I’m writing this week’s column on New Year’s Eve, while watching “Supernatural” with my kids, following a quiet dinner out with Don, Kiana, and Riley. I’ve never been much of a reveler on New Year’s Eve, and I have to say, as evenings go, this one is superb. Nothing is ever better than time with my loved ones. I’m truly grateful.
Speaking of grateful, I’d like to extend my thanks to the police and EMTs who answered the call the other night when my dad had a scare. All turned out well, thankfully, and I am so thankful for this community we live in. We are always in good hands in times of emergency. We are lucky indeed.
I would like to send extra-special birthday wishes to my better half, Don Casey, on Jan. 3. I’m happy to have shared the past seven birthdays with you, my dear, and look forward to many more together. Hopefully most of them will be in a warmer climate. And since he won’t actually read this because he never reads my column, feel free to let him know I wished him a happy day.
Other birthday celebrations this week are Deanna Laird, Angela Murphy, and Tom Sawyer on Jan. 5, and Lindsay Medeiros on Jan. 6.
As construction continues on the future Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven, back in Edgartown, the galleries will remain closed this winter as staff and professionals prepare the collection for the eventual move to the former Marine Hospital. The Gale Huntington Research Library will also be closed to the public.
Beginning Jan. 2, the galleries and library will be used as workspace and a staging area for collection items. Professionals from Museum and Collector Resource (MCR) will be preparing and packing the collection. This team of experts is already familiar with the collection, having cataloged it just a few years ago. In April, the library will become the temporary home of the 1854 Fresnel lens, the original lens from the Gay Head Lighthouse. The lens’ 1,008 prisms will be disassembled by professional lampist Jim Woodward and serviced before being carefully packed, moved, and reassembled in the new museum.
Although closed for walk-in hours, researchers interested in visiting the library in person or who have research inquiries can still contact research librarian Bow Van Riper by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 508-627-4441, ext. 115, to discuss scheduling and the availability of the materials they are interested in consulting. Staff time for responding to inquiries may be limited at times, and turnaround times will likely be longer than usual. Museum programming will continue all winter in offsite locations, and museum teachers will continue to work in the public schools.
The library will remain closed this upcoming summer, and serve as the staging grounds for the collection’s move to the new museum. The galleries will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 26, with new exhibits for one final summer in Edgartown. They are expected to remain open until Columbus Day.
Progress continues on the new museum. A blog has been set up that details construction milestones. Follow it at mvmonthemove.com. Staff also post frequent updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Hard-hat tours will be offered to the public soon. Currently, staff and board are planning a soft opening of the new museum in late 2018, and a larger grand opening in summer 2019. The staff appreciates the public’s understanding and flexibility during the transition, and looks forward to opening the new museum with the Island community next year.
I wish to send my deepest condolences to the extended Mercier family for the loss of their family matriarch, Claire Mercier. Claire was such a mainstay of our town, an active member of Saint Elizabeth’s Church, and and in maybe her most important role, simply “Mom” to so many of our friends. Through her community involvement and all of her children, she touched a lot of lives on this Island. My thoughts are with her family.
Have you seen the movie “Wonder”? It’s been playing locally for the past few weeks, and is based on a book about a boy with some facial disfigurements. After undergoing many surgeries and years of homeschooling, he decides to join a regular school in fifth grade, and what happens from there is pretty wonderful. It is actually becoming quite a movement, with lesson plans for school, and books with daily “Wonderisms” to read and embrace. The first precept in the book is “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” I strongly encourage you to read the book and see the movie as well. And then embrace the movement, choosing kindness whenever possible. #choosekind