Town Column : West Tisbury
There were skaters playing hockey on Parsonage Pond last week, the first time this winter. By weekend, the Mill Pond was mostly open water with a swan swimming on it. People stopped to photograph the frolicking otters. Tom Hodgson already has snowdrops blooming. It was a week of contrasts.
With sadness, I note the passing of Stan Richards. West Tisbury had no more gallant or honorable a gentleman. Stan always had a smile for everyone. He had a deep knowledge and appreciation for the town, and served us well for many years on the Board of Assessors. He and Nancy were often at Sunday breakfast at the airport with their friends the Thomases and George and Andrea Hartman, but only in the winter. Come summer, they headed up-Island to Aquinnah. I will miss him. My condolences to Nancy and their family.
Kathy Logue and I took our dogs for a walk at Lucy Vincent on Saturday. It felt wonderful to get out. We had the beach all to ourselves and there was no ice underfoot. No wind, either. The dogs were rambunctious and came home tired and covered with sand after a good run.
Sam Hiser stopped by with photographs he had taken of his whole family at Christmas, gathered together at his parents' house in Vermont. Margie and Hal have spent the past several years restoring and renovating a beautiful antique house and barn that now has ample room for everyone. Sam, Enid, and Bean from West Tisbury joined John and Cheryl Hiser and their children, Monty and Angus, and Elizabeth Hiser and Charlie Hoban and their three kids, Sam, Sasha, and Caroline.
Chris Cohen and Sharon Radcliff gave a fabulous party on Inauguration night at their home on Obed Daggett Road. The invitation said "creative black tie appreciated" and guests' attire ran a suitably creative gamut. Gentlemen came in everything from formal tuxedos to Hawaiian shirts and blue jeans. Many of the ladies took advantage of the occasion to wear sequins, satin, and velvet. The setting was particularly lovely as it was snowing that evening, making a pretty scene of the house from outside, bedecked in twinkling white lights.
West Tisbury firemen and EMTs missed the parties that night. They were providing mutual aid to Tisbury at the Codding fire.
Nancy Rogers celebrated her birthday on January 20, as well as the inauguration of our new president.
I was reading the New York Times that night and saw a picture of someone who looked familiar. It was Julia Celeste, goddaughter of Debbie Phillips and Rob Berkley, a regular summer visitor. The article was about Julia's early enthusiastic support for Barack Obama and how she convinced her parents to support him as well. It is always fun to read about someone you know, especially in the New York Times.
Last week I wrote about awaiting Hallie Mentzel's much delayed homecoming. She arrived Monday morning for a very short time, only a few hours. Linda Hearn and I picked Hallie up and took her to lunch at the Black Dog on our way to returning her to the ferry. There were very few tables occupied, so I was surprised to hear someone at the next table say, "Excuse me but I overheard you mentioning that you grew up in Ridgefield, Conn. That's where we live." They were Pat and John Cooney of Ridgefield and Edgartown. What a coincidence. It was a pleasure to make their acquaintance.
Happy birthday wishes to Henry Bassett, who turns eight years old today. I hope this year will be your best ever, Henry. Happy birthday.
Mark Bessire has been selected as new director of The Portland Museum in Portland, Maine. Louise called to tell me the news. We are all excited and happy for Mark and Aimee. It is a wonderful museum with several Fairfield Porter (my favorite artist) paintings in the collection. I recommend visiting the museum if you are in Portland. Congratulations, Mark.
Doug Cabral, Nelson Sigelman, and the Calendar staff of the Martha's Vineyard Times invited us columnists into the office last Thursday afternoon for tea and conversation. I thought it would please two notable West Tisbury columnists to know that they were cited as examples of the best of the best, whose spare but descriptive prose we would do well to study and emulate. Polly Woolcott Murphy wrote the West Tisbury column for the Vineyard Gazette for many years and Nelson Bryant wrote "Outdoors" for the New York Times. I would be proud to write a tenth as well as either one.