West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull - August 10, 2006

A dozen or so years ago Ted Meinelt gave me a plant for my garden, a tall stalk of delicate pink flowers that seems to appear all of a sudden every year about this time. I think it may be something called "nerine," but I seem to remember Ted having a more poetic and colorful name for it. Anyway, it is blooming now in my garden along with pleasant associations with my friend.

Ursula Ferro has written a new book, "Wishing for Kittens." It is a sequel to "Tanny's Meow," the story of how young Rachel and her family acquired their kitten. In the second book, Tanny has a litter of her own kittens. "Wishing for Kittens" is illustrated by Ruth Adams, and the two friends hosted a book signing party at Ruth's Treehouse Gallery this past Sunday afternoon. Besides the book signing, there was a collection of paintings on display, all featuring cats and kittens, which will continue through August 19.

The Howes House Writers will be reading from their new book this evening, August 10, at 5:30 pm. All are welcome to attend and the event is free. Howes House is air-conditioned, which makes it doubly nice at this time of year. Director Joyce Bowker invites seniors to bring a book and spend the day. The Library is also air-conditioned. Both places have been noticeably fuller this past week.

Betsy and Don Macdonald are happy to announce the birth of their first grandchild, Cooper Sebastian Macdonald, to Chris and Emily Macdonald of Walla Walla, Washington. Chris is a firefighter and paramedic. Both grandparents and Uncle Jared are looking forward to meeting young Cooper and teaching him about the delights of the Vineyard.

Upcoming events at the Library include the Monday Night Movie, "Storm Boy," at the Howes House at 7 pm, and on Wednesday, August 16 at 7 pm, a conversation with Arnold Rabin, author of "Sexual Guide to Written Intercourse, Fulfilling Grammar and Seductive Language." Both events are free.

Mike and Betsey Joakim and their son Matthew have been enjoying the summer vacation at their home on Skiff Lane. Their daughter Christine and her fiancé Craig Roth have recently joined them, taking a respite from preparations for their October wedding. Christine and Craig are here from Connecticut.

Democratic candidate for Governor, Deval Patrick, will be visiting the Island this Saturday, August 12, to meet the public and discuss issues facing all of us. He will be speaking at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center at 3 pm. And he definitely wants to hear what you have to say, so bring questions and ideas and get involved in the process.

On Sataurday evening, 8 pm, the Martha's Vineyard Film Society will be showing three works in progress by Linsey Lee from her oral histories called "Vineyard Voices - American Stories" at Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven. The documentaries will feature Dean K. Denniston Sr., Dorothy Brickman, and Craig Kingsbury - three very different views of Island life.

Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm come to the Vineyard Gardens Summer Garden Party at their State Road nursery. The party will be broadcast live on WMVY. There will be garden tours, an edible flower workshop, COMSOG-sponsored musicians, and interesting plants to learn about. Call 693-8511 for more information.

West Tisbury author and artist Jules Feiffer has 48 of his cartoon drawings on display at the Adam Baumgold Gallery in Manhattan. The exhibition called "If You Really Loved Me, You'd Find Me: The Strips, 1960-2000," was reviewed in last Friday's New York Times.

It's hard to believe that the Agricultural Fair will begin next week. West Tisbury's firemen have been working for the past month building a new food booth. Now they are looking for volunteers to help staff it. Everyone you know will be standing in line for hamburgers, so if you can take a four-hour shift please call Jesse Oliver on his cell phone, 1-774-836-5072 or leave a message with Jen Rand at Town Hall. Her number is 508 696-0102.

The Parks and Rec Committee is reminding beachgoers to take their trash with them when they leave the beach, people trash as well as scooped bags of dog feces. Not only does it keep the beach cleaner for everyone, it keeps costs down for all of us taxpayers. Dogs are only allowed at Lambert's Cove Beach before 10 am and after 6:30 pm.

The West Tisbury Space Needs Committee has spent the month of July gathering data and interviewing all town employees and board volunteers. The plan for August is to translate the data into square footage, asking follow-up questions as needed, and begin making assessments. Our chairman, Chuck Hodgkinson, will make a report at this week's Selectmen's meeting. Your input is important all along the way; should you be so inclined, we meet weekly, Monday mornings at 8 am in the Howes House.

Despite the frenzied pace of August, it is one of my favorite months. Mike and I are awash in cousins. From my side of the family is my cousin Sally Gran, age 91 and remarkable. Sally comes every summer with her children and their families, gathering here from Florida, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Mike and I had dinner with them and some friends on Saturday. Malcolm and Harriet Gran, Michael and Linda Dzuba, Robin, Norman, and Hannah Zoe Landis, plus dogs Jenny and Taffy, will all be here for another week.

Last night at our dinner table were Stephanie, Alexander, and Claire Haviland, all here from Jacksonville, Fla., where Stephanie's husband Michael is stationed with the Navy. Dan Hull is here from Somerville with his daughter Sunday. They are settled in at their mother's house (my Mike's Aunt Janice) on the road in front of us. It has been a long time since everyone has been here together although, sadly, their spouses are working at home, unable to get away. Hannah Beecher and Brian Ruddick, who live here all year, came down from across the meadow, and Dorothy Barthelmes and Bob Henry from the Slocum House where they spend August and part of September. It is as it should be when, in the summer, the little girls (Claire and Sunday, ages 8 and 7) are running up and down the path between our houses for visits, upstairs playing with the dollhouse, or squealing as they roughhouse with the dogs. It seems not that long ago that our niece Charlotte was doing all those things with her best friend Caroline Mayhew, or that Alexander Haviland, now fifteen, or our nephew Josh, now 28, were little boys playing with their blocks and Legos and screaming at the WWF.