Authors Posts by Hermine Hull

Hermine Hull

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

Still no rain to speak of, but at least the humidity and worst of the heat have abated, and nights cool off for sleeping. Foliage remains steadfastly and remarkably green, the fresh green of summer that hasn’t turned dusty, dark, or faded yet. I have noticed a soft coppery hue on the shrubbery around the Mill Pond, and hay fields are approaching a second cutting.

Fire Station I has been given over to the State Police, who are here for the President and his family’s visit. Motorcycles gleam in the sunshine outside the station’s doors. Our guys have been preparing for their arrival, moving equipment over to Station II, making room for them and whatever gear they need. Mike said that it’s like a family reunion when the State Police arrive. They have been coming for so many Augusts now.

Beth Kramer called me last week to come and see the bronze statue of President Obama and his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, on loan to our library as part of an exhibit that has traveled the Commonwealth over the past five years. It has pride of place at the entrance to the Children’s Room, along with displays and books of essays written as the part of the project, intended to increase awareness of and celebrate the relationships we have with our grandmothers. Paper and pens are laid out to add our residents’ drawings and essays to the collection. Former Gov. Deval Patrick wrote the first essay when the sculpture debuted at the State House in 2009. Eventually, it will be donated to the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum. The sculpture was commissioned by Life Experience School for Children with Special Needs, and the project underwritten by Peace Abbey Foundation of Sherborn. The sculptor is Lado Goudjabidze.

The Friends of the Library announced that the book sale made almost $21,000 this year, the most ever. Congratulations and thanks for a fabulous sale. They are already collecting books for next year. If you have books to donate, please drop them off at the shed outside the West Tisbury School.

It’s not too late to sign up for the Summer Reading Program. There’s a sign-up sheet at the library.

Library events for the upcoming week include Thursday, August 13, 5 pm, Sarah Waldman book talk and cooking demo for “Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks.” Saturday, August 15, 4 pm, a concert by a capella group Vineyard Sound, and Tisberry Yogurt Social. Monday, August 17, 9:30 pm, meet on the front porch of the library for stargazing. Bring a blanket and flashlight.

There will be a workshop for kids ages 12 and up to make paracord bracelets with Martha Hubbell on August 26. Preregister at the Library.

I was happily surprised to see Susie Boass’s honey stand back in its place on Middle Road. Susie told me that her neighbor, Elise Green, had found the cash box in some shrubbery nearby. It is reinstalled, and the honey stand is fully stocked once again.

Another surprise was seeing a familiar face in the New York Times last Saturday. Under the headline, “Clinton Has Her Own Celebrity Moment as Staff Monitors Debate,” was a big photograph of campaign staff, and in the center of said photograph was Maxwell Nunes. I knew he was working for Mrs. Clinton, so I had looked. I’ve cut out the article and am saving it for Nancy and Manny.

I hadn’t seen Nancy Huntington all summer, so was happy to run into her at Cronig’s last week. We caught up on our news, mostly about her surviving the winter with 20 feet of snow piled up in front of the sliders to her porch. Old movies kept her entertained, and a contest with neighbors guessing the date the snow would finally disappear. Nancy came in second with April 7. The winning date was April 17, and the winner was given a good bottle of wine.

Linda Hearn and I went for a walk at the Polly Hill Arboretum to see the “World of Pim.” It was totally magic. The story is a perfect fairy tale, and the sculptures are beyond wonderful, some hidden in tree branches, some appearing to mimic the shapes of the tree trunk and canopy under which they are displayed. Anyone with an hour or so to spare will find it delightfully well spent.

Lynne Whiting told me that Allen has rearranged the Davis House Gallery for August, filling in empty spaces where sold paintings had hung with new work and some older paintings never shown before. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 1 to 6.

There are two big events this weekend at the West Tisbury Church. First, the sixth annual Peach Festival at the West Tisbury Church: you could win a peach tree in the raffle, or just take home a pie or a jar of jam (or a case). Peach ice cream, smoothies, sundaes, ice tea and lemonade, fresh peaches, shortcakes, and more will be served on the front lawn. There will be music and activities for children, too. Everything is always delicious, so please stop by, see your friends, and support our church.

Also, just wanted to let you know that the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be preaching at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury on Sunday, August 16. This will be Rev. Warnock’s seventh summer preaching to our congregation. All are welcome to join us for worship, but please arrive early as seating is at a premium! We will offer overflow seating in the Parish Hall.

Please call the church if you have any questions, 508-693-2842.

My apologies to anyone who has sent me news for the column the past couple of weeks. My Comcast email hasn’t been working, so I haven’t seen whatever it was you sent. I haven’t ignored you.

Longtime followers of this column will appreciate my letting everyone know that I have closet doors trimmed out and installed in our spare bedroom. Mike is making the doors for our bedroom, narrow double doors that won’t take up so much room to open. Everything he does is beautiful, so carefully crafted and thought out. He knows how much I have wanted closet doors; indeed everyone in town has read about 31 years in our house with no closet doors. They were worth waiting for.

On our morning walks with Talley and Nanuk, we have been watching the opening into the Great Pond. We have been watching it since it was cut last Dec. 18, 2014. It’s the talk of up-Island that no one ever remembers it remaining open as long as this. Yet open it remains. It moves a little to one side or the other, the channel deepens or grows shallower, widens or seems almost ready to close. It’s been our own miracle of nature to observe.

Brandy Wight and Bruce Blackwell are on the Island, celebrating Brandy’s 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the founding of VCS, Vineyard Conservation Society, of which Bruce was the first director. Together they ran the Granary Gallery/Red Barn, site of the festivities. Current owners Chris and Sheila Morse hosted a birthday party on Tuesday afternoon, then a preview and sale of paintings done en plein air by the following artists: Valentine Estabrook, Lowely Finnerty, Nancy Kingsley, Kanta Lipsky, Thaw Malin, Marjorie Mason, Harry Seymour, Tiffiney Shoquist, Jeanne Staples, Liz Taft, Wendy Weldon, Allen Whiting, and Rez Williams. This will all have taken place by the time you are reading this. Welcome home to Brandy and Bruce. Congratulations to VCS for all you do to preserve and protect our island.

Andrew Gordon Moore opens his solo show at the Granary Gallery this Sunday, 5 to 7 pm.

On my way to Mermaid Farm I saw a sign on Susie Boass’s honey stand. Due to theft of the money box, she is selling her wares at her house instead of on the road. I remember all the thefts at farm stands last summer, and am outraged that it’s happening again. Whoever you are, please don’t change the trust and way of life we are accustomed to and value. This is not the way we want to live.

On a cheerier note, I happened to be driving on Beach Road out of Oak Bluffs and spotted two familiar faces at a roadside lemonade stand. Laura Hearn and her daughter, Morgan Caruso, have a friend on Farm Pond Road who gave them permission to set up. In fact, he was ensconced in a director’s chair sampling the goods. The lemonade was delicious, with fresh mint from their garden, and Morgan also had freshly baked blueberry muffins. This is her project to earn money for the Ag Fair. She plans to be there again, so do stop by.

