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Mr. Nichols, and his wife Diane Sawyer, were frequent visitors to Martha’s Vineyard, where they owned a summer home.

Director Mike Nichols, with actress Mia Farrow, at the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse in 2004. — Photo courtesy Martha's Vineyard Playhouse

Updated 12:15 PM, Friday, November 21. 

Mike Nichols, the celebrated director whose career spanned from Hollywood to Broadway and beyond, died in New York Wednesday evening. He was 83. Mr. Nichols, with his wife, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, spent much of their time on Martha’s Vineyard. The couple was married on the Island in 1988, and purchased an oceanside estate near the entrance to Lake Tashmoo in 1995. Mr. Nichols was known for his generous participation in Island charitable causes, including the Possible Dreams Auction. He was also involved in the local arts community, including the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society.

Last summer, Mr. Nichols hosted a special screening of The Graduate, the 1967 film for which he won an Oscar, at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.

Director Mike Nichols, right, died on Wednesday in New York. He is seen in this photo with Richard Paradise on stage at the M.V. Film Center this past summer. — File photo by Tony Omer
Director Mike Nichols, right, died on Wednesday in New York. He is seen in this photo with Richard Paradise on stage at the M.V. Film Center this past summer. — File photo by Tony Omer

“He was very frail when he came to the film center,” said founder and executive director Richard Paradise Thursday morning. “But he had great enthusiasm. He was planning on coming back to the film center next summer to do some more questions and answers on films that inspired him as a young director. The audience just loved Mike, how open he was. I’ve already heard from two or three people who were there, reflecting on that evening.”

Mr. Paradise remembers the legendary film and stage director as a man whose humanity showed in his work, as well as his private life.

“Very lovely, very sweet,” Mr. Paradise said. “Both he and Diane were such a wonderful couple, there was such an aura of love between them. He was so passionate about his craft. He was a great friend of the Vineyard. They loved coming here and relaxing, getting away from the big city environment.”

MJ Bruder Munafo, executive artistic director of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, said Mr. Nichols and Ms. Sawyer attended several productions at the playhouse, often with their friends William and Rose Styron. She said Mr. Nichols was also generous with donations to the non-profit theater. While he liked to keep his visits low key, Ms. Bruder Munafo said Mr. Nichols was very approachable and open.

“When you were with him, you knew you were in the presence of greatness,” she said. “It’s such a privilege living on the Island, and having the chance to meet people like Mike Nichols. You think about how a life such as his inspired millions of people in so many different ways, people who got to work with him intimately, and people who saw his films. I was sad to hear he died suddenly.”

The Nichols and Styron families were close friends for more than 50 years. Alexandra Styron, a writer and educator who is the daughter of William and Rose Styron, has fond memories of growing up with Mr. Nichols as a frequent house guest at the Styron’s West Chop home, and later as an adult who was a mentor to her.

“There was nobody more exciting to be around,” Ms. Styron said, “Nobody who was a better blend of being both brilliant and hilariously funny, and also extraoridinarily generous. You always felt a kind of thrill being next to him. He knew everyone, he’d met everyone, he’d been everywhere. He’s going to be terribly missed. He was a great man.”

Mr. Nichols was also involved with Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS).

“Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer have been tremendous supporters of MVCS through the years,” said Nell Coogan, MVCS director of development and community relations. “They also attended many Possible Dreams Auction events when Art Buchwald was our auctioneer and the staff at MVCS and Possible Dream Auction committee members were saddened by the news today.”

According to an obituary in the New York Times, as a young child Mr. Nichols fled with his family from Nazi Germany shortly before World War II, and settled in New York. After a difficult childhood, he found his calling in comedy and theater, joining a Chicago theater group which eventually became known as the famed Second City group.

While he began as a performer, he soon moved to directing, where he earned acclaim for working with actors to draw out their best performance. He is one of only a handful of people to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy award. He is a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, and was also honored with a Medal of Arts, the highest honor given to performers by the U.S. Government.

In addition to his wife, Ms. Sawyer, Mr. Nichols is survived by two daughters, Daisy and Jenny, and a son Max. He is also survived by a brother, Bob Nichols, and four grandchildren.

This story has been updated to reflect the addition of quotes from MJ Bruder-Munafo and Alexandra Styron.

The Magnusons have been married for 46 years.

In an occasional series, some great Island couples tell us how they’ve made marriages last. We salute the stamina, love, good will and compromise required of couples who stay together for a long time. Debbie and Eric Magnuson were married on October 12, 1968, at the Lambert’s Cove Church.

How did you meet? Eric was my sister’s classmate. He is five years older, and I knew him from West Tisbury School.

Who proposed and how? It was a mutual decision — we went together two years.

The Magnusons started dating, and got married, in the sixties. — Photos courtesy of Deb & Eric Mag
The Magnusons started dating, and got married, in the sixties. — Photos courtesy of Deb & Eric Mag

Describe your Vineyard wedding. Small — Lambert’s Cove Church doesn’t hold too many people, so some guests were just invited to the reception at Chilmark Community Center. Decorations were big crepe paper flowers and streamers. We had an Island band, my Dad knew them. Annie Kelly, good family friend, catered it with simple food and punch. My Dad, who liked his drinks, snuck a bottle of something into one bowl of punch and almost gave Annie a heart attack — she was a teetotaller.

