Authors Posts by Hermine Hull

Hermine Hull

Hermine Hull
Got West Tisbury news? Contact Hermine Hull here.

Thanksgiving is the sweetest holiday, getting together with friends or family, sharing a meal, being grateful for what we have rather than asking for more. This year, the weather report predicts a nice, sunny day, mild enough for a beach walk with the dogs before or after dinner.

It’s also the beginning of that rushing toward Christmas season that never feels long enough. It may be a little easier and closer this year with the addition of a charming shop, Island-Made Holidays@Alley’s. Linda Alley of New Lane Sundries and several of her creative friends opened their store this past weekend. It will remain open daily, 10 to 6, till Christmas Eve.

I went in to look at everything. Besides Linda’s jam (I bought Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade and went right home to make toast), there are Stephanie Tilton Rossi’s felted animals, snowmen, mermaids, catnip for your kitty, and best of all for West Tisburyites, an elegant swan like those in our Mill Pond. Lynn Christoffers’ 2016 Cat Calendar has just been printed, in two sizes for a wall or your desk. There is a selection of Cynthia Riggs’s books, and cards of her father, Sidney Riggs’, linoleum cuts of Island scenes. Daisy Kimberly has made fabulous pillows. Emily Fischer’s goat milk soaps and lotions, scented candles by Tania Tilton, knitted cowls and ornaments by Michelle Torres, Scott Campbell’s pottery, Gwen Nichols’ wampum and bead jewelry, jewelry and Mermaid Catch T shirts by Ally Reid, scarves and bags and herbal concoctions by Rachel Baumrin of Austin Designs, and the most beautiful wreaths handmade by Rose Campbell. There are a few more artists/craftsmen still to bring in their wares.

The Vineyard Artisans Festival will be in town this Friday and Saturday, 10 to 4, at the Ag Hall. I saw Andrea Rogers at the Farmers Market, and she told me there will be some new exhibitors along with the more familiar ones. Art and crafts make a wonderful mix of possibilities — oils and watercolors, botanicals, books, ceramics, metalwork, fiber arts, leather, glass, jewelry, woodworking, photography, pastels, mixed media, and furniture.

There is no Winter Farmers Market this weekend. It resumes next Saturday at the Ag Hall.

The Antique Show will be at the Grange Hall on Friday and Saturday, 9 to 3. I have always done a lot of my shopping there, finding unexpected treasures for myself and for those on my gift list.

The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop is open in Vineyard Haven. Several West Tisbury artists and craftspeople are among the 20-plus participants. Linda Hearn has made quilted table runners and ornaments. Her daughter, Laura, will have a selection of her jewelry there, too. Cynthia Aguilar has made cards, and Rusty Gordon has made birdhouses out of gourds from his Ghost Island Farm. Patti Linn’s fabulous chocolates, Emily Fischer’s soaps, and Scott and Rose Campbell’s pottery and jewelry are all there. Hours are 10 to 6 daily.

If you are looking for the ultimate gift, consider a ticket to one of Marsha Winsryg’s Tuscan tours. She has two planned for March 2016 that combine art, architecture, culture, and history. And the amazing food and wine. Everyone I know who has traveled with Marsha has raved about her trips. She knows so many people there that her itineraries include very special, personal detours. Profits will benefit the African Artists Community Development Project that is so dear to Marsha’s heart. Closer to home, she has opened her Christmas-season shop on

Main Street in Edgartown, filled with crafts made by the people she visits in Africa. The shop will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday till Christmas.

The West Tisbury Congregational Church begins the Advent season with the first of three Evensong services, “Longing and Preparing,” next Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 5:30. The annual Christmas Faire is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 5.

There will be a special concert Wednesday, Nov. 25, at the West Tisbury library, at 4 o’clock. Scott Woolweaver and Delores Stevens are “Taking Bridge to Brahms.” The concert is free, and all are welcome.

Don’t forget that the library will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. When they reopen on Saturday, the Lego Club will meet that afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30. All age groups are welcome. And on Sunday at 3:30, there will be a concert by guitarist/bassist Eric Johnson, who will perform jazz standards and some of his own original compositions.

For Cynthia Walsh’s many friends and admirers, we are invited to a memorial gathering at the Grange Hall this Saturday, Nov. 28, at 5 o’clock. “White wine and plenty of chocolate, her favorites,” said her sister, Jaime Hamlin. There will be hors d’oeuvres, and we are invited to bring a special one on a platter with our name on it to add to the buffet.

The West Tisbury selectmen’s School Task Force will hold their fourth meeting next Thursday afternoon, Dec. 3, 5:30, at the Howes House. Please plan to attend, but in case you miss it, the meeting will be filmed for MVTV.

Steve and Sandy Atwood have just returned from a trip to England. The highlight of their trip was the day and a half they spent with Jim Wight, better known as “James Herriot Jr.,” son of the author and starring veterinarian of “All Creatures Great and Small” and the books that followed. Steve had invited Dr. Wight to be the commencement speaker at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wight invited Steve to get in touch when he came to England. He couldn’t have been a more amiable host, according to the Atwoods. They saw Skeldale House, inside and out, lots of the scenery from the PBS shows, and “many of my dad’s favorite spots” around Yorkshire. Steve called it “a veterinarian’s dream.”

Jay and Celine Segal’s visit to Angoulême, France to visit Celine’s family was a lovely week-plus. They have a new nephew, Lucas, who was only a few days old when they arrived. They spent their last few days in Paris, and were seeing a movie a few blocks from the Bataclan when ISIS terrorists began their rampage, unaware of it all until Celine’s father called on Jay’s cell phone to make sure they were all right. Jay said they had a terrible time at the airport trying to leave the country to get home. They are safely so, having lived through a page of recent history.

Arriving home, they were greeted by a package from the U.S. Patent Office, containing the document for the Dynamic Orthotic designed by Dr. Jay Segal. He is fitting patients for custom orthotics in his office. A noncustom, over-the-counter version will be available Jan. 1, 2016.

Rich and Phyllis Kugler have something special to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, a beautiful standard poodle puppy named Violette.

I wish everyone reading this a good holiday. Please let me know if you have news of guests or travels to share for next week’s column.

Reading something online earlier this morning, I came upon a speech made by Vice President Joseph Biden in which he quoted his friend, former Congressman Tom Lantos, who said, “The veneer of civilization is paper-thin.” It seems a particularly timely comment in light of recent news of attacks by ISIS in Egypt, Lebanon, and France.

