Wedding bells ring in West Tisbury

Hermine-HullSaturday was a perfect day for Caroline Mayhew and Daniel Johnson’s wedding by the pond behind her grandparents’ house. Surrounded by family from both sides, Island friends of long standing, and new friends from the lives they have made together, they spoke their vows and placed their own rings on their fingers, a stated symbol of free will in making their commitment to each other. Tom Hodgson performed the ceremony. Caroline’s sister, Lucy, played the guitar and sang with her Aunt Deborah. Deborah and Betsey, mother of the bride, spoke. Grandmother Shirley sat in the first chair and I felt Johnny there as well, watching over his family with pride and happiness. Aunt Sarah took photographs. Jack was the  coordinator of everything and proudest father ever. Afterward, back at Jack and Betsey’s, there was the best potluck, music and laughter, and a special Southern Punch Betsey made and doled out with warnings of its potency. It was all as perfect as the day, and I wish Daniel and Caroline every happiness in their life together. And much love.

At the other end of the spectrum, all the best and happiest wishes to Mike and Cathy Minkiewicz, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 30. They attended the wedding of Anna Christensen and Dan LaRossa on May 31, bringing back memories of their own wedding in Montreal, Canada, according to Cathy. Later they shared a dinner at the Outermost Inn with friends. Plans remain for a week in August with their children, four grandchildren, and three dogs. May your celebrations continue and your life together.

This coming weekend is a big one for the Epstein-Littlefield family. Lisa and Ivory will be the proud parents as their daughter, Leah, becomes a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday morning. She will participate in the service with Rabbi Caryn Broitman and be called to read from the Torah for the first time, then lead the congregation in a discussion of her Torah portion.

Leah has been collecting “new and gently-used” children’s books for her Bat Mitzvah project. They will be distributed by literacy organizations to kids in hospitals and shelters. It’s not too late to participate; there are collection boxes at the West Tisbury Library and the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center lobby.

Since there will be lots of family here for Leah’s Bat Mitzvah weekend, Lisa has also organized a special tribute to her mother, Ruth Epstein, an art exhibition opening on Sunday afternoon in The Pebble Gallery at Featherstone. Ruth will turn 89 this year. She has always been an artist. A retrospective of her work, “A Creative Life,” will showcase Ruth’s work as a weaver, doll-maker, sculptor, and collagist. The opening begins at 4 pm and the show will remain on display until June 29, noon to 4 pm daily.

Happy Belated Birthday wishes to Jean Wexler, last Thursday, June 12, and to Hallie Mentzel on June 13. Laura Kimball will celebrate her birthday on June 20.

Lots going on at the West Tisbury Library this week. Regular storytimes for infants to three year-olds are on Mondays at 10:30, and for pre-schoolers Thursday mornings at 10:30. Craft projects are set out during the day on Saturdays between 11 and 3. This week’s family craft is sponge printing.

Tom Dresser, Herb Foster, and Jay Schofield will introduce their new book, “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II,” at a program of stories, photographs, and memories next Tuesday, June 24, at the library. Oral historian Linsey Lee plans to join them. There will be time for questions and comments, as well as signed books for sale at $20 each. The program begins at 5 pm.

The library is partnering with the West Tisbury Church for a two-night program by Padre Spencer Reece. On Wednesday, June 25, Padre Reece will lead a poetry-driven service beginning at 5 pm. The following evening at 5:30, he will read from his new book of poems, “The Road to Emmaus,” at the library. Both programs are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Antique Show and Sale begins this Friday at the Grange Hall, 9 am-3 pm. It will run each Friday, through early fall .

Congratulations to all the graduates in town, both high school and college.

Father’s Day makes me think of my own father, a man I loved and wish I had known better. He died when I was 14. There wasn’t time for me to know him as an adult, so to me he remains the man I idolized as a child. I remember his elegance, his 1950s manners, his kindness to all, his cigars, his strong arms, and the love and pride and encouragement he showed for his only daughter. My drawings and paintings were taped to the glass doors of tall cabinets behind the counter in our store, Smith Pharmacy. He called it Hermine’s Art Gallery; somehow he knew my future. I think of him when I sweep off the bricks in front of my studio every morning, the kind of chore he dutifully maintained, when I plant pansies in the spring, when I eat sweet corn and lobsters and jelly donuts in the summer, observe the High Holidays and rake piles of leaves every fall, and make magical Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year celebrations to brighten the winter. We stayed up all night together watching election returns the night John Kennedy was elected president. We sat together in temple at a service mourning his assassination, only a few months before my father himself died of a heart attack at 61. His memory is a sweetness forever in my heart.