Town Column

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull
Click here to contact Hermine

Posted July 5, 2007

Earlier this evening, after tidying up the house, I stepped outside to my garden to pick some flowers. Even as I write these words I feel happy. There is an airy arrangement of lady's mantle, catmint, and matricaria in a blue and white striped pitcher on the chest in our living room, and little bouquets beside the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. I always like to have flowers in the house, but being able to step outside the door and just pick them myself is such a luxury.

Mike has been cutting trees from our woods over the years, for heat and to make room for our addition a few years back. Now I have some areas of real sun in which to grow annuals and sun-loving perennials. Plants that languished in my garden or seemed never to live at all now have a place where they are really happy and flourishing. I managed to get lots of things planted in my new sunny garden early enough that they are now looking filled in. The matricaria seeded itself everywhere, so I didn't have to do anything at all to have huge white drifts of it everywhere. This new garden bed is in the circle in our driveway, where I walk past it constantly back and forth to the studio, and enjoy it every time. My garden really nourishes my soul, and I wish I had more time to spend tending it.

Mike's aunt, Rose Terrell, came to dinner this evening (hence the quick tidy-up), our last together before her return to California on Saturday. Her visit this year seemed to fly by. I hardly have time to enjoy our summer visitors before they are gone. Fortunately, the conversations always feel picked up as from yesterday, and the affection is constant.

Beth Kramer and Marilyn Hollinshead have both returned home after spending the past weekend in Washington, D.C., attending the annual American Library Association Conference. This was Beth's first ALA Conference and she totally loved it. She took workshops on programming for small libraries, new library technologies, books, hardware and software, among other offerings, attending workshops "from 8 in the morning to 5 at night." She also had lunch with former Director Mary Jo Joiner, who shared some ideas and some history of the West Tisbury Library with her, and with Cathy Thompson, former Director of the Chilmark Library.

Marilyn Hollinshead was at ALA to celebrate the choice of the Newbery winner and honor books, as she served on the committee. This year's winner is "The Higher Power of Lucky" by Susan Patron. Marilyn attended meetings with publishers and speeches by Newbery and Caldecott winning authors. I saw Warren during the week and he said Marilyn was having a great time "immersed in children's books."

The latest Martha's Vineyard Magazine featured artist Ruth Kirchmeier in a wonderful article written by Brooks Robards. There were amazing photographs of some of Ruth's woodcuts, "Menemsha Hills," "Homestead Lilacs, " "Sundaown," Nasturtiums," and "Moving Water," all close up enough to really see the lines cut and her unique applications of color. Ruth had wished for a retrospective of her career as a woodcut artist for her 70th birthday, and I am honored to be hosting the exhibition at my gallery. There will be an opening reception this Sunday, July 8, from 4 to 7 pm, at my gallery, Hermine Merel Smith Fine Art, 548 Edgartown Road. Please come and see Ruth and her amazing body of work. As there is limited parking at the gallery, I am asking that able-bodied art lovers park behind the Fire Station across the street and leave the gallery parking for elderly or handicapped visitors. Thanks.

Thalia Scanlin will be the guest speaker at this Saturday's lecture at Vineyard Gardens. Entitled "Tomatoes: Heirloom Varieties and Genetic Hybrids" it appears to an informative and comprehensive program. It will begin at 11 am.

The Director Search Committee of the Library has completed our first round of interviews. The second round, open to the public, will be held at our regularly scheduled Trustee's meeting at the library, Thursday evening, July 12, at 7:30 pm. We hope for and welcome public participation, so please plan to attend. If you are unable to do so, Jonathan Revere is filming our meetings for MVTV and also leaves a copy at the library for circulation to patrons.

Preparations for the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale are well underway. Books have been moved to the West Tisbury School gym and are being arranged by category. It's not too late if you still have books to donate. Please bring them to the school weekday mornings between 9 and 11 am. The dates for the sale are July 27 through July 30.

There will be a table set up all day Saturday at the library with the makings of macaroni jewelry and crafts. The Monday Night Movie, shown at the Howes House at 7 pm, will be "My Side of the Mountain." Also, the library is taking orders for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," due to be released on July 21, as a fund-raiser for the library.

As I write this column, I frequently check spellings and usage in my Oxford English Dictionary, a gift from my husband the first Christmas after I signed on with the Times. I don't understand why anyone would choose to use the Internet over the pleasure of thumbing through the pages of a real dictionary and indulging in the serendipity of finding things along the way. Today I learned definitions for "dichogamy," "ippon," and "oidium," while looking for other words. I love the randomness of discovery, and mourn its passing.