West Tisbury: “thank you,” said the banner


“Thank you, West Tisbury,” read the banner hung in front of the library, greeting everyone in town as the library reopened to cheers and accolades Saturday. Speakers from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Building Committee, Friends of the Library, and Library Foundation greeted the crowd before cutting the ribbon and welcoming everyone in to take a look. The Dunkls’ Vineyard Brass performed for the assembled crowd.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Linda Hearn said almost everyone was complimentary and her best sign was that children settled into the Children’s Room, already feeling familiar and at home. The library was packed all weekend long with well-wishers and the curious, everyone exploring. Julia Mitchell’s tapestry, beautifully designed to fit in a niche straight ahead, and an exhibition of other of her tapestries in the Program Room attracted admirers. It was standing room only at the circulation desk, a successful opening weekend all around.

Volunteers are needed now that the building is up and running. If you were a volunteer before, or if you are interested in trying it out, please call or stop by the library and talk to Nelia Decker. She is planning training and scheduling. It’s interesting and you get to see everyone in town. 508 693-3366.

Next on the town calendar, the police will be moved into their new digs as of this Friday, so remember to come to the Public Safety Building for all police business. The floors were being finished when I was at the Public Safety Building Sunday morning, but Chief Rossi promised me a tour during the week. My report in next week’s column.

There will be an official opening for the public “when the weather is warmer” according to Chief Estrella. Hopefully, that means fire department hamburgers will be included in the festivities.

I have been wanting to write about the new young firefighters in the department, officially “the juniors.” Four friends, Luke Sudarsky, Charlie and Nick Termini, and Maddie Scott are the latest group, all having joined within the last two years. Luke was first, a young man who has always wanted to be a firefighter and “just showed up” at the station when he learned he could join at age 16. That was April 2012. He has completed all but one of the Firefighter 1 classes, which he will do before passing his probationary period, being evaluated, and turning eighteen. Then he will become a full-fledged member of the department, able to respond with his truck, and perform all the duties required.

Brynn Schaffner, West Tisbury Lieutenant, and Sam Koohy of the Edgartown Fire Department have been holding recruitment programs at the MVRHS. Since their friend, Luke, was so enthusiastic, Maddie, Charlie, and Nick signed up in 2013. New recruits are assigned to the tankers, learning to run pumps, control hoses and nozzles, use tools, wear air packs, wear survival suits for dive and ice rescues, show up for drills and Sunday morning radio checks and take Firefighter 1 classes. Charlie plans to become a professional fireman, hopefully back in West Tisbury after college. He will be the first to turn eighteen, this week on March 28.

Maddie is the first female junior. She says that no one treats her differently from the guys, so I’m just mentioning her gender as a matter of good for her. Good for the department, too. She is looking forward to taking additional training besides the weekly drills. She also hopes to return to the Island and the department after college, rejoining on active status during school vacations.

Maddie will study music. Luke will become an ER doctor. Charlie a fireman. Nick, we don’t know yet. All want to return to the department, to “give back” to their, and our, community. Another former junior, Alex Dorr, is currently studying Fire Science at Southern Connecticut State University. He, too, hopes to come back to town. This says a lot about the Fire Department, the members, the training, and the sense all these young folks have about our community.

Brynn says that the department is very much in need of young members and hopes anyone interested will come to either of the fire stations at 10 am any Sunday morning. You will be most welcome.

As a historical aside, some notable juniors have been Skipper Manter, Bruce Haynes and then his son, Nathaniel, Eric Medieros, Jacob Oliver, Ryan Tucker, Manny Estrella 4th, all of the Maciels. I’m sure I have forgotten many, and apologize for oversights. They were not intentional.

Other git fire department news this week is that the new brush truck arrived at Station 1 last Tuesday. Big because it is huge. They had to raise and rehang the garage door to get it into its bay. 731 firemen have spent most of the week working on the truck, moving equipment on, getting familiar with it. My husband took me for a ride Wednesday afternoon when he took it to the gas station. It is beyond cool being up in that cab with red seat belts, electronics on the dashboard, and the heavy brush breaking superstructure forward, proud like the figurehead on a Viking ship of yore. I’m sure everyone wants to try it out in the State Forest. And it’s paid for – Chief Estrella has had warrant articles for the past several years to save ahead for its purchase. Welcome, 731. The old 731 has moved to the airport for now.

Abigail Higgins wants to invite everyone to the MV Ag Society Annual Spring Potluck Supper and Social this Saturday evening, March 29. Bring an ample dish for six and your own plate/utensils. Dinner begins at 5:30, to accommodate families with young children. The Minnesingers will provide musical entertainment.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is planning an exhibition called “Sea Change” about how the Island has changed since the 1960s. They are looking for photographs taken on the Island during the ’60s. Please bring them to the museum this Saturday between 10 and 1.

Also on Saturday, Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater will hold “Performing Inside Out, a class for dancers, singers, and actors at the PA Club. Call 1 646 872-7249 or email wendytaucher@gmail.com.

Phyllis Dunn, longtime summer visitor, retired here and became a photographer, recording her new life on the island. An exhibition of her work opens at the Chilmark Library next Saturday, April 5, with a reception from 3-5.

By the time you are reading this, we may all be digging out from a northeaster blizzard. Or it may have been an overwrought prediction from the Weather Channel. Wait and see. Meanwhile, purple and white crocuses have opened up, Opening Day 2014 is March 31 (Red Sox in Baltimore), and spring will inevitably arrive.

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