Town Column : West Tisbury
Last Friday there were skaters on Parsonage Pond under an ice crystal sky. This morning, when Talley and I took our walk, it was warm enough to take off my jacket. By the time we were really moving, the sweater felt too hot. The Weather Channel predicts temperatures in the 50's through the week.
Town has been so busy with guests and holiday parties, people traveling to interesting places.
Cynthia Riggs spent the Christmas holiday in Germany at the home of Peter and Anne Pfeffer, friends who put up Cynthia's grandson, Steven Ricchiazzi, during his first few months living in Germany as a forestry student in Tubingen. The Pfeffers hosted the entire Ricchiazzi family: Cynthia's daughter and son-in-law, Ann and Paul, with their younger son, Daniel, all from Santa Barbara, Calif. Steven's fiancée, Victoria, a citizen of Belarus who is studying Eastern European history, also joined them. Everyone enjoyed sightseeing with the Pfeffers as tour guides. They visited the castle that inspired the Disneyland castle, the Black Forest, a glassblowing museum, Germany's highest waterfall, and a cuckoo clock factory. Cynthia was invited to read from her books and speak to students at the local school. From Germany, they all drove to Salzburg to ski and sightsee, then on to Vienna to visit with Cleaveland House guests, Eleonore and Robert Biber.
Max, Michelle, Lila, and Sydney Jasny spent school vacation week in Hallandale, Fla., visiting Max's parents. It became a mini reunion when they were joined by Max's brother and his family.
Arlington, Va., was the destination of Robert and Marjory Potts. They traveled to spend New Year's with their son and daughter-in-law, Oliver and Christine, and their grandchildren, Aitken, Owen, and Ellie Potts. Everyone went to the National Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C., which Marjory said was "so magical to visit on a cold, miserable day, to be inside this beautiful garden with the smell of loam and flowers." For non-gardeners, there was an electric train exhibit that circled the perimeter. "Everyone was beaming," Marjory exclaimed.
Pat and Cindy Mitchell had both their children home for Christmas. Kate and her husband, Will Dyer, and Sam, with his girlfriend, Grant, all came from Washington, D.C.
At Betsey and Jack Mayhew's party, Mike and I met Mary Jo Gault and her husband, Peter Valtin from Healdsburg, Calif. They are spending the winter between Falmouth and the Vineyard, guests of Christine Gault and Tom Hodgson, Mary Jo's sister and brother-in-law.
I noticed that Sam Alley was walking two black dogs along State Road last week, so when I saw John and Anna at Julia Humphrey's New Year's Day party, I asked about the second dog. It turns out the senior Alleys were taking care of their daughter Nicole's six-month old puppy. His name is Sampson and he is making quite an impression on the household. Star is now the grande dame, although it doesn't seem that long ago that she was the young pup with boundless energy, romping around town. She has taken on the responsibility of disciplining the puppy and teaching him his house manners, as all good older dogs do. Sampson will return to Nicole and Armen after they refinish their floors and finish their taxes.
Soo Whiting and Flip Harrington were also among the guests at Julia's, and the conversation naturally turned to birds. We were trading squirrel-defeating tips for our bird feeders. Soo and Flip's was a great idea, so I asked if I could print it in the column. They spray PAM on the pole of their bird feeder and the squirrels just slide right down. It seems so obvious. They say it is rather entertaining, too.
A reminder to all West Tisbury voters from Prudy Whiting: Wednesday, Jan. 16, is the last day to register to vote or to change your party affiliation before our primary on Feb. 5. If you have any questions, call Prudy at 508-696-0148.
The Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School will begin its International Dinners, a popular Charter School winter tradition, with a five-course traditional Indian meal this Saturday evening, Jan. 12, at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown. Dinner begins at 6 pm. Tickets are $55 per person, BYOB, and can be purchased at the Charter School, 508-693-9900, or at Midnight Farm, 693-1997. Students are trained in professional serving etiquette by Patrie Grace, the visionary behind the dinner series. They will serve as wait staff at the event. The dinners are a fundraising effort for an international trip for students. Coming up on Jan. 26, get ready for a taste of Jamaica.
You can continue to eat your way through the weekend on Sunday night, Jan. 13, at a free potluck party at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs. The event, sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group, is to celebrate survival and support. You are asked to bring a story and a dish to share. Please call Ann Marie Donahue, 508-627-7958, for more information.
My condolences to our friend and neighbor, Joanne Scott. Her mother, Trudy, died last week. She had been living here with Joanne, who took devoted care of her.
One of my favorite gifts this year was an amaryllis bulb, potted up and delivered by Megan Mendenhall and her "Granny" Margaret Logue. Not only did I have the fun of watching it sprout and grow, trying to guess what color it would be, now it is brightening our living room with the brilliant red bud that opened New Year's Day. Another two buds are coming along, so this gift will continue for some while.