An Island group called C.E.O., Creative Entrepreneurs with Opportunities, has designed a project for kids in grades K through 8 to learn entrepreneurial and startup skills. Their first annual Lemonade Day is August 29. They plan to mentor kids to start 20 lemonade stands across the Island. Download a registration form online. For information,

Teena Parton just told me the sad news that Marilyn Kerr died at age 84 at her home in Canada. Many will remember Marilyn from her years on the Island. When I met her, she and her partner, David Wessling, lived in a tiny rental off State Road. It was too expensive to heat adequately, and was probably not well-insulated, so Marilyn spent a lot of time keeping warm at the old library on Music Street. She was a force of nature, creative in everything she touched, interested in everything and everyone. She attracted friends with her energy and sweetness. Eventually they moved to Vineyard Haven, to a slightly less chilly house, that became a gathering place for writers, musicians, weavers, knitters, papermakers, and just plain interesting folks. Marilyn sang in the Island Chorus. She had been a champion figure skater and an elementary school teacher in Canada. She was elegant in a comfortable way, warm, always planning a project and inviting people to join her. I have wonderful memories of doing crafts at her home, listening to music and her musical laugh, always encouraging. Then there were her darling grandchildren, Oliver, Eliot, and Gemma, who were just as interesting and creative as she was. One of them even had drawings at Shaw Cramer Gallery. I can’t imagine the world without her.

Another creative person in town was award-winning playwright and teacher Jon Lipsky, who died in 2011. His son, Jonah, and a former student, Bill Barclay, now musical director at the Globe Theatre in London, have collected and published two volumes of Jon’s full-length plays. Many were first performed at the Vineyard Playhouse, where the publication was heralded Sunday afternoon. There will be a second event at Porter Square Books in Cambridge on August 12.

Start anticipating the West Tisbury Church’s sixth annual Peach Festival, to take place next Saturday, August 15, noon to 4 o’clock. All sorts of delicious peach treats are planned.

The trustees, staff, and Friends of the West Tisbury library invite you to their annual Volunteer Reception this Saturday, August 8, 5-6 pm, at the library, “with gratitude and appreciation for your support of the library this past year.”

There are three book talks and signings at the library. Kevin Parham, author of “The Vineyard We Knew: A Recollection of Summers on Martha’s Vineyard During the 1960s,” will speak on Tuesday, August 11, 5-6 pm. Ali Berlow will be there on Wednesday, August 12, at 5:30, with her newly published “The Food Activist’s Handbook.” On Thursday, August 13, there will be a book talk and cooking demonstration at 5 pm by Sarah Waldman, co-author with Christine Chitnis of “Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks.

Sue Hruby has been looking forward all summer to the arrival of her Aunt Marie Schwebach and cousins, Karen Wallenberg and Terry Carson, from South Dakota and Minnesota. This was the first time any of them had visited the Island, and Sue planned a perfect tour. They saw the Campground houses, the Aquinnah cliffs, Menemsha, all the down-Island towns and the most picturesque scenery up-Island, ate at the Beach Plum, and had fish and lobsters at home. Everyone had a grand time.

Glenn and Linda Hearn had guests last week. Their son, Mark Hearn, and his son, Blake, were here with two of Blake’s friends, enjoying family time on Town Cove. Linda had just taken the boys to breakfast at the airport, then back home to meet Mark in time to catch the 9:30 boat.

Caroline Flanders and I caught up with each other on Alley’s porch. She is a newly elected library trustee, and was volunteering at the Library Foundation’s Tuesdays at Twilight concert. Her children, Jean and Oscar, have had a busy summer swimming and catching frogs. They are currently in Medford visiting Caroline’s parents, and checking out the Museum of Fine Arts and Legoland. Other city attractions are on the agenda.

Caroline also mentioned that a new associate attorney has joined George Brush’s firm in North Tisbury. His name is Tim Moriarty. He attended primary school on the Island and met his wife here, Liz Anderson, an Island native and nurse practitioner. After practicing in western Massachusetts, Tim is back on the Island. He and Liz have 2-year-old twins, Maeve and Finn, and are expecting another baby this winter.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s annual meeting will include a Medal Award Ceremony honoring two West Tisbury recipients. Selectman Cynthia Mitchell will present the posthumous award for Pat Gregory to his son-in-law, Dan Carbon. Town Moderator Dan Waters, who also works at the Museum, will present Cynthia Riggs with her award. The third honoree is Patricia Morgan, whose award will be presented by YMCA Executive Director Jill Robie-Axtell. The award ceremony is on Monday, August 10, 5 pm, at the former Marine Hospital, future home of the Museum. It is free and open to all.

On Monday at the Grange Hall, we welcome back Islanders Write. Justen Ahren, Geraldine Brooks, Jemima James, Tony Horwitz, Donald Nitchie are a few of our year-round residents who will be taking part in panel discussions, which start at 7:45 am. The day will feature workshops and panel discussions about writing. It’s free and open to the public. For information, visit

Belated happy birthday wishes to Debby Athearn. She decided to give herself a party, and invited her friends to a wonderful potluck at her and Harry’s house last Saturday. Debby and her ukelele group entertained the partygoers. This being West Tisbury, the company and the food were the best, and Debby received enough admiration to keep her going for another year.

"Along the Waterfront," oil on linen. Art by Andrew Moore

Visitors to Andrew Moore’s former studio/former gallery are greeted by a metal pan piled with clots of dried paint that sits on the porch railing next to his door. He calls it “my color mountain,” the scrapings from cleaning his palette at the end of the day. It seems a whimsical display for an artist known for his meticulous paintings.

Inside, paintings are hung and leaned everywhere, as varnish dries on some, set into frames that are also made by the artist, to be stained or painted to perfectly complement each painting. Andrew is preparing for his solo show at the Granary Gallery that opens this Sunday, August 9. He last exhibited at the Granary in the late 1980s, before building his own gallery next to his home in Harthaven. For 24 years it served as his studio in the winter and gallery in the summer. Now he is ready to turn it back into a full-time studio. “At 53, I realized the time it takes to run a gallery takes away from what I really wanted, which was to paint. As you get older you realize time is the most valuable possession,” says Andrew.

And time we took. Two painters sitting together in an art-filled room talking about what we do. The language of making art, of looking at the world around you as elements in a composition, designing pictures in your mind.

Although Andrew’s paintings appear very precise and “photographic” in the sense of being carefully rendered and polished, of a recognizable place, they are really designed to serve the idea in his mind. That idea can take years to become a finished painting, pieced together from observation of any variety of components — a section of landscape, a piece of wood or stone, patterns of light, a dead bird or other animal in his studio — all put together in a series of drawings that underlie the final design. The final drawing is blown up to the decided-upon size and shape, then transferred to the canvas as simplified shapes rendered in a sepia underpainting. “No details, positive and negative space, the design of the painting.” he says of his approach. Then the layering of colors begins.

