Town Column : West Tisbury
By all accounts, this year's fair set records for attendance and enthusiasm. There seemed to be more exhibits than ever in the Ag Hall. The children's exhibits were particularly imaginative. A pair of life-sized dresses made from newspaper, starched like crinolines, caught my eye, as did a tobacco barn complete with leaves drying inside. There was a fantasy Vineyard zoo, a dollhouse with all its furnishings, intricate stitchery, origami, displays of seashells, and a collection of creatures made from vegetables and herbs. In the adult section, a life-size serpent carved from granite, slithered in and out of his base.
A pair of Jack Russells, prize-winners I was told, pranced proudly. All manner of animals performed in the ring or pushed their noses against their pens and stared back at curious visitors. The bright pink tee-shirts of Ag Society staff brightly identified those in charge.
Activity in the Fiber Tent was non-stop. Helping out this year was Wendy Colbert, a spinner/dyer from Buffalo, N.Y., who did demonstrations throughout the four days. Wendy is Tom Vogl's daughter. Besides working, she partook in the best of Tom, Katherine, and the Vineyard. Notable was a lobster dinner, a rare commodity in Buffalo.
My favorite story, though, was told of a long ago fair. A young town resident of the age when he was just learning to read, tearfully told his parents he had been awarded a "horrible mention" for his exhibit that year. Fortunately, they explained the misunderstanding and all was well.
Damon Lewis, nephew of Betty and Bill Haynes, arrived from Cornwall, N.Y., for the fair and a break between summer and fall college semesters. Betty and Bill enjoyed his visit and four days of fair food, meaning no cooking for Betty. Damon enjoyed his time here, seeing his cousins and their families, and touring the Island.
The Huntington grandchildren have never missed a fair. This year was no exception. Nancy has had a house full with her two sons and their families. Tim and Kelly Huntington have spent the month here. Their daughter, Candace, has been taking sailing lessons and riding at Pond View Farm. Nick and Noelle Huntington and their three children, Max, Eliza, and Anna, arrived last week. The Huntingtons couldn't have planned better than spending Fair week within walking distance on Scotchman's Bridge Lane.
Ronnie Hollister travelled from one island to another, flying from Alameda, Calif., to the Vineyard. Ronnie is the niece of Susan and Bob Wasserman, also within walking distance from the Music Street route. While here, she went to the Fair, swam at Aquinnah, went to Menemsha Beach, toured and shopped around the Island with her aunt, Susan, and cousin, Sarah Wasserman, and had breakfast at the airport with her uncle, Bob, and cousin, Henry Bassett. All were planning a round of miniature golf Sunday night, before Ronnie returns to California on Tuesday.
Henry Bassett remains here for the week with his mother, Sarah Wasserman, and baby brother, Hugh. All will attend the Friends of the Library Annual Meeting this afternoon, Thursday, August 27, 4 pm at the West Tisbury Library to be chaired by President Susan Wasserman. I have it on good authority that special molasses cookies, a traditional refreshment at these meetings, will be served. All are welcome to attend. If you are not a member of the Friends, this is an opportunity to meet members and find out about the organization and their invaluable service to our library.
Mother/daughter Amy and Kendra DelTorto share an August birthday that is celebrated every year with Amy's parents, Tony and Doreen Rezendes. Last Sunday, colored balloons marked the driveway on Edgartown Road as relatives and friends gathered to continue the practice. Kendra is a well-known regular on Alley's front porch with her grandpa, Tony. Her brother, Devon, is Tony's best fishing companion. Last week, they caught a pair of stripers just shy of being keepers. Best to you all as you share the last days of summer vacation.
Readers of Edible Vineyard, Ali Berlow's magazine about food and sustainable living, will find a wonderful article by Jean Wexler on Page 36. Author of the Martha's Vineyard Cookbook author and a former garden columnist for The Gazette, Jean celebrates the Vineyard landscape and its offerings of seasonal foods, ripe for picking and cooking. These days, we have to rely more on our own gardens than on foraging, but there are still berries and greens to be found, fish to be caught, and Jean's recipes are always excellent.
Jean has had company the past ten days with whom to share her home and culinary treats. Her granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Carolina and Dan Cooley, visited from Berkley, Calif. They had some beach time at Quansoo and a dinner out at State Road Restaurant as part of their itinerary. They hope to move to the Vineyard next year, eagerly anticipated by Jean and Rufus, her poodle.