How many children? Did any of them stay here? We have two children. Sara was our firstborn and she has given us two wonderful grandchildren — Ashleigh, 20,  and Michael, 17. She lives very near us with her husband, Paul, and the kids. Eric, our second child, has a wonderful family. Wife, Ginger, and boys Ryan, 16, and Owen, 13. They live in Burlington. And we see them as much as we can.

Do you both work? Eric has retired from carpentry but does caretaking, and we have an orchard so that keeps him busy. Debbie had a career of 31 years as a hairdresser, and retired to take care of the babies, newborn to three years. My dream job!

Briefly describe your years together – the good, the bad, and the wonderful….. 45 years of wedded bliss? Yes, most of the time!

The Good: Parenting together, but that was also challenging! We had trips with the kids, trips with just the two of us, which we believe are important. We’ve had a few surgeries but are basically healthy, and looking forward to many more years together.

Has the Vineyard been the best place to live your lives together? A resounding YES!

Why? We both were born here and love the Island, the seasons, the people. I love that when I go to the store or the PO I always run into friends to chat with for a minute. The Island pulls together for others in tragedy and illness. We feel so lucky to live where we do in W.T.

If you had one piece of advice to a couple about to be married, what would it be? Trust, respect, love, care, Golden Rule, go on short trips together — no kids. And date night.

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Locally crafted gifts, like SoFree Aromatics, pictured here in 2013, can be found at the Vineyard Holiday Gift Show. —Photo by Susan Safford

With lights already strung, Christmas commercials on TV, and holiday songs in the air, it can only mean one thing: time to shop! And while those on the mainland may be lining up for sales at big box stores and fighting the crowds in shopping malls, Vineyarders can enjoy a much more laid-back holiday shopping experience. The kick off to the shopping season on Island includes lots of options for checking out flea markets, pop-up shops, and crafts fairs. While shopping for unique gifts you can also help support local businesses, nonprofits, and  Vineyard artists and artisans.

This weekend

Friday, November 21, marks the opening of the annual Holiday Gift Show at the Featherstone Center for the Arts. The preview party from 6 to 8 pm will feature sweet treats and a chance to meet many of the participants. Over 60 artists and craftspeople — a record number — have contributed items this year, including artwork, cards, calendars, ornaments, jewelry, pottery, scarves, fleece wear, and handmade chocolates. The show continues on a daily basis from 12 noon to 4 pm until December 21. Proceeds from the sale are split between the artists and Featherstone.

Every Christmas season, the United Methodist Church in the Campground hosts a Holiday Fair featuring food and shopping. On Saturday, November 22, the parish house will be transformed with vendors selling flea market finds, hand knits, homemade ornaments and other craft items, baked goods, and lots of second-hand jewelry while the cafe sells hot dogs, clam chowder, meatball subs and more. It’s a festive event that helps set the holiday mood. Vendor space is still available. Call the Church Office at 508-693-4424 for information. Fair open from 9 am to 2 pm.

The American Legion will also host their annual Thanksgiving Christmas Bazaar on Saturday. Along with lots of white elephant finds and baked goods, shoppers can purchase raffle tickets for some great mixed packages of goods, or try their luck with the country store mini-raffle items. Open from 10 am to 1 pm at the American Legion Hall, Vineyard Haven.

On Saturday afternoon, an informal group of moms and kids will be hosting a benefit for Heifer International, which aims to eradicate world hunger and poverty by donating livestock to impoverished families to provide food, income, and sustainable resources for other village families. At down-Island Cronigs, 3–6 pm, the kids will be selling their crafts while the moms will offer baked goods. Of the joint effort, organizer Emily Solarazza of Vineyard Haven says, “It’s a way for the kids to be involved. It really helps make it more understandable.”

The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop will open its doors on Saturday, November 22, on Spring Street in Vineyard Haven. Among the items made by local artists and artisans, the store will carry ornaments, jewelry, handbags, ceramics, preserves, dog biscuits, candles, skin care products, wreaths, metalwork, and much more. Open every day through Christmas Eve from 10 am to 6 pm.

On Sunday November 23, the M.V. Hebrew Center will host their second annual Artist Holiday Sale. A number of Vineyard artists and artisans will participate, selling jewelry, ceramics, glass, soaps, leatherware, handbags, photography, art, herbal treatments and flavored oils. It’s a great opportunity to get a sneak peek at what various Vineyard artisans are offering for holiday gift giving. Open from 11 am to 3 pm at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven.

