Town Column : West Tisbury
My husband Mike is a total television-aholic. I first knew he was really serious about our relationship when he appeared at my apartment in Edgartown carrying his huge color TV set. (I had a 12-inch black and white that was probably close to 20 years old. I kept it in a closet.) First thing he does in the morning when he comes downstairs or upon coming home in the evening is turn on the television. To keep him company over our years together I have learned to watch the morning and nightly news, getting hooked myself on things like last week's Democratic convention. Today, it is Hurricane Gustav.
I just called Bill and Betty Haynes, who had visited Ellen Weiss in New Orleans last winter, to find out where in the city her house is. Ellen left last Monday to return to her winter life as a professor at Tulane. I hope she is safe and will remain so.
So far, it looks like the levees are holding. Water came sloshing over the tops of some of the canals, but nothing yet has appeared to breach or degrade the levees. I hope they will continue to hold.
Lew and Freida Kaplan have rented Sue Hruby's house every August for as long as I can remember. Obviously, since Sue isn't here, they have never met. Now that Sue is a year-round West Tisbury resident, she decided to stay put and enjoy the whole summer in her own place. So she was looking forward to finally meeting the Kaplans. Everyone was invited for drinks at the Chinards, mutual friends and neighbors, last Friday evening. I gather all went well and everyone enjoyed meeting face to face.
It's funny how places become our own, the measure of summers' time. Lew and Freida measured their grandchildren's changing heights and growing interests from the guest bedrooms at Sue's. I remember when Sue moved permanently from New York. The Kaplan grandchildren were all unglued that the artwork in "their bedrooms" was different. It seems funny for us to be up at Sue's this time of year and not have the Kaplans be there, but I love having Sue and her cats being here for the Fair.
At the Farmers Market last Saturday I met Yvonne Danjouma from Watertown. Yvonne is here visiting Nancy Accola. As Nancy doesn't have a television, she and Yvonne were telling me about going to a viewing party at Brenda Jackson's home in Oak Bluffs to watch Barack Obama's acceptance speech for his nomination as Democratic candidate for president. If you watched the convention, groups all across the country were shown on monitors, watching the speeches. I was interested to learn that we had such groups right here on the Vineyard. Yvonne, an ardent Obama supporter, enjoyed gathering and sharing the evening with like-minded political junkies. She and Nancy also enjoyed the special dinner that Barbara served, a Senegalese dish that symbolizes a welcome to guests.
Tom Wetherall stopped me at Cronig's to tell me a story. He had guests last week whose great pleasure was walking up to Alley's for the newspaper every morning. They found the new path to be quite an upgrade of the experience, preferring to be off the road and on solid footing. When they returned home and asked Tom about how it all came about, he credited "his neighbor" (me, although I deserve no more credit than the other members of our committee) and the town's Path Committee. I have heard many positive comments throughout the summer and am happy to see the paths so well used and enjoyed. For those of us on the committee, it was a labor of love.
I was up at the library this morning helping Deborah Silliman Wass and her husband, Jeff, hang her exhibition of calligraphy. It will be on view through the month of September. Deborah is the founder of Martha's Vineyard Calligraphy and Illumination. She has put together a varied and interesting selection of her work, from invitations and poetry to a tee-shirt printed with a symbol she designed. She will be at the library to speak about her work on Sept. 10 at 4 pm. Hope you can come.
It's always interesting to find out what your neighbors do, so I was pleased to hear from photographer Lynn Christoffers, one of the artist/writer residents of the Cleaveland House. I had met Lynn earlier this summer when The Times assigned her to photograph one of my art group's monthly meetings. We enjoyed each other's company that evening, but the summer has rushed along without another opportunity to get together.
Lynn is showing some of her photographs at the Cleaveland House afternoons from 1 to 5 pm through mid-September. She is there to talk about her work with visitors. Lynn is a wonderful photographer who specializes in portraits of children and animals. She is currently working on a book that will feature photographs of Vineyard cats. Her show is called "Kids and Pets." If you like what she does, talk to her about photographing your pet or child. She does commissioned portraits. Call 508-696-4290 for more information.
This column seems somewhat disjointed and random, kind of like I feel by the end of this busy summer, Labor Day weekend 2008. I am also finding my way on my brand-new laptop MacBook. I seem to keep hitting something without noticing that it has erased half of a paragraph or inserted a sentence mid-paragraph instead of wherever it was supposed to have gone. I just hope this column arrives at The Times. Please note: I have a new email. It is firstname.lastname@example.org.