The Paris attacks have even touched the Vineyard. Yann Meersseman’s son, Arnaud, who lives in Paris, was working on the production team at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan concert hall. He was shot during the concert, and is in a Paris hospital. Yann and his wife, Moira Fitzgerald, are the wonderful photographers of Vineyard Colors, and pick up and deliver our newspapers every morning. I hope his son recovers fully and soon.

I saw Debbie Magnuson Saturday as she was getting ready to attend a first birthday party for “one of my babies” at her preschool. Vivien Kelly, daughter of Michelle and Steve Kelly, was the star, dancing and clapping her hands as friends and family arrived for dinner. And birthday cake, of course. Vivien’s big brother, Wesley, helped her blow out the candles. Then everyone ate a piece.

Linda Alley and a group of 13 craftsmen are opening Island-Made Holidays@Alley’s Farmstand this Friday, Nov. 20. They will be open 10 to 6 every day through Christmas Eve. I’m planning to stop in over the weekend, so will write more in next week’s column.

Featherstone is opening its Holiday Gift Show this Friday too, with a preview party from 6 to 8. They will be open daily from noon to 4 through Dec. 20.

A reminder about our Winter Farmers Markets. There is one this weekend, so you have a chance to pick up everything you need for Thanksgiving meals. The winter markets will continue right through December. Something to be thankful for, healthy fresh food grown or raised right here in town.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is opening an exhibition of Christmas toys and decorations from the collection of Ted and Polly Meinelt. It will be on view during regular museum hours.

If you are reading this in time, download a dinner coupon to present to your server at Offshore Ale Thursday night. It’s a benefit for the Polly Hill Arboretum. It’s tonight, Thursday, Nov. 19. Call ahead for reservations: 508-693-2626.

By the time you are reading this on Thursday, Nancy Furino will have been surprised with lunch and a cake and all good wishes to celebrate her Nov. 19 birthday. Our art group is meeting at my house on Tuesday. Nancy just thinks it’s a regular meeting. I hope it will be a good surprise for her. Happy birthday, dear friend.

Happy birthday wishes to Tara Larsen tomorrow, and happy anniversary wishes to her and Stephen next week.

Drop-in crafters at the West Tisbury library this Saturday can make curlicue place card birds, just in time for setting your Thanksgiving table. Stop in to the Children’s Room between 1 and 3 pm. At 4 o’clock, Patrick Phillips will be reading from his latest book of poetry, “we plié.”

A very special recital at the library on Wednesday, Nov. 25: Pianist Delores Stevens and violist Scott Woolweaver are the performers. “Taking Bridge to Brahms” begins at 4 o’clock in the Program Room.

Fields around town have been filled with grazing sheep and fattening turkeys. The grasses have turned pink in a certain light. There aren’t many leaves left on the trees, unless you live in beech woods.

Here, our yard is thick with fallen oak leaves, reminding me of the big piles my father would rake up, only to have us kids jump happily into the piles and laugh as leaves went everywhere. We were so lucky to grow up in safety, in happiness and laughter. Really lucky.


Another week of gorgeous weather. Warm days in the 60s let me keep the doors and windows open. I brought in some pots of the summer annuals that now are flourishing on our sunroom windowsills. Pink petunias with chartreuse edges, hot pink impatiens, coleus of different colors and designs, white geraniums, nasturtiums. They get full sun and heat, now that the trees are totally bare.

Leslie Baker told me a wonderful story she heard on the radio, that in England this season is called autumn, but fall is used to describe the time when leaves actually fall. I like the distinction, and plan to remember it and use it. I like precise language.

The library’s Halloween party was a success, as it always is. You can look at their Facebook page to see photographs taken by Scott Kramer and Steve Klebs. Many thanks to all the volunteers: Evelyn Kreyling, Linda Hearn, Margaret Gallagher, Charlotte Rooney, and Emma Van Lohuizen.

Saturday, Nov. 14, the Lego Club meets at the library, 2:30 to 4:30 pm. All ages are welcome.

The annual Community Poetry Reading is this Sunday, Nov. 15, 3:30 to 4:30 pm, at the library. Poet Laureate Emma Young will pull numbers out of a hat for the order of readers of their own or a favorite poet’s work. Then on Wednesday, Nov. 18, Tweed’s Reads group will meet at 10 am to discuss “Meditations on Hunting” by Jose Ortega y Gassett. Tweed Roosevelt will lead the discussion.

Everyone is invited to the library to learn about and discuss the new Island-wide “Smart Island Project.” This early-stage meeting will gather input, collaborators, and advisors to review the network hardware, suggest possible use-cases and pilot tests, and help design this planned Island-wide Internet of Things (IoT). Patrick Phillips, Sidney Morris, Woody Filley, and Chris Connors are in the early stages of creating an open Internet network to connect sensors and beacons for monitoring water acidity, or sensing temperatures or toxic fumes. It will text to tell you if your boat is swamped. It could monitor soil moisture for local farmers or show visitors where to find art, hotels, or local farms. Join the Smart Island MeetUp on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 6 pm.

West Tisbury’s Sam Decker and his wife, Katy, are offering classes at Atria, where Sam is wine director. They are as follows: Nov. 12: Wine 101; Nov. 14: Old World vs. New World; Dec. 3: Oysters and Wine (offered with ACE MV); Dec. 10: Exploring Burgundy; Dec. 17: Tour of Italy. Classes begin at 6 pm in Atria’s main dining room. You may sign up for one or more, or all. For information, call Sam at 646-647-0738 or email For other classes, look at their website:

Don’t forget the Winter Farmers Markets on Saturdays at the Ag Hall, 10 am to 1 pm.

The first winter walk at Polly Hill Arboretum is this Saturday, Nov. 14, at 10 am.

The third annual Truckin’ MV Fundraiser is this Saturday, too. All the biggest trucks on the Island will be in the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School parking lot from 11 to 1:30, rain or shine. The guys who operate the machinery will be on hand to give tours and information. It’s a fundraiser for Vineyard Montessori and a lot of fun. It’s $10 per child or $25 per family.

