West Tisbury’s Marjory Potts to screen “You May Call Her Madam Secretary”


The first of our fiery orange poppies opened this morning. The dark purple Siberian iris “Caesar’s Brother” and dainty white matricaria that I let reseed itself all over the garden are still tight buds. They usually bloom together making a hot-colored spectacle, barely cooled down by the matricaria. Chartreuse-flowering alchemilla mollis is not far behind.

Marjory Potts sent me an email about the showing of her and Robert’s film, “You May Call Her Madam Secretary” that will be shown this Sunday evening, 7:30 pm, at the Hebrew Center. Part of the email was a description of “My first June bouquet – the best.” She wrote, “I picked a beautiful bunch of white Siberian irises last night – they were from YOU years ago….I mixed them with some stunningly purple Viola Klose salvias and Guernsey Cream clematis from Polly Hill.” Marjory always has bouquets around her house and across her tables, a gift I admire and try to emulate. Fresh flowers in the house make me happy. Going outside and picking them from my own garden makes me happier still.

Back to the film. Marjory wrote, “I so want people to see this film – we have brought it back because we are struck about how different our country would be now if there was a Frances Perkins in Washington: in Congress, in the Cabinet and especially in the White House. Not because she was a woman, but because she had such a strong moral conscience that the purpose of a public servant was to better the lives of ordinary people. And she did just that as she had such a huge influence on FDR. Can you imagine if that were the guiding light of public office today? And virtually no one under sixty (if that) knows who she was…so we wish more younger people would see this film — perhaps get inspired. One other thing…the wonderful period strumming music that is background to the film was composed and played by West Tisbury’s Jeff Bryant and Peter Huntington.”

An observant reader called to alert me to a mistake in last week’s column. I had written the date for Pat Brown’s memorial celebration as July 27. The correct date is June 27.

When I saw Joel Weintraub recently, he told me he was going back to teaching at the West Tisbury School after a false retirement or two. Joel taught science at West Tisbury for many years, retired eight years ago, un-retired for six years when he taught in Providence, R.I. Now he begins again on September 1, his 46th year of teaching. “Lucky I went into a job I really like 46 years ago,” he said.

In the course of the conversation, Joel asked about my niece, Charlotte Hull, a former student of his. I gave him a bit of a synopsis of her past few years and agreed to pass along his regards when I spoke with her next. I did, and this is the response I got. “Joel was awesome! That’s great that he’s gone back to teaching, he was wonderful. Tell him I said hello if you hear from him again.”

You have only two more days to participate in “Share Your Bounty; Buy One and Give One,” at the Vineyard Haven Cronig’s and Edgartown Stop & Shop. The program is sponsored by Mass in Motion, a program of the Dukes County Health Council, the Vineyard Committee on Hunger, and Slow Food MV. As the name implies, the goal is to buy something for yourself and donate a second item to an Islander in need of a helping hand. The program’s goal is to supplement the basics given out at the Food Pantry and to encourage healthy donation choices.

Our own Jennifer Tseng will be reading from her new book of poetry, “Red Rose, White Rose,” at a special event at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts, 104 Main Street, Edgartown, this Saturday, June 7, 6-8 pm. Please RSVP to mdhmv@aol.com.

The library has some special programs up-coming. Local chef, author, and farmer Susie Middleton will speak about her latest book, “Fresh From the Farm,” and do a cooking demonstration next Tuesday, June 12, from 5 to 6 pm.

Earlier in the day, Nicole Cabot will lead a special Island Grown Storytime all about strawberries. It begins at 10:30 am in the Children’s Room.

A two-part poetry workshop led by Jill Jupin is planned for Tuesday, June 17, and Thursday, June 19, at the library. Both sessions meet from 3 to 5 pm. “The Sight and Sound of Line Breaks” is the subject to be explored. Participants are encouraged to bring in work for revision. Please pre-register at the circulation desk.

My yellow lab, Talley, is 11 years old today, June 2. I look at her slower gait and whitened face and still see the dainty puppy waiting for me at the then MSPCA. She has been the love of my life ever since. (Joannie Jenkinson will remind me that I said the same thing about Cala, the lab before Talley, and the series of cats, labs, and golden retrievers that Mike and I have adopted and loved over the years.) But Talley is truly The One. Happy birthday, Sweetness.

A late item just in: Lisa Bassett and Herb Moody were married Sunday at his home in Christiantown. They stood together under under an enormous old oak tree surrounded by a circle of  blooming rhododendrons, making it a magical setting. There were just 25 in attendance, close friends and family.

Lisa and Herb have been friends for over 25 years, which Lisa says it makes it all the better. Her wedding ring is a gift from her new mother-in-law, Maria Moody, that had been her mother’s. Maria and Ann Bassett, Lisa’s mother, are a pair of very proud and happy moms.

The bride announced she will keep her maiden name; she said those who know her will agree she is moody enough already.