Despite all appearances, I am really only five or six years old when it comes to certain things, like my birthday, holidays, and heavy equipment. So when I heard that the new fire truck had arrived, I was pretty excited. Armed with my reporter's notebook, I headed off to radio check at Station 2 on Sunday morning to see the truck. It's huge! Ten feet, six inches to the top of the cab and 28 feet long, it has a water-carrying capacity of 650 gallons. The new truck was built in Woodville, by the R.G. Murphy Company.
Jesse Oliver, Russ Hartenstine, and Manny Estrella IV took me and several other kids for a ride. They were Alley and Morgan Estrella, Sarah Hartenstine, Emma Lee Maciel, Micah Vought, and Lexus Pate. We were so high up we could see everything. The turning radius is unbelievably tight; Jesse took close turns through the station parking lot that you couldn't imagine a vehicle that size being able to do. The brush breaker bar, a miracle of heavy-duty welding, could flatten anything in its path. For now, the truck is pristine. Not a scratch or mark mars its factory-perfect red and black paint or polished chrome. By next week, the town seal and "West Tisbury Fire Department" will be painted on its doors and it will be officially "Engine No. 732."
"Happy Birthday" this Saturday, Oct. 28, to Brahmin Thurber, who will turn eight years old. He plans a dance party to celebrate, with everyone wearing spooky costumes. Sounds like fun.
"A belated Happy Birthday" to Kayla DeBettencourt, who was three on Oct. 17. Her grandmother, Eleanor Neubert, reported on Kayla's party, with four generations of Fischer women present: great-grandmother Priscilla Fischer, grandmother Eleanor, mother Sarah, and the birthday girl herself. The guest list also included many Fischer and DeBettencourt relatives and friends at Todd and Sarah's home in Oak Bluffs. The birthday cake was chocolate with white frosting, decorated with an underwater scene featuring the cartoon fish, Nemo. Everyone had a great time.
Halloween decorations, lighted pumpkins, scary monsters, cornstalks and gourds are appearing all around town. People are speaking in hushed whispers, secretly planning their costumes as we head into a round of Halloween events. The library will hold a party on Halloween afternoon, Oct. 31, from 3 to 4:30 pm. Dress up in your costume and share food, crafts, and a hayride with your friends. From 6 to 8 pm, the Parks and Rec Department will host a party at the Ag Hall, featuring snacks, games, and a spooky hayride around Deadman's Curve, through the dark and possibly haunted cemetery. Both parties are for the whole family, so dress up and trick or treat.
To get in the mood, the MSPCA in Edgartown is holding their Halloween party early, on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. Jen Morgan is planning her party for families and their pets. There will be prizes for the scariest and funniest costumes, as well as a special prize for the best child and pet duo.
An update from last week's story about the Class of 1966's reunion, other West Tisbury students attending were: Faith Runner, Nancy-Alyce (Colter) Abbott and her husband, Brian, Deborah Eggers, and Joseph Amaral, who with his wife, Judy, traveled from Sebastian, Florida. Thanks to Herb Ward for the corrections.
If you are interested in signing up for Youth Basketball, there will be two opportunities to do so. The High School gym will be open from noon to 3 pm both this Saturday, Oct. 28, and next, Nov. 4.
Alexis and Paul Garcia will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary today, Oct. 26. They are planning a quiet day, having just returned from England. They and their son, Noah, joined Alexis's brothers for a festive 30th anniversary lunch with their father and step-mother in Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Last Saturday evening, Jack and Betsey Mayhew and their daughter Caroline hosted a wonderful potluck at their home. It was quite a crowd. It's always fun to get together, especially after a long, busy summer. And I got lots of news.
Caroline Mayhew is living at home for a while. She is busy applying to Law School, having studied for and taken her LSAT. It was wonderful for me to see the lovely and accomplished young woman Caroline has become and to laugh about some shared reminiscences. Her sister Lucy is in Portland, Oregon, studying languages (French and Russian) at Lewis and Clarke University.
Marilyn and Warren Hollinshead have recently returned from a trip to northern Vermont. They had planned to see lots of colorful scenery, but commented that they were about a week past the peak display, and the best foliage was along Route 3 on their drive home. We all felt that the fall color here on the Island has been spectacular this year, but Mike says I say that every year.
Harriet Bernstein just got back from a week in Williamstown. She also went to enjoy the gorgeous Berkshire foliage and scenery. She also visited the Clark Museum, then arrived home in time for the Mayhew's party and the Swing Dance Party.
Tom Hodgson and his wife, Christine Gault, are learning a lot about the art of botanical illustration. They are taking a course in Woods Hole with Julie Childs, a renowned illustrator associated with the WHOI.
Betty and Bill Haynes spent last week in Rochester, Minnesota visiting old friends, Bill and Marge Richie. All of us here eagerly watched weather reports, as snow and unseasonably cold temperatures were predicted, definitely not to the liking of Bill, who likes his weather tropical. They had a good time and said that, after some snow flurries the first day, the temperatures climbed to about 60. A highlight of the trip was a tour of the art collection at the Mayo Clinic, which Betty said was extensive and quite good.
Howard Curtis, although fairly new to the Island, is quickly adopting its habits. He flew in here last Thursday, needing my signature on some statistics forms for the state, on his way to catch the 1:15 pm boat. It was 12:45 pm. Howard was on his way to a Curtis family reunion, being held this weekend in Quincy. Relatives were expected to attend from all across the country.
The Library's Monday Night Movie on Oct. 30 will be "Masque of Red Death," a Roger Corman/Vincent Price thriller from 1964.
Mike and I spent the past weekend doing household chores together, repairing and polishing the woodstove, cleaning windows inside and out, washing slipcovers. Everything looks so beautiful and sparking. I do like a neat house, but can't seem to keep it that way for very long. Thinking about it, I decided that if it was always the same, I would be denied the enjoyment of such a marked improvement.