Town Column : Tisbury
Vineyard Haven is the subject of an article by Geraldine Brooks in the new issue of Smithsonian. She revels in being called a wash-ashore and expresses her delight in Martha's Vineyard off-season. Look for this. It is a grand article about our town. She calls it "my kind of town" and describes how the town "remains at heart a working harbor."
Since this is the Tisbury column, I thought you might like to know how our town came to be also called Vineyard Haven. This name was created by the U.S. Postal Service in February, 1871. Some of the Victorian ladies did not think that Holmes Hole was very nice. That really was just the name for the harbor, by the way, but the postal service had adopted it. Anyway, the post office had an informal vote by its patrons, who chose Vineyard Haven. It stuck. It has never been a town name. The town has always been Tisbury, even when it included West Tisbury.
Our new president is the hot topic all over town. If you think you are excited about the new president, just imagine how the children feel.
I was struck by the comments of one very little girl. She carefully watched the inaugural proceedings. Then she announced to other toddlers in her preschool: "He's brown, just like me. My hair is brown, my eyes are brown, my skin is brown. He's just like me."
Tisbury's 8th-graders are gleefully planning a trip to Washington, hoping to visit in person all the sights they have just seen on television. You can help. Spaghetti will be served from 5 to 7 pm in the school cafeteria on Saturday. It is family fun night, which means the kids will also be playing all kinds of Wii and board games in the gym. $10 tickets are available at the door.
A highlight of the inaugural ceremonies was the performance of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero, and clarinetist Anthony McGill, who is a member of the New York Metropolitan Opera Society Orchestra. Perhaps you enjoyed hearing him when he performed on-Island last August with the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society.
If you understand the news about the economy, you don't need this. Ted Desrosiers will share his insight about the stock market at the Tisbury Senior Center on Monday at 10 am. All are welcome.
I met a Scotsman who came from Glasgow on Saturday night at the Scottish society dinner. Jamie LeBlond is a very nice young man who was quite handsome in his kilt. He is happily employed at the Harbor View Hotel so he offered to show me the new tartan room, a dining area behind Henry's bar now with tartan carpeting. Many Islanders, with and without Scottish ancestry, were merrily decorated in tartans, and several of the men were proudly wearing kilts. Speeches are a feature at the dinner, and this year the hit of the evening was Dr. Gerry Yukevich, who even wrote his own poem in tribute to Burns. Haggis is also a feature. The diners had a choice of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding or finan haddie to enjoy with the haggis. Usually the haggis is ordered from America, but this time the chef Levon Wallace made the haggis from Island grown products.
Last Sunday, Pam Street spoke to a large audience who came to hear more about the first planned housing development, the Copeland district, in Oak Bluffs. I learned that one of the developers was Erastus Carpenter, a man who owned a straw hat factory in Foxboro. Quite a number of young ladies from West Tisbury went to work in that factory during the 1880s. Most spent a year or so, living with relatives, and then returned to make their homes on Martha's Vineyard.
The littlest children are invited to meet Maisie, a character from their favorite storybook. She will be at the library next Tuesday morning. For more on what is happening at our library, see The Martha's Vineyard Times' Directory of Information.
Belated greetings to Jean LeBlond, who shares a birthday with Robbie Burns. Their special day was last Sunday.
Happy anniversary to Aase and Harry Jones who party on Saturday.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out today to the town accountant, Suzanne Kennedy. Tomorrow belongs to Elisha Smith. Susie Thurber celebrates on Saturday. Wish the best to Paul Watts on Sunday. Monday is the special day for Jessica Shannon. Happy birthday to Nancy Tutko Hanschka on Tuesday. Suzanne Crossland celebrates on Wednesday.
Heard on Main Street: If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.