Town Column


By Kay Mayhew
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Jack Shannon, Xabian McGougan, Sue Leonard, Richie Smith, Joan Baptiste
The Tisbury School celebrated the Red Sox win in a big way. Waiting for a piece of the special cake are (from left) eighth-graders Jack Shannon and Xabian McGougan; computer technician Sue Leonard; principal Richie Smith; and cafeteria staffer Joan Baptiste. Photo by Maureen DeLoach

Posted November 8, 2007

I was lucky enough to be invited to enjoy Halloween at the home of Anna Lowell on Spring Street, known as the epicenter of Island spectral activity. The porch was decorated with spiders, webs, and jack-o'-lanterns and black ravens perched on the railing. The arrival of little goblins was delayed because of daylight-saving time. You can't scare someone if it isn't dark yet. The waiting was filled by the adults sharing memories of Halloweens past.

Suddenly small figures in complicated costumes were heralded by high-pitched giggles and whispers. Out of the gloom came princesses and butterflies clustered with witches, bats, and super heroes. A lovely five-year-old was instantly recognized. A much younger cowgirl spotted her and shrieked, "Mommy. That's Snow White!" The little one could hardly be convinced to turn away to get some candy.

The creatures approaching for trick or treat were both frightening and fun. Two elegantly dressed ten-year-olds identified their individual roles as a pop star and a diva. Other youngsters were easily classified as stars of stage and screen. Dorothy appeared in different sizes with Toto, both stuffed and real, one enviable young girl wearing sparkling red sequined slippers. Tiny twins were dressed all in white with large irregular spots, small cows walking upright, one clutching a bottle of milk. A very little boy all in black had white cotton balls making a white stripe down his back and on his tail. He politely refrained from squirting us when bribed with candy.

The older children were scarier, even fearsome, and some were very creative. There was even a refrigerator and several space aliens. One young lady admitted that she was half troll and half Barbie. Our favorite was a small group of friends cleverly dressed as the characters in the game of Clue, complete with rope and dagger.

Accompanying the little goblins were adults dressed as a glamorous Geisha or a handsome pirate or simply sporting outrageous wigs. Perhaps the children had as much fun as those of us watching them.

Fortunately, our big winds did not come until Saturday. We had plenty of warning to bring lawn furniture in and tie down some other things. It was a fine day to stay inside, with all the wind and rain. As someone noted, it seemed as if everyone was online while waiting out the blow. Those without power enjoyed candles and a glass of wine or even dinner with friends. Fortune smiled on us, mostly limiting the damage to our homes. Sunday's sunshine almost made us wonder if we had imagined it all.

Next Saturday from 3 to 5 pm there will be special maritime activities for children at Featherstone Center for the Arts. This free event is to introduce a new children's book about a little girl who went whaling. The book is called "Thirty Dirty Sailors And the Little Girl Who Went a-Whaling," from a song by Dillon Bustin. I expect that many Islanders will remember performing with Dillon in "Tidebook."

The real little girl in the story was Laura Jernegan. She lived aboard her father's whaling ship for three years in the 1800s and kept a journal about her adventure. The journal is in the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Executive director Matthew Stackpole wrote the introduction about the "real Laura."

Ed Colligan could use your help in Oak Grove Cemetery. The Avenue of Flags will go up on Sunday, which is the 11th day of the 11th month. Ed suggests you help put up the flags, then go to church to offer prayers for the men and women who have served our country. Help is needed to put up the 410 flags at 7:30 in the morning and again to take them down at 3 pm.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Katie Davey on Tuesday.

Heard on Main Street: Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.