Town Column


By Kay Mayhew
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Posted June 7, 2007

I'm sorry I missed the party. Over 75 parishioners and friends gathered two weeks ago to honor Kathryn Stewart. The event was to mark her retirement as organist and choir director at the First Baptist Church after 38 years. In a family tradition, she had followed her mother, Eleanor Baptiste, who was the organist for 54 years at the church. Eleanor began playing the organ at the church when she was only 14. Kathryn will continue to play the organ for the Gay Head Community Baptist Church through this summer.

Using her talent on the piano, Kathryn has accompanied many groups in singing over the years, including the Scottish Society. Several friends joined the retirement party who have been playing bridge with Kathryn (and losing to her, from what I hear) for over half a century.

Younger Islanders will remember that she also taught music, vocal and instrumental, in the West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Gay Head schools. Many friends shared memories of growing up with Kathryn on the Island. Dorothy Bangs, who met Kathryn at the Boston University College of Music, had more stories to tell. All enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner with assorted pies and ice cream for dessert. Many gifts were made to the building fund in her honor, and Kathryn was presented with a special gift from the church deacons.

Kathryn's daughter Carolee Stewart is director of the Peabody Prep Music School in Baltimore, Maryland. She joined another daughter, Barbara Lopes, and two of Kathryn's grandchildren, Dorian and Robyn Lopes, singing in a quartet to honor Kathryn to top off an evening still being talked about

Doug Dorchester is still wheelchair-bound as his broken ankle heals. With three breaks in the ankle, he cannot yet put any weight on that foot. We wish him a rapid recovery.

Are you enjoying the glorious show of colorful rhodedendrum blossoms all around town? I don't remember a year when the display was more beautiful.

"Before The Music Dies" is a documentary about the homogenization of popular music with commentary by some of the industry's biggest talent. Using historic footage, the film shows the evolution of American music and the artists who created it. The film will also expose the sad truth behind today's "artificial" music stars. See this on Saturday at 8 pm at the historic Katharine Cornell Theatre. Admission is $6.

Carole and Jim Early say you can still buy seedlings at COMSOG through Saturday. The 24th annual David Crohan concert is this Sunday at 4:30 pm at the Whaling Church. Tickets are $20 at the door and include a tasty reception afterwards.

Happy anniversary to Cheryl Stark and Margie Metzger on Thursday.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out tomorrow to Laurel Mayhew. Celebrating on Sunday are Cody Chandler and Ruth Stiller. Florence Koster parties on Monday. A special happy birthday to Selma Frank, celebrating her 90th on June 11.

Heard on Main Street: "History was once today, before the moment got away."