Town Columns


By Gail Craig - October 26, 2006

Okay - my troublesome Internet connection is getting stale fast. Our cable has once again been down for several days and I feel so cut off from the outside world. Remember the old days when we actually spoke to each other on land lines when we were home instead of cell phones on the fly? And instant gratification via the Internet was nonexistent, such as finding answers to vital questions like "what is the last name of Mary from Peter, Paul, and Mary." I'm so used to thinking of something totally inane and useless and being able to find out more about it in the blink of an eye. With my cable down, I can't do that, nor can I communicate with my friends, family, and clients. I actually have to use (horrors!) the phone or, even worse, (eek!) wait until I see them in person. Oh well. Hopefully a quick stop to Adelphia in the morning will have me up and running in time to meet my deadline!

Joel Salatin, deemed "the High Priest of the Pasture" by the New York Times and profiled in depth by Michael Pollan in his best-selling book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," is scheduled to speak at the New Ag Hall in West Tisbury, on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 pm.

Mr. Salatin, a sustainable farming pioneer and a grass-farmer libertarian, is an ardent, vocal proponent of bio-regionalism and seasonality. His talk, "Holy Cows & Hog Heaven" (named after one of his self-published books), will focus on small-scale farming and local meat production on Martha's Vineyard. The suggested donation for the event is $5, a veritable bargain when you take into consideration the information you are likely to pick up. The evening will also offer coffee and dessert, as well as a book sale and signing.The talk is co-sponsored by Island Grown Initiative, Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society, Martha's Vineyard Slow Food, and The FARM Institute.

In other news, the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, Class of 1966, held their 40th reunion on October 14 and 15, with festivities at the Portuguese-American Club and Farm Neck Golf Club. Edgartownians who attended the event were Sara McLane Kurth and her husband Conrad; Maria deBettencourt Bettencourt; Joseph and Brenda Estrella Sutton; Noreen J. Bettencourt; Patricia Lawrence; James and Debbie Galley Athearn; and Linda Menkins Karako. Traveling to the reunion from afar were former Edgartown residents Carol Smith Pearson and her husband Raymond from Hart, Mich.; Frances Willoughby Derrick from Hyannis; and John A. Willoughby from Suffield, Conn. Everyone had such a good time that they decided not to wait 10 years for the next one, but to hold a 45th reunion in 2011.

Congratulations to the Martha's Vineyard Harley Riders, recipients of the 2006 Spirit of the Vineyard Award, given by Hospice each year to those who give of themselves to the community without thought of reward or compensation. As a board member of the Red Stocking Fund, an organization helped extensively by the Harley Riders each year, I attended the award ceremony/breakfast last Friday at the Hebrew Center. It was a wonderful morning and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the award than the men and women of the Harley Riders. They do so much for this community, reaching so many people in so many ways and they do it without fanfare, thinking only of those who benefit from their goodwill. Congratulations and thank you for all you folks do for our island.

I want to send out very special birthday wishes to one of my favorite people, Bill Hanna, who turned 90 last week, which I absolutely cannot believe. When I saw him in the post office this morning, I told him that he didn't look a day over 21! He's an example of how to live life. He's warm and kind and happy no matter what life tosses his way. He has lived through some very sad losses through the years and still manages to laugh. I love you, Bill!

You know, I love my children more than anything in the world. They are the greatest thing ever to happen to me and I am very lucky to have them. But sometimes, I am completely strung out by the end of the day. Today was such a day, with dinner and baths and changing beds and brushing teeth and reading stories, etc. etc. etc. I was exhausted. But as I snuggled in with my little Amelia, complete with endless kisses and giggles, she said "Mumma, do that thing where you put my hair behind my ear," which is basically running my fingers through her hair then gently brushing my fingers down the back of her ear. It calms her right down and she loves it. And I enjoy that time because it makes me think of my mom, and the hours that she spent stroking my hair, running her fingers over the back of my ear and singing to me. I would give anything to have five minutes of that now. Instead, passing it on, and the feeling of love that comes with it, to my little girlie is the next best thing.

That's about it. Have a great week and be sure to get me your news.