While you are there, check out the All-Island Free Annual Health Fair in the high school cafeteria, 9 to 1. Holistic, traditional, and nontraditional health care providers will be on hand to offer screenings and educational materials. Information about organ donation and dental hygiene will also be available. There will be speakers, too: Dr. Roni DeLuz at 10 o’clock will talk about “Lyme Disease — How It Affects You,” and Marie Doubleday, LMHC, will discuss “Hidden Issues with Drug Abuse” at 11.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center will host a Vineyard Artists Holiday Extravaganza this Sunday, Nov. 15, 10 am to 3 pm. Island artists and artisans will have jewelry, pottery, glass, soaps, scarves, leather goods, floor cloths, herbal products, photography, and fine art for sale. There will also be palm reading and a bake sale, all to benefit the religious school.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum announced that their Annual Appraisal Day with Skinner, Inc., will take place on Dec. 5, 9 am to 3 pm, in the museum library. To reserve a time, please call Katy Fuller at 508-627-4441, ext. 123, or email Members may register now, and nonmembers after Nov. 16. Cost is $15 for one item or $40 for three items.

Only in West Tisbury. Last week Mike and I were invited to a potluck Indian dinner party with several friends. Knowing nothing about Indian cooking, except that it could be very spicy, I looked up recipes and decided to make cucumbers in yogurt. Off to Mermaid Farm for yogurt, then to Ghost Island Farm for cucumbers, where I happened to mention to Sarah the recipe I was using from my ancient and bedraggled Craig Claiborne’s “The New York Times International Cook Book.”

Later in the day, the phone rang, and Marie-Louise Rouff asked me if I was making raita. She had gone to Ghost Island to buy cucumbers for her raita, and Sarah asked if she was going to the same dinner, explaining that I was already making raita. Although my recipe was a little different from a traditional raita, it was close enough, and I had made plenty. A crisis averted, all because everyone knows everyone in our little town.

A gloomy start to November with gray skies and leftover debris from last week’s heavy rain and wind. Our woods look raggedy. The trees still have some leaves, too many to show just the beautiful structure of branches and tree trunks, too few to remain the colorful display of the past few weeks. There is more light, but more leaves on the ground and in the flowerbeds, all needing to be dealt with.

Surprisingly, it is still warm. This morning’s weather predicted temperatures in the mid-60s all week. So a good week to be outside doing chores, or just going for a walk. Or reading the paper on the porch, as I planned to do on Sunday before other things came along.

A couple of corrections from last week’s column before I start this week’s. In the section about interviews with Island folks who worked on “Jaws,” Clarke is Clarke M. Smith, not Clarke W. Smith. His interviews were part of a documentary on the “Jaws” Blu-ray DVD, “The Shark Is Still Working,” not a trailer.

Plan ahead for a special town meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7 pm, at the West Tisbury School. The warrant will be in both newspapers, or can be read online at It’s a fairly short agenda of bill-paying articles, but also changes to the sign bylaw, the personnel bylaw, and a couple of articles about the Affordable Housing Committee’s plans to develop next to Fire Station 1 on Edgartown–West Tisbury Road. I’m mentioning all this early, as there has to be a quorum for the meeting to proceed, so please plan to attend.

Another interesting town project to become involved with is the School Task Force, newly appointed by West Tisbury selectmen. Members are Richard Knabel and Susan Silk, co-chairs; Robert Lionette, Wenona Madison, Gary Montrowl, Michael Marcus, and Greg Orcutt. Their third meeting is this Thursday, Nov. 5, 5:30, at Town Hall. That’s today, as you are reading this column. Please attend if you can, and plan on attending as many of their meetings as possible. I will publish the dates as soon as I know them.

As most of us know, the economic and educational benefits and drawbacks of the Up-Island Regional School District have been a subject of disagreement for many years. The selectmen have charged this committee to “conduct a comprehensive review of the advantages and disadvantages of continuing participation in the Up-Island Regional School District.” They have already been busy interviewing the superintendent and others to address “the economic/funding, transportation, and educational issues.”

Mostly, they want townspeople to be involved in the meetings and ongoing discussions, in the entire process, so as to be fully educated ourselves before any upcoming articles that may be presented at town meetings. They are open meetings and everyone is invited.

David Stanwood will perform a free piano concert at the West Tisbury library on Friday, Nov. 6, at 7 pm.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, there will be an artist’s reception in the Program Room of the library for Brigitte Cornand, and an opportunity to see her exhibition of photographs, “See You at the Dumptique.” The reception is from 4 to 5 pm. The exhibition will be up all month.

“Writers Read @ The West Tisbury Library” will meet on Monday, Nov. 9, at 7 pm. Fiction and nonfiction writers will be given nine minutes to read their original work. Critiques are optional.

Next Sunday afternoon at 3:30, there will be a community poetry reading with West Tisbury Poet Laureate Emma Young as moderator. More info in next week’s column.

I received an email from former library presence and friend Jennifer Tseng, with a link to a wonderful story she wrote. I’m printing it here so everyone can read it, too:

The Chilmark Women’s Symposium XXXVI meets this Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 to noon, at the Chilmark Community Center. The topic is “Never Say Never.” Donations are welcome, but not required.

Congratulations to Holly Bellebuono. Her book, “Women Healers of the World: The Traditions, History & Geography of Herbal Medicine, has won the Book of the Year Award from the International Herb Association.

A late “Happy Birthday” to Millie Gault, who celebrated last week, Oct. 27. I’m on time sending birthday good wishes to Sandy Turner for Nov. 7.

I’m not as good as John Alley at knowing everyone’s birthdays, so consider good wishes sent out to the universe of West Tisbury when yours comes along.

The sun is breaking through the clouds as I write this. There is a bud for perhaps the last pink rose (‘Heritage’) outside in the garden. I picked a full flower of ‘Abraham Darby,’ now in a ceramic vase on my windowsill, still fragrant. Yesterday was my birthday, so this morning I had leftover chocolate cake for breakfast. All in all, a pretty perfect morning.

The doors and windows are all open, letting in the still-warm air. Time to take Talley outside and see what’s happening out there. I have found a couple of white rhododendron flowers and some blue myrtle flowers tucked down in the greenery. I can see where foxgloves and campanulas have seeded themselves and will bloom next spring. Kousa dogwoods seedlings that Roe Belain gave me last year are branching out into beautifully shaped little trees. But not to get ahead of myself. There’s still a bit of color in our woods, bouquets to be clipped of holly, winterberry, and andromeda. Little pumpkins on the window sills for Thanksgiving. Still plenty of fall to savor.


