Town Column : West Tisbury
September on our Island is about as perfect as it gets. I know we're all still working nonstop, but somehow the pace feels slower and everything is beautiful. The grasses and shrubbery are beginning to color, the weather is warm with dry air, and I'm bursting with energy and joie de vive. I've vacuumed my studio, rugs are hung outside, and I even feel like washing windows. That probably won't last too long.
You may have noticed a plethora of painters set up around up-Island. Many of us are out painting for the Third Annual Plein Air Painters' Show. It will begin this Saturday with an opening reception at Dragonfly and PIKNIK galleries in Oak Bluffs, 4 to 7 pm. A selection of artists invited to participate will be exhibiting paintings they have done over the past two weeks. The following Saturday, Sept. 20, from 4 to 7 pm, there will be an opening for the second show at the same two galleries, including any Vineyard plein air painter who wishes to join. Thaw Malin and Marjory Mason have organized the artists and events, including specified painting locations. It's fun to see what other painters are doing. I am always intrigued by the concept of a building or vista turned into as many different interpretations as there are artists. Plus, there is always a festive feeling around the Arts District, sort of like Greenwich Village was when I was a kid. La di da.
The light really is the most beautiful early in the morning or evenings between 6 and 7 o'clock. Early mornings are not too good for me, but the past few evenings have been great. Painting after work also gives me the opportunity to stop by Alley's front porch and have coffee with Shirley and Dick Burt and Jenny Green, and whoever else may stop by. There's nothing nicer than watching the town go by with their good company. June Manning stopped by; I was glad to meet her at last after reading her Gazette column for many years.
Wednesday evening we saw Skip Manter leaving the Howes House after his weekly selectmen's meeting. He was sporting a distinctive collection of medals around his neck that we all wondered about, so were given the opportunity to ask about them when he strolled across the street to chat. It turns out that Skipper had been in California, running in a succession of races at Disneyland. He won medals for the 5K race on Saturday, August 30, and a half-marathon on Sunday. The third medal was for running races in both Disneyland and Florida's Disneyworld. Congratulations, Skipper.
While in California, Skipper saw another West Tisbury runner. Kenny Romero also ran the Disneyland half-marathon. Congratulations to you, too.
Brooks Robards heard from Ellen Weiss that she was fine in New Orleans. Now it looks like Hurricane Ike is heading right into the Gulf and towards New Orleans. Yikes! I'll keep you all informed.
When the paper comes out on Thursday, Leslie Baker and I will be in Boston. We are going up for the day to look at art, especially to attend an opening at the Guild of Boston Artists of paintings by our friend Bill Ternes. Bill will be arriving in West Tisbury on Sunday. He will be teaching one of his popular watercolor workshops Sept. 15 through 19, and staying with Mike and me.
Preparations are underway for the beginning of the town hall renovation project. My husband, Mike, has been working up there with Tom Colligan, David Merry, and Ernie Mendenhall. Once the systems are in place, Mike will build decks and walkways between the trailers and town hall employees will move their offices and set up for business, hopefully by their target date of Sept. 18. Then construction will begin.
The Republican convention is over, another week of speeches and hoopla. Don't forget to vote in our Massachusetts primary on Sept. 16 at the Public Safety Building.
Meanwhile, September on Martha's Vineyard is here for us to enjoy.