Chilmark

By Jacqueline Sexton - April 27, 2006

The season is upon us. Gardeners are cleaning up flower beds; farmers are putting in their lettuce plants, and summer friends are showing up on weekends.

Liz Lewenberg brought a bunch of spectacular, show-quality tulips to brighten the circulation desk at the library. Menemsha is stirring, and Bill and Stephanie Rossi will open the Chilmark Store tomorrow, Friday, April 28.

At the Menemsha Café, Christina and Chris Soulagnet are adding staff to help make the Squibbies, the Chilmarks, and the Reubens, and to keep the coffee urns filled. It looked as though every family in town was at their Cafe last Saturday. I have become addicted to their marvelous coffee.

The Town Report is out, and the pages of information are leavened by Basil Welch's incomparable humor. Among other things, he reports that "Things are quiet at Abel's Hill - at least on the surface." (What is it about cemeteries that makes people want to crack jokes?). Rusty Walton writes his wetlands piece from his post at "Tick Heaven."

The photos in the report are a wonderful synopsis of Chilmark history: Two 1907 views of "Menemsha Creek Washout" - was "washout" a term for flooding caused by storms? There is a 1974 photo of Mildred Mayhew with her charges at the Menemsha School; a 1912 shot of unidentified passengers precariously, but merrily, perched on top of what looks like a homemade, open-air, vehicle, called "Auto Party." An undated fashion statement showing a bevy of laughing ladies, all in straw bonnets, a couple with sailor collars. The "Manter House, Tea Lane 1968" looks like an Andrew Wyeth painting (no Helga), a 1973 view of a town meeting at the community center, and, fast forward to the photo of school children at the State House for the solar energy awards ceremony, taken a couple of years ago.

All the people in the photographs look as though they're having fun. Maybe the times were more carefree. Or maybe that's nostalgia.