Town Column


By Gail Craig
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Posted October 18, 2007

Based on the news I've received this week, it would appear that readers were anxious to have me follow through with my warning last week so they could read about me mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms! Rest assured: both projects are completed, but I'll leave out the gory details.

Well now, the truth can be told! I've not wanted to share much information because I didn't want the world to know that the kids and I were alone at home, but by the time this goes to print, that will no longer be the case. As such, I can now share that Jamie and his mother, Shirley, have spent the last two weeks exploring Jordan and Egypt. Jamie and his dad had originally planned the trip but when Phil became ill, he asked Jamie to go with his mom instead. They left the Island early on October 3 and returned home on Monday.

Communication while Jamie was traveling was difficult, so the kids missed him a lot. It isn't quite the same as vacationing in, say, Florida. But he managed a few phone calls and e-mails during the travels, which, along with school and extracurricular activities, helped the kids get through the two weeks without any major struggles. And I have to admit, I really enjoyed the two weeks with my little ones and, selfish though it may sound, I'll miss having them all to myself. It has been a lot of work and I sometimes felt that I was chasing my own tail, but I really loved the opportunity to be so focused on them and to be with them so much. It made me realize what is really important in our day-to-day lives and what is not. A lot of the stuff I previously thought "had" to get done can really be completely ignored.

I received news this week that the Vineyard's own Amy Coffey, who many may recognize as one of the morning weigh-in folks at derby headquarters and who works for NBC Sports for the Olympics, is hoping to be selected to carry the torch for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing! In order to be selected, she had to send in a 30-second video of herself explaining why she wanted to carry the torch. She opted for a rap song! Her video was selected out of hundreds as one of 18 finalists! Three of these finalists will be selected to be torchbearers based on how many votes they receive. You can vote for Amy by visiting the web site at If Amy wins one of the three coveted positions, she would be part of the Torch Relay that is run throughout China after the flame is brought over from Greece. If everyone reading this votes for Amy, you'd be giving a Vineyard resident the chance of a lifetime.

The African Artists' Community Development Project is premiering their documentary film "Waging Peace in Zambia" (20 min.) at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 6:30 pm. The event will take place from 6 to 8 pm. There will be a silent auction of antique African ceremonial cloths, contemporary folk art, and wall hangings. Zambian crafts will also be on sale and hors d'oeuvres will be served. All are welcome. A $10 donation is suggested. For more information, contact Marsha Winsryg at or 508-693-4059.

Rebecca K. Towne and Zachary A. Phelps announce the birth of their daughter Makynna Victoriah Phelps, who weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long, at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor Fla., on August 19. She is the granddaughter of Gary and Lois Towne of Edgartown and William and Deborah Phelps of Lawrenceville, Geo.

Congratulations to all who fished the derby. Finally, after a month of chasing the prize-winning fish, families will be reunited again. That is, assuming that these same fisher people aren't turning around after a good nights sleep and a shower to escape into the woods after the various elusive critters this hunting season.

Speaking of which, please remember that a number of hunting seasons are now upon us, including bow and arrow deer season. If you are out and about utilizing the various trails and pathways around the Island, be sure to wear some bright colors and use caution. Keep your dogs on leashes. You know the drill.

I guess that's it for now. Be sure to get me your news. Have a great week.