Thanksgiving weekend

On Friday, November 28, the seasonal Oak Bluffs Open Market will move indoors to the roomy Dreamland space above Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company. Multiple vendors will offer everything from jewelry, wampum, pottery and other handcrafts to antiques and artwork. The summer market is a combination of flea and farmer’s market and the indoor version will also include vendors selling local honey, baked goods, and homemade chocolates. There will be a raffle, live music, and refreshments for sale. Call 508-939-1076 to find out about vendor space.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Vineyard Artisans Festival over the summer, this weekend (Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28 and 29) is your chance. Every year dozens of the Festival’s artists and artisans relocate from the Grange Hall to the spacious Ag Hall to offer their wares. The selection reflects the variety of artistic pursuits engaged in on the Island. Among the unique gift items to be found are jewelry, pottery, clothing, handmade soaps, Island lavender, wooden, metal and glass items, along with paintings and photography. The participants have had the time to create new works since the last summer event and many offer Christmas ornaments or other holiday items. You can easily spend an afternoon browsing and getting to know some of the Island’s talented artists. There’s a playground out back to keep the kids occupied while you shop. $2 parking fee benefits a scholarship fund for MVRHS students. Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

More from Island artists can be found at a pop-up shop featuring the work of painter Colin Ruel and jeweler Nettie Kent. They will be showing Mr. Ruel’s beautiful landscapes and abstract works along with Ms. Kent’s unique pieces made from brass, gold, leather and stones at the Harbor Craft Shop next to the Bite at 31 Basin Road, Menemsha. Open Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm.

The Antiques Show and Sale will hold its last event of the year Thanksgiving weekend at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Find unique gifts among the many vendors including those specializing in vintage jewelry, antique tools, maritime collectibles, linens, old books, cottage and Danish Modern furniture, Vineyard memorabilia, artwork, and much more. Friday and Saturday 9-3.

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The annual Island Cup bonfire was held on the girl's softball field Thursday night before the upcoming football game against Nantucket. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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Vineyard athletic teams and their fans gathered around the fire to support the football team and cheerleaders. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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The annual Island Cup bonfire was held on the girl's softball field Thursday night before the upcoming football game against Nantucket. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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The football team burned a Nantucket coffin to signify their hopeful defeat of the other island's football team in Saturday's game. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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David Macias, center left, and Luke McCracken react after throwing the Nantucket coffin in the bonfire. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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From left, Austin Chandler, Gavin Fynbo and Andrew DiMattia shy away from the heat of Thursday night’s bonfire. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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Firefighters helped control the blaze on Thursday night. — Photo by Michael Cummo

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Firefighters attend the bonfire on the MVRHS softball field. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Look for a real tussle Saturday in the 36th edition of the Island Cup as the emergent Nantucket Whaler high school football team (8-2) meets the rejuvenated Vineyarders (5-5) at 1:30 pm on Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.

Of course, won-lost records generally mean little in the nationally known rivalry between the islands and this year both teams enter the tilt with good momentum. After an 0-4 start, the Vineyarders have parlayed a multi-threat offense and tenacious defense to win five of their last six games, the last two via shutout.

Across the sound, first year Nantucket High School head coach Brian Ryder has a fired-up squad that enters Saturday’s Island Cup game off a 14-6 double-overtime win over West Bridgewater on Saturday. The Vineyarders pitched their second consecutive shutout on Friday night, 28-0, over Bellingham. The Vineyarders have surrendered just 13 points in their last four games.

Over three and one-half decades, Island Cup dominance has ebbed and flowed. The Vineyarders have won the last nine Island Cup games and the Whalers enjoyed a 9-1 run before Mr. Herman took the Vineyarder helm 28 years ago. Last year’s 14-0 victory gave the Vineyard an 18-17 edge in the rivalry.

Mr. Ryder has lived the rivalry, playing for the Island Cup for several years in the mid-1980s under legendary Nantucket coach Vito Capizzo. Mr. Ryder became an All-American at Dean College (Franklin, Mass.), then a scholarship player at Tulane University and had a stint in professional football including being a New England Patriots draft choice in 1991.

Mr. Herman has been pointing his charges to the Cup after their slow start. “Our goal has been to have a winning season and we’re on track for achieving that goal. A tough challenge, though. They’re having a very good year. They are a physical, athletic group. Brian has done a good job.

“The team that can stay within themselves has the best chance. We can’t let emotion get the best of us. That’s our best opportunity to be successful. We’ve worked on that all week, along with the football things. Don’t get excited too early, peak at the right time.

“They are going to want to try to run the ball down our throats. We saw their game against West Bridgewater. They can throw it, but I think they prefer smash-mouth, the type of game I enjoy, personally.”

The Vineyarders have presented a more balanced offensive scheme in recent games. “We are more in synch now. It’s hard to be balanced when you are behind,” Mr. Herman said of the season-opening four-game skid. “But against Bellingham, every one of our skill players touched the ball.”

Asked for the inside story on his game strategy, Mr. Herman answered with a comment former assistant coach Bill Belcher always supplied to the question: “Score more points than they do,” he said, noting that Mr. Belcher is making the pilgrimage up from his Florida home for the

game. “The weather is encouraging at this point and I’m glad we’re playing this weekend, when it should be played, rather than after Thanksgiving,” he said.

Nantucket is peaking as well, Mr. Ryder said. “We have a lot of positive emotion coming out of a double-overtime win.” he said. “So it’s a perfect setting this coming week for our hopes of bringing back the Island Cup.

