Published: December 17, 2009
By Susan Safford
Isaac Taylor led a group of intrepid hikers around the Gay Head cliffs last Sunday during a walk sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society (VCS). We began over private land on the North Shore, cutting through a path to Pilot's Landing and the rock-strewn shore near Devil's Bridge. Mr. Taylor set a brisk pace so we could beat the incoming tide and round the cliffs to the Land Bank entrance to the south. The darkening sky also threatened rain but most of us had rain gear in anticipation. We successfully beat the tide, but were caught by a piercing, wind driven-rain.
When we reached our cars we were breathless, dripping, yet elated from the shared adventure. Then we realized we were hungry too as we huddled behind David Nash's pickup truck while he sprinkled confectioners sugar over his freshly baked chocolate honey cake.
West Tisbury holiday party
By Hermine Hull
West Tisbury's Agricultural Hall was the scene of the annual town party, held last Thursday night. Guests were welcomed with a roaring fire, plenty of food, and the company of friends and neighbors.
Tom Vogl and Katherine Long spent the day at the hall, cooking turkeys and hams provided by Skipper Manter. Nancy Cabot, Judy Bryant, and Ann Howes filled baskets and windowsills with decorations made from their own gardens and woods: evergreen boughs, berried hollies, and winterberries. Guests brought potluck offerings to share, an array that ran the gamut from Steve Costa's oysters fresh from the Great Pond to Leah Smith's pecan and cheese crackers, Marjory Potts's famous bread, and a dessert table of variety and abundance.
The Vineyard Brass Ensemble played a hearty accompaniment to the event. Hosted by our selectmen - Richard Knabel, Mr. Manter, and Dianne Powers - the party is eagerly anticipated each year, and it was clearly enjoyed by all who attended.
Notes on a life
The DocuTunes feature-length music documentary "Kate Taylor: Tunes From the Tipi and Other Songs From Home" will be shown Saturday, Dec. 19, 7 pm, at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.
Liz Witham, Ms. Taylor's daughter, explains, "We wanted to have this special screening here during the holiday season, because the film is really about home and family and life on the Island."
The film chronicles the Taylor family in a collection of home movies from the '60s, archival photos and documentary footage that spans decades from Kate's childhood in Chapel Hill, N. C., to Vineyard summers in the '70s when she and late husband, Charlie Witham, lived a tepee.
Kate Taylor, Liz Witham, and Ken Wentworth will host a discussion after the screening. Tickets are $8, available at the door.
Santa's elves at it again
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week, volunteers gathered at Grace Church to wrap presents donated to the Red Stocking Fund. The presents will be distributed to needy Island children.
The Christmas story
Contributing to the Christmas spirit is the live nativity scene being staged at Jardin Mahoney in Oak Bluffs, sponsored by Faith Community Church. Saturday, Dec. 19, starting at 6:30 pm. Complete with The Dunkl Brothers brass performing, live animals, and refreshments. Call 508-687-9097.
Fine amnesty at O.B. Library
The Fine Amnesty Program runs from Tuesday, Dec. 15, to Saturday, Dec. 19. Bring a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Island Food Pantry to the Oak Bluffs Public Library, and all your fines on overdue library materials being returned will be waived.
Edgartown's annual Christmas celebration
This past weekend was the 28th annual Christmas in Edgartown, which attracts both Islanders and visitors from off Island. Plenty of folks turned out, to attend events such as the Great Chowder Contest, the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, caroling, and of course, the parade.
New holiday shop at Felix Neck
Fine arts and crafts at Felix Neck's new Holiday Shop from local artists and artisans including Vasha Brunelle, Rose Abramson, Elizabeth Lockhart Taft, Wendy Weldon, Linda Thompson, and Marianne Neill. Discover sculptures, handmade clocks, antique decoys, handmade tile boxes, jewelry, and more. Open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, and most weekends from 9 am to 3 pm through Christmas.
Also, join Felix Neck's Sunset Solstice walk guided by Suzan Bellincampi, Sunday, Dec. 20, at 3:30 pm. Call 508-627-4850.
Island students take the ice
Two Island figure skating schools, Martha's Vineyard Figure Skating Club, and Island Ice, held holiday shows this past weekend.
The M.V. Figure Skating Club's 2009 Holiday Exhibition featured a group production of "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," followed by 11 solo performances.
Island Ice's Winter Extravaganza saw 12 solo and duet performances, and concluded with a number by coach Julie Meader and her family to the music, "Put a Little Holiday In Your Heart."
Enjoy the sounds of the 13th annual benefit concert for Hospice of Martha's Vineyard tonight at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs. Tickets $15 at the door. Limited seating. Call 508-627-4266.
And the winner is...
"Morning Glory Farm and the Family that Feeds an Island," produced by Jan Pogue's publishing company, Vineyard Stories, has been named the Best Local Cuisine Cookbook in the United States by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, an international organization that hosts the world's largest cookbook trade fair every year. Written by Tom Dunlop with photographs by Alison Shaw, the book will now be competing for the Best in the World award in the category, to be announced in February in Paris.
"Morning Glory" tells James and Deborah Athearn's history on the Edgartown farm and captures the everyday life of the farm in lush descriptive words and photographs. It includes 70 recipes.
Gourmand reviews entries before accepting them, and then places books in one of 40 categories; "Morning Glory" competed against 13 other books in the Best Local Cuisine category.
The book was the 10th published by Vineyard Stories, founded in 2005 by Ms. Pogue and her late husband, John Walter, who died in September 2008. It specializes in non-fiction about Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod.
In the spring of 2010, Vineyard Stories will publish "Schooner," which chronicles the Gannon and Benjamin-built schooner Rebecca - the largest boat launched from the Vineyard since the election of President Lincoln. The book is again being written by Tom Dunlop and photographed by Alison Shaw.