Posted February 23, 2006

By Gail Craig - 508-627-3754 - gail@vineyard.net

I must admit that the people of Edgartown have surprised me. Anyone who reads this column read about Chester, the beagle/cattle dog cross from the MSPCA and none of you raced down to acquire this little angel. I know this because I have been following him over the Internet since we last returned him. I also know it because at this very moment, one month to the day from the infamous "Chester and Emma Showdown," Chester is sleeping on my dining room rug, curled up contentedly amid the chairs and laundry. Yes, the Craig household has come full circle. Jamie and I negotiated another trial run for Chester, working out logistics such as cat placement, off-limit areas, and training methods. Chester and Roxie, our other dog, are doing fine. Chester and Wagger are doing fairly well - a few spats but basically putting up with each other. Emma has yet to really spend any time on the same floor with Chester. We have set up a nice space for her, with food, water, and litter box and have kept Chester away from her as she begins to warm to the idea. We're going to give it a little while to see what happens. Be sure to check back next week for the next chapter in this exciting saga.

Happy Birthday to Stelle Burnham who celebrated in style at the Anchors on Tuesday, Feb. 14, where they enjoyed a party with cake as well as a performance by the Vintage Players, a more seasoned version of the Minnesingers. Stelle said that everyone had a great time and that the music, and the Vintage Players' rendition of Happy Birthday" were simply wonderful.

Dick Kelley called to check in with Sally Frasier last week, following the loss of her husband Robert last month. One of the things he shared with her, and also with me today, is that the First National located at 58 Main Street, which Bob Frasier managed, closed 50 years ago this month, right around Feb. 8 or 10, 1956. Back then, Bob hired Dick to work in the grocery department. Also working there at the time were Fred Rudolph, as the meat manager, and Fred Higgins, as the produce manager. Clearly, Dick was a mere child when he began his tenure there, as he can't be much older than 50 today! In what I thought was one of the most interesting things about our conversation, Dick shared that he had written the date the store closed on his social security card, which he actually still has! I was flabbergasted by that bit of information as I'm only 40 years old and I've been through three or four of those cards already!

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Dulac, who has been hired as the full-time principal of the Edgartown School. I understand that all three of the finalists had excellent credentials, but I am very pleased with the decision. Dr. Dulac seems to really be in this for the kids. He seems to really enjoy them and have their best interests at heart. He is highly qualified, good-humored, and very approachable. Only last week he was on the porch roof, dressed as Uncle Sam and singing the National Anthem. Riley reported that he even did a pretty good job! So, welcome to the job, Mr. Dulac. It probably won't feel any different than it has for the last seven months but it's nice to know that the transitions are over and we once again have an excellent principal in Edgartown. Please plan on staying through 2016, at which point, both of my kids will have passed through those trusted halls.

Friday March 3 is the World Day of Prayer, an ecumenical celebration of informed prayer. Join in the prayers written by women of South Africa dealing with AIDS. Their theme is "Signs of the Times." This prayer service is sponsored by the Neighborhood Convention at Trinity United Methodist Church on March 3 at 1 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Next week is school vacation week. If you have travel plans, please be sure to share your reports with me on your return. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Have a great week.