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The Martha's Vineyard Times

The Martha's Vineyard Times is a weekly publication.
August 18 - 24, 2005 Edition
Web Comments - Email Submissions

West Tisbury
August 18 , 2005

Hermine Hull - 508-693-2525 -

I usually write a fairly sunny column, but this past week has been beyond beyond. West Tisbury families have been devastated by the deaths of four young members of our community; my condolences to the families and friends of David Honey, Michael Mathiesen, Karen MacKay, and Keith Kennedy.

It feels like the whole town is under a pall of sadness, heat, and dust. Everywhere the leaves and cars are covered with sandy grit and I think it will never rain. Last night we woke up to lightning. Mike shut the windows and I unplugged the computer and dog fence, but this morning showed nothing but a trace of moisture in the rain gauge and rain off to the north and the south of the Island on the weather map. I will pass along warnings of possible rip currents from Hurricane Irene moving offshore, also the danger of fire due to the drought. Please be careful.

West Tisbury fire alarm responders were roused from their beds about 6 am this morning (Monday) for what turned out to be a false alarm. Fortunately.

My last warning is about leaving dogs in closed cars. Every time I go to the North Tisbury stores, I hear dogs barking in closed cars in the parking lots. Even if it is "just a few minutes” as you run into the store for "just one thing,” PLEASE leave all the windows open for your dog. PLEASE.

Nicki Galland has been home with her parents, Mike and Karen Colaneri, for the past few weeks. She plans to leave again after the Fair. The next month will be divided between New York and California; in late September she begins a research trip for her next book. The places she knows she is going include England, Venice, Croatia, Corfu, and Istanbul, but she intends to follow her Muse as it takes her. After that, she needs a quiet place to settle and write. If anyone knows of an affordable year-round rental, please call Mike and Karen with the information.

The Chilmark Pre-school still has a few spots available for this September’s class. Please call 508 645-9998 if you have a child between 2 years, 9 months and 5 years old.

Mark your calendars for Friday afternoon, August 26, when the Friends of the West Tisbury Library will hold their annual meeting at the library from 4 to 6 pm. President of the Friends, Susan Wasserman, will talk about projects that have been completed this year and plans for the future. It will be an opportunity to take a tour of the new Children’s Room if you haven’t done so, and to meet other Friends interested in our library. Refreshments will be served.

Lanny McDowell is hosting weekly soirees at his Ott Gallery on State Road. Enjoy wine and art at Ott every Friday evening between 4 and 6 pm.

Mike and I had drinks the other evening with Landes and Henry Bell at their "Retreat.” During the course of the visit, Landes brought out a scrapbook of old postcards the family had assembled. I had heard so many times over the years how open and treeless the Vineyard was, and of the long views from the roadsides. That was what these postcards showed. I was particularly interested in one that showed the bare slope between Jane Newhall’s house and Parsonage Pond, a view both Allen Whiting and I painted this summer as heavily wooded.

Last night I attended Dan Waters’s poetry reading at the Grange, a fundraiser for our Library Construction Fund. It was wonderful. Dan is a masterful writer and entertainer, his baritone voice conversationally relating stories about his poems and then reading them. My favorite was a poem written to commemorate the shaving off of his 30-some year old mustache, written from the point of view of the mustache. Dan always has a quirky and insightful spot-on view of life. His latest collection of poems, "Needing Winter,” published by Westmeadow Press, was on sale by publisher Julie Kimball, the profits donated to the Library. Jonathan Revere videotaped the event. It was also lovely to be in the refurbished Grange Hall. I remember meetings held there when we were a smaller town, and enjoy seeing the mural and building restored and used once again.

Linda and Glenn Hearn’s stand at the Farmers’ Market featured custom-decorated bags along with the fresh produce this past Saturday. The Hearns’ grandchildren are visiting and were put to work making the paper bags as beautiful as the flowers and vegetables within. Mine had a big butterfly on it.

This week marks the pinnacle of the summer’s frenzy, with Illumination Night, the Fair, and the Oak Bluffs fireworks all in nightly succession. Another week of beach-going and cookouts, then the Island will start to empty of summer visitors heading back to their off-Island homes, their other lives.
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