Town Column : Chilmark
The big news in local lexicographers' circles is the All-lsland Spelling Bee that's going on this morning at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School's Performing Arts Center. Firth grader Jared Bardwell won the in-school contest and is representing the school today. Connor Downing was the school's runner-up. Good luck to all of you.
The other big event today is the Science Fair, which has been organized by the students with their parents' help. "They're making magic out of the simplest materials," principal Diane Gandy says with a touch of pride in the current issue of the school's monthly newsletter.
Community touches continue to be a significant part of student life. Photographer Betsy Corsiglia gave the grades 2/3 classes, whose photos have been on exhibit at the bank, some pointers on photography and also gave the school a copy of "Martha's Vineyard Quiet Pleasures," a book she and Phyllis Meras produced. And gourmet caterer Dee Smith invited students to her kitchen for a workshop on ancient Chinese cookery to go along with their studies of the ancient civilization. Representatives of The Trustees of Reservations and of Cape Light Project have been talking to students about their respective specialties. The school continues to be the busiest place in town.
The library is offering a Spring Fling all day long on Saturday, March 21, starting at 10:30 am with drinks and snacks. Beginning with a family craft (a paper windsock), it will move to Wii games: bowling at 12 noon; tennis 1 to 2 pm; 3 to 4 pm rock band, and 4 to 5 pm golf. Sounds lively.
Dan Cabot will be next Sunday's guest preacher. The service starts at 9 am.
The church soup suppers have been cancelled until more travelers get home.
Bob and Phyllis Conway have returned from a thaw-out at a beach in Puerto Rico and are happy to be home again. Phyllis reports that the Church Flea Market will be back in Chilmark this summer, in a grassy field on the North Road. Hooray.
The Whippoorwill Farm community supported agriculture project (CSA) has announced that memberships are available to all of us in their effort to provide healthy green options, especially for school lunches, and they encourage everyone to buy locally. Shares, large or small, range in size from 5 to 24 weeks, June through Thanksgiving. For more information see their website: whippoorwillfarm.com.
The time has come, as the walrus said, to think of other things, and so this will be my final column.
A lot has changed dramatically in the 25 years since I started the column when we typed our stories on typewriters and hand-carried them to the paper once a week, more or less at deadline.
Early town columns were headlined like a news story and designed, of course, to keep readers reading. One was "Surging Surf at Squibnocket Attracts Crowd." Exciting stuff, even though at the time, a "crowd" consisted of perhaps two or three people. I think Don Lyons wrote the headlines. Kathy Norton was an early columnist for Chilmark but quit quite quickly, saying, simply, "I didn't like doing it." So she told me everything that was going on in town, and I did it instead. One of the things she may not have liked was the stunning pay, which amounted to a few cents per column inch. We've grown and prospered since then, and no one measures column inches anymore.
Many thanks to all the wonderful people who have loyally kept me up to date and even helped me gather news. I will miss it all, yes, even the deadlines and copy editors Sam Decker or Whit Griswold calling when something doesn't make sense.
I love you all!