West Tisbury News: mystery rock found in field

Mike Mitchell found a rock on his property in Vineyard Meadow Farms. It is an approximately 75-pound stone with a hammer and sickle carved into it. What is its story? — Photo Courtesy of Mike Mitchell

Do you remember the fairy tale about the princesses who left their beds at night to dance their slippers to shreds? The description of the tree-lined path they walked through, trees with leaves of silver, gold, or diamonds, always appealed to my imagination. That was in my mind as I was drove home during Saturday night’s snowstorm. The snowflakes flew at my windshield, dancing and twinkling like diamonds.

Sunday morning, indeed all day Sunday, was a visual treat. The snow had stopped and the sky had cleared, lightening from a pale cream through all imaginable shades of blue. Sunlight made the snow sparkle like the diamonds along the princesses’ path. My woods have never looked so beautiful. They remain shrouded in snow and may receive a dusting or two during the week ahead.

The dogs have become “snow bunnies,” rolling and playing like puppies until their paws are full of ice balls. Nelson, newly weighed on Friday at 7.4 pounds, is becoming more venturesome outdoors, although he has developed an obsession for a rubber band that is occupying all of his indoor hunting pursuits.

I have been presented with a mystery and am passing along the story to all of you. A gentleman named Mike Mitchell called me last week to tell me about a rock he found on his property in Vineyard Meadow Farms. It is an approximately 75-pound stone with a hammer and sickle carved into it. My first phone call was to Dick Burt, my expert on everything to do with Island history. Then I forwarded a picture of the rock to Ann DuCharme at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. If anyone has any ideas about where this might have come from, how it got here, or what it is, could you please let me or Nelson Sigelman at The Times know? Nelson referred Mike Mitchell to me in the first place. Isn’t it an interesting puzzle?

Many of you knew my friend Bill Ternes, a painter who taught plein-air painting workshops and exhibited his watercolors and oils here since the early 1980s. Bill died on Sunday. His wife, Pat, and daughters, Liz and Cathy, were with him. Bill’s paintings were as exuberant as he was, about art and life. They were full of color, energy, masterful brushwork, careful observation, and what he called “the spirit of the painting, it’s most important quality.” His stamina for standing outside all day in every kind of weather and his skill in turning his vision into a work of art, all while giving advice and direction to his students, was remarkable. Everyone who painted with Bill learned a lot. He touched so many people through his art and through his genuine goodness. He was the most honorable person I have ever known. My condolences to his family and to his many “groupies,” as I always called his students, who devotedly followed him everywhere to paint.

ACE MV is getting ready for their spring semester. An in-person registration is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4, 4:30 to 6 pm, in the MVRHS lobby. For information:www.acemv.org, lynn@acemv.org, or 1-774-310-1131. There are also two classes, “Relaxed Body, Open Mind, Deep Rest” at the Yoga Barn on February 26, and “Ethics” a three-credit course offered with Fitchburg State University, that begins on March 3.

Windemere offers lots of wonderful activities for their residents and members of the community. This Friday afternoon, February 21, Windemere will open their doors to host a Memory Café from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, for people with memory loss and their caregivers. It will be a nice opportunity for folks to socialize in a comfortable place, with entertainment (Michael Haydn on the piano), refreshments, and congenial company. Memory Cafés are part of a movement that offers social outings, and I am glad Windemere is doing it here on the Island. It’s free and open to the public. Call or email Mary Holmes for more information, 1-508-862-1933 or mholmes2@partners.org.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum invites those interested to another PechaKucha Night at the Harbor View Hotel this Friday evening, February 21, at 7:30 pm. PechaKucha is a format for introducing art and ideas. Admission is free. Jessica Johnson is in charge, so call or email her for more information, 508-627-4441, ext. 117, or jjohnson@mvmuseum.org.

Congratulations to Emma Gorenberg, who has been accepted to begin her internship in large animal internal medicine at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Massachusetts Equine Clinic. It was her first choice. Emma was a graduate of MVRHS Class of 2003 and will graduate this May with a VMD degree from University of Pennsylvania Vet School.

I was thrilled to see Bob and Bobette, our resident swans, on the Mill Pond Saturday morning. The pond was half-unfrozen. Now it’s mostly frozen over again, and the swans are nowhere to be found. Still, despite our snow-covered everywhere, it’s already almost the end of February. Spring will arrive in a few weeks. Ice will disappear, snowdrops and crocuses will begin to bloom around town, and the swans will return to prepare for the arrival of their cygnets.