"Hannah," oil on linen. Art by Andrew Moore
“Hannah,” oil on linen. Art by Andrew Moore

Andrew made a video of the painting “Hannah” as it progressed. You can watch it on his website,, under “The Process.” It’s a portrait of his daughter. It took her whole life to paint. He waited until Hannah was no longer a little girl, so that people seeing her at 40 would know it was her. His idea was of a painting that would evoke her childhood. She is posed out of doors, under an umbrella Andrew had and planned all along to use. The daffodils they planted together when she was 6, the path she walked to school, the ocean in the distance, the gray of the white oaks surrounding their house are all there. Hannah has become an artist herself, and Andrew sees her studying him and making compositions in her head from her artist’s perspective, just as he was painting her.

There are several small paintings of the Gannon and Benjamin boatyard, of men working on a wooden whaleboat. Andrew happened into the shop and watched them working on this boat, documenting their progress with photographs and drawings throughout the winter and late spring of 2013. The paintings came later, finished over the past two years. The dog, Zephyr, was always there, covered in wood shavings; the tool box and set of chisels; the hull bottom-up through the first half of construction, then flipped over; the bit of landscape through the windows. A large painting of the finished whaleboat completed the series, and is the centerpiece in his upcoming show.

"Northern Gannet and Tinkers," oil on linen. Art by Andrew Moore
“Northern Gannet and Tinkers,” oil on linen. Art by Andrew Moore

Another painting is of a northern gannet he came upon while returning from fishing off Cape Pogue. Some of the feathers on its wings had been damaged, allowing Andrew to get close enough to take a series of photographs. “All the time it was making this wild, primordial noise,” said Andrew. The bird was depicted with its beak open. A fishing trip weeks later provided the undulating ocean and light patterns in the water, the Aquinnah Cliffs and shrubbery in the background. A school of tinker mackerel, an up-Island bait fish, was placed in the foreground, an imagined addition to strengthen the composition. The process of fishing and designing the painting, then in the studio making drawings to work out the major movement, became “the abstract underpinning of the whole thing.”

“Snowflakes” is a magical concoction of just that, snowflakes falling, every one different, as they are in nature. The view is of Keith Farm. Snow is still falling over an almost-covered stone wall, the remains of bittersweet vines and berries a spot of color in the foreground. Andrew’s idea was of a painting “as magic as the planet can get, of gray sky and snow falling, the feeling a child might have on Christmas Eve.” He spoke of the softening and obscuring of the treeline, overpainting it again and again. “The idea is important. Detail isn’t the important thing. Sacrifice detail for the painting.” Make sure to look at it up close.

And on we went, talking, looking. I came away with a greater understanding of what these paintings are, not photographic renderings, but the carefully constructed compositions of a keen observer and craftsman.


Andrew Gordon Moore, Paintings from the Coast 2015, the Granary Gallery, West Tisbury. Sunday, August 9, through Saturday, August 22. Artist’s reception will be held Sunday, August 9, from 5 to 7 pm.



The sky is gray as I am writing this. I am hoping for rain, although the weather radar map shows most of the precipitation going just west of us. Still, a chance. Everything feels dusty dry. Mulch helps. As much as I wish for rain, I have to admit that most of our summer weather has been pretty nice. This week, though, the predictions are for hazy, hot, and humid as we end July and begin August.

I will be losing my husband now, as the Fire Department will start setting up the hamburger booth for the Ag Fair. Funny to think that the fair is only three weeks away. Those three weeks will be filled with activity, as everyone in town will either be busy at the fairgrounds or preparing exhibits at home. This burst of activity always seems to come so quickly, then be so quickly over. Then, so will the summer start to wind down and feel our own. I look forward to those days of late August and beautiful September, the change from busy-ness toward solitude, still warm sand and water, colors changing to goldenrod and asters.

For now, gardens are filled with produce and colorful flowers at their peak. The Farmers Market is almost overwhelming in its generous abundance. I look forward to the displays at the fair. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Speaking of abundance, the Friends of the West Tisbury Library have once again triumphed over chaos, turning the school gym into the orderly lines of tables of books we have come to expect. Art and Architecture, Biographies, Poetry, Island History, Crafts, Children’s Books, and so on, all clearly labeled and ready for eager readers to arrive, book bags in hand. The Book Sale begins Friday morning, and goes through Monday, August 3. Hours are 9 to 3 every day. Books are half-price on Sunday and free on Monday. Donations are always welcome. It is the big fundraiser that helps support so many of our library’s programs and extras. Thanks to the Friends for their dedication and efforts on the library’s behalf, and to all the patrons who will be lined up and ready come Friday through the weekend.

We will all miss Jennifer Tseng, who worked her last day at the library on Friday. Poet, now novelist, enthusiastic and knowledgeable planner of literary programs, she addressed her emails to us columnists as her “literary lovelies.” I always knew something interesting would be found there. Jennifer will be participating in this weekend’s Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival. She will speak about and read from her book, “Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness,” on Saturday at 11:15 in the Squibnocket tent on the Chilmark Community Center grounds. “Mayumi” is a finalist for the New England Book Award, and has been listed on Huffington Post’s “15 Beach Reads for the Summer.”

Another person who has left her familiar venue is Shari Foiles of our West Tisbury Post Office. She is leaving the Island, excited that she will be living and working near her sister in Maine.

If you are reading this in time, Writers Read begins at 6:30 Thursday evening at the West Tisbury library. Call ahead to reserve your allotted six minutes, or just come along. Both fiction and nonfiction writers are welcome.

There will be a reception at the library this Friday, July 31, for artists Marie-Louise Rouff and Julia Leonard. Meet them, learn about their work, look carefully, and enjoy the snacks and the crowd. The reception is from 3 to 5 pm.

Making Rockets with Matt Hayden is this Saturday’s family craft, set up in the Children’s Room from 10 am to noon. The Lego Club will meet later in the day, from 3 to 4:30.

Willa Vigneault will give a presentation about her recent trip to Jordan on Tuesday, August 4, at 5 pm in the Program Room.

Doors open at 7 pm on August 4 at the Grange Hall for “Tuesdays at Twilight Concert,” sponsored by the West Tisbury Library Foundation. Good Night Louise will perform a folky medley of Americana and blues, with appearances by Jemima James, Rose Guerin, and other special guests. The concert begins at 7:30. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for kids 12 and under, available in advance at the library or Tisberry Fro Yo. The Art Cliff food truck will be parked outside from 6 to 8 for dinner, and there will be yogurt treats after the concert.

