Town Column : West Tisbury
September 26 would have been Bill Honey's 90th birthday. Instead, family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances gathered this afternoon, Monday, Sept. 21, to celebrate his life, which ended quietly on September 15. "He had a good run," a friend and fellow antique engine enthusiast said, adding, "although I expected another 10 years on his warranty."
West Tisbury feels different without Mr. Honey. His truck is still parked outside the farm, the dogs bark and run, run, run along the fence. Next spring his field will be filled with daisies. At the Living Local Harvest Fest, coming up the first weekend in October, attendees will be able to visit the Antique Engine Museum that is housed at one end of the Ag Hall's new barn. Part of Mr. Honey's collection will be among the exhibits, a tribute to one of the enduring interests he pursued. He liked to tinker and he was curious.
I never knew Mr. Honey in his banking days. We didn't meet till after I moved to West Tisbury, but he still seemed always the elegant gentleman, even in muck boots, formal and proper the way gentlemen were when I was growing up. He always had time for a chat about his latest acquisition at the latest antique engine show, the extent of the project of fixing it up, and a bit of history pertaining to this particular mechanism or that particular technology.
Bill Honey was the kind of man who personified all the values of small-town life I was raised to believe would last forever. The banking crisis could never have occurred had he been in charge. Respect, honor, prudence, good manners, knowing yourself and your neighbors, the ties that make a community function in a real way on a face-to-face, not global, scale. Those were the values I feel we are steadily losing, one person at a time. Our generation, post-World War II into the 1950s, will be the last. It makes the loss of Mr. Honey so much more poignant. My condolences to the Honey family and to everyone who knew and admired him.
Another West Tisbury gentleman I greatly admire, Dr. Steven Atwood of Animal Health Care, has been elected to the Falmouth Academy Board of Trustees. This is the latest of a distinguished list of accomplishments and awards recognizing Steve's achievements as a veterinarian, a medical doctor, and in the field of public health. Plus, he's a really good guy. More times than I can count, Steve has come out in the middle of a crisis, sitting with us and our ailing animal, giving treatment and counsel, and often the news that this has to be the end for a beloved pet. I don't know how he does all he does, always with the air that your dog or cat is the most important one to him, too. Thank you, Steve, and congratulations.
Linda Berg, organist and choir director at the West Tisbury Church, will premiere her composition, "Mass for Creation," Saturday, Oct. 3, at 7 pm, in the church sanctuary. It will be performed by the Church choir with violinist Susan McGhee and cellist Stephen McGhee. There will be a reception in the Parish Hall following the concert. There is a suggested donation of $15.
The Martha's Vineyard Garden Club has awarded the following awards to businesses and public buildings in West Tisbury that beautify the town: Conroy Apothecary for their window boxes; landscaping at Vineyard Gardens, Middletown Nursery, West Tisbury Library, and Up-Island Cronig's. An honorable mention went to Up-Island Automotive for their planters.
Last May, West Tisbury's Class of 2012 held an Italian Night dinner and raffle to begin fundraising for the England exchange trips that will take place when they are in eighth grade. The highlight item was a week's trip to Nevis. The winners of the trip, ticket #325 held by Ken Lewis and Laura Allen, were chosen at a drawing this past weekend. Congratulations and have a great time.
Ginny Jones enjoyed a brief visit with her son, Douglas, and his friend, Debra Domenici, from San Diego, Calif. Douglas raced SPRIG, one of 24 classic 6 meters and 10 modern 6 meters, participating in last week's 6 Meter National & World Regatta in Newport, R.I. The first and fifth days were described as "light air," but in between they sailed in a howling nor'easter. SPRIG is regularly used for cruises and racing in classic yacht races. Boats came from all over the world, although SPRIG was the lone representative from America's west coast. It was the first time she dipped her keel in the Atlantic in over 50 years.
Certified Professional Dog Trainer Karen Ogden attended a competition off-Island with members of her Rally Training Class and their dogs. Karen's Orion, an 11-year old golden retriever, earned his Rally Advanced Title. Julia Humphreys' young golden, Xochi, won Rally Novice and, with Orion, won a Blue Ribbon Novice A Class, earning 99 out of 100 points. Katy Upson's Scottish terrier, Dundee, and Susanna Sturgis's Alaskan malamute, Travvy, made their Rally debuts. Sailor, Dianne Powers's Great Dane, scored another point towards his AKC Championship. Call Karen at 508-693-3708 if you are interested in Rally or other training for you and your dog.
Happy Birthday to Jonah Saunier, who turned three on September 21.
Today has been one of those perfect blue sky days of early fall. Try to get outside and enjoy every moment.