“The Vineyard is a good team, well-coached. As a coach and as a man, Don Herman’s actions speak for themselves. They play one division above ours and they have dangerous weapons — Mike Mussell at quarterback, good receivers and backs that also come out of the backfield. They spread you out, you can’t key on one guy. We have our work cut out for us.

“We match up fairly well. We’re big. Now, big is one thing. Being a football player is another. We’re a much more physical and aggressive team than we have been. We have some big and talented players.

“Nantucket has always had a stiff defense. That was my goal this year, to bring that back to the program. Nantucket football is a big part of my life, providing me with a college education. This is an opportunity to give back what I received as a player here.”

“That’s a reason why I wanted to get back. It’s slow going, not perfect, but the goal is to build commitment, accountability, and a work ethic that will be of value in their lives long after their playing days.”


The MVRHS Football team will face off against Nantucket on Saturday. —Photo by Diane Caponigro
The MVRHS Football team will face off against Nantucket on Saturday. —Photo by Diane Caponigro

2014 VARSITY ROSTER

#

NAME

CLASS

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

POSITION

3

Mike Mazza

12

5’11”

158

SE/DB

4

Mike Mussell

12

6’0”

186

QB/DB

10

Ennis Foster

10

5’10”

160

SE/DB

16

Tucker McNeely

11

5’11”

175

QB/DB

17

Jack Slayton

12

5’10”

161

RB/DB

18

James Sashin

10

6’5”

221

TE/DL

19

Spencer Schofield

12

5’8”

160

QB/DB

20

Curtis Farrell

11

5’10”

159

SE/DB

21

David Macias

12

6’0”

163

RB/LB

22

Jacob Cardoza

11

5’10”

152

RB/DB

24

Isaac Higgins

11

5’9”

188

RB/LB

27

Ben Clark

11

6’2”

200

TE/LB

33

Austin Chandler

11

6’1”

173

RB/LB

42

Justin Donahue

11

5’5”

183

RB/LB

45

Luke McCracken

12

6’1”

194

RB/LB

50

Elijah LaRue

11

5’8”

225

RB/LB

51

Liam Smith

12

5’10”

203

OL/LB

53

Andy DiMattia

11

5’9”

234

OL/DL

56

Jimmy DiMattia

11

5’10”

249

OL/DL

58

Crockett Cataloni

11

5’10:

212

OL/DL

60

Dan Costello

12

5’10”

200

OL/DL

61

Andrew Fournier

12

6’1”

200

OL/DL

64

Cooper Wilson

12

5’10”

211

OL/DL

72

Ian Shea

11

6’5”

217

OL/DL

76

Austin Fournier

12

6’1”

200

OL/DL

78

Luke DeBettencourt

10

6’4”

262

OL/DL

83

Paul Mayhew

11

5’9”

151

SE/DB

84

Gavin Fynbo

12

6’5”

177

SE/DB


2014 JUNIOR VARSITY ROSTER

#

NAME

CLASS

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

POSITION

1

Zach Moreis

9

5’5”

142

QB/DB

5

Elijah Matthews

10

5’6”

131

SE/DB

7

Jerry DaSilva

9

5’6”

110

SE/DB

11

Cooper Bennett

9

5’2”

85

SE/DB

12

Sam Bresnik

9

5’5”

115

QB/DB

14

Andrei Bernier

10

5’10”

160

SE/DB

25

Travis Viera

9

5’5”

150

OL/DL

34

Matt Scheffer

9

5’7”

152

RB/LB

43

Harrison Dorr

9

6’1”

147

OL/DL

47

Colby Scarsella

10

5’9”

179

OL/DL

52

Alex Vasiliadis

9

5’9”

159

OL/DL

54

Nick Andrade

9

5’9”

209

TE/LB

55

Zach Rydzewski

10

5’7”

176

OL/DL

57

Curtis Fournier

9

6’1”

191

OL/DL

68

Connor Bettencourt

9

5’9”

214

OL/DL

71

Wilson Redfield

10

5’9″

205

OL/LB

74

Cody Caseau

10

5’11”

165

RB/LB

77

Sam Rollins

9

5’10”

207

OL/DL

79

Perry Bliss

9

6’2”

260

OL/DL

Dan Sauer of 7a Foods is one of the many Island chefs willing to take on some of your Thanksgiving cooking. —Photo by Michael Cummo

Everybody loves a good feast, but we don’t all love slaving over a hot stove all morning. This year, why not let a professional help you out with the cooking? Several Island restaurants are offering full Thanksgiving feasts, in addition to take-out pies and side dishes, so instead of spending hours in the kitchen with your mother-in-law hovering over your shoulder, you can kick back and watch the game, have a cocktail, and enjoy your friends and family. Here are some of the restaurants you can thank for that this turkey day:

The Grill on Main: Edgartown’s Grill on Main will be open for three Grand Buffet seatings on Thanksgiving Day, at 11:30 am, 1 pm, or 2:30 pm. Chef Antonio Saccoccia will be whipping up all the standards, in addition to warm and chilled cranberry sauces, turkey stuffin’ muffins, a raw bar, and seven types of dessert, including a warm bittersweet chocolate bread pudding. $47.95 per person, $19.95 for children under 12. For reservations and more information, call 508-627-8344 or visit thegrillonmain.com. Full menu is available on Facebook.