Another musical library event takes place next Thursday, August 6, when the Friends sponsor a concert by Choro das 3 at the library. The performance begins at 7:30 and is free. Choro is “urban jazz native to Brazil that shares a similar feel with New Orleans jazz or ragtime or bluegrass.” Choro das 3 is an instrumental group made up of three sisters and their father. Eduardo plays pandeiro, a Brazilian tambourine. Corina plays flute and piccolo; Elisa plays mandolin, banjo, clarinet, and piano; Lia plays seven-string guitar. They look forward to introducing our families to their family’s music.

Leslie Baker is exhibiting 24 monotypes and oil paintings at the Marion Art Center. Her show, called “Now and Then,” combines her familiar Island landscapes with the abstract work she has been exploring for the past few years. She began experimenting with abstraction by doing monotypes in the printing studio at Featherstone, then using them as the inspiration for large oil paintings. The exhibition represents her past year’s work. It runs through August 14.

Alan Brigish and Susan Klein’s show of photography and stories from their book, “Now and Zen,” opens with a reception this Sunday, August 2, 4 to 6 pm, at Featherstone.

Good Shepherd Parish is having a yard sale this Saturday, August 1. They will set up their wares from 8 to 2 in the parking lot of St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven.

If you are interested in architecture and Island history, Edgartown’s Federated Church is hosting a house tour on Tuesday, August 11. Historian Mary Jane Carpenter will give a free lecture about the historical homes along North Water Street. The tour is from 2 to 4:30, and ends with tea overlooking Edgartown Harbor. Tickets are $40. For information: 508-627-7079.

Mike just came home for lunch and turned on the Weather Channel. The band of green showers that looked so sparse this morning is now a broadened, angry swath of dark green and yellow, indicating real rain that may fall over the Vineyard. As I have had the column to write this morning, I haven’t gone out to water yet. I think I’ll hold off and hope for a good, steady rain this afternoon. There is always plenty to do indoors, too, if I can’t be out in the garden.

From the vantage of Alley’s porch, there was a lot of traffic in West Tisbury this weekend, more than any of us remember. Reports from people driving in it seemed to corroborate our observations. Traffic was reported down the Edgartown Road way past Vincent and Heather Maciel’s, down South Road past the Yoga Barn. Music Street on both sides was lined with parked cars, squeezing barely moving cars into the narrowed roadway waiting to enter State Road. All the events in town appeared to have been popular and well-attended: the Antique Show, Farmers Market, the Art Show at Howes House, programs at the library, the Blueberry Festival, the Artisans Festival, an opening at the Field Gallery, and a couple of weddings. Plus regular traffic to the gas station, Alley’s, 7A, Cronig’s, the post office, Conroy’s, people just wanting to go for a ride up-Island. It was one busy weekend.

Someone told me it was only seven weeks to Labor Day. I should say that there are wonderful things about the summer, and many of us who live here are happy to see summer friends. It just comes on so quickly and all at once, and for a relatively short time. So many activities and socializing with friends, and all the preparation and planning. Then it’s over, as quickly and precipitately. It’s just a lot of change to cope with. Plus it’s hot. It’s not all bad, but it can be hard.

Mary Beth Norton has welcomed Dr. Gillian Sutherland for her first visit to the Vineyard. Dr. Sutherland is a retired historian from Newnham College, University of Cambridge. They met when Mary Beth taught at Cambridge and was affiliated with Newnham College in 2005-06.

Paul Levine and Marie-Louise Rouff have Marie-Louise’s son, Professor Emanuel Pastreich, visiting with them for the week. Marie-Louise was just heading off to pick him up at the ferry when we spoke this morning. Emanuel is a professor of Japanese and Korean Literature at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. He spent part of last week attending a conference in Vancouver, B.C.

Caryn Broitman and Brian Walt have had Brian’s brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Brenda Walt, visiting from Los Angeles for the weekend. They attended the Friday night Shabbat service at the beach, spent Shabbat together, and walked to Sepiessa with Shlomi, Rabbi Broitman’s poodle. On Sunday, Brian and Galya took them to Chappy for a tour of Mytoi and Wasque.

Owen Potts is here for the whole summer, staying with his grandmother, Marjory Potts. Owen is a high school freshman and handyman extraordinaire. His skills include bicycle repair (many of us remember Owen’s grandfather, Robert, who was also pretty handy and an avid bike rider) and he is offering “electronic-free childcare” for kids ages 3 to 10. He will read stories, play cards and board games, soccer, whiffle ball, hide-and-go-seek, and more. All at reasonable rates. Call Owen at 508-693-3584.

Bruce Haynes celebrated his birthday on July 19 with a small family party at home. Wishing you many happy returns, Bruce.

I am celebrating the good news that Fia Fleishman has found a home. Robert Herman and Madeline Way will be caring for Fia while Giulia Fleishman attends school in Israel. I’m sure Julian and Rose will help with dogwalking, and that all of you will love having Fia in your home and lives.

On a sad note, Leslie Stark died last week. There was a memorial service at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center on Sunday afternoon. In his honor, the West Tisbury library moved their planned program of 12th and 13th century music and poetry to a later time, so that participants and the audience could attend the service. My condolences to Myra and to all the theater community, of which Leslie was a dynamic and respected member.

Polly Hill Arboretum has hired a new plant propagator, a position that has remained unfilled for too long. Brian McGowan and his wife need year-round housing. If you know of anything, please contact Karin Stanley at the arboretum at 508-693-9426 or email to

The West Tisbury library has scheduled lots of interesting special programs along with their regular weekly offerings. Sol y Canto, a Pan-Latin sextet, will perform this Saturday, July 25, at 4 pm. Rosi Amador is the singer, and Brian Amador the composer and guitarist. There is also accompaniment on piano, woodwinds, bass, and percussion, all an interpretation of contemporary Latin music. The whole family is welcome to this free program.

Laura Edelman is offering two free yoga classes at the library. Tweens and teens meet on Saturday, July 25, and August 5, 10:15 to 11:00. Classes for 4- to 8-year-olds are Tuesday mornings, 10:15 to 11:00, this Saturday, July 25, and August 1 and 8. Please preregister at the library.

Anna Mia Davidson will speak about her new book of photographs at the library on Tuesday, July 28, at 5 o’clock. “Human Nature: Sustainable Farming in the Pacific Northwest” has just been published.

Jennifer Steele will read from and discuss her new book, “The Ambassador’s Wife,” at the library on Wednesday, July 29, at 7 o’clock.

Monday, July 20, Writers Read will meet at 7 pm. All are invited to bring short works of original prose — fiction or nonfiction. You are allotted six minutes, so sign up at the library circulation desk.

As our Friends of the West Tisbury Library are preparing for their annual Book Sale, so are their cohorts at the Oak Bluffs Library. Oak Bluffs’ sale is in the library, and begins this Thursday, July 23, 10 to 4, through Saturday, July 25, 10 to 2. Ours begins next week: Friday, July 31, through Monday, August 3. Tables and books already fill the West Tisbury School gym. I called Chilmark to check with them, but their sale isn’t till mid-December. Plenty of opportunities for book lovers on our Island.