Pumpkins and scarecrows, cornstalks and hay bales; West Tisbury is decorated for Halloween. The Martha’s Vineyard Charter School students have designed “literary scarecrows” that appeared around town last week. Shaun the Sheep, the Wicked Witch, Snoopy, the Hungry Caterpillar, Mulgarath, the Raven, Totoro, the Demon, a Lost Boy, John, and Freddy Kruger are all waiting to surprise you, scare you, or amuse you as you travel around town.

There are lots of Halloween parties and events planned, too. The West Tisbury library party is Saturday from 3:30 to 5, with hayrides, treats, special crafts, and everyone dressed up in their most imaginative costumes. The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse party, also on Saturday, is from 6 to 8 pm. Felix Neck planned their event for the night before, a self-guided walk through the preserve to find and observe “Creatures of the Night,” from 5 to 7 pm. Their hayride starts at 5:15. Bring your pumpkins to decorate and make animal masks to wear for Halloween. There is a $6 fee for members, $9 for nonmembers. Children under 3 are free.

Chilmark Chocolates opens just in time to buy your treats, this Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 to 4:30.

Don’t forget that hunting season has begun. Mike brought home orange vests for Talley and Nanuk to wear on our walks. We have since seen several dogs similarly garbed, all looking quite jaunty in their vests and, most important, very visible.

This Friday, Oct. 30, there will be a concert at the West Tisbury library, “The Drama of Live Opera,” at 7:30 pm. Arias and duets from operas both classical and modern will be sung by soprano Bethany Worrell and baritone Vincent Turregano. They will be accompanied by Diane Katzenberg Braun. All are welcome to attend this free concert.

Sunday afternoon, Nov. 1, at 1 o’clock, Debby Ware will teach adult and teen knitters how to knit all sorts of imaginative holiday decorations — miniature sweaters and mittens, pears, and more, to hang on your tree or to give as gifts. Or just to enjoy learning how to do. Please preregister at the library by Oct. 31. Size 4 or 5 straight or round needles are all you need to bring. There is a $22 fee for all other materials. You can see some of Debby’s creations on her website,, or look through one of her books at the library.

Brigitte Cornand is the library’s artist of the month of November. Her exhibition is “See You at the Dumptique,” a series of photographs taken at the West Tisbury Dumptique between May 2013 and May 2014. (MVTimes story about Briggitte in Paris:

Dr. Jay Segal recently spent some time at New York College of Podiatric Medicine, teaching a course on computer-aided gait analysis and diabetic foot care, a continuing education program for podiatrists. Jay has been an active researcher and writer for some time, in addition to running his podiatric practice in West Tisbury. He presented his newest research data from research done here. His research partner, biomedical engineer Sally Crawford, and physical therapist Susan Sanford accompanied him for his first class. He will be teaching again in December, a class for juniors in the medical school, dealing with solutions for walking disorders and computer-aided gait analysis.

I was surprised to find in my inbox an email with the heading “Jaws interview with Janice Hull.” I didn’t know Clarke W. Smith at the time, but we have been corresponding back and forth the past couple of weeks. He shot a series of interviews on the Island 15 years ago, lots of people who had been involved with the making of “Jaws.” Although he hadn’t done anything with the footage at the time, he decided to look at the tapes again as the 40th anniversary of “Jaws” neared. It became a wonderful program of footage from the movie and reminiscences by so many familiar people. Many, like Janice, have since died. It can be viewed at Lots of images and stories. Ginny Poole, Carol Feiner, Barbara Nevin, Bob Carroll, Craig Kingsbury. Clarke said parts of his interviews are included as a trailer on the Blu-ray edition DVD of “Jaws.”

I’m forgetting that many readers may not know that Janice Hull was my husband’s aunt. She lived in the little Cape across from the firehouse, just up a path through the woods from our house. That path was well-traveled from both directions when Janice was still alive. Just writing this brings back so many happy memories, so you can imagine what a wonderful gift it was to see her sitting in her dining room, telling stories about her friend, Shari Rhodes, who we had all heard about over the years, about her husband, Mike’s Uncle Dan Hull, who suggested her for the job of assisting Shari, anecdotes about things that happened during the shooting of the movie, people involved. It was a project and a time she greatly enjoyed. Hearing her voice and seeing her face. It truly was a special gift, now much treasured. I am so grateful to Clarke for sending it to me.


Driving home the other evening, the moon was a slender crescent, the sky darkening with purple clouds, dottings of stars in patterns of archers, princesses, and bears overhead. The days are noticeably shorter. Our first frosts came this weekend, sending us searching for down parkas in the back of the closet and bringing in piles of wood for fires in the stove.

Joanne Scott had her daughter, Tabor, and granddaughter, Olivia Bent, visiting, a whirlwind weekend of leaves and pumpkins, “all the fall things,” a sunset walk at Lucy Vincent. They were home making a big pot of vegetarian chili on Sunday afternoon.

Ruth Kirchmeier went to Denver, Colo., last week for the wedding of her son, Eli Ohlhausen, to Natalie Reeber. Eli’s brother, Jacob, performed the ceremony. Ruth was looking forward to time with her family, as well as time to explore the Denver Art Museum and the mountain landscape.

Many of us in town and across the Island have lost a good friend, Cynthia Walsh, who died on Oct. 10. We shared two special loves, our animals and the West Tisbury library, both beneficiaries of Cynthia’s energetic and creative talents. For many years, Cynthia transformed the old library for holidays and special events with her decorative displays. Wednesday afternoons she was always at the Animal Shelter, minding the desk, cuddling cats, writing the “Please Adopt Us” column for the Gazette after Janet Norton retired from that job, smiling and welcoming all who entered.

Her particular gift was finding just the right pet for her friends. She wept with me when my Porter died (she had found him for me, too, at the shelter), then declared, “I’ve got an adorable kitten for you. My sister’s cat just had kittens, and I think there are one or two left. Jaime has the best kittens. We’ll go tomorrow.” We did. Cynthia laughed as we sat on Jaime Hamlin’s sofa and the tiniest orange kitten climbed into my lap, up onto my shoulder, nestled into my neck, and purred himself to sleep. Two years later, he is often found similarly situated, purring and snoozing. He’s my love boy, and I owe it all to Cynthia. And Jamie and her cat, Maisie, of course. Sincere condolences from Nelson and me, to Jaime and Diana, to Lawler and Katherine, and their families.

