Town Column : Tisbury
Larry Sylvia is retiring. This will be his last winter delivering parcels and packages to all of us in town. It seems as if he has spent a lifetime carrying stuff for people. As a schoolboy, he worked as a caddie at West Chop. In his early teens he was delivering for Cronig's Market. And for nearly 35 years he has been the face of UPS in Vineyard Haven. Somehow, I never notice the other drivers. Larry even found us when we first moved to this house, and most people had no clue where the street was, never mind the house. So, congratulations on making it through 45 years of delivering the goods. Larry, we wish you a happy retirement. And if we don't recognize you at first without your big brown truck, wave to us anyway.
Have you seen the gingerbread Mansion House? Zephrus Chef Robert Lionette blended his culinary and architectural skills to create this wonderful gingerbread house. Complete with a cupola deck, the masterpiece is in the restaurant along with some gingerbread houses that were made by children. It will be on display for a couple of weeks.
Kathy Stinson welcomes children, large and small, to the free programs at the Vineyard Haven Library starting up again next Tuesday. Very little ones have stories that morning and age six through high school play chess at 6 pm. Thursday afternoons, children ages 5 to 10 can enjoy crafts at 3 pm and then teens have games night with Wii at 6 pm. Wii games for ages 8 to 11 are Fridays at 4 pm.
One fun gift I received is a nicely framed picture of a fancy white rooster. It is entitled: "First prize White Opington Cockeral, Palace New York Show, Dec., 1914. Bred & owned by Owen Farms of Vineyard Haven, Mass."
What can you tell me about Owen Farms? In the 1907 town directory, Maurice Delano was the manager of Owen Farm. He lived on Crocker Terrace. Where was the farm? Percy Burt had a poultry farm in the area off West Spring Street that is now filled with houses. Perhaps there was another one on the Edgartown Road.
Have you ever noticed how a theme seems to develop in your Christmas presents? One year it seems that everyone gives you a calendar. The next year it might be books. This year the theme was edible gifts. We got a fruitcake and homemade shortbread, delicious jams, as well as a special Cake by Liz. This was a very tasty holiday.
We also look for what we call the duck gift. This started with a chunky unpainted wooden duck that was a gift to my son when he was a small child. First he asked, "What is it?" Then, "What does it do?" That immortal line from "The Simpsons": "Whatever it does, it's doing it now" comes to mind. Fortunately, the duck gift had to appeal to the giver so we try to re-gift that one appropriately. But, because there is a little guilt involved, we always hope to find a good home for it. And very often this proves to be a very popular gift - for someone.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out tomorrow to Steve Bernier. Best wishes go to John Chapman on Friday. Happy birthday to Romeo Bonelli on Sunday. Judy Belushi Pisano celebrates her special day on Wednesday.
Heard on Main Street: A hundred years ago it was nineteen oh nine. Is this one twenty oh nine? Wishing you health, wealth, and happiness in the New Year.