West Tisbury: Living Local Harvest Festival

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Fall officially began last week, and it already feels like the summer heat is well behind us. Sweaters and socks are coming out of drawers, and cozy quilts for chilly nights. Mike has cleaned the woodstove and chimney, so we are ready for the first fires of the season. The last of our basil has succumbed to night temperatures below 40°; tomatoes no longer have that taste of warm summer heat and earth. The garden centers are beginning their fall sales. Best of all, the Red Sox are in first place and, dare I say it, headed to the playoffs.

We finally got some rain last week. Mike came home at lunchtime telling me that he got “hammered” driving from the Post Office to Polly Hill’s, yet the road was totally dry in front of the Ag Hall. Allen Healy had a load of hay that luckily stayed dry despite rain pouring 100 feet away, a vivid example of the microclimates on our Island. We only had about ¼ inch here, nowhere near enough to dampen the soil to any depth. I am hoping for some decent rainfall before winter sets in.

This weekend is the Living Local Harvest Festival and the 29th Antique Power Show, concurrently, at the Ag Hall on Saturday, Oct. 1. Everything begins at 10 am and runs till 4 pm. Then return for a community supper served from 5 to 7 pm, with music and dancing to follow.

George Hartman will be setting out his myriad collections of antique steam engines, toys, and equipment at the Power Museum, and invites other exhibitors to do so after 5 pm on Friday and after 9 am Saturday morning. The show opens at 10 am. Call George with any questions: 508-693-6039.

Among the offerings at the Festival, Cape Light Compact has organized free disposal for home dehumidifiers and air conditioners. There is a $30 rebate for dehumidifiers, none for air conditioners. People are asked to leave the appliances in their cars; they will be directed to a disposal area in the parking lot.

The West Tisbury Library, the FARM Institute, and Island Grown Schools will share a booth showcasing their collaborative project, The Martha’s Vineyard Community Seed Library.

This will be the only day I will not be hoping for rain, so the festival will have good weather. It’s always a wonderful concatenation of displays, food, information, and possibilities. This year’s theme is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

Please note that the Saturday Farmers’ Market will still be held at the Grange from 9 am to noon.

Also on Saturday is the fifth annual Walk for the Animals, a fundraiser for the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard. It will be held at the Edgartown School from 10 am to noon. Stop by, with or without a pet, to drop off a donation or to walk. Line up sponsors in advance for your walk. I will be thinking of our friend Cynthia Walsh and how much the shelter meant to her. Let’s be extra generous this year in her memory.

I am so sad for the passing of Karen Harris, who died suddenly at home last week. She was an amazing book-a-holic, making trips to the Bunch of Grapes always a special and informative event. I will miss her recommendations, her dry wit, and her warm welcomes. My sympathy to Kate and to all who knew Karen.

On a more cheerful note, Bob and Barbara Day have returned to their home at Willow Tree Hollow. They would love to hear from and to see their friends. Welcome home to you both.

The October Neighborhood Convention will meet this Tuesday, Oct. 4, 11 am, at Saint Andrew’s Church in Edgartown. Bring your lunch and listen to the discussion, “Feeding the Hungry, One Step at a Time.” All are welcome.

The West Tisbury library will host a presentation by the Cape Cod Five Cents Bank this Thursday, Sept. 29, 8:30 to 10 am, “Social Security and Medicare Benefits: Elements of a Successful Retirement.” On Monday, Oct. 3, Cape Light Compact will hold two meetings: “Information on Grid Modernization” from 3 to 5 pm and “Information on the Power Supply” from 5:30 to 8 pm. At 6 pm, there will be an artist’s reception for Andrew (Cody) Jephcote, whose mixed-media sculptures and paintings will be on display throughout the library. Music by DJ Nightshade. And cake.

Four free Pilates classes with Judy Kranz will be held at 4 pm on consecutive Fridays at the library, beginning Oct. 7. All levels are welcome. Participants must preregister and commit to attending all four sessions. Call 508-693-3366 to register.

Town Clerk Tara Whiting notes that there will be a special town meeting on Nov. 1. The agenda should be printed up and announced soon. Also, Massachusetts has instituted early voting for our upcoming general election on Nov. 8. Check with Tara, 508-696-0148, to find out when absentee ballots arrive.

Martha’s Vineyard Partnership for Health will begin a seminar in six sessions, “Powerful Tools For Caregivers,” at the Anchors in Edgartown. The first session is Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1:15 to 3:45 pm, and will continue through Nov. 15. The series is free. Preregistration is required. Call 508-627-4368, ext.14, or email wbenedetto@edgartown-ma.us.

Brad Segal graduated with honors from New England Tech with a bachelor’s degree in computer programming and software engineering. He is living in Rhode Island and already has a job in his field. Brad was here with his siblings for the weekend to celebrate Celine Segal’s birthday on Sept. 17. Jay, Celine, and all the kids went to Menemsha for lobster rolls, then enjoyed Tivoli Day in Oak Bluffs.

Louise Bessire entertained a group of six friends she has known from Companions of the Holy Cross, a retreat in Byfield she has attended for many years. The visitors came from Tennessee, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. They were joined by an island friend of Louise’s, Suzanne Alberich, who teaches in Vineyard Haven.

Next week, Louise is expecting Liz Tucker, her oldest friend since they met in first grade in Louisville, Ky. They remained friends all through high school, and continue to this day.

Rosh Hashanah, the New Year 5777, begins Sunday at sundown for Jews Island-wide and worldwide. My wishes for a blessed holiday and a happy, healthy new year. Services at the Hebrew Center begin Sunday at 5:30 pm, Monday and Tuesday mornings at 9:30.

I am holding out hope that the Steamship Authority reconsiders and keeps its ticket office at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. As I remember, the original reason for opening that office was to lighten traffic into Vineyard Haven, a situation that has only gotten worse in the years since. I know that many people use cell phones and computers to make their reservations nowadays, but cell phones and computers will never replace “the Steamship ladies.” Their help and problem-solving expertise cannot be left to a computer. Their warmth and kindness is totally irreplaceable. So is the ease of going to the airport rather than trying to navigate and park in Vineyard Haven, especially during the summer. Shari Duncan, Chris Hart, Carmine Amadeo, and Camille Carter are the absolute best. I hate to think that their competent assistance will be lost because of a shortsighted decision by the SSA board.

To the SSA board, I beg you to reconsider and to remember that you are elected to serve our needs. I truly believe that losing this office will make many Island residents’ lives more difficult, especially when dealing with an emergency or crisis. It will certainly make life a lot more impersonal, and we will have lost one more of the close connections that have made living here so unique. To anyone reading this and sharing my opinion, please let the SSA know. Maybe it’s not too late.