West Tisbury


Sunday night’s thunderstorm provided some relief from the heat and humidity of the past week. It was scarily close, though. As Hulls, Beechers, Bumps, and friends gathered at the Slocum House for a cookout, lightning appeared overhead, startling everyone.

Hannah Beecher’s son, Chris Bump, with his wife, Cheryl, and twins, McKenna and Rachel, come every June to work around the property, visit the family, and go to the beach. Their visit includes a family cookout on the lawn, familiarly called “the seafood blowout.” Lobster, shrimp, swordfish, scallops, plus steak for Mike. A very special, and much anticipated, event.

Dan, Xiaoshi, and Sunday Hull came for the weekend with Elizabeth, a school friend of Sunday’s.

Earlier in the day, Leslie Baker, Linda Vadasz, and I went to hear Elizabeth Warren speak at the Whaling Church. Most of West Tisbury was there, too, it seemed. Professor Warren was such an inspiring speaker. I felt the growing-up-in-the-fifties optimism, pride, and respect we learned in civics class – that she was someone who genuinely wanted to make our government functional and accountable to us. For us and working people like us. It’s refreshing to finally hear someone who’s proud of being a liberal from Massachusetts. I will work to get her elected to the Senate.

July 1 was a beautiful day for a wedding. Beth Kaeka has been working like a demon to make everything perfect for her daughter’s big day. Congratulations to Marissa and Nick, and wishes for a long, happy life together. Congratulations to Beth and Dwight for making it through. Marissa also graduated from Massachusetts Bay Community College with a degree in Early Childhood Education.

If you see this early enough, Ellen Weiss will be reading at 5 pm today at the West Tisbury Library from her new book, “Robert R. Taylor and Tuskegee: An African-American Architect Designs for Booker T. Washington.” It should be fascinating. The book describes “how he used his design and administrative skills to further Booker T. Washington’s agenda of community solidarity and – in defiance of the then-expanding Jim Crow policies – the public expression of racial pride and progress.”

An exhibition of photographs by Sam Hiser opens tomorrow evening, July 6, 5 to 7 pm, at the Health Club at the airport. Sam’s black-and-white photographs are striking. We often talk about the aesthetic similarities between good photography and painting. See for yourself.

There will be a memorial service for Priscilla Fischer this Saturday, July 7, 2 pm, at the West Tisbury Church. The Fischer family has planned a gathering at the Ag Hall following the service.

Parks & Rec Youth Basketball begins on July 9. Grades 1-4 meet Tuesday/Thursday, grades 5-8 Mondy/Wednesday/Friday. Sign-up at town hall or the shed at the school. For information, 508-696-0147.

The West Tisbury Library Foundation is sponsoring a series of five concerts this summer at the Grange Hall. The first of the Five Tuesdays at Twilight will be July 10 at 7:30. Elizabeth Straton opens the program and Livingston Taylor is the headliner. Tickets are $25, on sale at the library; any remaining will be available at the door. Come early for dinner. The ArtCliff Diner truck will be parked outside at 6. You can even eat outside throughout the evening and listen to the music through open windows. A percentage of dinner sales will go the the Foundation.

West Tisbury residents Betsy Dripps, Betsy Van Landingham, and Dan and Elaine Pace took a trip through Italy this spring, travelling with the Federated Church Choir. They performed at masses in Alta Ferrara, Lucca, Venice, Padua, Montecatini Terme, Florence, and Milan. The choir will reprise their performance this Sunday, July 8, at the Federated Church service beginning at 10:30, with concert at 11:30.

July is Family Movie Month at the library. This week’s Monday Night Movie is Kiki’s Delivery Service. The movie begins at 7 pm. Free popcorn.

Island author and educator Mathea Moreis has designed two summer programs for readers and writers ages 9 to 14. The first runs from July 16 to 20, 10:45 to noon daily. The second will be August 20 to 24. Kids can sign up for one class, one session, or both. Participation is limited to ten, so please pre-register at the library, 508-693-3366.

The West Tisbury Library Foundation announces the beginning of their Summer Speakeasy Series, a conversation with Ray Ellis and Allen Whiting, Wednesday, July 11, 5:30 pm. The venue moves for the summer from State Road Restaurant to the Granary Gallery. Hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will still be provided by State Road. Jill Iscol, author of “Hearts on Fire, Twelve Stories of Today’s Visionaries,” will be the guest on August 8. On September 18, come to hear journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Tickets are $75 each, or $200 for the series.

An earlier opportunity to hear Charlayne Hunter-Gault will be next Thursday, July 12, at 7:30 pm, when she will be at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs, reading from her new book, “To the Mountain Top: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement.” The program is a benefit for Island Elderly Housing. Tickets are available online at ticketsMV.

The West Tisbury Church is getting ready for their Attic & Barn Sale next Saturday, July 14. Members are still collecting goods. Call 508-693-2842 or 508-737-8089 if you have small furniture, housewares, linens, boats to bicycles to contribute.

I began this column with lobster and will end with the same. Kathy Lobb entertained cousins and their families, 10 in all, over the past week. Pat Jennings from Kentucky and Mary Kelly from Pennsylvania, et al. enjoyed, in the words of their hostess, “many late nights, good food, lots of laughs, topped off with lobster dinner their final night.”