West Tisbury: Congratulations Charter School class of 2018

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It’s Flag Day. Bill Haynes’ birthday. Special Election Day in West Tisbury. Voting begins at 7 am at the Public Safety Building. “Shall the Town vote to have its elected Tax Collector become an appointed Treasurer/Collector of the town?” Polls close at 8 pm. Absentee ballots are available at the town clerk’s office in Town Hall till noon on Wednesday, June 13. Elections are June 14.

Congratulations to the Charter School class of 2018. What an accomplished group of young people.

A week ago there was the merest hint of color in our woods, a hint of leaves to come. There were still clear patches of sky outlining mostly bare branches. Just the earliest maples and beech trees had leaves, splotches of color in the landscape. No longer. Leaves always seem to appear overnight, and our woods are completely green. Still fresh-looking. Bright green. But thick, obscuring light and distance. Some might see them as sheltering, but for me they are oppressive and enclosing, heavy, symbolic of the weight of heat and overabundance of everything that summer brings.

I spent Sunday morning at the Hebrew Center attending a memorial and celebration of Anita Hotchkiss’ amazing life. I should say “phenomenal,” as that was the adjective one of the speakers said was Anita’s favorite. She was phenomenal, and so was everyone who had a story to relate. Warm, funny, determined, brilliant, life-embracing, devoted to education as a lifelong learner, researcher, and teacher, much loved and admired. It was an honor to have known Anita.

Sunday afternoon was devoted to another woman much admired, respected, and well-loved in our Island community. Elizabeth Sandland, R.N., is closing Long Hill after almost 30 years. Always one to love a good party, Elizabeth was elegant in a long gown with shimmery gold trim, surrounded by so many people whose lives she was part of over her long reign.

Long Hill was her dream. She made it happen, and kept it going. It was home to so many people who could no longer manage on their own, who needed care, comfort, affection, dignity, music, fun, along with medical oversight, a continuation of as many of their lifelong rituals as possible, a respect for all. Everyone at Long Hill became extended family: the residents and their families, the caregivers, most of all Elizabeth. I was part of that family for the past six years, working under Elizabeth’s tutelage and support, and that of everyone I worked with there.

Many of the children of former residents said they had expected to come to live at Long Hill themselves at the end of their lives. We all rue the loss of one more of the very few places for elderly Islanders. That said, we all wish Elizabeth all the very best. With her typical wit, she called Long Hill “a bit of heaven before you go there.” She and her staff did their best to always make it so.

Please read Bella Bennett’s tribute in last week’s Martha’s Vineyard Times. It was lovely.

The Martha’s Vineyard Democratic Council will meet at the Howes House this Saturday morning, June 9, from 9 to 10:30 am. There will be a discussion of the 2018 Democratic State Convention held last weekend in Worcester. Gail Barmakian will speak and answer questions about her candidacy for Dukes County Register of Probate for Probate and Family Court.

There will be a Massachusetts Housing Partnership workshop on Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Funds and Community Preservation Funds at the Oak Bluffs library on Wednesday, June 13, 4 to 6 pm.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Thursday, June 7, 5 pm, Thomas Dresser will read and discuss his new book, “Whaling on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Friday, June 8, 3:30 pm, Harry Potter fans between the ages of 10 and 17 are invited to the monthly meeting of Dumbledore’s Army. Children 8 and 9 years old may attend with a mature caregiver.

Saturday, June 9, 4 pm, “Painting the Musical Canvas,” the annual Remembering the Rosenthals Concert, a combination of classical, modern, and Brazilian music. Dr. Sara Rosenthal and Dr. Julie Prazich are the generous supporters of this event.

Monday, June 11, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop will meet. Writers Read, the monthly gathering for authors of short fiction or nonfiction pieces, read in eight-minute segments, will meet at 7 pm.

Tuesday, June 12, 1:30 to 3 pm, drop in to the Wellness Clinic with Lila Fischer of the VNA. At 4 pm, there will be a screening of documentary film “Living While Dying,” followed by a Q and A with filmmaker Cathy Zheutlin. The film portrays “people living with terminal illness who greet the inevitable with courage, humor, creativity, and acceptance.”

Thursday, June 14, 4:30 pm, Merissa Nathan Gerson will speak about surviving war and violence. Her program is called “Inherited Trauma 101.”

There are some upcoming events to put on your calendar.

Our Town Picnic is scheduled for Saturday, June 16, from noon to 4 pm outside the Ag Hall. (rain date is Sunday). Hot dogs and popcorn will be available, and free family photos, games, fire truck rides, and hayrides. Bring your own picnic if you like, and a dessert to share. The Ag Society asks that we all bring our own dishes, cutlery, glasses, napkins. Take them home afterward, and recycle any disposable items.

Soo Whiting is hosting a memorial gathering for her husband, Flip Harrington, that Saturday beginning at 11 am. It will be a potluck at the Quenames farmhouse.

The Strawberry Festival at the West Tisbury Church is planned for Saturday, June 23.

ACE MV will hold its first-ever fundraiser, “Charting Courses,” also on June 23, to highlight 10 years of providing continuing education and workforce training programs. Wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres will be served from 5 to 8 pm at the West Chop Club. There will be a presentation by Paul Osterman from the Sloan School of Management, “No Economy Is an Island,” and music by the Phil DaRosa Project.

I stopped by Ghost Island’s farmstand yesterday for lettuce and new potatoes — too late for spinach. A nice visit with Rusty, though. He plans to be open only on Saturdays and Sundays for a while longer, probably till the end of June. “There is still too much to do out in the fields,” he said, adding, “It’s all looking good.”

I noticed that Susie Middleton has put out a sign announcing what’s available at her stand on the days she is open. The former Farmer Green’s/Periwinkle/Fiddlehead/Mills family stand has new planting, and a sign that says they will be opening soon.

Plantings in our own home gardens are progressing. I think I have seen more slugs and snails than ever, some of a gargantuan size and sliminess. Happily, there seem to be fewer red lily beetles. We have been lucky with pretty regular rain, and things are looking good. Driving down-Island over the weekend, I saw Rosa rugosa blooming in all its colors.

I was happy to finally meet the famous Pam Putney last week. She was talking with Leslie Baker at the entrance to Cronig’s when I arrived, and Leslie introduced us. I have read so much about Pam, her travels, and her advocacy for public health. Turns out she was the first person Leslie met when she moved to town, a friend of a friend from Philadelphia. Wow! I love the serendipity of living here.