Town Column : West Tisbury
I was just walking around my yard at the end of last week, looking for emerging snowdrops (they are up) and thinking that winter was almost over without a good snow day. What a treat to spend Sunday by the woodstove watching the snow falling outside our windows. Keeping the woodstove filled and making a big pot of spaghetti sauce, reading both the Globe and the NY Times filled up the day till 4 o'clock when I went to have tea at Margaret Logue's. I was grateful for four-wheel drive to get there and back, for tea and good company, and a brisk political discussion.
Although bemoaning the early start to the primary season and the endless campaigning and "spin," most everyone I know is engaged by the lead-in to our Super Tuesday primary on Feb. 5. Don't forget to vote! The polls open at the Public Safety Building at 7 am and remain open till 8 pm.
I am heartened by listening to young people lately, both around town and in interviews on the television news programs. This seems to be the first election I can remember when everyone has an opinion and has really studied the candidates' proposals and records on issues. That students and 20-somethings are so engaged bodes well for our future.
On that note, I had a conversation with Maxwell Nunes, son of Nancy and Manny. Max, a junior at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, became interested in Hillary Clinton's campaign last August when he worked at her fundraiser at the Tabernacle. He spent a couple of weeks, Dec. 21, 2007 through Jan. 8, in New Hampshire as an operations intern at Clinton headquarters in Manchester. Max was the only high school student accepted in this internship, which was a college-level program. He worked with other students on break, many from New York where Ms. Clinton is their Senator. They knocked on over 100,000 doors all over the state, as well as made phone calls and arranged to get people to the polls. He said that he and his co-workers were impressed by the Get Out the Vote leaders who told them, "we had to work for every vote, and not take any vote for granted." Maxwell's enthusiasm is energizing. He expects to work on Senator Clinton's campaign this summer and pursue eventual college studies in political science and public service. Young people never fail to amaze me.
By now I am sure everyone has read about Betty Franklin's gift of $50,000 to the Friends of the West Tisbury Library, given in honor of her fellow volunteers who work on the Friends' Annual Book Sale. Thank you, Betty, from every one of us who has benefited from your friendship and your hard work for the library. Betty and her crew have made the book sale seem larger and more successful every year.
I have always called Betty "my Florida Bureau Chief" with great affection and gratitude for the news tidbits and funny stories she often sends from her winter home in Sarasota. I am happy to report that she is home from her very long stay in hospital and rehab. Here is her address: Betty and Ralph Franklin, 5551 Dunrobin Drive, Apt. 4308, Sarasota, FL 43238. Do write.
Happy Birthday wishes to Betty and Janice Haynes and to Bob Salop, who all have a Feb. 1 birthday.
I have often told John Alley he is the luckiest man in town. There's something about the post office branch at Alley's in the center of the store. He gets to see everyone and have a little conversation while sorting mail into the old-fashioned boxes. Everything is hand-written. It just feels good to me.
So last week when I happened into Alley's at mail sorting time, I stopped over to say hi to John, and he put a stack of catalogues in my hand and said, "Give it a try." I really enjoyed my task as "guest sorter" and still think it would be great fun if he should ever need an assistant.
Part of our conversation as we sorted was about the daily newspaper. I had come into Alley's to buy a New York Times as mine wasn't delivered to the house that morning. John told me a story about his daughter Nicole's dog, Sampson, for whom John and Anna have been puppy-sitting the past few weeks. One morning John said to the dog, "Why can't you go out and get the paper?" The next morning, he started outside, was distracted by a telephone call, and next thing he knew, there was Sampson scratching on the door, the plastic bag and newspaper in his mouth. John described the short training period needed to keep Sampson from chewing up the paper or the plastic bag before depositing it at John's feet. Mostly, it was just a statement of expectations, according to John. Now I really think John is the luckiest man in town. I bet he won't want to give Sampson back too quickly.