West Tisbury lost one of its most notable citizens last week when Edwin Woods died at his winter home in California. Mr. Woods was a quiet man. He tended his land, loved his family, gave generously to all who knew him, and to many who didn't. Some of our most prized vistas are a result of his gifts to the town. The new Ag Hall, its surrounding woodlands and stone walls along the Panhandle and Middle Road, the long view of the barn and fields and pond on North Road — all land kept open by Mr. Woods. He treasured his West Tisbury "Retreat," as the property was called, and even wrote a poem about it. My love and condolences to Mrs. Woods, to Fran, Prudy, Robin, and your families.
Robins have appeared everywhere. Finches are just beginning to show some color. Someone told me about seeing several pairs of bluebirds at their feeder.
Yesterday I saw a large display of winter aconite, "Eranthis hyemalis." It was planted beneath some rhododendrons and laurels, making a cheerful yellow ruffle at their feet, spreading across the lawn and into the pachysandra. I looked it up when I got home. Greek for "spring flower," eranthis is one of the earliest bloomers. Bulbs can be planted in the fall or it can be found in nurseries, potted up, in full leaf. I can't wait to plant some in my garden to replicate that pretty setting and remember a lovely day.
If spring isn't arriving fast enough for you, stop by either down-Island Cronig's or the hospital cafeteria next Wednesday, March 16. Dorothy Bangs and her crew will be selling bunches of daffodils for the American Cancer Society from 10 am till they are sold out.
Some birthdays to report this week. Isla Solon will turn three on March 11. Morgan Caruso's fourth birthday is March 13. Many happy returns to you both.
Harriet Bernstein has just returned to The Red Hat from a trip to Tahiti. My first question was, "Does it look like a Gauguin painting?" Harriet said in many ways it still did. Women and girls all wore off-the-shoulder dresses and flowers in their hair, the ocean was colored blues she had never seen before, palm trees and mountains made the background. How exotic. She stopped in San Francisco on the way home, and is now settled in waiting for her cherry trees to bloom.
Beth McElhiney has closed her store in Vineyard Haven, but she will have a weekly presence at the Grange Hall's Friday Antique Shows this summer, selling her furniture and bibelots. Beth's jewelry, cast patterns in gold and silver, were personal and interesting. I'll miss her displays, quirky combinations that always caught my eye, and State Road will now be a bit more sedate on my down-Island drives.
Tom Wetherall lost his beloved 15-year-old cat, Willie, last week. Willie was a big handsome guy, much like his owner, and he won't be forgotten.
Martha's Vineyard Center for Living will hold its third cultural luncheon at The Grill on Main, Edgartown, this Saturday, March 12, from noon to 2 pm. Kerry Alley will be the keynote speaker. His subject, "The Influence and Contributions of the Portuguese Community on Martha's Vineyard," should be of interest to all. Tickets are $25. To register, call Leslie Clapp, 508-939-9440.
ACE MV and the Bunch of Grapes will co-sponsor an afternoon of authors' readings from 2 to 4 pm this Saturday, March 12. Cynthia Riggs, John Hough, Susan Klein, Zelda Gamson, Nancy Aronie, Michael Ditchfield, Nancy Gaffney, and Susan Strane are the cast du jour.
There will be a free family skate at the ice arena on Sunday, March 13, from 1 to 2:20 pm, sponsored by our Parks and Recreation folks. They will provide cold drinks and hot chocolate. Participants are asked to bring a snack to share. For information, call 508-696-0147.
Closer to home, the West Tisbury Library features an exhibition of pastel landscapes by Linda Zeigler through the month of March. Library events include a performance by the Tashmoo Trio on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm. The Vineyard Limerick Challenge will be held this Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. There is a stack of green cards on the circulation desk and it's not too late to enter. Prize-winners will be displayed for all to read. Our Winter Reading Series continues Wednesday afternoons at 5:30 through March.
Susanna Sturgis has taken over managing the library's Facebook page. You may check out her efforts by clicking "like" on the West Tisbury Free Public Library page.
One of the joys of living in the same place is being an observer. Children grow up before our eyes. So I take great pleasure in news like the following: Caroline Mayhew will be graduating in May from UCLA School of Law with both a law degree and a Master's in Native American Studies. She will join the Washington, D.C., law firm of Hobbs, Straus, Dean, and Walker as a first-year associate in September. The firm specializes in federal Indian Law, long an interest of Caroline's. Caroline's parents, Jack and Betsey Mayhew, grandparents John and Shirley, and Aunts Deborah and Sarah, are justifiably proud, as is everyone who knows her.