Town Column : West Tisbury
There was barely standing room at the Ag Hall Saturday afternoon for Danny Prowten's memorial service. Firemen from West Tisbury and all the island towns formed a respectful cordon around the seated guests. During the service, John Early presented Dan's daughter, Diana, with the flag that was draped over her father's body when it was carried out after the fire. It was one of many moving moments in a moving afternoon of remembrances, tears, and laughter.
During the afternoon, many of us learned that another former West Tisbury fireman had died. David Tucker, who had been ill for a while, died on Friday.
It has been a week of losses. Besides David, Bobby Silva, Helen Hurwitz, and Harris Drake all died. Condolences to all of their families and friends.
Sue Hruby and I were off-Island for the day last Thursday. Coming home on the boat, we saw Bob Maciel, coming from Maine, sadly for three funerals. But it was nice to see him and visit for a while, and nice to see all the Maciel brothers together on Saturday, dressed in their Fire Department uniforms. Bob has recently been made Chief of his department, Ross Corner, part of Waterboro, Maine.
Joanne Scott will present a program, "Reflexology for Beginners," part of the on-going Health and Wellness Series at the West Tisbury Library this Saturday, February 20, at 4 pm. On Sunday afternoons from 2-5, come to the library to play board games for the whole family.
Children's Librarian Nelia Decker and a group of West Tisbury parents and toddlers were featured in the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' 2009 Annual Report. They were participants in "Mother Goose on the Loose," an early literacy program that combines "music, movement, visual literacy, and language development to help children get ready to read." Our library was given a grant for staff training and implementation of the program by the MBLC. If you haven't tried it yet, please come on Monday mornings at 10:30.
Last Wednesday's reception for Marie-Louise Rouff's art exhibition at the West Tisbury Library was cancelled because of the heavy snowstorm. It was rescheduled for this Wednesday. I hope everyone was able to find out and attend. If not, you can still see the paintings, which will remain on view till the end of February.
Also on Wednesdays, don't forget the Community Suppers at the West Tisbury Church at 5:30 pm. They will continue through March.
Todd Hitchings is working on the 2010 U.S. Census, looking for West Tisbury residents interested in "temporary part-time jobs offering good pay, flexible evening and weekend hours, and the chance to work near home." Call 866-861-2010 or look at the website www.2010census job.gov.
There will be an interesting-sounding program at the Charter School this Saturday morning, February 20, at 10 am. "Coal Country" is a documentary about energy production, working miners, and activists, presenting "a balanced, sober look at the reality of coal." Guinevere Higgins, MVRHS Class of 1999, will make a presentation and take questions after the film. Admission is free, but a donation for science lab projects will be appreciated.
The big political news in town so far is that Cindy Mitchell is running for selectman, a post she held for many years. Dianne Powers has decided not to run for reelection. When Cindy told me of her decision, she said simply, "I found that I missed it."
Greg and Tam Blaine have returned home after a trip to western Massachusetts. The highlight of the trip was a visit with former West Tisbury residents, Charlie and Teena Parton, who are "doing well."
News from sunny Florida. Carol Carrick reports dressing in a turtleneck, heavy sweater, and ski jacket. Although sunny, it hasn't been so warm. Days are cold with freezing temperatures at night, although neither prevent Carol from dancing, walking, biking, and reading. She does say that a lot of the foliage has turned brown from the cold.
At last Sunday morning's breakfast at the airport there was quite a lot of conversation about Valentine's Day and early courtships. Neither Mike nor I ever remember how we decided to get married, and we laughed to hear Jayne and Ron Beitman tell a similar story. No bended knee, romantic occasion, hearts or flowers, somehow we were just getting the license and making an appointment with the minister. Obviously, it's all worked out.
The best story came from Joe Sollito. He was taking Kathy out to dinner at the Charlotte Inn, where he has taken her for Valentine's dinner since their courting days. However after many years together, he said that although the tradition happily continues, "Now I take the dog out and I'm a hero." Joe and Kathy have a new puppy, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, and priorities have changed.