West Tisbury cartoonist Paul Karasik invites everyone to a “Very Semi-Serious” discussion at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center this Friday evening, July 24, at 7:30. Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor for the New Yorker, and island cartoonists Mr. Karasik and Mick Stevens will likely provide an entertaining program. Tickets are available at

If you have ever wondered if lightning strikes twice in the same place, or have any other storm or weather questions, Felix Neck has invited weatherman John Pearson and his electrostatic-energy Van De Graaff generator to speak and demonstrate on Monday, July 27, 7 to 8 o’clock. The event is free, and all are welcome.

When I called the Chilmark Library earlier, I had a chance to catch up with Ebba Hierta, and through her, her husband. “How’s Chuck?” I asked. Ebba told me he was having a busy summer, but has managed to get in a little fishing. He caught three keeper fluke the other day and, using the miracle of cell phones, was able to call friends right from the boat, still offshore, and invite them to share the bounty that night for dinner. Nice to hear stories about our year-round friends getting to enjoy their summers and do normal stuff. Even just a little.

Julia Humphreys and her dog Xochi when he won his Pronounced Nose Work Level 2 Title. Photo by Karen Odgen

Frank Drake’s garden, which was very visible up and across the Edgartown Road, always seemed a remarkable achievement. He planted it every year on the Fourth of July. Within weeks it had not only caught up, but surpassed the efforts of everyone else in the neighborhood who had dutifully put in early crops in April and hot-weather plantings around Memorial Day. His tomatoes, pole beans, and corn reached the sky, covered with perfectly formed vegetables in astounding abundance. No animal, bird, or insect ever dared interfere. His wife Helen cooked and put up whatever Frank grew, feeding their family much of the year from this relatively small and productive rectangle. Oh, and it didn’t have a fence around it.

I have been thinking about this as I survey my tomato plants still in peat pots, beans and summer squash seeds as yet unplanted. Potatoes and garlic are coming up, and it’s a good raspberry year. I have nothing to say about the packages of sweet peas and other annual flower seeds, most of which instructed me to sow after the last frost. I know I’ll get them in eventually, and with good soil and compost, will hopefully have some flowers and good vegetables this summer. Meanwhile, I am picking delicious Sungold cherry tomatoes off my spindly plants, and making artistic bouquets for the house from ferns and hosta leaves, with a few blossoms from cooperating perennials.

This has all come to mind as Mike and I went to celebrate Bill and Betty Haynes’s 50th wedding anniversary last Saturday. Bruce and Jennifer Haynes held the party at their house. Co-host and hostess were Janice Haynes and her husband, Jeremiah Brown. Jennifer’s parents, Margaret and Bill Burke, came to help, and Betty’s brother and sister-in-law, Fred and Linda Lewis. And, of course, all the grandkids: Nathaniel, Jessica, Lily, and Hannah. It was a beautiful day for a party, and being West Tisbury, the company and the food were exceptional. The point of my story is that Bill always teases me about how lackadaisical I am about getting my garden in every spring, so I wanted to bring something that came from my garden. I did, a rhubarb and raspberry crisp, and he was duly impressed.

Continuing the horticultural theme, the Polly Hill Arboretum’s seasonal Walk Through Imagination has been set out by imaginative duo potter Bill O’Callaghan and storyteller Robin Tuck. This year’s story is “The People of Pim.” It’s fun to walk through the arboretum, and you have till the end of August to find out about the people and secrets of Pim.

Julia Humphreys and her golden retriever Xochi traveled to Litchfield, Conn., to compete in Level 2 Nosework Trials. Xochi found all the hidden scents in all four elements (containers, vehicles, interior, and exterior) with an overall time of 3 minutes 57 seconds, a minute and a quarter faster than the next dog. “But best of all, because the judges in each of the four elements stated that our teamwork was outstanding, his title was ‘Pronounced,’ which means with honors. He was awarded first place overall,” said Julia. Karen Ogden was there, too, as the official photographer.

Louise Bessire took her three granddaughters on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube, from Budapest through Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg, and Passau, ending in Prague. Blakey, Clay, and Emma Bessire all enjoyed exploring the cities for treasures and learning the history of each place.

The West Tisbury Church will have tents and tables set up and banner flying for their annual Blueberry Festival, one of the signature events of summer. There are always delicious sundaes and smoothies to enjoy on the lawn, and jars of jam to take home. It’s this Saturday, July 18, noon to 4.

On Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, the West Tisbury library presents the sixth annual performance of “The World of Troubadours” and “Trobairitz: Poems and Songs from 12th and 13th Century Southern France.” Tenor Jason Wang is the soloist, accompanied by lutenist Richard Maloney and members of Ensemble Passacaglia. Paul Levine will give historical background and explain the origin of the works. The event is free and open to the public.

Other library programs this week and next include, on Saturday, July 18, art projects in the morning, and the Lego Club meeting from 3 to 4:30. Monday Night Movies are “City of Bones” for teenagers and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day” for families. Both begin at 6:30 and are free, popcorn included. Meet on the front porch at 9:30 Monday night for Star-Gazing with Lenny Schoenfeld. The library, in collaboration with the Yard and YOU, presents “You Can Dance If You Want To,” a family dance party, from 4 to 6 on the 22nd and 23rd. Also on Wednesday, the 22nd, at 5 o’clock, Tom Dunlop and John Wilson present clips from home movies and theatrical films shot on the Island, some dating from the 1920s, part of their effort with the Vineyard Gazette to save a cinematic record of Martha’s Vineyard. And I have it on good authority that there will be a surprise guest at Thursday morning’s preschool story time.

The Friends of the Library are in full force preparing for their annual Book Sale. They could use some help from energetic, book-loving volunteers. If you are interested, come to the West Tisbury School gym Monday through Friday mornings, 9 to noon. And if you have books to donate, please bring them to the school during those hours.

The West Tisbury Personnel Board needs a new member. Their job is to administer policies and procedures covering town employees. If interested, please call Maria McFarland, 508-696-6404, or email

A retirement party is planned for Superintendent James Weiss at the Grange Hall next Saturday, July 25, 5 to 8 pm. Tickets are $25, sold at the door, the superintendent’s office, or the MVRHS. Proceeds will go to the James Weiss Student Activity Fund.

The Howes House Friday Watercolor Painting Group is having a two-day exhibition of members’ work. It’s open on Friday, July 17, noon to 4, and Saturday, July 18, 9 to 2.

Rez Williams’ new paintings of Ireland and his continuing series of fishing boats will have an opening at A Gallery on Saturday, July 18, 5 to 7 pm.

Wendy Weldon, who was inspired by her travels in Asia this winter, opens “Color” at the Field Gallery Sunday afternoon, 5 to 7.

