West Tisbury: Francine Kelly and Lynn Murphy

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This past week was a perfect example of the old saying about New England weather, “Wait a minute and it will change.” We had snow, then temperatures climbed into the 50s and it all melted within two days. Everyone was walking around in shirtsleeves. Then it got cold again. Really cold. Coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and mittens reappeared. We had rain and sunshine, a full moon, and a drifting of new snow.
It was another sad week for our Island community, as we lost two monumental members. Francine Kelly was a dynamo for Featherstone and the Island art community. She brought Featherstone from a dream to the vibrant resource it has become, then turned it over to her daughter, Ann Smith, to build upon. Lynn Murphy was legendary as a seaman and a mechanical genius, able to do or fix anything, and with a collection of spare parts at the ready. Both were larger than life. I will miss them. My condolences to their families and to all of us.
I am terribly late in thanking everyone in town on behalf of our West Tisbury Post Office. Diane called and left me a message that I forgot to convey. She, John, Jack, and Kevin so enjoyed the cookies and other treats given to them over the holidays. Most of all, they are grateful for all the good wishes from West Tisbury postal patrons.
Tara Whiting wants to remind anyone interested in running for a position on a town board that there are several vacancies that need filling. Members are sought for the Byways Committee, Capital Improvements Committee, Conservation Commission, Mill Brook Watershed Committee, Energy Committee, and Reuse Committee for the Old Courthouse Road Building. There is also an opening on the Land Bank Commission, as Glenn Hearn has announced that he won’t be running again. Take a look at the town website, westtisbury-ma.gov, or call or stop by Town Hall when the town clerk’s office is open, weekdays from 8:30 to 1:30. Phone number is 508-696-0148. Our annual town meeting and elections are coming up April 11 and 13.
Blizzard conditions failed to daunt a hardy group of family and fans of Phil DaRosa, who traveled to New York City from the Island two weekends ago. Phil performed many of his original songs at Lovecraft to an enthusiastic crowd. I just watched a video, “Short Breath,” on Phil’s website, phildarosa.com. He has just released a second album called “Away.” Bravo, Phil.
Gay Nelson celebrated her birthday last Thursday with a party at Long Hill. She received a beautiful bouquet of flowers, delicious chocolate cake, lots of cards, and the good wishes of all attending. Happy belated birthday, Gay.
Programs at the West Tisbury library this week are as follows:
Thursday, Jan. 19, 4 pm, Helene Barr will speak and show slides, “Discovering Florence in 1960 and 2016.” She returned to Florence with Marsha Winsryg on one of Marsha’s tours focusing on the area’s art, culture, and cuisine.
Friday, Jan. 20, 3 to 5 pm, there will be board games, card games, snacks, and pizza for Teen/Tween Friday games. This program is for ages 9 and up, and will be offered on alternate Fridays through the winter.
Saturday, Jan. 21, 2:30 pm, the Lego Club will meet. Legos of all sizes for all ages will be provided.
Monday, Jan. 23, 7 pm, Dave Kish will show the documentary “Tubby Hayes: A Man in a Hurry,” and lead a discussion afterward.
Wednesday, Jan. 25, is a busy day at the library. A Wellness Clinic will be held from 1 to 3 pm. Have your blood pressure checked and health questions answered by a nurse from the public health and wellness department of VNA of Cape Cod. At 4 pm, the weekly episode of MVTV’s “MV Signs Then and Now” will be shown. At 5 pm, Constance Messmer will talk about “Psychic Work, Mediumship, and Channeling,” and about her book, “Some Dogs Talk.”
All programs are free and everyone is welcome.
Margaret Logue gave me a gorgeous red and white striped amaryllis and a pot of paperwhites, all blooming in my living room. I potted my paperwhites late, as I seem to do everything, but they are coming along and will provide color and fragrance in another week. My first amaryllis buds opened this morning, a reverse of Margaret’s, white with a delicate red veining and edges. I have amaryllis in varying stages of development that will provide flowers through most of the winter, and something to insert into a still life setup or just to paint on its own. Jane Freilicher would paint them in front of her studio windows with a cityscape of New York as a backdrop. Lois Dodd painted them alone in tall vertical paintings or set in front of snowy windowsills. Allen Whiting usually has a small painting or two of an amaryllis in his summer show. They are all inspirations.