Town Column


By Kay Mayhew
Click here to contact Kay

Posted September 6, 2007

The Fishing Derby art show at the Louisa Gould Gallery is a fund-raiser for the Derby scholarship fund. The show opens tomorrow evening and will be up for the five weeks of the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby. The gallery has the official prints by Ray Ellis and oils by Dimitry. Over 25 artists, many new to the gallery, will be on display.

Congratulations to Madeleine and Nancy Carroll. They were the lucky winners of the hand-knitted afghan made by the Tisbury Senior Center's Friday knitting group. The group made and donated the beautiful full-sized afghan to the M.V. Cancer Support Group, who raffled it as a fund-raiser. The squares of seven different knitting patterns were bound together and bordered by a coordinating color. Hooray for our happy knitters.

The special afternoon called "A Tribute to Two Beloved Vineyard Haven Writers" drew a big crowd on August 26. Sponsored by the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library, the tribute was attended by family and friends and admirers from across the Island. The two writers were, of course, Art Buchwald and William Styron. Their long-time friend Mike Wallace read excerpts from their works. The Styrons' daughter Alexandra read a Styron essay called "In Vineyard Haven." Joel Buchwald read part of his father's "Too Soon to Say Goodbye." Also reading were Leslie Stark and Rose Styron. The family shared some fine photos of the men, including one of the three friends - Art, Bill, and Mike - grinning like little boys as they walked through a rainstorm.

The word "shipwrecked" raises thoughts of being shipwrecked on a desert island with soft warm breezes and perhaps a palm tree. Joan Druett's latest book, "Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World," draws a much different picture, one with snow and icicles. The flyleaf describes the place like this: "Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world." Two shipwrecks took place in 1864 on opposite sides of this desolate island. Using journals and other sources, Joan Druett presents the true saga of the troubles and travails of the seamen as they attempt simply to survive the assaults of nature in such a world.

Most amazing is the fact that some of these sailors did survive. Last week I was fascinated to listen online to Joan's interview about the book on New Zealand radio. She made me laugh when she described New Zealand as "very wreckable," referring to the rocky coast and perhaps to other books on shipwrecks in the future.

Register now for this weekend's 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Vineyard Haven Library where they have entry forms. Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome. The $15 fee earns a free tee-shirt for the first 100 registrants. The race goes from the Library to the West Chop lighthouse and back.

Teens can earn community service hours working with other teens. Young adults should sign up now for the teen volunteer workshop at the library on Sept. 15 from 3 to 4:30 pm.

George Tankard was a good friend to many on the Island. Next week is the annual George V. Tankard, Jr. Memorial 5k Road Race/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run. Call Roger Wey at 508-693-7887, or register online at

Would-be piano players should take note: Charles Blank is giving piano lessons at the senior center. If you prefer listening to music, he will help you appreciate 20th century music in a series beginning next week.

If you can help put up flags in the cemetery as a memorial for those lost on 9-11, call Ed Colligan at 508-693-0912, or show up at 7:30 am or 3 pm. We cannot do much but we can do this.

Happy anniversary to Chuck and Anne Downing who celebrate on Tuesday.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Mike Ciancio and Doris Young. Happy birthday to Susan Rice on Tuesday.

Heard on Main Street: "School opens today. Watch out for the little ones who are too excited to look both ways."