There will be a memorial for Cynthia at the Grange Hall on Nov. 28.

Condolences, too, to the family of Trudy Taylor, another of the Island’s grande dames, known to all and into everything. Trudy was amazingly creative, a gardener with a knowledge of plants, artful design, and the common sense that improving the soil was most important. She was also stylish as all get-out, and a hell of a storyteller.

Two other women of my acquaintance, Francine Kelly and her daughter, Ann Smith, both happily still alive, will be honored recipients of this year’s Creative Living Award in a ceremony at the Grange Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 5 pm. Both women have served as director of Featherstone Center for the Arts, first Francine, then Ann for many years and currently so. Hopefully, she will continue forever. Between them, they have helped turn Featherstone into the amazing cultural center it has become, the true gift to the Island that Virginia Besse and Mary Stevens envisioned when they gave the land and buildings so many years ago. The event is free, and all are welcome to attend.

The Women’s Symposium at the Chilmark Community Center, 9 to noon, is on Saturday, Nov. 7. Only women are welcome, of course. Donations, too. The topic is “Never Say Never.” Helen Parker will be the moderator, and Betty Eddy will get to relax and enjoy herself as a guest in the audience for a change.

The Minnesingers Homecoming is this Friday, Oct. 23. Festivities include a silent and live auction at 7 pm at Atria, “for Minnesingers old and new and those who love them,” according to the announcement. There will be live entertainment and singing along with members past and present, hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar. Tickets are $30 at the door or from any Minnesinger. West Tisbury’s participating members are Darby Patterson, Lucie Dougherty-Soares, Michelle DeGeofroy, Nate D’Angelo, Oliver Silverstein, and Peter Engley.

The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association is sponsoring Mass. Memories Road Show this Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. It’s part of a statewide program. Everyone is invited to bring one to three photographs in their original format and their stories to share. Stories will be recorded and pictures scanned and returned. All images will be added to an online archive collection at It’s all free, funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MVLA, and friends of our local libraries.

At our library, special programs include The Drama of Live Opera, a free concert at 7 pm on Friday, Oct. 30. Soprano Bethany Worrell and baritone Vincent Turregano will be accompanied by pianist Diane Katzenberg Braun.

Saturday, Oct. 31, is the library’s annual Halloween Party, from 3:30 to 5 pm. Come in your best costume for hayrides, treats, crafts, and surprises.

Sunday afternoon, Nov. 1, Debby Ware will teach a holiday decorations knitting workshop for adults and teens at 1 o’clock. The $22 fee includes all materials except needles. Please bring your own No. 4 or No. 5 straight or circular needles. Participants must know how to knit. You will learn how to make mini sweaters, pear ornaments, mini mittens, holiday trees, and gingerbread men. Please preregister at the library, 508-693-3366, or online at

Paddy Moore of the Martha’s Vineyard Healthy Aging Task Force wants to alert everyone ages 65 and up that the task force will be mailing out a survey this week. It will be identifiable by a large yellow Island picture on the mailing envelope, so don’t throw it out thinking it’s just junk mail. The survey is confidential and deals with health, mental health, home health care needs, transportation, housing, caregiver support, community, and engagement. Our population is projected to have one in three people over 65 by 2030. That’s us. So please fill out the survey and return it. If you need help, the staff at Howes House will be happy to assist.

West Tisbury’s rescue truck and crew were called out last week to an accident on North Road. A truck carrying bales of hay had hit something and collapsed inward. Of course, all the hay bales had to be emptied out before the truck could be towed away, so the guys got to work and accomplished their task. When Mike came home and told me the story, I had to laugh, as the rescue crew from our station includes the four oldest guys in the department. And young Brynn Schaffner. But they did it, and I know that at least one member was proud to relate the tale over the weekend.


The coloring of the trees in fall always surprises me, the same way it does when leaves appear, apparently overnight, every spring. There are big maples along our road on a rise near the Cleaveland House where the colors show the earliest, no matter the season.

There are always places like that, where I watch the seasons turn. The Mill Pond is one. The marsh that was Parsonage Pond and the sloping lawn and woodland to either side. Doane’s field along New Lane, and Linda Alley’s crabapple tree. Driving along Middle Road you see the island of beetlebung trees and Murphy’s Pond; almost across the road is the winterberry bush on the corner of Caitlin Jones and Allen Healy’s house. Our morning walk along the Great Pond, where the water and big skies change, too.

Most of all, I watch my woods. Every morning and through the day I can always interest myself in a walk around the property, or just looking out the windows. Our house has windows all along the south side, and our sofa sits under three banked six-over-six windows to the west. The views are daily paintings where the light changes, the colors change, even the shapes change as trees grow or are knocked over in a storm. No matter what, I never tire of those views, and never forget to feel grateful for them.

I was thinking about this a few moments ago, after someone called with a survey about solar energy. She wanted to know if we have solar panels. “We don’t,” I told her, “but we built our house for passive solar, oriented to the south with brick floors in those rooms. It works beautifully, and I don’t understand why it isn’t encouraged or even mentioned by energy advocates or in zoning and building plans for new construction. It’s easy to do and totally free, just a matter of planning.” At that point, she graciously agreed that it was a good point and she would bring it up at their next meeting. Maybe she was humoring an old lady (or not so old lady), but it does make common sense, and doesn’t involve buying more expensive materials or equipment. Or anything. That said, I have become so opinionated.

I hope Sue Hruby and Cape Light Compact will forgive my comments in the previous paragraph, as now I tell you about Cape Light’s new smartphone app for customers to monitor the power being generated by their solar voltaic or small residential wind systems in real time. It also tracks home energy use, allowing consumers to be more aware of how they use energy and how to conserve and save money. Qualified customers will receive free software, hardware, and professional installation. Eligibility requirements are for homeowners or small business customers to live or have their business on the Cape or Island, have an active Eversource account with more than six months’ usage per year, access to their electric meter, willingness to have a monitor installed on it, and a WiFi router that is always on. There is no cost to participate. For more information, look on the website or call 800-797-6699.