A call to the community: My friend Giulia Fleishman is leaving for Israel on July 23, where she will study Torah and Talmud for 10 months at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Learning. She is desperately looking for a home, temporary or permanent, for her 3-year-old dog, Fia. Fia is a mix of mostly husky, a very pretty brown and tan girl with a sweet temperament. If you are interested, please call Giulia at 917-903-9038.

Driving down New Lane the other day, I saw a new farm stand at the intersection where New Lane branches off to Tiah’s Cove Road to the right and down to Flat Point Farm to the left. I saw that the proprietor is Milo Brush, youngest in a long line of West Tisbury farmers. His great-grandfather was Arnie Fischer, who started Flat Point Farm. Arnie Jr. is Milo’s grandfather. His mom, Emily Fischer, and dad, Doug Brush, are continuing the tradition at Flat Point. And now Milo. His Swiss chard and bok choy looked healthy and delicious. Do stop by.

Raspberries. Just the color a painter would describe, a dark pink-red. Sweet. Perfect. Of course, the best, ripest ones are deep in the tangle of briars that is my raspberry patch. It escaped the neatly planted rows of canes to flourish inside the vegetable garden fence. The best soil, I suppose, and regular water. For now, they remain there. Handfuls for breakfast, along with the alpine strawberries that border the beds outside our kitchen door.

I wish they had ripened in time for our friends’ children to pick last week. I had watched and planned. When Mike’s cousin Stephanie’s son, Alexander, was a little boy, the raspberries always ripened for his arrival for Fourth of July. This time, it was my friend Sara’s children, Eli and Annabelle, who picked the last of the strawberries and looked at the uncolored, not-yet-fruit on branching canes. They were too young for explanations.

Meanwhile, they enjoyed their time on the Vineyard with all the things parents and children do here: visiting beaches and animals, gathering stones and crab shells, walking barefoot, exploring everything from the back of their parents’ bicycles or from their own vantage point a couple of feet above the ground. There’s something magical about watching children discover the world. It’s a gift to watch and share.

Whitney and Bill Moody have been anticipating that very pleasure. Mike and I saw Whitney on our walk yesterday. Bill was up in Boston picking up the grandkids, Maya and Aiden Callahan, arriving from London. “Two-and-a-half weeks we’ll have them all to ourselves,” said Whitney. I know everyone will have a great time.

The weather has been pretty perfect. Not too hot, a little breeze. Rainstorms have been exciting. Hard, driving rain with thunder and lightning, wind blowing right in. There were lots of calls for the Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Gas alarms, smoke alarms, and a lightning strike kept everyone busy.

Fortunately, the Fourth itself was lovely for cookouts, beach walks, the parade, and fireworks. Mark Bettencourt took the big brushbreaker 732 to Edgartown for the parade. The Great Pond was full of Sunfish, kayaks, canoes, and a Hobie Cat, and we could see lots of people on the beach across the pond.

A new kitten named Maddie found Morgan Caruso and has moved in for good. Laura said she just appeared. Now Maddie and Layla, the resident elder cat, are eyeing each other and getting along, so far.

Happy birthday to Asa Allen Ruel, who turns 1 year old this weekend.

I was sad to learn that Carolyn Spengler died last Tuesday, June 30. Carolyn was accomplished at everything she did. She belonged to the Garden Club, the Monday Night Knitters, loved to travel with her husband Art, and was a genuinely nice person to know.

Phil DaRosa’s Second Annual Martha’s Vineyard Sound, an indie music festival, is this weekend, Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, in Oak Bluffs. Lots of familiar performers and lots of new ones, plus activities, all with a decidedly Vineyard flavor.

West Tisbury photographer Randi Baird is exhibiting her photographs of Stina Sayre’s newest collection at Stina Sayre Design on Winter Street in Edgartown. The opening is 5 to 7, Tuesday, July 14. Randi’s photographs bring together the clothing, models, and natural landscape settings, all in an artistic blend.

Valerie Sonnenthal leads MELT Mondays at the Howes House, 8:30–9:30 am. MELT is a combination of simple self-care techniques, focusing on hands and feet.

Plan ahead for the Annual Blueberry Festival at the West Tisbury Church, next Saturday, July 18, noon to 4. Expect a full description in next week’s column.

Regular activities resume at the West Tisbury library. Island-Grown Storytime is today, July 9, at 10:30 in the Children’s Room. An artist’s reception for Sally Taylor begins at 5 pm. Martha’s Vineyard Quilters meet at 6 pm, and there will be a public forum called “The Crisis of Homelessness and the Call to Care” from 6 to 8 pm. Friday, July 10, the Mac Pro is available from 10 to noon. Saturday, July 11, speakers from St. Vincent and Martha’s Vineyard will present “Sister Islands” about the history and relationship of St. Vincent & Grenadines with Dukes County. It begins at 3 o’clock. Monday, July 13, is a busy day. Mathea Morais’ Writing Workshop begins at 10:30. Mother Goose on the Loose storytime for infants begins at 10:30. At 5 pm Naomi Jackson will read from and talk about her debut novel, “The Star-side of Bird Hill.” Family and teen movies begin at 6:30. Come with binoculars and a blanket to star-gaze at 9:30 on the lawn behind the library.Dan Cooney will lead a comic book making workshop for teens on Wednesday, July 15. West Tisbury firemen and a fire truck will visit next Thursday’s story time at the library from 10:30 to 11:30.

I am sorry to report that our baby skunks didn’t live very long. We found them dead in our yard, one on Tuesday morning and the other on Friday. There is still a bit of skunk aroma wafting through the yard sometimes, so I think the parent(s) or maybe other siblings must be around somewhere. They were cute, but I knew what was to come, and it’s nice to be able to go out in our yard without worry.

We had a nice visit from Mari Harman and Tom and Elise Thomas. They just arrived on the Island, and headed right over to visit Nanuk, who was Mari’s former dog. Nan always dances and smiles and settles by her feet, for Mari was Nanuk’s first love.


The hayfields are being cut, their fragrance drifting across to those of us lucky enough to be passing at the time. Old-fashioned orange tiger lilies decorate the roadsides, too, in clumps or masses, sometimes tangled with rambler roses, sometimes on their own. Elderberry bushes and viburnums are blooming, along with the last rhododendrons, and a pair of the most splendid fiery orange azaleas at the entrance to the Polly Hill Arboretum driveway has enchanted me all week. All are surely grateful for the inch or so of rain we had over the weekend.

Fortunately, the rain held off “till after the last guest left” Cathy Minkiewicz’s outdoor birthday party Saturday evening. More properly, it was a belated birthday party. Cathy’s actual birthday was in snowy February, not conducive to traveling for family or for outdoor gatherings, so the celebration of her 70th birthday happened as planned in June. Mike and Cathy’s kids came from Arlington, Va., and Salem, bringing the four grandchildren ages 2 to 8, who were off visiting the animals at Native Earth Farm when I spoke with Cathy on Monday morning.

Town has been busy, with everyone attending the Farmers Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Artisans’ Shows on Thursdays and Sundays, and the Antique Show on Fridays.

