West Tisbury: Library foundation fetes retiring chairman

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West Tisbury felt quieter than usual last week, between being snowed in again and school vacation. Even the Mill Pond was empty of its regular habitués.

Jamie, Spencer, Faith, and Wyatt Thigpen met friends from Texas and spend their week off at Disney World in Florida. They did “everything,” all wonderful, but the highlight was having a mama gorilla carry her new baby right to the window in front of them, as though presenting him for their inspection and approval. Jamie also said, “It was spectacular to be in warm weather,” surely echoing the sentiments of many who remained in the north. They ran into several fellow travelers from town, the LaPine, Marshand, and Clements families, also enjoying the sunshine, warmer temperatures, and all the Disney characters.

Brian and Kate Athearn took their boys, Hunter and Emmett, farther south, through the Everglades, then to Marathon Key and Key Largo. They had perfect weather, unbelievable meals, and kayak and snorkeling trips. Brian said that Kate was the consummate travel agent, arranging everything so that they “crammed a week-and-a-half vacation into five days.” They celebrated Kate’s birthday with a fabulous dinner and a tropical view.

The Athearns ran into Becca and Luke El-Deiry in Sombrero Reef. Together they went out on a snorkel charter, and dined on stone crab claws while overlooking reefs and blue water.

Some stalwarts chose city vacations closer to home. Brian, Beth, Sol, and Maia Donnelly decided to go to Boston, where they stayed right in the city and walked everywhere, took subways, visited the Aquarium, Faneuil Hall, the U.S.S. Constitution, and T.D. Garden for a Bruins game, the best and most exciting part of the trip. They were sitting in their front-row seats when Daniel Sedine saw them and did a few fancy moves with his stick, then tipped the puck right over the glass into Sol’s waiting hand. Another bit of flash, and over came a puck for Maia. What could beat that? The Bruins lost to the Canucks, disappointing, but you still support your team win or lose. And they did.

Nicole Cabot took Violet and Reed for a girls-only trip into Boston. They went to the Science Museum, the Aquarium, and enjoyed lots of walking around the city. Ben stayed home with the dog, the cat, and the chickens.

Bruce and Jennifer Haynes took Jessica and Lily to New York City for four busy days and nights. Besides staying in a hotel, always special, they walked around Times Square, went to Madame Tussaud’s, the M&Ms Store, with 20-foot-high bins packed floor to ceiling with M&Ms in all the colors of the rainbow. They saw the Rockettes practicing on stage at Radio City Music Hall. Lily found the T. rex at the Museum of Natural History, and Bruce said they saw “everything” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Some vacationers spent their holiday at the school, clearing up the mess after a burst sprinkler pipe sent water everywhere in the kindergarten wing. Thanks to Victoria Phillips and Susan Reidy, who spent their vacation preparing new classrooms for returning students. Susan’s and Jamie Thigpen’s class has moved to the Middle School reading room. Terry Mello’s and Victoria’s class is now in the school library.

The West Tisbury Library Foundation held a surprise party for retiring chairman Hunter Moorman, as Hunter handed the gavel to the new chairman, Max Skjoldebrand. Vice-Chair Lynne Whiting and Hunter will remain on the committee, just not as officers. The new vice-chairman is Susan Graham. Dan Waters wrote and read a poem in honor of Hunter; here it is.

A Farewell (and Thank You) to Hunter Moorman

For years the West Tisbury Library knew

That a major expansion was long overdue.

It had been far too small for a decade or two

And it needed a hero to save it — but who?

It would have to be somebody patient and smart,

Understanding of money but open of heart.

We might never procure such a person, we feared …

But then, by some miracle, Hunter appeared!

Was it hard to get Hunter aboard? Not at all!

When the Library beckoned, he answered our call.

Where another might hesitate, Hunter was steady.

Where some might be reticent, Hunter was ready.

He charmed every donor he nabbed by the collar,

And nickel by nickel — and dollar by dollar —

He ran that campaign like a Swiss Army tank

And the deutschmarks and rubles piled up in the bank!

Well, the rest of the story is famous because

Now the Library’s built and gets tons of applause

But of all the gazillions of words on display,

Not a single one’s poignant enough to convey

Just how grateful we are to this knight on a steed

Who came through in our Library’s hour of need!

And we wish him good luck, as he rides down the street

In his search for new windmills to fight and defeat!

For Hunter from his friends and colleagues at the West Tisbury Library.

We will never, ever forget you!

Thank you, Hunter and Lynne, for your leadership and boundless energy and enthusiasm. You encouraged so many to be part of your dream.

Jennifer Tseng, well-known for her poetry, has written her first novel. She has just received word that Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness will be released on May 26.

I end with the sad news that two town residents passed away last week, Noah Block and Will Monast. Condolences to their families and friends.