West Tisbury

The sound of fire engine sirens and clanking metal is not unusual in our neighborhood, so I paid little attention Saturday morning besides wondering what was going on across the street. Mike called a few minutes later. “Come on over. You’ll like this for your column.”

Station 1 was the site of the Island Children’s School Touch-A-Truck. Chief Estrella and John Keene had assembled a collection of vehicles to enchant gearheads of all ages. There was a brush breaker, encased in its superstructure of heavy metal rods that can fell a tree of several inches diameter. The ambulance was there, too. A front-end articulated bucket loader, an 18-wheeler dump truck, a tractor, and a backhoe — all polished and filled with shiny switches, horns, hoses, equipment of any variety imaginable.

Touch-A-Truck was a fundraiser for renovating the school’s playground. Jane Doyle explained that new state regulations for school playgrounds have gone into effect, meaning safety standards are being upgraded. “The goal of this project is to provide a variety of play opportunities for our children that enhance the ICS philosophy and curriculum,” she said. Check out their website or call 508-693-5815 if you would like to make a donation.

There will be a special farmers’ market this Saturday, August 11. Linda Alley called to remind me about the 3rd Seafood Throwdown. Two chefs are given $25 and ten minutes to pick out ingredients for the recipe and presentation of their mystery fish that will be announced that morning. Competitors are Jo Maxwell of Chesca’s and the farmers’ market and Teddy Diggs, chef at the Home Port. The contest begins at 10 am.

Across the street, the West Tisbury Church’s Peach Festival begins at noon. Peach shortcake, smoothies, ice cream, and whole ripe peaches will be served until 4 pm.

State Senator Bill Keating and Sam Sutter, challenger for the seat, will attend the MV Democratic Council meeting Saturday morning at 9 am at the Howes House. All are invited.

I am amazed at how quickly the church’s renovation project is progressing. Only last week I commented to Dinny Montrowl about the size of the sheathing boards, that looked at least 18 inches wide to me. She said they covered the original section that had been moved from the cemetery in 1866. They are already covered with clapboards, primed and ready for painting.

Several West Tisbury riders and ballerinas are participating in a Princess Pony Party Saturday afternoon at Pond View Farm and a joint performance of The Little Mermaid by Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet and Atlantic Coast Ballet on Sunday, August 12, at the Performing Arts Center. Pony riders are Rose Capobianco, Lila Norris, and Sydney Jasny. There will be pony rides, face painting, beaded ponytails, games, hot dogs, cotton candy, snow cones, and popcorn. They expect Ariel herself to be among the surprise guests. All are invited to attend between 5 and 7 pm. The performance on Sunday begins at 6:30. Amelia Kyburg-Abbott will be a featured dancer. Tickets ($13) are available at ticketsmv.com or at the door. Call 508-939-0074 for more information.

Writers Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz will be among the recipients honored at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s Medal Awards ceremony at the Federated Church on Monday, August 13, at 5 pm. Warren Hollinshead will be introducing former museum board president Hugh Knipmeyer, another medal award winner. Debbie and Jim Athearn of Morning Glory Farm are the remaining winners this year.

Congratulations to Ann Lees. Her newly published chapbook of poems is available at Louisa Gould Gallery and Bunch of Grapes.

At the library this week, Dr. Darrell Pone, author of “We’ve Come This Far By Faith,” will speak Monday, August 13, at 5 pm. Dr. Pone, who was born with cerebral palsy, became a physician and has worked in physical therapy and rehabilitation for the past 20 years. At 7 pm, the family movie will be “The Borrowers.” The weekly knitting group meets at the same time. At 9 pm, bring a flashlight and a blanket to look at the night sky and learn about constellations. The MV Breast Cancer Support Group meets at 6 pm Wednesday, August 15. There will be a special story hour for toddlers this Thursday morning at 10:30. Dorie McCullough Lawson will read her new book, “Tex: A Book for Little Dreamers.”

When I asked Mike to confirm my impression of the size of the boards on the church, he said that would be about right. He found some over two feet wide on the back of the Bessires’ house (formerly Mrs. Mabel Johnson’s) built somewhat later than the church. He said it was misleading though, as a lot of building materials were recycled in those days.

The Bessire house has been full to bursting with relatives and dogs. The “three muddy dogs,” all springers, are Percy, Muddy, and Charlie. Their various owners are: Louise, Mark and Aimee Bessire and daughters Blakey and Clay, and Aimee’s mother, Westy Conlan. Dogless guests are Clay Helm and Lee Gelman, with their daughters Charlotte and Lucy. They expect to be joined by the Paul Bessires, who are currently vacationing in Greece.

The opening in the great pond has been cut, leaving a nice wide beach to walk across.

Mars violet and gray green are the colors of the landscape. Summersweet, more vigorous and flower-laden than I remember, perfumes the air. Poison ivy, too, seems more vigorous this year.