Town Columns


By Gail Craig - September 14, 2006

I am writing this on Sept. 11, a day that will live in all of our memories forever, I'm sure. Though the sky is the same brilliant blue that it was five years ago, the wind is strong and the day chillier and more fall-like. In 2001, what started as a beautiful September day became a nightmare for everyone. And I'd like to pay tribute in this column to all of the survivors, those of you who survived the attacks firsthand, those who lost family and friends, those who helped the emergency workers in New York, and everyone else who considers themselves a survivor of 9/11, which in a way, we all are.

In hindsight, I think we were all somewhat naïve in our belief that such attacks could not happen here. These kinds of attacks, perhaps on a smaller scale, happen day in and day out in the Middle East and other areas. Children in many countries grow up with such violence as a way of life. In a way, we were lucky to have not suffered such horrors prior to 2001. I hope we can find that level of comfort and safety again, though I don't know if we can ever close that door again. We were harmed, physically and emotionally, and something so inhumane will not easily disappear from our memories.

I will say, horrifying as that day was, it brought about a strong sense of unity, something not felt in this country for a long time. We unified as a nation and no one went untouched. People were kinder to each other. I remember speaking more with people, saying hello to strangers more, everyone making more eye contact with each other, as if to offer our support to one another, even without words. But, I guess those feelings were too good to last. Once again, we all tend to go about our business, holding to our opinions about Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, or Presidents Clinton and Bush and who should have prevented this. I wish, instead, that we had all learned that it is the unity and support of one another that really matters and maybe that is the lesson to be learned from all that sadness and fear. May it never happen again.

On Sunday Oct. 1, at 3 pm, the Edgartown Federated Church will host a family and friend barbecue and art auction under a tent at the Mayhew parsonage on South Water Street. The Rev. Jerry Fritz will be the auctioneer. The art will feature drawings of the Sunday school and youth group students, featuring the Federated Meetinghouse, as well as artwork by amateur and professional artists, including Jeanne Staples, Norman Bridwell, Doug Peckham, Harvey Beth, Mark Lovewell, Nancy Blank, and Herb Ward. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Steeple Fund, a capital campaign that is underway at the church, to raise $1.5 million dollars to restore and refurbish the Meetinghouse, the Parish House and the Mayhew Parsonage. Honorary chairs of the event are John Schule, Jerry Fritz, and Peter R. Boak. Special event sponsors are Jim and Debbie Athearn of Morning Glory Farm. The suggested donation for adults is $10. Children are free and all are welcome! This will be a BYOB function, and people should call the church office at 508-627-4421 by Sept. 20 for reservations.

For the last couple of months, I have watched a plant growing on the corner by my house, right in the fork in the road. It was a sunflower, clearly one that had seeded itself in this strange spot. I watched it everyday as I drove in, getting bigger until finally, it was ready to bloom. And it bloomed into a big beautiful yellow flower standing like a beacon there in the fork in the road. It made me smile to see it there. Alas, I only saw it once. The next time I drove in, it was gone, removed, I'm sure, to a vase in someone's home nearby. I was saddened by its disappearance and complained about it to Jamie, who naturally thought I was silly to be complaining about it. It wasn't our sunflower. I realized that, but still I was sad. Come to find out, I was not alone! Holly Mercier stopped me in the road a few days later to share her disappointment that the sunflower had been removed. She had been over earlier to cut back some of the branches of the other trees to give the sunflower room to grow and like me, had been looking forward to seeing it in full bloom. Alas, it was not to be. But, I forgive whoever took it, because I know why they did.

Congratulations to Gery Conover Jr. and his beautiful new bride, Dianne, who were married on Sept. 9, surrounded by family and friends. The event was relaxed, with a casual elegance that reflects the couple well. The reception was held at a location overlooking all of Edgartown Harbor, and it was a wonderful way to spend a late summer afternoon. And a perfect way to begin their life together.

Happy anniversary to Chris and Liza Dolby, who celebrate five years of wedded bliss today!

Happy birthday to Debbie Gaines, who hit a milestone last week. Welcome to the club, Deb!

Annie Bilzerian wanted me to be sure to thank The Times for the article about Ozzy a couple of weeks ago and also to share how much she appreciates the donations that have been so generously contributed to the Ozzy Recovery Fund at the Dukes County Savings Bank. She is very touched by the support.

That's it, I'm afraid. Have a great week everyone. Be sure to get me your news.