Leslie Baker, Rob Hauck, Julia Mitchell, and Donna Straw will be exhibiting together at A Gallery in Oak Bluffs. The opening reception is Sunday, July 5, 5 to 7 pm.

Sheila Fane’s exhibition at the West Tisbury library has been extended through July 6. It will be followed by Sally Taylor’s exhibition, “Consenses,” based on her sending a dozen photographs of the Island to 150 artists worldwide, to be interpreted by them in their own mediums. Come to the opening reception next Thursday, July 9. Viewers will be able to add their interpretations on an inspiration board, continuing the chain of reactions and responses.

Lynn Christoffers is showing “Cats of Martha’s Vineyard” through July at MVTV’s studio at 58 Edgartown–West Tisbury Road. New cat photographs and a video starring Marcel Duchat are included. Hours are Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.

Paul Karasik and Marsha Winsryg are exhibiting together at the Vineyard Playhouse Art Space in Vineyard Haven. Paul’s cartoons and Marsha’s oil pastels are on view through July 10 during box office and production hours, and by appointment.

Jeanne Staples will exhibit Haitian quilts and crafts for the next two Mondays, July 6 and 13, 10 to 3, at the Federated Church in Edgartown.

When I ran into Ken Edwards and complimented him on the wonderful article in last week’s Calendar about Clay’s copper  relief sculptures, Ken replied that it was the best Father’s Day present he had ever received. Clay was very complimentary about his dad’s encouragement and support, as well as learning the craft from working with Ken. It’s wonderful to see the younger generation coming into their own. Congratulations, Clay. Your work is beautiful.

West Tisbury’s the Roundabouts — Cheryl, Erik, and Julius Lowe — will be performing this Friday evening, July 3, at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs. The concert begins at 8:30.

Ellen Weiss has returned from visiting her family in New York City. I asked if she had time to see any art, and she replied that the best was the new Whitney Museum. The building was designed to show off the art, but also to be comfortable and contemplative for viewers. Ellen said there were lots of places to sit, and wonderful views of the Hudson River. Reviews of the new building and exhibition spaces have all been raves, Ellen’s included. It’s at 99 Gansevoort Street, if you plan to be in the city.

Suzanne and Rich Hammond are justifiably proud that two of their kids have just graduated from college. Genevieve was awarded a bachelor of science in Public Health and Health Science from UMass Amherst. She will attend UMass Boston School of Nursing in the fall. Evan graduated as salutatorian of his class at Boston Architectural College. He received honors commendations for outstanding landscape architecture. Congratulations to you all.

Town offices will be closed on Friday for the 4th of July holiday. The library will be closed both Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4. Please note that all children’s events at the library have been cancelled through July 8 as a precaution against measles.

Lots going on at the library. Stargazing nights are July 6 and 13 at 9:30. Elizabeth Benedict will discuss college admissions on July 7 at 5 pm. Drop in between 10 and 12 on Tuesdays and Fridays with questions for the Mac Pro. Next Wednesday, July 8, Martha’s Vineyard Spiritual Choir will perform at 6:30. Sally Taylor’s art reception is on July 9 at 5 pm.

Former Music Street resident, Martha’s Vineyard Times Calendar editor, and travel writer Perry Garfinkel will be in town, visiting Mark Mazer and leading a five-day travel-writing workshop August 30 to Sept. 5 at Noepe Center for Literary Arts. For information and to register, call Justen Ahren at 508-560-0467, or online:

My thanks to Beth Kramer for taking over the column while I was ill. She did a great job, and said she enjoyed doing it.

We have been amused and plagued by a family of baby skunks in our yard. Tiny and very cute, they appear fearless, coming quite close to the house as they explore. Their little bottlebrush tails stand straight up, and they are already able to spray. Talley, who has always been timid, is afraid to go outside. Nan doesn’t even pay any attention; she is pretty fearless herself. So far, neither dog has been skunked, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time before the cute little guys become a lot of adult problems.


The wind blew, and with no rain, everything is drier than one would expect after our snowy winter. Some days have been overcast, some perfect warm sunshine. But we really need rain.

If you drive down Edgartown Road, take a look at Harriet Bernstein’s yard (there’s a red hat on a post at the end of the driveway.) Her three spectacular Kwanzan cherry trees are in full bloom, completely spanning the front of her property. They make quite a sight from the road.

Many of you will remember Joan and Bill Lamont and their kids, who spent many summers here in their home on Charles Neck Way; Colorado East was what they called it. Sadly, they sold their house in the ’90s, and have only been back a few times. The latest was last Wednesday and Thursday. They had “the most perfect ferry ride,” according to Joan, and perfect days for riding their bikes around the Island. They were on the East Coast for their eldest grandson, Lamont Gross’s, graduation from Boston College, and took the extra days to visit the Island. We had dinner together here Wednesday night. It felt just like our many dinners when we were all just down the road from one another. Even to Mike getting called on his pager to a brush fire.

There have been so many fire calls lately for brush fires. The department is on high alert, as conditions are so terribly dry. Thankfully, all have been small and containable. Please, everyone, be extra careful. Our Island is like a tinderbox right now, and an out-of-control brush fire would be disastrous. Every town has had small fires called in.

Another note of caution: a reminder to leave your car windows all wide open and park in the shade if you have a dog in the car. Don’t leave him or her for any length of time, as cars can heat up terribly fast.

A note on the passing of Edie Baker’s beloved golden, Lily. (NOT from an overheated car; she had a charmed life with Edie.) Lily was adopted at age 3, and lived to almost 16. It was one of those serendipitous conversations where Mike and I were at our Sunday airport breakfast talking to Jane Hawkes and Alison McKinley about the dogs we had all recently rescued from various shelters. Edie was looking for a dog, and I mentioned a golden we had heard about. Lee Dubin made the arrangements, and Lily arrived in Edie’s life. I’m so glad it was a long and happy friendship.

On Saturday May 23 at 3 pm, the library will hold another Lego Club extravaganza.

Please join Tim Boland on Saturday, May 30, at 2:30 pm at the library for the final talk in his series. Tim will discuss the landscaping of the new library, and take participants on a tour of the grounds.

The library will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. Please remember that the library is now closed on Sundays till mid-October, but will continue to host special events on Sundays.

There will be two free concerts this month at the West Tisbury library. On Friday, May 29, at 7 pm, the Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council will be offering “Music Presented in the Cause of Peace,” featuring music by Bach, Liszt, Schubert, and others performed by pianist Lisa Weiss, accompanied by soprano Stephanie Barnes and mezzo-soprano Martha Hudson, with Jesse Keller, dancer. On Sunday, May 31, at 4 pm, Sara Rosenthal and Julie Prazich will sponsor the first annual “Remembering the Rosenthals” concert, featuring Diane Katzenberg Braun and Music Street playing works by Beethoven, Ravel, Bartok, and others.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Please call the library at 508-683-3366 to reserve a seat. Seating is limited.

