West Tisbury


It feels like not that long ago I was holding Tabor Stafford, Joanne Scott’s and Bob Stafford’s newborn daughter, in my arms, celebrating my husband’s 40th birthday with our friends. I look forward to holding Tabor’s daughter now. Olivia Marie Bent was born last Friday, December 6. Grandmother Joanne was in Boston for the birth. Congratulations to Tabor and her husband, Christopher Bent, to all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Most specially, I wish a happy and healthy life to Miss Olivia.

One of the best things about living in one place long enough is watching children grow up, have their own grown-up lives with their own children, their own accomplishments, to admire and emulate our elders, to watch our own generation grow grayer together. I have been blessed to love this Island for over 30 years, West Tisbury for almost all of that time.

Our Town Party is this week, December 12, 5–8 pm, at the Ag Hall. So many of the people who mean so much to Mike and me will be gathered there. The same for Katherine Long’s Solstice party on Sunday, December 15, noon to 9 pm. Another anticipated marker of the years and the year. Both are potlucks. No dogs, please.

I was pleased to meet Amy Eisenlohr’s sister, Debbie Bourgholtzer, who is visiting the Island with her son, Owen. Amy was in New York City last week visiting Owen and attending an Edgartown Yacht Club Board meeting. Debbie came into the city to meet them and all drove to the Vineyard for a long weekend to see cousins Ezra Agnew and his wife, Kelley DeBettencourt, and to meet the newest family member, Milo Agnew.

Leslie Baker and I attended the Island Community Chorus concert last Sunday. This holiday season features lots of special concerts. This Saturday and Sunday, the Minnesingers will perform at the Whaling Church in Edgartown. The West Tisbury Church choir is performing Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols this Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock. I have never seen it performed live before, so am very excited that it will be right here in town.

Wednesday, December 18, is the Annual Benefit Concert for Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. The $20 admission goes directly to supporting patient and family care. The concert begins at 7:30 at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Oak Bluffs.

Lots of holiday parties, sales, occasions, charitable events. The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop is open on Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. Among the craftspeople are many from West Tisbury: Linda Alley, Linda Hearn, Laura Caruso, Patti Linn, Scott and Rose Campbell, and Irene Fox. Hope I didn’t forget anyone.

Other news about Laura Hearn Caruso: she is the new Development Assistant at Felix Neck. A camper herself in the early 1980s, Laura will now be working on programs with Director Suzan Bellincampi. Next summer, Laura’s daughter, Morgan, will represent the second generation to attend Fern & Feather Camp. It will be the camp’s 50th anniversary.

The Charter School is host to 15 students from Castellon de la Plana, Spain, for the next ten days. Besides attending the Charter School and Island activities, students and their chaperones will spend an overnight in Boston visiting the MIT Museum, Faneuil Hall, and ART Theater. Hope everyone has a great time and learns a lot about each other’s cultures.

Featherstone is offering a doll-making class for kids this Saturday, December 14, 9 am to 12 noon. Check out their website: www.featherstoneart.org for lists of other classes for adults and kids, and consider giving a gift certificate for art classes. It may change someone’s life.

Patricia Cliggott’s Lovingkindness sale continues Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm, at 129 Indian Hill Road.

Exercise for free at the Mansion House Health Club this Sunday, 6 am to 9 pm. It’s a benefit for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. For every new club visitor, the Mansion House will donate a walk-in pass to the organization.

The library’s Mother Goose on the Loose reading program is only on the loose for two more Thursdays. This Thursday, December 12, Nelia and Amy will be reading to infants and toddlers at the Oak Bluffs Library. Next Thursday, they will read at the Vineyard Haven Library. Both begin at 10:30 am. Then they take a break until we are moved back into our “new old library.”

The library needs Cronig’s bags with handles for sorting books for the book sale. If you have any to spare, please drop them off at the temporary library across from Conroy’s.

Happy Birthday wishes to Paul Levine for a special day on December 18.

It’s so easy to get so caught up in the “busy-ness” of preparing for the holidays that one never gets to enjoy the parts that are meaningful. My brother Andy called yesterday afternoon while he was baking Christmas cookies. We talked about the things that were special to us – baking cookies, packing them up for gifts to friends, cards (being in touch with people we may not see often anymore, a way to let someone know what they mean to us,) the music, decorating and lights, driving at night to see displays around town, visiting friends, cutting down and decorating the tree, singing Christmas carols together. I remember being freezing cold when we went caroling in our neighborhood as kids, coming home to hot chocolate and cookies, to our brother Mike’s puppet shows and more singing. Walking down Main Street to Midnight Mass at St. Mary’s Church, walking home in the quiet cold night, coming into the house to light the tree. Then, finally, it was Christmas.