Water Street at The Harbor View: If you insist on a water view for your Thanksgiving table, Water Street Restaurant at the Harbor View Hotel is now accepting reservations for their own Grand Thanksgiving Buffet. “Cold stations” include everything from pumpkin ale poached shrimp cocktail to fall greens with roasted local apples and aged cheddar. “Hot stations” offer local sugar pumpkin bisque, cider glazed turkey, and salmon spaghetti squash with golden potato hash. The sweets table includes pies, cobblers, tarts, and made-to-order waffles. $59 per person, $25 for children under 12. For more information, call 508-627-3761 or visit harbor-view.com.

The Black Dog Tavern: The Black Dog has your dinner covered, whether you want to enjoy it on Vineyard Haven Harbor, or in the comfort of your own home. The Tavern buffet includes turkey, prime rib, stuffed sole, sides, and Black Dog Bakery Pies. Three different meal options (plus pies!) are available for take out, providing you place your order by Friday, November 21. For sit-down reservations at 12 noon, 2 pm, or 4 pm, call The Black Dog Tavern at 508-693-9223. Cost is $35 per person, $20 for children under 12. For take out information and orders, call The Black Dog Cafe at 508-696-8190. More information at theblackdog.com.

Lucky Hank’s: Drop by Lucky Hank’s any time between 11 am and 5 pm for a three-course meal on Thanksgiving. Start out with butternut squash soup or an autumn harvest salad, feast on roast turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turnips, cranberry sauce, and mixed vegetables, then top it all off with a choice of pumpkin or apple pie. Cost is $45 per person, $25 for kids 12 and under. More information at 508-939-4082 or luckyhanksmv.com.

L’etoile: Before they close for the season on November 30, have one last grand French-style meal at Edgartown’s L’etoile, which will serve Thanksgiving dinner from 3:30 to 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day. For more information, call 508-627-5187 or visit letoile.net.

Hob Knob: The Hob Knob Hotel is putting on a family style buffet by the sea (guests only!) on Thanksgiving Day from 3 to 6 pm. If you book a dinner for $75 per person, you also get 25% off a guest room for Thanksgiving night. Why not book your family a turkey day staycation? Reservations and more information at  508-627-9510 or hobknob.com.

Take-out options:

Still want to enjoy the comforts of being home for the holidays? Call one of the following restaurants to place your Thanksgiving take-out order. The Scottish Bakehouse is offering local birds, side dishes, and of course, pies. 7a Foods will prepare “everything but the bird” for you, including pies, biscuits, and side items. The Kitchen Porch has the whole shebang of fresh local turkeys, veggies, sides, and cook-at-home pies. Morning Glory Farm took turkey orders through November 17, but they still are offering breads, pies, and sides. The Red Cat Kitchen will also prepare turkey, sides, pie, and cobbler for 2-20 people — all you have to do is heat the oven. Don’t forget to call local farms and meat markets like Edgartown Meat and Fish if all you need is a bird, or local bakers if you need to stock up on sweets. Eileen Blake’s Pies and Otherwise has 15 styles of pie available, plus quick breads and dinner rolls. Order by 4pm on Monday 11/25 on Facebook or at 508-693-0528. Pie Chicks is offering eleven types of 9″ fruit, pumpkin, pecan, chocolate, and gluten-free pies, from $23-25 when you order by November 23 (pick-up is Wednesday 11/26 from 2-5pm). It you don’t see your favorite restaurant on the list, give them a call and see if they are offering any Thanksgiving specials!

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End of the line for boys soccer.

Jason Lages walks back to midfield after the final whistle as jubilant Norwell players celebrate. –Photos by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) varsity boys soccer team lost to number seven seed Norwell High School Saturday afternoon in a hard fought contest.The last time the MVRHS boys soccer team got this far in the playoffs was in 2003, under Coach Bob Hammond, when they lost to Middleboro on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.

Purple painted Vineyard fans were smiling early in the first half.
Purple painted Vineyard fans were smiling early in the first half.

The Vineyard beat number one seed Medway High School 2-1 last Tuesday to reach the Division 3 South finals. Medway had lost in the 2013 state final to Belchertown High School 2-1, and also defeated the Vineyarders in the 2013 Division 3 South semifinal 2-1, so the Medway victory was particularly satisfying. In an interesting twist, Norwell High School was in the Division 3 Finals last year and lost to Medway 0-2.

It was a bright, crisp November afternoon; the royal blue Clipper uniforms contrasted beautifully with the Vineyarder’s vivid whites. The Vineyard fans outnumbered the Norwell fans by at least 3 to 1, thanks in part to the three fan busses generously chartered by Our Market, yet they were quieter than at the Medway game. Likely they were just cold – it was 38 degrees and the bleachers were in the shade. The players themselves also seemed to have less intensity than the Medway game. Perhaps they were just cold too.

Vineyard goal scorer Ben Poole rushes up field ahead of Norwell's Connor Horan.
Vineyard goal scorer Ben Poole rushes up field ahead of Norwell’s Connor Horan.

