Town Column

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull
Click here to contact Hermine

Posted November 15, 2007

There are weeks when I sit down to write this column and wonder what I can possibly come up with. Somehow, something usually turns up, but this week I am subject-less.

Mike and I have spent the weekend, along with everyone we know, cleaning up the yard after last Saturday's storm and cleaning the house getting ready for Thanksgiving. Mike is never happier than when he is revving up his chainsaw, so I have a happy husband and a whole new row added onto our woodpile. Even the dogs enjoyed the back-and-forth from truck to pallet. They were totally worn out Sunday night.

My weekend was spent trying to clear the piles off of my desk. A summer of neglect had left my desktop with piles of un-filed library and path committee meeting minutes and reports, clipped articles from newspapers and magazines that I needed (?) to save, a summers-worth of MV Times Calendar sections that I need to clip my column from, recipes I may or may not ever make (but they looked so interesting when I cut them out), pictures of paintings I thought were interesting, and, worst of all, pictures of lovely rooms from house magazines, all clean and airy with nary a newspaper, magazine, unfinished project, piece of mail, unwashed dish, unfolded laundry, hats, hammers, work boots, three days worth of jackets, garden glove anywhere. These Zen rooms with unsullied surfaces appeal mightily to me, but they are as elusive as fairy dust.

My mother always had a cluttered desk, obscured by piles of unsorted mail. I hated it all my life growing up, and I am frustrated that, as an adult, I seem unable to conquer the same malaise. I have often thought it was a way of keeping her spirit close to me; she has been dead almost 30 years. But wouldn't you think that would be time enough?

Anyway, I am slogging through the piles and will have a totally clean surface to work off of by the time I sit down to write next week's column. Maybe the end of the kitchen counter (where we drop our mail as we come into the house) will be cleaned off, too. That will definitely be something to give thanks for this Thanksgiving.

Debbie Magnuson wants to remind the Class of '67 that their 40th class reunion will be this Saturday night, Nov. 17, at The Oyster Bar. Please call Debbie at 508-693-0081 or e-mail her at

Don't forget the JC Jazz Trio concert Friday, Nov. 16, at 4 pm at the library.

Louise Bessire just stopped by. She and Henry have been here all week, and were just getting ready to return to New York. I asked if Chris Burrell had found his cat and she said, "Yes, when he returned from a trip to Cronig's, there was the cat sitting in the truck, right in Rez and Lucy's yard." Chris, who was visiting Rez Williams and Lucy Mitchell, called last night to alert us that his cat was missing. I'm glad the story had a happy, and comical, ending.

Elaine and Dan Pace are home after a three-week trip to China. They seemed to have done everything and it all sounded fascinating. Elaine commented particularly on the contrasts between modernity (modern cities with skyscrapers) and the ancient culture (peasants farming with hand tools). They walked along The Great Wall, stood in Tiananmen Square, explored The Forbidden City and Great Gorges, saw the famous terracotta warriors, cruised along the Yangtze River, and toured an elementary school. Seeing the children was a highlight for ex-teacher/principal Elaine.

Dan Cabot sent me an e-mail about his and Nancy's adventures during the Saturday storm, Not-Hurricane Noel. They were without power for a lot longer than most of town, due to a fallen tree limb on Music Street. Fortunately, the Cabots have a generator. But Dan did get an opportunity to use his chainsaw on a couple of trees across their driveway, and to tease Nancy about hanging out wash in a rainstorm - a big branch fell on her clothesline. And he got his story in to The Times on time.

I have lucked out with several phone calls because I am writing the column later than usual. Eleanor Neubert just called to tell me about her weekend with "the Fair Ladies" at the Annual Massachusetts Agricultural Fair Association's Fair Convention in Boxborough. Eleanor attended with Kathy Lobb, Karen Colaneri, Dianne Powers, Nancy Alyce Abbott, and Nola Mavro. They kept busy with workshops, trade shows ("seeing what's out there") and a banquet. Our Ag Society's poster and tee-shirt won second place in the media competition and the newspaper insert in The Times came in third. Everyone had a great time and came home "full of ideas."

Then Sue Hruby called, too. She had just driven past the Mill Pond, which was covered with a thin film of ice. Her thermometer on Tiasquam Road read 28 degrees this morning. Sue also had company this past weekend, when her friend, Freddi Pomerance, a former West Tisbury resident, came from New York City.

We have been so lucky with this late and mild fall weather. It is supposed to be back up to 60 tomorrow, and in the high 50s for the rest of the week.

Please get me your Thanksgiving news soon. I have an early deadline for my column, which is Friday, Nov. 16, at noon.