West Tisbury


I walked outside this morning to find big clumps of tete-a-tete daffodils blooming in my garden. Myrtle is covered with blue flowers, as is scilla, now a few brave bulbs, but in my mind making a someday skirt beneath the burning bush in our backyard. Anemones have appeared, too, and buds on the primroses. This is my favorite part of spring, the gradual and daily changes in the landscape, as plants appear, bloom, leaves make an atmospheric halo of color in the trees before opening fully. I love my morning perambulations to observe every little change around our yard. Soon the old Adirondack chairs will be set out on the lawn for morning coffee.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to have read that the Land Bank is buying part of Flat Point Farm. I had just driven down there last Friday to see the lambs and the scenery. It’s one of my favorite places, so I am happy to know it will remain as it is and has always been.

On a sad note, I also read last week about the passing of Tony Lewis. His New York Times column, along with those of Russell Baker and William Safire, were the pinnacle of op-ed writing that I grew up with. I was so excited to learn that he lived and continued to write just down the road (sort of) here in West Tisbury and was a regular sailor on the pond and guy around town. What a gift. My condolences to his wife and family and to so many people his life touched.

Another West Tisbury guy we mourn is Todd Follansbee. He quickly became as much a part of our community as he became the love and partner in Deborah Mayhew’s life. It was a shock to lose him too soon. The Mayhew and Follansbee families invite everyone to a celebration of Todd’s life this Saturday, April 6, at the Ag Hall. A memorial service will begin at 5 pm, followed by a potluck dinner and music by The Stragglers and The Bodes. Just the kind of party Todd and Deborah threw themselves for their 60th birthdays a couple of years ago, and just the kind of party they loved. There’s nothing like a West Tisbury potluck, but Deb reminds everyone there is minimal refrigerator space and no reheating, so plan accordingly.

I had gone to the fire department’s Easter egg hunt across the street on Easter morning. The field was full of colored eggs and children racing around filling their baskets. I couldn’t help noticing that they were mostly kids of the kids I used to watch not so many years ago. Lily, Emma, Anna, Maddie, Kayleigh, Mark, Isabella, Sarah, Azor, G.G., Fiona, Derek, Suzanne.

Rick Reinhardsen was there with his granddaughters, who were visiting for the whole week. They have big plans to plant a garden together. Rick told me he had noticed I wrote about growing up in Ridgefield. He had grown up in Redding, the town next door. Rick and I talked about how much our Connecticut small towns were like the Vineyard we moved to 30+ years ago. Everyone knew and/or was related to everyone else. We were all pretty insular to our own towns, which in those days were very rural, a combination of farmers, townies, and commuters to New York City. Very different from the built-up suburbia with citified amenities that is there now. As I wrote about Flat Point, I am so grateful for every conserved view and piece of land here that will remain untouched.

Which reminds me. The roadsides have been littered with bottles and trash, papers, cigarette butts. It’s so unsightly and takes away from our otherwise pretty roadside vistas. Please try to keep a lid on your trash barrels as you drive down the road. Thanks.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum opens its new exhibition this Friday evening, April 5, 5 to 7 pm. It’s called Martha’s Vineyard Art Association: Selected Views. Some of the artists represented are Lois Mailou Jones (her work is currently featured at the MFA in Boston,) Vaclav Vitlacil, William Abbe, and Gilberta Goodwin. Artist and Board Member Rosalie Shane will join Art Association Director Kat Cope on Thursday, April 11, 5:30, at the MV Museum to talk about the history of the Association and some of the work in its permanent collection of over 100 pieces of art. The exhibition opening is free to members, $7 to non-members. The talk will be $8 for members, $12 for non-members.

On Saturday afternoon, April 6, John Hough will showcase a group of writers from his classes and workshops at the Bunch of Grapes, 4:30 to 6 pm. Authors will be: Michael Ditchfield, Rob Hauck, Sue Hruby, Elissa Lash, Paul Levine, Lara O’Brien-Robinson, and Sian Williams. The program, jointly sponsored by ACE MV and the Bunch of Grapes, is free and all are welcome.

Saturday is Electronics Disposal Day at MV Community Services. Bring your stuff between 9 am and 2 pm.

Saturday evening, The Vineyard Montessori School is hosting The Big Speakeasy: A Roaring Twenties Casino and Auction Night, 7 pm, at Dreamland. Tickets are $15.

Vineyard Sinfonietta will perform this Sunday afternoon, April 7, 4 pm, at the Howes House. Compositions by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and selections of Irish music make up the program. The concert is free, although donations are graciously accepted.

In honor of April Fool’s Day, someone used to put plastic daffodils out in front of the Howes House every year. They appeared overnight like magic. I’ve asked around, and have my suspicions who it was, but have been told it’s a West Tisbury secret. Maybe best to remain so.

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