Town Column

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull
Click here to contact Hermine

Posted November 8, 2007

Waking up Sunday morning, it was hard to imagine the slashing rain and winds of just a few hours ago. Everything seemed golden, softly lit, quiet. We had a few branches down, twigs really, and one tree out in the woods, but it all seemed an improbable memory when we awoke Sunday morning.

Our rain gauge read two and a half inches. Happy Spongberg told me she had a full five in Chilmark. Wendy Weldon worked in her garden Sunday afternoon, easily pulling vegetables from the moist and softened soil. My art group enjoyed the result of her efforts, a delicious beet borscht, at our monthly dinner Sunday night.

The Fire Department was busy in the storm. There were lots of downed trees, fire alarms, and electrical glitches that needed attending to. We lost our power when a huge old fir fell at Bessire's, on the corner of Edgartown and Old County Roads. Police cars blocked the road from New Lane to Brandy Brow, rerouting traffic the long way around, down State Road. Nelia Decker had to come home from the library through Vineyard Haven, down the Airport Road, to get to New Lane, a long circuit with a stop at my house to tell me she had closed the library because of the power outage.

It was just enough weather to be exciting without being really dangerous, a good day to curl up on the sofa with a book, a cat, and two dogs.

Tom Vogl and Katherine Long were off Island last weekend (Oct. 27 and 28.) They drove to Rhinebeck, N.Y., to attend a famous annual gathering of fiber artists. While there, they stayed with Tom's son, Willie Yee, and enjoyed a mini family reunion when Tom's daughter, Wendy Colbert, joined them from her home in Buffalo, N.Y. Katherine came home with a skein of Qiviuk "as soft as a cloud" yarn from Windy Valley Muskox, reputedly the warmest yarn there is. She was knitting herself a lovely (and warm) scarf for the up-coming winter.

There will be a special evening at the Ag Hall next Saturday night, Nov. 17, a fund-raiser for Robyn Hanover. Robyn, a West Tisbury girl who started riding at age five at Arrowhead Farm, is now training at an international competitive level of Amateur Olympic Horse Eventing. She and her family are trying to raise money for her continuing training and competing in Ocala, Fla., with instructor Darren Chiacchia, a member of the Olympic team. The party will begin at 6 pm and will include a dinner catered by Linda Jean's, music by "Money Shot," and an auction with Trip Barnes as auctioneer. Tickets are $15 at the door. All donations are tax-deductible. So, bring your appetite, your dancing shoes, your good will, and plan on spending an evening in support of a young woman's dreams. If you have any questions, you may call Linda Hanover or Jim Young at 508-693-3922. There is also a story to read online, page five of the Sept. 7 issue of the Vineyard Gazette.

To marvel at another of West Tisbury's talented young people, plan to visit the library to see an exhibition of photographs by Lyla Griswold. Lyla is a senior at the MVRHS. Her striking black-and-white photographs, the exhibition entitled "Chiaroscuro," will be on display through the month of November.

Blue Cullen and I went off-Island last Wednesday. We were pleasantly surprised to see Deborah and Sarah Mayhew stepping out of the car in front of us on the ferry. So we all went upstairs and had a pleasant ride over together. Deborah and her daughter, Katie Ann, had recently returned from a trip to Oslo and Amsterdam, an extension of a business trip Deborah had made to teach a two-day class on software usability for Schlumberger at their offices outside Oslo. They began their trip with upgraded first class seats, which Deborah described as "a grand adventure in itself...with recliner-like seats, lots of amenities, and a six-course meal served over about three hours on fine china. Quite luxurious!" They visited three museums in Oslo: a Viking Ship Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum, and a Norwegian folk museum, as well as an evening at Aker Brigge, a waterfront area overlooking a fjord. In Amsterdam, they stayed in the Leidseplein, an area akin to Harvard Square, with all the hip and young energy of bars, cafes, Internet cafes, street musicians, artists, and dancers. They visited the Anne Frank House (Katie Ann had just read "The Diary of Anne Frank"), the Dutch Resistance Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, the Artis Zoo, and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.

Colleen Morris has planned some interesting crafts programs at the library. You and your children can make turkeys out of pinecones on Nov. 10 and Thanksgiving napkin rings on Nov. 17. The crafts table is set out all day on Saturdays and these projects will make it easy to decorate your holiday table. Adult crafters may sign up at the front desk for a flower-arranging workshop with Sue Silva at 4 pm on Nov. 15.

Don't forget that the library, school, and town offices are closed Monday, Nov. 12, for the Veterans Day holiday.

In the earlier-mentioned e-mail from Happy Spongberg, she also mentioned another skunk deodorizer, a recipe she got from Tom Hale and has used with much success over the years. It is as follows: two pints hydrogen peroxide mixed with strong laundry detergent or Cascade dishwasher soap and HOT water. I think the basic formula of a grease-cutting agent to break down the skunk oil, plus a deodorizer, is the constant in all the recipes I have heard. Remember in this one, peroxide will bleach the fur on a black dog. I speak from experience, having turned a black lab named Zoe into a piebald one. Mike reminded me that he mixed up baking soda with water to pour on Murphy and Tallulah. He swears that my incomplete recipe would mislead anyone who tried it. It is certainly a subject that merits great interest and passion. The real secret is dealing with the situation immediately instead of leaving the dog on the porch overnight while you head back to bed.