Volume Two of a projected three-volume biography by local resident and author Paul Magid has arrived at our library. The Gray Fox: George Crook and the Indian Wars opens in 1866, when General Crook began his series of campaigns against the Paiutes, Apaches, Sioux, and Cheyennes. The first volume was George Crook: From Redwoods to Appomattox, if you want to start at the beginning.

Dane Boggs, author of Reiki Awakening, will be guest speaker at the Howes House this Friday evening, May 22, 7 to 9 pm. Sponsored by the Lyme Center of Martha’s Vineyard, he will discuss his personal victory over Lyme with the help of Rife and Reiki therapies. Rife machines will be available for demonstrations. His lecture, “A Path to Wellness: Fighting Lyme Disease,” is open to the public.

The Chilmark Women’s Symposium XXXV is this Saturday, May 23, from 9 to noon at the Chilmark Community Center. The topic is “Just When You Thought …” There are talks and small group conversations, and the best things to eat with coffee or tea. It’s free, but donations are much appreciated.

The Teen Library Club will meet at 4 pm on Wednesday, May 27, for a movie at the library. Popcorn will be served.

If you are interested in architecture and Island history, the Federated Church Meetinghouse has announced that it will be open to the public from 11 am to 1 pm daily from May 25 through Oct. 12. It’s a beautiful building on the corner of South Summer Street and Cooke Street in Edgartown. It was designed by Frederick Baylies Jr., also the designer and builder of the Baptist Church on School Street, now a private home, and the iconic Old Whaling Church on Main Street. Built in 1828, it was the fifth Meetinghouse of the First Congregational Church of Martha’s Vineyard. In 1925, the Baptist Church merged with the Congregational Church, forming what is now the Federated Church. This will be an opportunity to see and enjoy this building if you are not already familiar with it. For more information, visit the website, or call 508 627-4221.

A short column this week. My cousin Hannah Beecher and I are going off-Island to attend Bob Henry’s funeral service in Bethesda, Md., on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to get the column in before we leave on Saturday. Apologies to anyone who sent me news over the weekend.

I went off Island Sunday for Mother’s Day, to have lunch with my cousin Sally at Heritage in Falmouth. The boat over was crowded, and the lines for the boat coming home that afternoon were unbelievable. The Steamship Authority parking lot was filled with more people than I ever remember, and it’s only early May.

Complaining to my friend Joanne Scott this morning, she told me her story: Her daughter Tabor called her Saturday morning with a surprise request: “Meet me in Falmouth.” So she did. They spent a lovely day together, an early Mother’s Day outing. When Joanne got to Woods Hole to come home, she told me there were so many people that there was a standby area for walk-on passengers. Neither of us ever remember such a thing. And it’s only early May.

Ann Burt got an early Mother’s Day present — a shiny new green garden cart, so light she can “move it with just a finger.” Her daughter Prudy and son Percy were coming on Sunday for dinner and to help with the gardening chores. I know Ann does a lot herself, and her garden is resplendent with daffodils along the Tiasquam River that crosses the back of her yard, lovely boxwoods, the biggest contorted hazel I have ever seen, which Ann “whacks down” periodically, and the most perfect and productive vegetable garden fenced at the top of the hill.

The shadbush are gorgeous all around town, as are the pear trees at the cemetery and new leaves on maples. Edgartown Road looks particularly pretty with the Garden Club’s new plantings in the Triangle. They have settled in their first year, and extend the daffodil display from Brandy Brow down across the road. With the greening-up of shrubbery along the marsh and the Mill Pond, it is all fresh and beautiful.

Polly Hill Arboretum horticulturist and arborist Ian Jochems is offering a workshop this Saturday, May 16, 10 to noon. It’s called “The Finest Cut: Taking the Fear Out of Pruning.” He will cover different techniques, as well as tool maintenance, with demos and hands-on practice. Participants will take a tour to observe how plants in the arboretum’s collection have responded to their pruning program. Preregistration is required. The cost is $20, or $10 for PHA members.

Habitat for Humanity is having a sale of construction materials on Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm behind Carroll’s Trucking at 475 Edgartown Road. You may find just the right thing to finish your project. New and antique hardware, windows, cabinets, toilets, and tools will all be for sale. If you have materials to donate, or would like to volunteer to help out, call 508-696-4646, or email

You can also get rid of stuff, farther down Edgartown Road, at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Spring Electronics Disposal Day. For fees from $2 to $30 (10 percent discount for a full carload), bring your old air conditioners, cell phones, computers, etc. between 9 am and 2 pm, and help support Community Services.

For fun, the Vineyard Montessori School second annual Flyin’ MV and Fly Me to the Moon is also this Saturday. Come to Katama Airport between 11 am and 2 pm for a flight around the Island. Then grownups are invited to an evening event at the Dunes from 7 to 10. Call Head of School Deborah Jernegan, 508-693-4090, for more information.

Then there’s the 2015 Bird-a-Thon to raise money for Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. They are looking for birders and sponsors for their two-day event, which starts at 6 pm on Friday, May 15, and runs through 6 pm on Saturday. Call Felix Neck at 508-627-4850 or visit to sign up to count or make a pledge.

Mary Wilson and Pitter Patter Puppets will perform at the West Tisbury library Saturday morning at 10:30 for 2- to 7-year-olds. It’s free. Afterward, from noon to 2 o’clock, Mary will lead a puppetry workshop for adults.

Paula Martin will be at the library at 3 pm, to talk about “Spring Cleaning and Organizing.”

The YMCA is the place for the 2015 After Prom Party for juniors and their dates this Saturday night. From 10 pm to 5 am, enjoy music with a DJ at poolside, good food, games, etc. For information, call Rachel Araujo, 774-310-0027, or Debbie DeBettencourt, 774-836-6448.

This Sunday, May 17, will be the last Sunday the library is open. Sunday hours will resume in mid-October.

West Tisbury painter and printmaker Marie-Louise Rouff will open her new studio/gallery this Saturday, May 16, between noon and 4 pm. You will see her sign on State Road across from Ghost Island Farm. Turn in, and you will see the gallery entrance on the right. The gallery will be open Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4, and by appointment through the summer. Marie-Louise’s phone number is 508-693-2072, and her website is

Clare Boland, sophomore at Cornell University, was awarded the Corson-Browning Poetry Prize by the Department of English. The prize includes an award of $1,000. Clare is an English and Performance & Media Studies major. Her parents, Tim Boland and Laura Coit, are very proud.

I end with the sad news that Bob Henry died on Saturday at his home in Bethesda, Md. Bob was a well-known summer visitor, especially with the bridge players, golfers, and beachgoers he regularly spent his time with. Dinner parties with Bob and his wife, Dorothy Barthelmes, were special occasions, made extra-special by the host and hostess, with good conversation and good food. We who loved Bob had hoped he would have one more summer in the Slocum House.