It feels practically tropical when the wind dies down, a nice change from the sub-zero wind chills of the past week. Liz Taft and Nancy Gilfoy stopped by Sunday afternoon on their way home from a walk on Lucy Vincent Beach with their two damp poodles, Roxanne and Alice. They said there was a lovely wide beach to walk on and no wind. I was glad to finally open the doors and windows to air the house out and to let the woodstove die down for a while.
Later in the afternoon I attended a concert at the library, a performance by the Island Consort. People sat in rows of chairs all the way through the Reading Room and out to the main desk. Many children were in the audience with their parents. Afterwards, the staff felt it was so successful that more musical programs should be planned. I hope they will.
The Space Needs Committee hopes you will all mark your calendars for our up-coming public forum to be held at 7 pm Wed., Feb. 21, at the Howes House. Peter Timothy of A. M. Fogarty & Associates will be present to give a brief overview of the cost estimates for the various options for Town Hall, Police Station, Library addition, and Animal Shelter. There will be plenty of time for discussion of the proposals in light of their relative costs. It is critical that as many town residents as possible attend to become familiar with this information before the April Town Meeting. This is the time for us to hear your questions and concerns and opinions.
Cynthia Riggs has been busy interviewing town residents for an ongoing series of 15-minute programs, "Our Town," which will air on MVTV Channel 13. The first episode will feature Tom Hodgson and Scott Young, caretakers of the town clock. It will be filmed in the Church steeple and sanctuary. Unfortunately, Cynthia doesn't know yet when the programs will be shown, but she promises to stay in touch. It should provide a glimpse into life in West Tisbury in 2007 - the arts, farming, history, government, and volunteerism. Stay tuned.
Mike and Paula Black had visitors this week; Paula's father, Paul Martin, and her sister Claire, enjoyed a trip to West Tisbury from their home in Delaware. Claire said they kept busy every minute and had a lot of fun together. It was a treat after knowing Paula all these years, and hearing so many stories about her family, to finally meet some of them.
Sue Hruby spent the weekend in Atlanta with her husband, Roy Dickerson, and his daughter and son-in-law, Ann and Adam Ogburn. Sue went to watch granddaughter Katherine Ogburn, a budding gymnast, at her workouts, and spent some quieter time with younger granddaughter Meredith, who was in bed with the flu. It was also Adam's birthday on Feb. 11.
When I went to the airport Sunday night to pick up Sue, I saw Paddy Moore, waiting to be picked up by Ben. Paddy was coming home from her grandson Calder Warlock's third birthday party in New York City.
I had to laugh at Dr. Hoxsie's North Road column in last week's paper. His telephone and computer woes seem to confirm my own technophobia. I know we are not alone. Several people commented to me laughing about their own travails, and Mark Bettencourt, Granville White, and my husband had quite a spirited discussion when they ran into each other at Cronig's Saturday afternoon.
The other big topic for discussion was the house fire last Wednesday night down off of Indian Hill Road. Fortunately no one was in the house.
I stopped by to see Katherine Long and Tom Vogl last week and, as always, things were going on. Katherine was making cheddar cheese in two enormous vats on her stove, with a timer going off every five minutes, signaling her to raise the temperature another two degrees, and stirring with the largest wire whisk I had ever seen. This process would be ongoing till about 4 o'clock that afternoon; I was there around lunch time and the proceedings were well underway. Katherine said it would be two years before the cheese would be ready to eat. Plans called for Tom to bake bread the following day with the whey remaining from the cheese-making process. Observing the goings on was a temporary houseguest; Auk, an elderly buff cochin hen with feathery pantaloons the color of a golden retriever, was feeling the cold and having trouble getting into the henhouse, so she moved into the main house with Katherine and Tom. They gave me a sample of their Romano cheese, which I took home and enjoyed for lunch.
There will be a craft program at the library this Saturday, making Mardi Gras masks. Don't forget that the library will be closed this Sunday and Monday for the President's Day holiday.
At our last trustees meeting, we decided to extend the fine amnesty program at the recommendation of the director and staff. The program was very popular, with many patrons opting to pay the fine as well as contributing non-perishable food for the Island Food Pantry. We decided to extend the program until the Food Pantry closes in April.
By the time this column comes out, Valentine's Day will have passed. I had thought about making this week's column a Valentine to this town I so love, but there seemed to be lots of other news and I should have thought of it last week. When I spoke with Cynthia about her television interviews, she remarked on how surprised she was at the number of volunteers who so freely give their time and energy to serve, and how happy they are to do so, that they love West Tisbury. I have known that for many years. I could no longer imagine living anywhere else and am so grateful for whatever good fortune drew me to this place and to my husband. Happy Valentine's Day.
Don't forget the Space Needs public forum on Wednesday night. Bring your questions and bring a friend.