The Vineyarders were strong out of the gate: Ben Poole scored a goal not even 13 minutes into the half, inspiring Head Coach Esteban Aranzabe to leap jubilantly over the Vineyard bench. The Vineyard remained in the lead for most of the first half, but with under two minutes left, Clipper Connor Horan pelted a ball into the Vineyarder net and tied up the game 1-1.

After that Norwell goal both Vineyard players and Vineyard fans turned on the intensity.

Norwell's Connor Grant and the Vineyard's Yannick Gonsalves contest a header.
Norwell’s Connor Grant and the Vineyard’s Yannick Gonsalves contest a header.

Ten minutes into the second half Vineyard frustrations were apparent. Ben Poole, Alex GordonBeck, Jason Lages and other teammates had many offensive drives but were thwarted by whistles that interrupted the momentum. With 15 minutes left in the game, the Vineyard fans tried to rally their team chanting, “I-believe-that-we-will-win” over and over. But it was not meant to be. At 7:06 left in the game, Jason Lages had a shot on goal that hit the goal post and bounced out.

With under two minutes remaining,  Norwell’s Ty Studley banked the winning goal past Matt Stone and sealed the deal for the Clippers.

A great season ends too soon.
A great season ends too soon.

“We played a very difficult non-league schedule,” Norwell Clippers Athletic Director Scott Paine told The Times in a pregame interview. “We played some Division I schools; we played Brockton twice, we played Marshfield, Hingham, and Edgewood to help prepare us for the tournament.”

The Clippers have a young team and only three seniors are standouts. “The majority of kids who play are underclassmen,” Mr. Paine told The Times. “Scituate and Foxboro gave us very tough games, and we know that the Vineyard is very, very good and very talented.”

Norwell completely shut down Vineyard leading scorer Jason Lages and star defenseman Alex GordonBeck was not omnipresent. Instead, it was Ben Poole’s day to bury one ball in the net and to appear magically on defense to send Clipper drives in the opposite direction. Ben was on fire and gave it his all. Captain Brandon Dwane also looked strong, as did Noah Kleinhenz and Nianoa Cooperrider, who all had shots on goal.

Goalie Matt Stone was a standout performer in this final contest, in addition to the entire season, and had multiple saves Saturday that tested his superb athleticism with jumping and diving under intense pressure. The goals scored against him were nearly one-on-one situations where the odds just were not there.

“It was a good game,” MVRHS Athletic Director Mark McMcarthy told The Times postgame. “You had two teams that were pretty much equal and both came into this on hot streaks.”

When asked about the seemingly disproportionate amount of negative calls against the Vineyard Mr. McCarthy responded, “The officials are doing the best they can. We lost to a good team.”

“The referees did not call many of the fouls,” Coach Aranzabe told The Times. “I don’t know why but I did not want to protest. It happened before and I learned my lesson (with a red card at the October 27 Bishop Stang game). After the call is made I won’t change their decision. We missed a lot of opportunities, and today is a day we can’t miss opportunities.”

“Sometimes in sports,” Assistant Coach Ryan White told The Times postgame, “the better team doesn’t win. Our team was the more talented team, but Norwell’s work rate was high and we weren’t working hard enough.”

Mr. Aranzabe was gracious in defeat and remained exceedingly proud of his team. “They played an exceptional season.”

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MVRHS varsity football team enjoys its fourth consecutive victory.

Jacob Cardoza makes a spectacular grab on a flea flicker pass from James Sashin. –Photos by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard won its fourth consecutive varsity football game in convincing fashion by shutting out the Bellingham Blackhawks 28-0 Friday night at a chilly Dan McCarthy Field in Oak Bluffs.

Clockwise from bottom left: Vineyard cheerleaders Kayla Oliver, Samantha Cameron and Cykka Lovett perform during the halftime show.
Clockwise from bottom left: Vineyard cheerleaders Kayla Oliver, Samantha Cameron and Cykka Lovett perform during the halftime show.

The victory evened the Vineyard record at 5-5 and atoned for a 35-6 loss to Bellingham in the 2000 Eastern Mass Division 5 Super Bowl. In that game, the lone Vineyard highlight belonged to Travis Baptiste, who scored on the opening kickoff.

“The difference tonight was that we didn’t run the opening kickoff back for a touchdown,” Vineyard coach Donald Herman joked after the win. “We have a teacher [at MVRHS], Ryan Kent, who played on the 2000 Bellingham team and, of course he’s been thumping Bellingham and wore his jersey today. I told him if we don’t run the opening kickoff back for a touchdown we have a good chance to win.”

On this night, Bellingham received the opening kickoff and drove to the Vineyard 15 behind a bruising ground game, chewing up 8:57 of clock. The Vineyard defense refused to break, however, and forced a turnover on downs.

The Vineyarders responded with an 85 yard drive, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Mike Mussell to Ben Clark with 23 seconds left in the first quarter. James Sashin booted the extra point to put M.V. up 7-0.

Mike Mazza thwarted the Blackhawks next drive with a leaping interception. The Vineyarders drove deep into Bellingham territory but did not score.

