Town Column : West Tisbury
Cardinal flower is blooming, scarlet spires along the front of Parsonage Pond and deep as a secret in the marsh behind the Mill Pond. All the rain has made foliage so dense, the shrubbery wrapped in greenness, heavy-shaped, and drooping, appearing friendly or hulking, depending on your fancy.
Last week, Ellen Weiss, Brooks Robards, and I finally had our first walk of the summer at Hancock Beach, the first day it wasn't raining and everyone was available. I brought Talley and Murphy with us and we all enjoyed their free-spirited run along the shore. Ellen is collecting oyster shells this summer. Brooks always finds something to catch her eye and poetic imagination. I am happy to come home with the sand on my dogs, warm skin, and paintings in my mind.
We have been waiting for Mary Beth Norton, the fourth of our foursome, to rejoin us. Mary Beth's summer has been interrupted with trips back and forth to visit her parents. Sadly, her father, Clark Frederic Norton, died on July 22, at home in Bowie, Md., with his family at his bedside. Clark and Mary, Mary Beth's mother, were regular visitors. They loved West Tisbury best, so were especially happy when Mary Beth built her house here, providing a screened porch perfect for bird watching and reading the daily newspapers. Mary Beth's annual party, all the preparations and all the ritual special foods, were a highlight of the summer, as were daily walks along Lambert's Cove Beach. Clark was especially happy when Tony Friedman ran The Red Cat. Tony and Clark enjoyed sharing, over bowls of Tony's famous and much-missed chili, reminiscences of Washington in the 1960s when both men worked for Senator Birch Bayh. Mary Beth is here only until mid-August, when she will drive to Bowie to be with her mother and brother, Clark, for a memorial service, before returning to her teaching duties in Ithaca, N.Y.
Lia Norton, with friend Mike Livermore, spent the past weekend at Mary Beth's. They took the new fast ferry from Manhattan and pronounced it "excellent." The trip took five-and-a-half hours, longer on Friday night because of rough weather. It cost $200 round trip, $125 one way, making it about the same or maybe less than driving and parking in Woods Hole or bringing a car.
West Tisbury Assessor Kristina West called to say there will be a summer taxpayers' meeting jointly hosted by the boards of assessors and selectmen. It is scheduled for August 12, 7 pm, at the Howes House. Residents are encouraged to attend and take the opportunity to ask questions or make comments. Representatives of all town departments will be available.
Adam Canney and Milo Brush made their first acquaintance last week, as their families all got together here in town. Cathy and Isaac Canney, and young Adam, came from Boston to visit Cathy's brother, Doug Brush, and sister-in-law, Emily Fischer, and their new son, Milo Brush. Gramma B and Papa, formally known as Sheila and Dick Brush, joined the kids and Arnie and Christa Fischer for a family vacation centered around Flat Point Farm and lots of time together. Both Brush siblings are happy their boys will grow up together, "close cousins." Adam is nine weeks older than Milo. He has already attended his first Red Sox game, surprising, as Arnie is the biggest fan I know. I would have thought that honor would have been his. Of course, living in Boston makes it easier to get to Fenway.
The Reverend David Christensen and his wife, Carol, have recently returned from a three-week mission trip to Ghana. Working with members of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ho, the Christensens taught school, worked at both the Leprosorium and Hospital in Ho, lead worship, and worked with villagers to develop ways of delivering safe water to their communities. They will speak about these experiences at the Federated Church in Edgartown on August 20 at 6:30 pm.
Katie Mayhew will perform with David Crohan this Sunday, August 9, 4:30 pm, at the Whaling Church in Edgartown. Their concert is to benefit COMSOG.
When Talley went for her annual physical with Michele Jasny last week, I was surprised and disappointed not to see their beautiful black lab, Flower, greeting me at the door. When I asked Sydney Jasny, "Where's Flower?" she answered, "She's watching the kittens." Sydney went upstairs to find the kittens she and her sister, Lila, have just brought home. Sydney returned holding her marmalade kitten, Tiger Lily, in her arms. Lila's fluffy brown tiger kitten is Captain Jack Sparrow. Both are adorable and much loved by their girls and by Flower, who seems to have taken on a protective role like Nana in Peter Pan.