Town Column

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull
Click here to contact Hermine

Posted October 18, 2007

For many years, I have bemoaned the fact that my cat, Grace, is just not friendly. She was a little feral kitten Mike and I found in Redding, Conn., on a visit to my brother Andy and his partner Edward's. She was my birthday present that year, which was 1996; a gray ball of fur so tiny she fit in my hand.

Mike and I were used to "Velcro cats" and we have had lots of them, affectionate and devoted. So Grace has been unexpectedly aloof, more the stereotype of independent-minded than a furry feather boa.

However, Grace has become interested in my writing. As soon as I sit down to write, she takes her place, walking back and forth behind me on the chair, until she finally settles on the desk in front of me, posed as a combination of sphinx/muse. She will occasionally stand up and rub her head under my hand, allowing me unfettered petting.

Affectionate cat behavior is particularly on my mind at this time of year when life becomes focused on baseball, before the long winter drought. Dwight, a handsome black-and-white cat we named after Dwight Evans, (Red Sox right fielder) was our baseball all-star. As soon as the game came on, I would call to him, "Come on, Dwight. Let's get into our baseball-watching position." And he would, right on my chest as we stretched out on the sofa to cheer on our team.

Even without a feline baseball devotee, these are the best games of the year, and I am savoring every moment of it. Go Sox!

There was an unexpected reunion at Sunday morning's radio check at Station 1. Chris MacDonald came by, a weekly occurrence when he lived in West Tisbury and was part of the team. Chris and his family are in town visiting his mom, Betsy.

For all walkers in town, take note that deer-hunting season has begun. The dates are as follows:

Archery, Oct. 15-Nov. 24
Shotgun, Nov. 26-Dec. 8
Muzzle Loader, Dec. 10-31

Take care to wear bright clothing or scarves - orange is recommended, for both you and your dog - or walk in an open area. There is no hunting on Sunday, so you can walk freely on that day.

Another item of interest to walkers, the Paths Beside the Roads committee is holding a public hearing at the Howes House on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7 pm. There will be an update of "where we have been and where we are going" and a discussion of the proposed path along Old County Road. Please come. Your input is important.

Friday afternoon, Oct. 19, the J.C. Trio will perform at the West Tisbury Library. The concert will begin at 4 pm.

I am embarrassed, as chairman of the board, to make the following correction to last week's column. The library is open Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5 pm, not 4. Oops!

Marsha Winsryg invites everyone to attend the premiere of the African Artists' Community Development Project documentary film, "Waging Peace in Zambia," on Nov. 3, 6:30 pm, at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven. Hors d'oeuvres will be served. There will also be a silent auction and sale of antique and contemporary African crafts, art, fabrics, and ceremonial objects. If you have any questions, call Marsha at 508-693-4059 or e-mail at

This has been a sad week for two dear friends. Jean Wexler called me on Thursday to tell me that her son, Michael, had died suddenly of a heart attack at age 63. Then, Linda Hearn called to tell me her mother had died late Friday afternoon, sleeping quietly with her family nearby.

I am glad that Michael lived to see his two children grow up into lovely and accomplished adults. I am sad that he will not see grandchildren come, and great-grandchildren, as Mrs. Magnuson was blessed to know by age 90. She held her newest great-grandchild this spring and summer, Morgan Emily Caruso, named for her, as was her eldest great-granddaughter, Emily Collins. There are ten great-grandchildren in all.

My love and condolences go to Jean, Kathy, Carolina, and Jay Wexler, and to Glenn and Linda Hearn and Eric and Debbie Magnuson.