Town Column : Tisbury
The mournful call of the foghorn makes a pleasant lullaby on summer evenings when the windows are open. For years I thought we were hearing the nearby West Chop light. My friend, Nan Carter, informed me that because the signals are focused out to sea, we don't hear the single blast from West Chop. The two bleats we hear are coming from the light at Nobska Point in Woods Hole. It is still a pleasant and reassuring sound when you are tucked into a warm dry bed at night.
See you at the fair. You can get $20 wristbands for all rides on Friday evening. Livestock and antique farm equipment will be on display in the new barn. I understand the woodsmen's contest has several new events this year. And a lot of women have been practicing their skillet tossing.
If you somehow neglected to register to vote or need to change your voting residence, you can also do that at the fair. Look for the table with the League of Women Voters and take care of this important business now.
The First Family is coming but not until the last week in August. I do hope the girls get to see the dog show on Sunday.
Well, of course this is where everyone wants to be, especially for fair week when it includes Grand Illumination Night and the Oak Bluffs fireworks. This week, Heather Chapman is bringing some friends from Manasquan, N.J. Most are visiting the Island for the first time. We hope that Kelly McLaughlin, Jen Ford, Paul Angelastro, Rainer Martini, and Ari Golden have a good time while they are here. Perhaps they will return in the fall when the Vineyard is a little quieter, but still a wonderful place to visit.
Another visitor this week is the new director of the Martha's Vineyard Museum. David Nathans will return to begin his new job and move into his new home in our town after Labor Day.
I missed so many good art exhibits this summer. Rose Abrahamson closes her show of collages at the Shaw Cramer Gallery tonight. I also meant to go to the sixth anniversary party for the Louisa Gould Gallery and admire her beautiful action photographs of boats racing through the waves.
One of my favorite books is "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks, who spoke last week at the Martha's Vineyard Museum. She held her audience enthralled with her stories of listening for the voices of women in the 17th century. While she said it was a little hard to tell children she was listening to voices from the past, she told us of the many sources she uses to create a realistic world for persons whose lives were not documented.
Geraldine explained how her experiences as a reporter in the Middle East trained her to note the changes that a serious crisis can cause in individual lives, with some people becoming stronger and others being defeated by events. Now she uses this awareness to bring the past alive in her books. She also read brief excerpts from her books, and as a special treat she read a small part from her current work in process called "Caleb's Crossing."
Geraldine answered questions ranging from her research and writing process to her choice to live on Martha's Vineyard. Aren't we fortunate that while she was growing up in Sydney, Australia, she had a pen pal who summered in Menemsha? It was a benefit that her husband Tony Horowitz had fond childhood memories of the Island.
Following a beat up pickup truck down the street, I noticed a huge bouquet of wild flowers and summer blossoms in the bed of the truck. The bumper sticker announced that the world needs more love.
Congratulations to John and Laurel Chapman who are marking 39 years of wedded bliss on Saturday. Anthony and Pamela Campagna will celebrate 40 years on Sunday.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Sherm Goldstein on Tuesday.
Heard on Main Street: Friends are like balloons: once you let them go, you might not get them back.