West Tisbury: the lovely aftermath of Christmas

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Now is the lovely aftermath of Christmas, when everything is done and we can enjoy the decorations and presents in peace. And there is a whole new year to anticipate.

Somehow last week’s column was online correctly, but in the newspaper was a reprint of the week before. Please bear with me as I repeat some of the news from last week.

The big event was the birth of Prudence Ruya Whiting on December 20. She is Will and Ozge’s first child, the second grandchild this year for Lynne and Allen Whiting. Lynne emailed on their way home from Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, where Prudence was born at 7:21 pm, “Weighing in at a respectable 8 lb. 11.7 oz….everyone’s thrilled to say the least! Cousin Asa will get to meet her sometime soon we hope!” What a Merry Christmas gift for all the Whiting family.

Barbara Day came home in time for Christmas after several weeks at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Nice to have Barbara at home with Bob and enjoying visits from all their friends.

Margaret Gallagher, one of the organizers of West Tisbury’s town party, called last week to ask me to clear up a misconception about the party. She said some folks in town think it’s paid for out of our town budget. It isn’t. Each of the selectmen contribute one third of the cost. In addition, Skipper donates two turkeys from his farm. Volunteers cook, decorate the Ag Hall, set up and clean up. We bring the rest, a good West Tisbury potluck. Margaret asked me to especially thank David Merry, who brought 400 oysters this year, and the Dunkls, whose music is always a special part of the event. She asked that anyone who has any further questions to please call her at 508-696-9686.

I was sad to see that Norman Bridwell had died. He and Norma were among the first people I met when I moved to the Vineyard, and I always enjoyed seeing them whenever we were together. And, of course, I adored Clifford. My condolences to Norma, Emily, Tim, and their families.

One of the highlights of this holiday season was my “getting in the mood for Christmas” visit with Ruth Kirchmeier and going together to see Jeff and Sam Bryant’s Christmas village. It takes up most of their sunporch, a magical display of buildings and figures, landscaped with town centers and woods, populated with carolers, ice skaters, hunters, animals and birds, fishermen, and regular folk going about their business, all under a blanket of newly-fallen snow. They have collected the pieces since Sam was a child. The annual arrangement and re-arrangement of the structures and scenes, ever growing, is part of their pre-holiday ritual. Of course, it must be lingered over and savored, inch by inch, every piece admired, every tableau discussed. It is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen, and never fails to cheer me, and send me home eager to unpack my much smaller collection of houses and figures and begin arranging them across our windowsills and dining room table. Such pleasures from such a small thing.

Susan and Sherm Goldstein are celebrating a special anniversary. They bought the Mansion House in 1985, beginning their career as innkeepers. Their children, Josh Goldstein and Nili Beth Morgan, grew up with the inn and are now part of its management. They celebrate with special “Island rates” in the month of January for residents to spend the night and enjoy all the amenities. A “staycation,” Susie calls it. Look on their website or call the inn, 508-693-2200, if you are interested.

Arts, Education, and Social Justice is a course with college credits from Fitchburg State University offered by ACE MV. Lynn Ditchfield and Susan Klein will lead the class discussions about how the arts impact social justice. There are some scholarships available. Their website isacemv.org and phone number is 508-693-9222.

A bit of summer mid-winter is available this Sunday, January 4, when Grace Church will sell their famous lobster rolls and slices of pie from 12 noon to 2 pm. Call 508-693-0332 for information or advance orders. Lobster rolls are $17.

Diane Wall stopped by last week and we were reminiscing about hot fudge sundaes at Alley’s, a regular winter Wednesday night event during Charlie and Teena Parton’s tenure. Ice cream flavors were vanilla or peppermint, Charlie’s favorite. It was a wonderful gathering place to meet your friends, trade news, and what better treat than a hot fudge sundae? Besides the Partons, Diane worked at Alley’s then, and so did Betsey Mayhew and Judy Mayhew. Lenny Baker always showed up if he was in town. It was quite a jolly occasion, breaking up the dark early evenings. Fun to remember.

Editor’s note: due to a production error, the Times printed the December 18 West Tisbury column in the December 24 newspaper. The correct column was published online and can be found at: mvtimes.com/2014/12/22/west-tisbury-peace-happiness/.