Town Column : Chilmark
Now that we're finally about to shrug off February, things should be looking up. If it incorporates the accumulated resentments against February, March will have a lot of blowing and roaring to do. Just about everyone was fed up with our shortest month. As Ethel Sherman so sagely remarked several years ago, "I hate February. I think that's why they made it the shortest month."
School children and staff, on the other hand, hummed right through the month, demonstrating their amazing talent for connecting with the community, both local and global. Principal Diane Gandy reported in the current newsletter that the K/1 class threw a thank-you party for Ethel Sherman and Ann Dietrich, long-time reading tutors at the school. The students served refreshments and recited original poems. Photos of the fourth- and fifth-graders and their Windemere buddies are all on view at the Sovereign Bank through March 3, a happy mingling of generations.
Phyllis Vecchia of creative story theatre returned to guide the K/1 class through another imaginative endeavor; second and third graders have been boning up on energy sources, courtesy of the Vineyard Energy Project, and students are still attacking the three R's, holding mock spelling bees to compete in the All-Island Spelling Bee.
Phyllis Conway emailed with another address for the church. Here it is: chilmarkchurch.org. Viewers can learn all about the history of the church, past and present, and a calendar will, in time, list preachers who will give Sunday worship services. The church is on its own, having withdrawn from the Island Methodist Congregation to ensure it will remain open.
We're launched into the time of year when just about every month has a holiday to disrupt the normal flow of business. Peter Knowlton came with friends for the long weekend to the Adams House according to long-standing custom, but there seemed to be fewer off-Islanders here for the long holiday. Business was brisk at florist's, fish markets and Chilmark Chocolates over Valentine's weekend, so I guess we all still love each other.
We also loved John Maloney's wonderful Valentine's Day poem on the op-ed page of The Martha's Vineyard Times just in time for the holiday weekend.
Kristin Maloney, assistant library director, is having fun with her 12-year-old group of eight who meet Saturdays from 3 to 5 pm for book discussion and games. They're also writing and illustrating a storybook together. Once a month Ms. Maloney arranges a special happening.
There was a time when Vineyarders tended to seek other islands for their vacations, but lately they're getting more adventurous. How about celebrating your birthday in a hot air balloon over the Luxor Valley in Egypt? Hellie Neumann has just come back from a trip around Egypt, squired through museums, pyramids, King Tut's tomb and his mummified remains by Egyptian resident and long-time Chilmark summer visitor Werner Linz and his son Ryan Van Hall. Ryan has worked at various Chilmark jobs, including the community center. The hot air balloon trip was a birthday surprise. Hellie says she can't wait to go back. Is everyone deserting our rural paradise for the exotica of the mysterious East?
The library and the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival will present a 2004 classic, "The Sea Inside" tomorrow, the 27th, at 7 pm. The film, which won the Academy Award for best foreign film, tells the true story of a quadriplegic who fights for and wins the right to die with dignity. The movie is free.
Next Wednesday, March 4, Barbara Bick's book "Walking the Precipice: Witness to the Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan," will be discussed starting at 5:30 pm. The event is free, sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
The Martha's Vineyard Women's Network is holding a discussion on proactive responses to hard times on Thursday, March 5, from 6 to 8 pm, in the Baylies Room at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. Gentlemen are welcome.