Town Column : West Tisbury
Preparations for the fair are at a fever pitch. Vendors setting up their booths and displays, rides, lights, amusements, and staff are all visible to anyone driving past the fairgrounds. Whiting's field, overlaid with drifts of Queen Anne's Lace, will be mowed. By Thursday morning everything will be complete, ready to welcome fairgoers young and old to the highlight event of our summer.
The West Tisbury School PTO has a booth this year, Chocolate Haven, a fundraiser for the eighth-grade exchange trip to England. A new community tent, set up in front of the pulling ring, will house booths for nonprofit organizations. Livestock and antique farm equipment will be in the new barn. The Woodsmen's Contest has added several new events. Morgan Lucero's pair of ox will become a familiar sight on posters and tee-shirts.
All the familiar competitions and exhibitions will be ready for viewing. Art and zucchini, the smallest flower arrangement and the largest sunflower, family projects, quilts, hooked rugs, sweaters, furniture, weathervanes and whirligigs, pickled beans, chocolate cakes, baskets of produce artfully displayed, the most perfect tomato, egg, or dahlia, all carefully tended or produced just for this moment. The walls of the Ag Hall will be bedecked with generations of fair posters, a continuum of tradition.
Teagan Myers will turn four on Thursday, the fair's opening day. His parents entertained family and friends at a birthday party last Sunday, anticipating the actual event. There were games and presents, of course, and a green-frosted frog-shaped birthday cake made with love and chocolate by his "Auntie Blue."
The West Tisbury Church's new Peach Festival received rave reviews from Kendra Frakes and her friend, BJ Yerdon. They celebrated Kendra's August 16 birthday a day early, sampling all the best up-Island treats. Besides peach shortcakes, they had lobster rolls in Menemsha, and stopped at Chilmark Chocolates.
Mike and I had dinner Saturday night with his brother, Jared, Sue Hruby, and their guests, Steve and Margaret Summerstein. Steve is one of Sue's oldest friends from her early days in Manhattan. His wife of a couple of years, Margaret, is lovely and fits into the group as easily as if we had known her forever. It's always a treat when we get together for an evening of good conversation and the most delicious food. Sue made roasted codfish with a sauce called charmoula. It was fantastic. I wanted to print the recipe in the column but don't have room, so visit foodandwine.com/recipes/roasted-fish-with-charmoula-tomatoes-and-potatoes.
Nicole, Ben, and Violet Cabot had a house full of visiting cousins and friends last week. Besides the regular Vineyard pastimes, they organized a multi-family yard sale on Saturday that had people waiting all along Old Courthouse Road.
The Overtoom/DeGeoffroy household is readying for the arrival of Karen's parents, Doris and John Overtoom, and her brother and sister-in-law, Leo and Gwen. They come every summer in time for the fair. Meanwhile, Karen, Louis, Olivia, and Michelle are busy working on their exhibits and entries, they being, as Karen described, "a fair family."
I was glad, as always, to see Amelia Smith and her daughter, Nova, at the library last week. Gladder still, to learn that they and Amelia's husband, Michael Craughwell, are planning to remain here for the foreseeable future. They are living at "the old house" on Tiah's Cove Road in the Smith family complex.
Alex and Kate Salop with their children, Rachel and Josh, have spent the past two weeks with Alex's father, Bob Salop, on Tiah's Cove Road. They were joined for the first week by Kate's sister, Chris Goldberg, and nieces, Hannah and Emma. The kids had a great time playing together, catching brass rings at the Flying Horses, and having movie nights with Grandpa Bob. There was also some creative time spent making art. I am pleased to announce a new artist in my gallery; Rachel Anna Salop (her professional name) has a beautiful painting that I hung right up when she brought it to me. It's not for sale, however; I plan to keep this one.
The Friends of the Library will hold their annual meeting at the West Tisbury Library next Thursday, August 27, 4 pm. All are welcome to attend.
A reminder about the memorial service for Janice Hull this Sunday, August 23, 2 pm, at the West Tisbury Church. Again, all are welcome.
Welcome, too, to President Obama and his family to our Island and our town. We all hope you enjoy your vacation, and find, in the natural peace and goodness of this place, rejuvenation of your spirit and will for the work ahead of you.