The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard will hold its fourth annual Walk for the Animals this Saturday, Oct. 17, 10 to noon. Meet at the West Tisbury School. Participants may walk with or without pets, and are asked to get pledges for their walk. Registration forms are online at, or available at the shelter. Take a moment to appreciate the posters for the event that you see around the Island. They were all created by West Tisbury School students in Lisa Magnarelli’s art classes.

Coincidentally, or maybe not, October is American Humane Association Adopt-a-Dog Month. It was established in 1981 to encourage pet lovers to adopt a shelter or rescue dog, to consider volunteering at or donating to your local shelter, and to raise awareness that millions of animals are in shelters and needing “forever” loving homes. Millions. According to Dr. Karen Becker’s website, where I read about this, 3 to 4 million dogs are euthanized every year. Millions.

The first Winter Farmers Market of the season is this Saturday, 10 to 1, at the Ag Hall. Twenty-four vendors will be there, including for the first time MV Smokehouse, with the smoked bluefish and bluefish pâte that were huge hits at the summer market. Little Rock Farm will provide breakfast sandwiches, hot lunch, coffee, and tea. Kevin Keady will provide the music. The Winter Markets have such a relaxed feel compared to the frenetic Summer Markets. Time to visit with friends and neighbors. It’s always good.

At the West Tisbury library this Saturday, Julie Prazich and Sara Rosenthal invite folks ages 9 and up to paint a wooden fish (or two) to decorate their own homes. Basic materials will be provided for free. Fish painting begins at 2:30. At 5 there will be an artist’s reception for Julie, whose work is on exhibit in the Program Room through the month of October.

Tweed’s Reads Reading Group will meet at the library on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 10 am. Books being discussed are “Gray Seas Under” by Farley Mowat and “Up in the Old Hotel” by Joseph Mitchell. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month. Pick up a reading list at the library.

I can hardly wait for next Sunday afternoon, Oct. 18, at 5 o’clock, to hear Geraldine Brooks read and talk about her latest book, “The Secret Chord.” It’s a novel about the biblical King David. The program will be at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center.

Blue Cullen stopped by yesterday afternoon, dressed to the nines, on her way to Charlotte Goeckel’s first birthday party. Charlotte is the granddaughter of Alan and Chele Reekie.

What a surprise to drive out of my driveway last Tuesday and see the new sign across the street at the firehouse. It’s actually the recycled old sign that was taken down at Station 2, when the Police Department moved in and had to be included there. It works perfectly for our station, and looks very important. Thanks to Chief Estrella, Jesse Oliver, and John Cotterill.


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Posters courtesy Martha's Vineyard Museum

A visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum exhibition of Tashtego posters is like a trip down memory lane. Although it is only a small selection, a dozen posters in all, arranged in a small room, I could feel the remembered excitement of wondering what “this year’s poster” would be, what owners Ted and Jane had come up with this time. They were always eagerly anticipated, sought-after treasures collected year after year by devoted fans of art, good design, Ted and Jane Farrow, and their store Tashtego, a colorful and modern home furnishing store with upscale furniture, kitchen gear, and treasures from near and far, that was a fixture on Main Street, Edgartown, for almost 30 years.

Tashtego was already a legend when I moved to Edgartown in 1982. Ted Farrow had started the store in 1967, the same year I began studying interior design at Pratt Institute. One of the early posters features the following list written in Ted’s hand:

“Again, Tashtego brings to Martha’s Vineyard contemporary furnishings and accessories of distinction…Representing Knoll, Georg Jensen, Herman Miller, and for the first time Dansk and Bonniers … New lighting from Italy, flatware and china from Denmark, bedding and seating from Norway … From Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Tashtego Associates, Edgartown, Massachusetts … Ted Farrow, Marre Squier, Jane Damroth”

Reading this list was like reading a course syllabus on the best contemporary design from the Bauhaus era right up to those exuberant 1960s. I can remember going on field trips to the Museum of Modern Art and the Decorating & Design Building to see displays of furniture designed by Mies van der Rohe, Charles Eames, Warren Platner, Marcel Breuer, textiles from Jack Lenor Larsen and Anni Albers, Noguchi lamps, and Georg Jensen flatware that looked like pieces of modern art. And here it all was, right on Main Street, Edgartown, offered by a young designer who looked like a piece of modern sculpture himself.

Blue Cullen and Nancy Rogers both worked at Tashtego at different times during the late 1970s and into the 1990s. We met there, and they have remained among my oldest friends on the Island. So it was only natural that I called them to meet me at the museum, where we began trying to remember what year which poster came out, which ones Ted designed and which were done by his friend and cohort, artist Don Carrick. We decided to call Jane to help us. It was great fun to show her everything via Blue’s cell phone and to hear her comments and reminiscences.

So, to begin. As you enter the room, the first poster on the right is what became Tashtego’s logo. It was done by a friend of Ted’s who lived in Chicago. Although it looks printed, like a woodcut or stencil, it was actually hand-drawn and has Herman Melville’s quote from “Moby Dick,describing “the Gay Header, Tashtego.” Ted’s brother, Rod, mentioned their boyhood fascination with “Moby Dick, and thought that was why the name was chosen. Regardless, it is a brilliant piece of design, instantly recognizable, that performed its job of being associated in viewers’ minds with the store. The image was blown up to hang on an interior wall of Tashtego, presiding over its realm, as the spear-wielding figure regarded the sea beneath him.

IMG_0176.JPGAs you might imagine, several years’ posters use the theme of Tashtego and/or whales. My favorite is a deceptively simple graphic, three colors only, of a black whale and white birds on a blue background. Simple, but perfect.

Another shows a humpback whale breaching multicolored waves, softly painted in watercolor washes by Don Carrick. And another is Don’s painting of Tashtego as a weathervane, standing tall as he did in reality atop Ted and Jane’s shed on Abel’s Hill.

Some of the posters have nothing to do with whaling at all. One year, Ted and Don went searching the Island for a wood lily, to bring attention to it as an endangered wildflower. Don painted a large red wood lily with arching leaves. His painting of a blue lobster became a children’s book, written by his wife, Carol Carrick, with whom he collaborated on many well-known books for children.

A curlew by Chilmark carver and fisherman Herbert Hancock was photographed by Mark Lovewell. Ted photographed a pre-Columbian mask, rather a haunting image. One not in the show is of a seagull against a dark background, a composition of grays, photographed by William Damroth. One year, Don Carrick painted a rather moody composition of a seashell, a cloud, and the moon; another year, a colorful map of the Island with a flock of birds swooping overhead.

