Town Column : Chilmark
Late last week a library patron asked if we remembered the name of the artist who painted "fluffy chickens" and had a show several years ago in the old library. The artist was of course Gretchen Feldman, and she also painted fluffy lambs for one of her first shows at the library because she thought children would like images of farm animals. They did, and so did grown-ups who remembered them after so many years.
Gretchen took up painting for the first time when she and her husband Sam moved to Martha's Vineyard, and she progressed rapidly. She tried different styles and different subjects, all involving some aspect of Vineyard life. She moved toward abstraction and won blue ribbons at the Ag Fair. Today her paintings are shown at Carol Craven's Vineyard Haven Gallery.
It was with great sadness and regret that we learned she had died last Sunday. She embraced life on Martha's Vineyard, especially in Chilmark, with vitality and enthusiasm. We send condolences to Sam and their three daughters.
The Planning Board has received 366 responses to the survey they sent out in late September. Of these, 139 are from year-round residents and 229 from property owners who do not live here year-round. The survey is a tool used to guide the Planning Board in preparing a master plan for the town's future, and it's vital that they hear from everyone. Those who have not yet returned the survey are urged to do so as soon as possible. If the survey has been misplaced, call administrative assistant Christina Soulanget at town hall, 508-645-2104.
The time-honored custom starting just about now is to plan trips, whether a weekend getaway or a serious departure until winter weather is over. If the current economic climate is slowing you down, take heart. All is not lost. With a little imagination and no money down you can "travel" globally with a minimum of fuss and no long lines at airports. The library has updated its travel section, courtesy of the Friends who pay for it all, with 60 new titles and a dozen more by the end of the year. You can curl up by the fire and take an African safari, backpack on a budget in Europe, camp in New England, scuba dive in the Caribbean or trek in Tibet, among numerous other jaunts, with the comforts of home. Or, if you're feeling vigorous and plan to go on an actual trip, you can read about your destination before you embark. Check it out.
Opportunities for Christmas shopping on Martha's Vineyard keep turning up, usually with sale proceeds going to help those in need. Anyone who has compared mall shopping off-Island with shopping here will recommend the people, the pace, and the ambiance here. Marsha Winsryg's African Artists' Community Development Project is having a sale of original handwork on Friday, Nov. 28, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Charter School in West Tisbury. On sale will be silver jewelry, baskets, Kanga cloth, patchwork cloth and carved animals and wooden bowls from Zambia, Ghana, and Tanzania. Proceeds go to help Africans feed their families, dig wells and send their children to school. For more information, please call Ms. Winsryg at 508-693-4059.
Temperatures are down, the sun is cold, and the weather is now in sync with the bare branches of trees. Where's the snow?