year’s logo was designed by children’s author Brian Lies.) Cookies and lemonade will be served from 11 to 3.

From noon to 4, the West Tisbury Church lawn will be set with tables and chairs behind a big banner announcing their Annual Strawberry Festival, one of the best days of the year in town. There will be strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcakes, sundaes, and smoothies for your enjoyment. It is one of the church’s big fundraising events.

There will be a memorial for Judy Morse at the Field Gallery, 2 to 4. It will be a time to share reminiscences and to be together.

Laura Wainwright will be at the library next Thursday, June 28, at 5 pm, reading from her newly published book of essays, “Home Bird: Four Seasons on Martha’s Vineyard.” Laura is a very good writer and observer, so I look forward to reading about the passing of seasons, the flora and fauna of year-round life close to home.

I am ending with sad news, the passing of Priscilla Fischer last week. I didn’t know her as a teacher, as many in town did. She must have been indomitable, dealing with students of different ages all in one classroom as the town hall was then. Our connections were baseball (Priscilla was a devoted Red Sox fan), gardening, and her beautiful Flat Point Farm. She invited me to paint there anytime. I always stopped to visit her, wearing her baseball cap, sitting outside on her lawn, overlooking her garden and her cove.

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