The first year, 1967, Ted sent out an announcement of the opening of Tashtego. The second year, he sent the above-mentioned whale/birds/blue ground poster as a thank you to his customers. People liked the image, but complained that they didn’t want it creased and sent through the mail. That was the idea for an annual poster. Every Memorial Day the new poster appeared in the center of the store’s window on Main Street. It was always an occasion.

IMG_0179.JPGMuseum director David Nathans told us how the poster exhibition came about. “We had a couple in inventory, pulled them out one day, and said, ‘These are wonderful contemporary images.’ A couple of years later, we connected with Rod Farrow about digitizing old films he had, and asked about Ted and Tashtego.” Rod referred him to Jane, now living in Florida, and Jane told him to call her son, David Damroth, who had many of the remaining posters. Sadly, Ted had died in 2011. He would have enjoyed the project and sharing his stories.

It would be wonderful to have a complete set of posters from all the years of Tashtego. So far, the museum has 14. If Tashtego was in business from 1967 to 1995, and they didn’t begin printing posters till maybe the third year, Blue and I figured there must be 28. So there are more out there to discover.

Tashtego eventually stayed open year-round, and their stock expanded from designer furniture to lots of other things, as well. They had Copco cookware and kitchenware, unusual objects Ted and Jane discovered on their travels, wonderful Christmas ornaments, Don Carrick’s oil paintings. It was the place to go for the perfect wedding present or something for your own house. It was special and unique, like the posters that surprised us every year, and remain as a visual tribute to a time when good design was sought out and truly mattered.

Tashtego posters, currently on display at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum through the first week of November. For additional information, call the museum at 508-627-4441.

Lynne Whiting referred to our recent weather as “a nice New England welcome!” She, Allen, Bea, Asa, and Patrick Ruel returned last week from a visit to Salt Lake City, where they attended the wedding of Lynne’s nephew, Dominic Franciose, to Laurel Carnes. Lynne described “a wonderful reunion for me and my three siblings, our nine children and their partners/spouses, and four grandchildren. We also had a lovely gathering remembering my mom, Mary Erickson, as we spread her ashes in the Memory Garden at Holladay United Church of Christ. The weather was dry and hot, so coming home to the current wind and rain was a nice New England welcome!”

Some might describe it differently, but I agree with Lynne. I have always loved a storm, and last week was several days of wind and, finally, good soaking rain. Reports range from 3½ to 5½ inches around town. I guess there were some branches down, but no major damage, and we really needed this rain. Ponds are looking replenished. The landscape is no longer crackling underfoot. I hope our water table will be sufficient to maintain trees and shrubs through the coming winter.

During Pope Francis’s visit to America, he spoke repeatedly about climate change and the need for all of us to care for our natural environment. The Rev. Cathlin Baker and David Fielder of the West Tisbury Church have planned a series of three weekly meetings in response to the Pope’s encyclical. “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” begins this Thursday, Oct. 8, and continues Oct. 15 and 22. All are welcome to attend; friends from our community and other congregations are invited. Cathlin’s group will meet at 11 am, and David’s group will meet at 7 pm. Please sign up at or on a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall.

Last Saturday’s Living Local Harvest Festival seemed hardly daunted by the weather. The Ag Hall and tents outside were filled with visitors, vendors, displays, and information. It was fun to watch children trying experiments, making electricity light up and power toys. There were the most beautiful vegetables, Kate Warner’s bread-making demos, blankets and garments from the alpaca farm, charts for saving electricity and free night lights at Cape Light Compact’s table, and a whole tent full of seed-saving information and supplies.

The Antique Engine Show was on, too. Michael Cutler brought his 1933 Dodge pickup, polished to a fare-thee-well and complete with hood ornament. The museum was full of guys discussing the benefits and drawbacks of different pieces of equipment. All in all, a pretty good day.

We ran into Tommy Thomas there. His first words were, “She was tickled pink all day.” Mike had brought Nanuk over for a visit the day before. Nan knew right where she was. She ran down the hall and jumped up on Mari Harman’s bed, where kisses and hugs ensued. Nan had been Mari’s dog before we adopted her, but when she and Mari see each other, it’s always a love fest.

Before I forget, welcome back to Gail Gardner, and all good wishes to Linley Dolby, whatever you decide to do next. Edgartown was my first home on the Island, and I have been a devoted reader of both of your columns.

I ran into Tim Boland the other day and heard the beginning of the story of his annual trip to visit his family in northern Michigan. He very kindly sent this detailed version to share. This was Tim’s 25th consecutive September going to Lake Leelanau, a small town near Lake Michigan. The past few years have included trips to either South or North Manitou Island. This year was no exception. Tim and his sister, Shane, who teaches science at a nearby charter school, took the 1½-hour ferry ride to North Manitou Island, part of the National Park System since 1984. The island features virgin uncut forests, immense perched dunes, and spectacular views back to the mainland and to the islands beyond. Although accommodations have been restricted to backcountry camping since the island became a national park, this year Tim and Shane stayed in a friend’s cottage, the only one on the island: “To have a bed, electricity, stove, and running water seemed like the Ritz Carlton in comparison to tent camping.” They hiked over 20 miles of trails the first two days. On the last day, Tim took a solo trip to the southern portion of the island, beachcombing and looking at dune plants unique to the island. Many grass species are the same as on the Vineyard; however, the entire flora is much different, with very few oaks. Trees grow over 100 feet tall, spared from the lumberman’s saw during the great timber clearing of 1850-1900.

Back on the mainland, Tim visited his sister, Maura, in Traverse City, then went on to his hometown, Grand Rapids, to see his brother, David, and extended family. Tim will return in mid-October to lead a group of oak experts on a botanical foray to southwest Michigan. “The largest sugar maples and native beech grow in this area, and should be in peak fall color. Don’t be surprised if I come back with seeds!”

Rosalie Powell is starting a new class, Rug Hooking for Beginners, at her West Tisbury studio next Wednesday, Oct. 14. Classes will meet from 1 to 3 pm, continuing Oct. 21 and 28. Cost is $15. Please preregister: 508-693-1984.

Don’t forget that the library, schools, and town offices are closed for Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 12.