Ben Clark stiff arms a Bellingham foe, while Vineyard teammate Andrew Fournier moves in to assist.
Ben Clark stiff arms a Bellingham foe, while Vineyard teammate Andrew Fournier moves in to assist.

The Purple doubled their lead with 1:30 left in the second period after Ben Clark broke loose on the option for an 80-yard run down the left sideline. M.V. led 14-0 and nearly added another score before halftime. On the final possession of the half, the Vineyarders started at their own 20-yard line. First, Jacob Cardoza rumbled down the right sideline for 28 yards. Next, James Sashin lobbed a flea flicker to Cardoza, who made a spectacular diving catch at the Bellingham 15. The Vineyarders got off three more plays before time ran out but the Blackhawks snared Mussell’s final throw in the back of the endzone.

The Vineyarders continued to excel on both sides of the ball throughout the second half.

Dan Costello recovered a fumble at the Bellingham 48, 4:26 into the third quarter. Mike Mussell connected with James Sashin on passes of 25 and 10 yards before Jacob Cardoza bulled in from the two for the Vineyard’s third TD of the night. Sashin then split the uprights to make it 21-0.

Lucas DeBettencourt put the finishing touch on a sparkling Vineyard effort with a two-yard touchdown plunge late in the final period.

After an 0-4 start, the Vineyarders have pulled themselves back to .500.

 David Macias sacks Bellingham quarterback Alec Godfrey.
David Macias sacks Bellingham quarterback Alec Godfrey.

“I’m very proud of the way the guys have rebounded,” Coach Herman said. “We’ve won four in a row now. We’re 5-5 with an opportunity next week to finish up with a winning season. That’s an awesome goal for us right now. We haven’t given up any points in the past two weeks. They [Bellingham] had a pretty good offense. The main thing we wanted to accomplish was to come out of this game healthy.”

And healthy the Vineyarders are heading into next Saturday’s clash with Nantucket in the 36th playing of the Island Cup.

Pending a game at West Bridgewater November 15, the Whalers are currently 7-2 under first year coach Brian Ryder and have a big, talented squad.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Coach Herman said. “We’re excited. They’re a good football team. They’ve been having a great year. They have a new coach this year, Brian Ryder, who played for Vito [legendary Nantucket coach Vito Capizzo]. He’s done a good job there. They’re big, physical and athletic, so I look forward to a very good football game.”

The 36th Island Cup kicks-off at 1:30 pm Saturday, November 22 at Dan McCarthy Field. The Vineyarders lead the Cup 18-17 and have won 10 straight over their island rivals, while Nantucket holds a 35-28-3 edge in the overall series dating back to 1953. The jayvee contest begins at 10:30 am.

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Oak Bluffs Police are searching for the driver of a car that hit a woman at this County Road crosswalk on Wednesday evening. – Photo by Steve Myrick.

Oak Bluffs police are asking for help in identifying the driver of a vehicle that struck a pedestrian Wednesday night near the Tradewinds airfield on County Road.

A 28-year-old woman got off a school bus at 9:46 pm, and was struck as she crossed County Road in the crosswalk. Police said the vehicle, possibly a van, was traveling outbound, or south, on County Road with headlights off. Police are reviewing surveillance video from the school bus.

The woman, whom police did not identify, was injured but she managed to crawl to her nearby home, where a family member was able to take her to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Police said she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Police asked anyone with information to contact the department at 508-693-0750, or send a message on the Oak Bluffs Police Facebook page.

While waiting to leave the Island recently I decided to fly my GoPro and quadcopter duo around Vineyard Haven harbor. I originally just wanted to capture the beauty of the harbor, but the video ended up being more about the docking of The Steamship Authority ferry Martha’s Vineyard and the freight boat Governor.  With my integrated first-person viewer system (FPV), I can see everything (standing on land) the GoPro sees as it flies around above me. I was quickly able to tell that the ferry was entering the harbor and followed it in, at a distance, as it docked.

It was very interesting to see this docking maneuver from the air because I have experienced it many times on the ferry. What started as waiting in line turned into a great little glimpse into what actually goes on at the Steamship Authority every day.

Carl Treyz, a lifelong Chappaquiddick summer resident, is a dental assistant in the process of applying to dental school. He’s also one of the founders of the EnTidaled project, which strives to connect people to conservation and sustainability efforts around the world, using engaging photos, stories, and short films. For more info on EnTidaled:entidaledproject.org. Carl Treyz last shared a quadcopter video with us in September, with his “Over Chappy” film. That can be seen at: http://www.mvtimes.com/2014/09/10/chappy/.

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Artist, Rex Williams, stands between two of his pieces "English Lit" and "No Mass Communications." —Photo by Siobhan Beasley

From paintings, photos, and sculpture to jewelry, feathers, plants, and storytelling, the Personal Altars II show at Featherstone Center for the Arts is an eclectic mélange of heartfelt inventiveness.

“We got a good mix for sure,” Veronica Modini, an assistant at the gallery, said.

Ms. Modini said this show was inspired by the first Art of the Personal Altar in 2011. Unlike that earlier exhibit, this version is much more varied. Though the show fills only a single room, there is more than enough to keep viewers engaged.

