Town Column

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull
Click here to contact Hermine

Posted March 8, 2007

This has been a week of losses and illness abounding. If one is of a philosophical bent, I suppose it has been "a paradigm of life," with a very happy new life arriving to cheer me up as I needed it most.

I'll start with happiness. My friend Linda Hearn stopped by Saturday morning on her way off-Island to be with her daughter Laura, who was having her first baby. We who love Laura have been waiting excitedly since we found out she and Paul were expecting. Glenn called about 7 pm to say that Morgan Emily Caruso had arrived. Linda will be staying with Laura, Paul, and the baby for a while. I send them all the best wishes for health and happiness.

Shirley Mayhew told me about attending a baby shower a couple of weeks ago for Prudy Athearn. Shirley looked around the room at the young mothers, many of whom had been her students, everyone laughing and generous of heart. "It was very life-affirming," she said.

Still, my heart is heavy for the friends who have suffered so many losses these past two weeks. Shirley and I were talking about Nancy Whiting's broken hip and subsequent surgery and the tragic death of Cynthia Riggs's daughter Mary Wilder Stoertz at age 49. Cynthia is in Athens, Ohio with her son-in-law and grandsons, and plans to remain for a while. There will be a memorial service there on March 10. Dear Cynthia, you have my deepest sympathy.

Thursday morning my dear friend Sue Hruby called to tell me that her husband, Roy Dickerson, had died during the night. She left for Atlanta to be with Roy's daughters and their families for a memorial service. Roy had Alzheimer's and, though not unexpected, the loss is great to all who loved him. My condolences to Sue, Ann and Adam Ogburn, Lynn and Dixon Stuart, and Roy's most beloved grandchildren, Katherine and Meredith Ogburn and Matthew and Virginia Stuart. They all loved their "Grand."

Ted Stafford's passing was tragic. His parents, Bob and Joanne lived on Elias Lane so we remember the children well. Benny, Teddy, and Tabor were all sturdy little kids with sweet smiles and into everything. Mike built their house 20 or so years ago, and Teddy, only three or four, saved his life when Mike fell off their roof. Mike said "Teddy, go get your mother," and he did.

As it is with good friendships, you just pick up where you left off when you are together, and that is how it has been all these years since the Staffords moved away. At Sunday's gathering at the Ag Hall, with tears, memories, and affection of all attending, Ted was remembered as a very special young man.

On Saturday afternoon there was a memorial service at the West Tisbury Church for Patrick Phear. Bea and Patrick's children and friends all told such loving remembrances of Patrick's life. I was honored to hear those stories. Befitting his interest in the environment and conservation, the church was decorated with arrangements of branches and forced forsythia, with little bird ornaments interspersed along the branches.

Condolences also go to Eric Whitman, whose father died last week.

Maria McFarland e-mailed to let everyone know that the Conservation Commission has an opening. If you are interested in becoming a member, send your letter of interest to the Commission at P.O. Box 278, West Tisbury. You may call Maria at 508 696-6404 with any questions.

Maria also told me about sightings of bluebirds and several ducks on their Vine Lane property, and a reminder that her husband Kevin had celebrated a birthday on Feb. 27. Happy belated birthday, Kevin.

Students at the West Tisbury School have been rehearsing for months for their upcoming production of "Bugsy Malone." Performances are this weekend, March 9-11, on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 pm, and Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. The Sunday performance will feature the understudies playing the lead roles.

There will be craft programs at the library. Make egg carton creations on Saturday. The Monday Night Movie is "Bill of Divorcement."

As I sit writing, the weather has gone from gray to snowy and now the sun is out. Saturday I was outside in a T-shirt and today it is freezing, with temperatures predicted of nine to thirteen degrees for the rest of the week. March is certainly unpredictable.