The good news is that next weekend, Oct. 18, the library begins Sunday hours, 1 to 5 pm. Special events this week are: Saturday, Oct. 10, 10:30 to 12:30, come build a fairy or troll house. The library has graciously given over its back garden as a haven for their homes. Some materials will be provided, but participants are asked to bring some to share. Bark, feathers, shells, seed pods, sticks, carved-out pumpkin shells, fur, pine cones, mosses and lichens, dried plants, and anything else you think might do. Call the library that morning if the weather looks iffy; the rain date is Thanksgiving weekend.

At 2:30 Saturday afternoon, botanical artist Elaine Searle will present “Floral Adventures: A Talk on Women Botanical Artists.” She will talk about both historical and contemporary artists, and include her own work. The program is in collaboration with Polly Hill Arboretum.

Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 6 pm, there will be a conflict-resolution discussion in honor of National Conflict Awareness Day. Katherine Triantafillou, Richard Barbieri, Peter Melaney, and Roland Miller will lead the conversation about how mediation, restorative justice, peace circles, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution offer new ways of solving conflict.

Martha’s Vineyard Democratic Council will meet this Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 to 10:30, at the Howes House. The agenda includes updates and discussion of the presidential campaign and state convention, energy bill, study committee, and issues relevant to Island voters. Bernie Sanders’ campaign will be discussed at this meeting.

Of interest to Bernie Sanders fans, “Island Bern” is the Vineyard’s local chapter to get Bernie Sanders elected president. Their meetings are at the Howes House every first and third Monday at 7 pm.

Drinking tea with a friend is a good rainy-afternoon activity, so I was happy to be invited over to Chris Gruelich’s last week. Her house was warm and smelling of the chocolate confection heating in the oven. We had barely seen each other all summer, so this was a good opportunity to talk and catch up on everything. I don’t know where the summer went.



I just don’t know where to begin this week’s column. Nothing feels right, like the world is in total upheaval. Maybe it’s some weird effect of the full moon or the eclipse, although it was amazing to watch. Maybe it’s the feeling of shorter days, less light, impending winter. I don’t know, but I feel out of sorts, and everyone and everything around me seems that way, too. The house seems messier than usual, the dogs both need baths, I need to go grocery shopping, and one of our best friends has died. It all feels overwhelming.

The town did turn out in full for the memorial service for Ernie Mendenhall on Saturday. It was an extra-beautiful day, perfect early autumn weather. Ernie’s blue truck was parked right out front of the Ag Hall; vehicles of similar vintage and careful restoration arrayed in the circular drive. An honor guard of West Tisbury firemen and policemen stood respectfully at the hall’s entrance. Bill Logue, Kathy’s brother, welcomed everyone and introduced Ernie’s brother Lee, his oldest friend, George Wanner, son-in-law Erik Lowe, grandson Aaron Lowe, and son Brad Mendenhall, all of whom spoke with warmth and affection and humor. Erik and Cheryl Lowe, Megan Mendenhall, and Marie Betit, Ernie’s eldest granddaughter, sang and played guitar. Afterward, the potluck was astonishing. All in all, a tribute to Ernie and his family by members of this community he so well loved and served.

This week, another member of our community has died. George Hough was a thorough gentleman, dapper in the old-school way, with the beautiful manners and speech we all used to be brought up with. I remember getting to know him when he ran for a position on the library board, and I became quite fond of him and his wife, Mary Lu. He was devoted to conservation issues, served on the Sheriff’s Meadow Board for many years, and also as West Tisbury’s Land Bank representative. Mary Lu told me the family plans a memorial service at a later date. My condolences to Mary Lu and their family, and to their many friends.

Mary Lu also told me that her granddaughter had just called to announce that she and her husband are expecting twins. I look forward to writing about their arrival when the time comes.

Don’t forget the Living Local Harvest Festival and Antique Engine Show this Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Ag Hall. It’s always a great day.

I hope everyone got to see the plein air painting show in Vineyard Haven last week. It was quite wonderful. The artists had all gone to spots chosen all around the Island, and it was interesting to compare their different views of the same places. They had a lovely opening, where I met Kim McCarthy, who was here from Ojai, Calif., visiting her sister and brother-in-law, Valentine and Rick Estabrook. It was a fortuitous time for a visit, as Kim was a big help to Valentine and the other painters hanging the show and organizing the opening and related events.

The library’s Lego Club will meet this Saturday afternoon, Oct. 3, from 2:30 to 4:30. All ages are welcome.

Julie Prazich is the library’s artist of the month for October. She is a printmaker, making monoprints “inspired by her experiences with people facing life transition and the caregivers, professionals, and family and friends who support them.” She is a retired hospice physician. She will also be exhibiting fish made from wood or fused glass. Later in the month, she will teach a fish-painting class, and there will be an artist’s reception so we can all meet her and hear about her work.

I hope people read this early enough to attend Cape Light Compact’s information session today, Oct. 1, 5:30 to 7, in the Martha’s Vineyard Commission office at the Stone Building in Oak Bluffs. They will present their Energy Efficiency Program for the next three years. The EEPs are what homeowners, small businesses, and town governments use when they get audits and recommendations about tightening up their buildings. If you can’t make it, information is online at The contact person is Maggie Downey, at 800-797-6699 or

Anyone wondering why Scotchman’s Lane was closed off part of Sunday or why they saw plumes of what appeared to be smoke along Old County Road, rest assured that it was nothing bad. Island firefighters were participating in a course, Pumps and Hydraulics, at Station 2 in West Tisbury. Their field practice was what you saw. Instructors from Massachusetts Firefighting Academy were on the Island to teach the weekend course. West Tisbury firemen who took the class were Kenny Mastramonaco, Russ Hartenstine, Eric Medeiros, Brynn Schaffner, Greg Pachico, and my husband, Mike Hull. Mike came home both days with tales of new methods and equipment, but one highlight (Mike said there were many) of the weekend was pumping 2,100 gallons per minute from Factory Brook. Kent Healy was on hand monitoring the water level, which at times looked as if it might run dry.

I suppose many of us spent at least part of the weekend watching and reading about Pope Francis’s visit to the United States. What a remarkable man. I had to laugh, though, at the image of myself on Friday evening as I watched him chanting the beautiful Catholic Mass in Latin at Madison Square Garden, my Sabbath candles lit and glowing on the table by my side.