Several intriguing and personal installations and collections are displayed. Patrons at Sunday’s opening lingered before them, interpreting and analyzing, or chatting with their creators to learn the story behind the assemblages.

Minor Knight packed a corner with a display as exuberant as the artist and fashion designer herself. A giant succulent overflows its ornate planter, a painted screen, and behind, fabric-covered lamps. Above hangs a fanciful canopy of bright cloth strips, with a photo of Mick Jagger.

Minor Knight, "Chez Moi" Mixed Media, NFS. —Photo by Siobhan Beasley
Minor Knight, “Chez Moi” Mixed Media, NFS. —Photo by Siobhan Beasley

“The eye has to travel,” said Ms. Knight, quoting celebrated fashion icon Diana Vreeland. “It’s important to feed your spirit by being surrounded by things that inspire you.”

“Expressing gratitude for the natural world and our interaction with it” was Giulia Fleishman’s goal in creating an array of her favorite things — feathers, straw flowers, coarse green yarn, a basket her great grandmother made, even a mummified starling found in her fireplace.

Mary Thomson’s “Spring Shrine” echoes her jewelry maker’s craft with beads, shiny strips, and tiny images in a wooden shadow box.

In “Nature-Nurture,” seaweed artist Kathy Poehler combined coral, a fossil, a jawbone, a wildflower book, and more to recall meaningful moments in a tribute to her father.

Ceramicist John Robert Hill displays personal items from gold-bordered formal religious icons to faded photos, a shiny paper angel, a diving porcelain mermaid, a little whale figurine, all on an antique étagère. A vintage Diana Ross poster tops the mix.

Many of the 15 contributors chose very different forms of expression. Ms. Modini said that artists were invited to submit items or collections “that represented something of importance to them — anything that was meaningful and special, if they wanted to convey a certain feeling or message.”

Visitors are greeted by Chetta Kelley’s arresting “Balance,” an oil painting in lush, deep tones of gold, brown, red, and rust. In this otherworldly scene, slender forms approach a massive, round rock that seems to teeter on the edge of a cliff. Pilgrims in Burma visit this rock, believed to be steadied only by a hair of the Buddha, Ms. Kelley said. Her scene suggests the fragility of life, how fate can be changed by something as small as a single hair.

Mary French shared a seascape, a sailboat diminutive beneath the wide blue sky with racing clouds, a place she had enjoyed with her husband. In her mixed-media monotype with linear shapes and warm hues, Wendy Weldon recalls a garage from her childhood whose memory has endured.

Harry Seymour’s painting “Haitian Rosary” is meditative and serene, a dark-faced man intently clutching beads, the cross gleaming front and center.

Rick Brown’s photo in a handmade wooden frame titled “Wellspring” shows a sailboat he built, covered by an open work shed.

“Soil Magician,” a captivating audio-visual portrait of legendary Edgartown gardener Paul Jackson by Alan Brigish and Susan Klein, drew admiring visitors to a computer monitor. Ms. Klein’s carefully crafted narrative introduces the gardener, his family, history, wisdom, and dedication to the land.

Kathy Poehler stands next to her alter, dedicated to her father and their shared interests of honoring nature and nurturing the body, mind, and spirit "Nature-Nurture Body and Soul" —Photo by Siobhan Beasley
Kathy Poehler stands next to her alter, dedicated to her father and their shared interests of honoring nature and nurturing the body, mind, and spirit “Nature-Nurture Body and Soul” —Photo by Siobhan Beasley

Brilliant images by Mr. Brigish depict a year in the small but magically prolific Jackson garden. Snow gives way to fresh-tilled earth, green shoots emerge. Then harvest bounty is captured in fine, crisp detail: fresh-shelled peas, golden corn, greens, carrots, plump tomatoes.

Richard Dunstan Hamilton’s shimmering silver “Procrastination Chalice” stands starkly elegant, with details of Niobium, moonstone, a single amethyst. Explaining the title, Mr. Hamilton, a goldsmith, admitted he created the bowl in 1971. Slowly, the piece came together, incorporating other elements and stones, the base once part of a church’s chalice. His bejeweled “Soft Landing” rests perkily on three little legs like a silver mini-spaceship setting down, not surprising as Mr. Hamilton is a lifelong science fiction fan.

Rex Williams uses found objects in three quirky assemblages. One, “English Lit: dedicated to the librarians of Martha’s Vineyard,” aptly recycles typewriter parts — a roller, keys, a handle, with a scholarly-looking bust.

A herd of giraffes cavort delicately on black-painted spiral stairs. Only a few of writer Kate Hancock’s vast collection, they range from a well-worn plush giraffe to a willowy carved wood African one more than three feet tall, and several smaller renditions. Above hangs a photo, a giraffe with soulful eyes. Ms. Hancock, giraffe pendant around her neck, said her love for the gentle creatures began with a childhood gift, a giraffe on wheels once played with by her father. Now she owns more than 400, including gifts from school children she once taught.

Offering a feast of visual images and plenty of food for thought, the show continues through November 19.