Town Column


By Jacqueline Sexton
Click here to contact Jacqueline

Posted June 7, 2007

The community will miss departing Methodist minister, the Rev. Dr. Mary Jane O'Connor-Ropp, who will give her last sermon on June 17 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Oak Bluffs. She has spent the last five years of her ministry on the Island, first with Trinity UMC and the past year with all four churches. She will officially retire from the ministry on July 1 and has invited everyone to a farewell party at 4 pm on June 17 at the Trinity UMC and, later, across the street at the Parish House.

Coco Adams and several friends jump-started the flea market season with a mini-flea last Saturday on the lawn in front of the windmill. "We had to find room for all the winter clothes," she said, by way of explanation.

If you drive past the windmill and follow Fielder and Fielder signs, you will discover a little corner of Turkey hidden in one of the cottages. The young Fielders travel to Turkey and bring back everything from carpets to delicately wrought necklaces and embroidered blouses. And, for a local touch, still-life and horse paintings by Anne Leggett are available. The shop will remain open until Christmas.

The church flea market begins on Wednesday, June 27, and is held every Wednesday and Saturday through September 1. Vendors may call Phyllis Conway at 508-645-9216 or e-mail her at to arrange for a space, if there are any still available.

Chap Book Publishing is becoming popular among writers and poets, and the latest one is a collection of poetry by Donald Nitchie called "Driving Lessons." Don has a wry wit and turns ordinary Island scenes and happenings into enduring images with universal meaning.

Katie Carroll reports that her yard is "perfectly covered in caterpillar web," which her son Brooks describes as "Disney's Haunted House." The caterpillars are taking their toll all over Chilmark, including our apple trees and grape vines. Isn't this the second year in a row that they have wreaked their havoc?

The fourth and fifth graders will present the results of their Ancient China research tomorrow at the school. It should be an enlightening display for all of us.

Following the presentation, a come-one-come-all kickball game will take place, at 2:45 pm on the playing field. All children and adults are welcome, indeed encouraged, to attend.

School students last Friday held their first talent show. Organized by assistant 4/5 teacher Holly Bellebuono, it was a festival of dancing, music, art, tricks, jokes, and jump rope feats. Everyone did a superb job and both performers and audience had a great time.

Geologist Chuck Ratte will make climate change local next Wednesday when he gives a slide presentation and talk at the library on "Evolution of the South Coast." Among other things, he will examine the glacial forces that made Martha's Vineyard an island and will show the changes in the shoreline today caused by rising water levels and storms. He was the state geologist in Vermont and now lives in Vineyard Haven. The talk will be on Wednesday June 13 from 5:30 to 6:30 and is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Admission is free.

Library director Ebba Hierta reports that the library's Memorial Day weekend book sale was a resounding success and sends special thanks to volunteer Chris Dreyer for her invaluable assistance in sorting through the boxes of books in the basement.

Nearly all the shops in Menemsha have opened for the season. The Home Port will be open seven days a week, starting today.

Many of us, appalled by the horrors that parade across our television screens and newspaper headlines daily, desperately want to DO SOMETHING to change or improve or help people whose lives have been destroyed by the ravages of war or poverty or both. So it's like a bright light in a dark cave to hear about Marsha Wynsryg, artist and long time up-Islander, who several years ago started the African Artists Community Development Project. Funded largely by sales of Zambian artifacts, the project has established an orphanage, a hospital for disabled children and a preschool in Zambia. Marsha and her 17-year-old daughter, Nora Karasik, recently visited the area and filmed some of the work that has been done. She will show the film next Wednesday, June 13, from 5 pm to 6 pm at the West Tisbury Library and again the following day at the Charter School from 7 to 8:30 pm.