Updated information: The Bloomsday celebration is this Monday.
As I drove north last Thursday on Route 495 in the pouring rain, a tree jumped out into the road and hit my car. The tree had been riding in the back of an open pickup truck and suddenly flew through the air and landed on the pavement in front of me. Actually there were two trees or maybe they were just huge branches. It was hard to tell in the 20 seconds we had to react. I tried to avoid them and missed most of it. But there was a terrific bang before we were past it.
All the traffic was going fast with visibility of about 30 yards as we traveled through the heavy rain. I had maneuvered over from the far left lane to the middle lane by the time we hit and continued towards the right lane. As long as the car had not stopped on its own, I decided to keep driving and hope for the best. No lights or whistles warned of any problem and all seemed to be working as it should. A couple of hours later the rain eased and we stopped. When we looked at the front of the car, we saw a fairly large branch sticking out of the left front fender. When that was removed, there remained a large tear in the fiberglass. If that was all the damage, we were very lucky.
The rest of the weekend was delightful in America just as on the Island, with sunshine and clear blue skies. My husband was enjoying his 65th reunion at Mount Hermon with many folks from his youth while I vacationed with a lovely old friend who lives on a lake in New Hampshire. We all had a wonderful time. And we enjoyed the company of Phyllis Meras on our trip home. Though we were happy and tired, it was good to get home safely. Now we have to deal with the car that hit the tree that jumped out into the road.
Did you know that the pioneering members of the Vineyard Committee on Hunger handed out pieces of bread to people on Main Street? That was in the 1970s. They were trying to raise the awareness of hunger on the Island and in the world. These same folks started the Island Food Pantry. On Saturday the next generation of volunteers will hold the Annual Bread Sale in front of the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. From 10 am to 2 pm you can buy some bread or yummy cookies and make donations of cash or baked goods that will also be appreciated. Also take time to thank these folks who work hard to make our world a better place.
Next Tuesday at 7 pm see Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives at the Vineyard Haven Library. Learn about genetically modified foods and the impact on us. Is it evidence that explains the deteriorating health of American children? How do we protect ourselves and our future?
This Monday’s Bloomsday program begins with a medley of musical selections from James Joyce’s writing performed by Phil Dietterich, Jan Hyer, and Matt Pelikan. Also enjoy Gerry Yukevich doing The Boarding House from Dubliners, Pam Schnatterly as Molly from Ulysses, settings by Samuel Barber and John Cage sung by Lia Kohler and Molly Conole. Other singers, actors, and musicians include: Buck Reidy, Brian Weiland, Martha Hudson, Robert Doss, Joe Gervais, Jane Larsen and Anna Yukevich, and more; 8 pm, Monday at the Katharine Cornell Theatre. More information at 508-696-0539.
Happy anniversary on Monday to Doug and Barbara Peckham. I think they mark 63 years of marital bliss on Monday.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out tomorrow to Michael Noonan. Wish a happy birthday to Madeline Fisher on Saturday and check out her Fisher Gallery on the Edgartown Road. Frederic Nash parties on Sunday. Happy Birthday to Helen Alwardt on Wednesday.
Heard on Main Street: I just love the way Americans love their flag. Fly your flag for Flag Day on Saturday. A U.S. Navy Band will parade down Main Street at 11 am.
Correction: An earlier version of this column provided the incorrect date of the Bloomsday Celebration. It is Monday, not Wednesday.