Pulling for Wendy
Responding to the tunes provided by Mike Benjamin and friends, folks got up and got moving. Photos by Ralph Stewart
When I pulled up to the Ag Hall for Sunday's brunch for Wendy Weisman Jenkinson, I thought for a minute that the Fair was still on. The big field next to the barn was half full of cars and there more lined up waiting to get in.
With Hillary Clinton at her side, Wendy leaned on her mother, Suzy Weisman, while getting some hands-on support from Joan Jenkinson, her mother-in-law, and others.
Her family, friends, and clients have been scrambling to support Wendy over the last couple months, so no one was shocked when they decided to cook up something special for her when she got a break in her treatment. Urged on by Chilmark summer resident Mary Steenbergen, a long-time client of Wendy's who's become a close friend, Nicole Cabot, Tina Miller, and Laura Entner went to work on a community gathering in support of Wendy. Billed as A Musical Brunch, Sunday's gathering was that and so much more. The turnout, the outpouring of support, the out and out good vibe - were over the top.
Pat Jenkinson thanked those who had organized the musical brunch and all those who attended.
As many as 600 folks attended Sunday's gathering - a huge crowd. Not surprising, maybe, considering that up-Island, almost everyone knows Wendy or Pat, her outgoing husband who runs Up-Island Automotive in West Tisbury, or other members of the extended Weisman and Jenkinson families. Tina Miller, a current caterer and former restaurant owner, organized some 30 other caterers and restaurateurs Island-wide to provide food for the event - good food, delicious food. Laura Entner organized a swarm of volunteers, many of them grade school kids, to help serve food, park cars, and clean up. Mike Benjamin was in charge of the music, his usual combo spiced up by the addition of three horn players.
Wendy shares a light moment with Bill Clinton, who is flanked by Wendy's children, Marguerite and Wyatt.
Hugh Weisman, Wendy's father, talked about the shock of the news of Wendy's diagnosis in June, and the stresses of carrying on since then. "What's gotten us through this, is mostly Wendy," he said, citing her determination. "Her strength has given us the strength to support her."
Hugh Weisman, Wendy's father, spoke of Wendy's determination and courage.
Next, Pat added his thanks to all those who had helped make the event happen, and to the swarm of us who had come out to support Wendy. His mother, Joan Jenkinson, followed with a brief thank-you.