West Tisbury Column


Now that the Fair is over, there is a palpable change in town. Granted, it is a windless and overcast morning, but I feel a peace and quietness that signals the end of the summer. It’s not as hot, and the Weather Channel forecast showed temperatures in the seventies for the rest of the week. Less traffic, fewer planes. My energy, drained by hot, humid days, feels revived. My attitude towards life, too. I love autumn.

Ellen Weiss, Mary Beth Norton, Brooks Robards and I had a beach walk last week. We used to go once a week together on the walk that has become once or twice a summer. None of us know where the time goes. There is nothing more restorative than being barefoot on a deserted beach, walking and talking, or not, with friends and the happiest yellow lab in town.

Marjory and Robert Potts have been full to the brim with visiting family. Oliver and Christina Potts, and their children, Aitken, Owen, and Ellie have spent the week doing “all the wonderful things.” The highlight was bicycling on the bike path to the airport for lunch, but paddle-boarding, tennis, and the Chilmark Road Race rated high scores. They were joined for the weekend by Phoebe Potts, Jeff Marshall, and their son, Lemi. Marjory said she was busy making meals and playing with grandchildren. All good.

The Baker/Gorenberg household is readying for visitors, with help from their daughter, Emma, who is home before starting her third year of vet school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Niece Hayley and great-nieces, Zoe and Aiden, arrive from Brooklyn to spend the week. Leslie is thrilled that the cousins will all be together and has lots of plans.

I was driving home yesterday and saw Louise Bessire turning into her driveway ahead of me so I pulled in for an impromptu visit. We have been trying to get together all summer, but what with one thing or another, it hasn’t happened. Talley was with me, so we all sat out on the deck. She was busy sniffing scent remaining from Mark and Aimee’s dogs who had just left the premises. Louise’s big news was that Paul has accepted a job as Deputy Director of Development at the Brooklyn Museum. He has resigned his position at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and is getting ready to move back to Brooklyn, where he and Anne lived when they were first married. Emma will move with them. Nicholas is in boarding school, his last year before college.

Lia Kahler is getting ready for another of her island fund-raising concerts. This one will benefit the maintenance and music funds of the Chilmark Church. She will sing favorite songs, spirituals, and arias, joined by pianist Richard Gordon and organist Phil Dietterich. Richard will perform a solo, Three Spanish Dances by Turina. Phil will play a display piece on the church’s new organ, designed especially for the sanctuary. The concert isn’t till September 9, but since the church is tiny, Lia asks that everyone call ahead to purchase tickets ASAP. Call her at 508-645-3325.

Sam Hiser and Enid Haller have become learned advocates for prevention, testing, and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Enid began the MV Lyme Support Group that meets monthly at the Howes House. They would like to use the guest house on their property as a drop-in for free information, treatment support, and advocacy. They ask for our support at a Zoning Board hearing on Monday, August 27, 5:45 pm, at Town Hall.

Paul Levine and a group of library patrons are performing their third “World of Troubadours and Trobairitz: Poems and Songs from 12th and 13th Century Southern France” on Sunday, August 26, 3 pm. The program has proven so popular that it will move to the Katherine Cornell Theater this year, having outgrown the library and the Howes House. They will be playing medieval instruments and dressed in costume. Dr. Maria Galvez will introduce the program with a historical precis. Jessica Goodenough Heuser, soprano soloist, will lead the program, joined by Jenny Allen, Justen Ahren, Beth Kramer, Susanna Sturgis, Joe Eldredge, and Jonathan Revere. Leslie Gray describes “an afternoon of troubadours and trobaritz is a literary and musical feast for the senses.” The history, songs, stories, and poems are believed to represent the inventors of modern verse.

Rabbi Caryn Broitman and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will engage in a Muslim/Jewish dialogue at the MV Hebrew Center on Wednesday, August 29, 7:30 pm at the Hebrew Center. Tickets are $15.00.

If you are reading this early in the day, poets Fanny Howe and Katie Peterson will read and discuss their work this afternoon at the library at 5 pm.

No big story on Nanuk’s destructions this week. I will just recommend an investment opportunity – buying stock in Paw Proof screening and clear pine for replacing chewed trim. I’ll also comment on what beautiful work my husband does; you can’t even see where the new trim was spliced into the old.