Town Columns

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull - September 14, 2006

The second Sunday in September is the traditional date for the West Tisbury Fire Department picnic at Flat Point Farm. Arnie Fischer, the first chief, began the tradition. As I drove down there today, I thought there is no prettier place for a picnic.

This year we were treated to a pig roast, organized and supervised by Danny Prowten, Dennis Kaeka, and Chief Manny Estrella, who all arrived around sunrise to get things started. Dennis said they used about a cord of wood to build a hot enough fire, then to keep it going till the pig was cooked and served around 2:30 pm in the afternoon. A tent was set up in the field, sort of resembling Agincourt, with tables and chairs. There were games and a climbing wall for the kids and the highlight was, as always, a ride on the fire truck. Everyone had a great time and, on behalf of the wives and guests, I would like to thank the chefs and crew who gave us all such a lovely afternoon. Special thanks to the Fischer family for continuing the tradition and for being part of the party. Arnie Jr., Eleanor, and Priscilla were all there.

I took the opportunity to talk with several of the kids to get their impressions about being back in school. The beginning of the school year still seems like the beginning of the year for many of us. Morgan Estrella, a student at the Rainbow Place Preschool, and his cousin Andrea Pacheco, who is attending the Community Services Preschool, are both very enthusiastic about the school year so far. Amanda Pacheco is in the first grade at the West Tisbury School. Her favorite subject is music. Alley Estrella, who has started kindergarten, showed me how to "stop, look, and listen," a very valuable skill I shall try to use more myself. Next year all the four cousins will be attending the West Tisbury School together, to the delight of their grandparents Manny and Sharon Estrella; they will be able to be together all day.

Both Emily (eighth grade) and Aaron (fifth grade) Lowe are excited about the trips they will take this year, to England and sailing on the Shenandoah or Alabama, respectively. Eighth-grader Hannah Elias is also looking forward to her trip to England.

Lila Jasny thinks school is so much fun that everyone should go. "School's the best.... especially math." Her sister Sydney is not so enthusiastic; she is disappointed that the monkey bars have disappeared from the playground over the summer. Jessica Haynes also has her reservations, although she is looking forward to being able to write in beautiful cursive script by the end of the school year. Jessica is very artistic, so I hope she will have fun in her art classes.

Joe Aguilar is the only Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School student I spoke with. He has always attended there. Now in the sixth grade, his favorite subject is math.

To put all of this in perspective, Barbara Maciel told me she is beginning her 29th year driving the school bus in town. She still loves doing it and loves seeing all the children grow up. She is even driving children of children from the early years. Riding the bus was high on the list of things kids liked about going to school.

As you drive past the school, take a moment to admire the new sign at the entrance to the driveway. It was painted by Melissa Patterson of "About Signs" in West Tisbury. She, Chantal Legare, and Anita Smith came up with the design, a depiction of the original school, now our town hall. It will have a blackboard attached on which to list upcoming school events.

Lauraye White was home for the weekend, visiting her parents, Granville and Lynne. She is a third-year student at Mass. College of Art. She has just switched her major from Art Education to SYM (Studio Interrelated Media.) She still plans to teach eventually, but her eyes sparkled as she described some of the experimental projects she is working on. She appears to be very happy and excited with her choice.

This past Saturday, Linda (Magnuson) Hearn attended her 50th reunion from the Tisbury School class of 1956. It was held at the home of Ann (Hotchkiss) Ganz and her husband Bob. Twelve members of the class attended. They were: Judy (Winterbottom) Hathaway, Ann (Hotchkiss) Ganz, Nancy Carroll, Lolita Campbell, Betty Hindley, Myrna (Rogers) Silva, Frances "Jimmy" (Fitzpatrick) Corwin, Bob Clark, Paul Conroy, Donald Amaral, Stanley Call, and Linda. "It was a beautiful afternoon and everyone, including spouses and classmates from the Class of 1957, enjoyed renewing old acquaintances." Myrna Silva and Frances Corwin came all the way from Florida.

Peggy Stone of the West Tisbury Park and Recreation Commission has announced the fall session of Adult Yoga, which will begin on October 3 at the West Tisbury Church. The class will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 pm through November 21. Please call Peggy at 508-696-0147 to register. Cost is $20.

The deadline for applications for eligibility for CPA-funded projects is September 15. Application forms and information about the Community Preservation Act are available at Town Hall and the Library.

Andrea Mentzel has been in town visiting her mother, Hallie, this past week. She returns to New York City on Monday.

Congratulations and best wishes to Lucy Hodgson and Christopher Morse, who were married on Saturday, Sept. 9. The ceremony took place at Sloat Hodgson's boathouse in West Falmouth, attended by many Island friends and relatives. After a honeymoon trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Lucy and Chris will return home to New York City.

A clarification to the corn pudding recipe in last week's column: The last ingredient is one 9-ounce box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, not a 19-ounce box. I hope no one had a problem with that.

I am off to a memorial service at the west Tisbury Church for Nan Rheault. My love and sympathy to her family and to all who knew Nan. She was a remarkable and spirited artist, gardener, and friend.