West Tisbury


I remember feeling very Bohemian and worldly, sitting in The Elms Inn drinking wine and eating escargots. This was back in the 1960s and ’70s, and I was in my twenties. The Elms, on Main Street in Ridgefield, Conn., had a tiny table set into a floor-to-ceiling bow window in the back bar. It was my favorite table, the site of many memorable meals and occasions.

I was reminiscing about this as I was working in my garden last week. The garden seems filled with snails and slugs of varying sizes, but all with voracious appetites and multiplying at a rate beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. I can’t imagine anything less appetizing, even if artfully arranged in pools of garlic butter.

Funny how one’s perspective can change.

Despite slugs, leaf hoppers, and rabbits, my garden is passing through its most beautiful phases. Mountain laurel, another tribute to my Connecticut childhood, is blooming in shades of white to deep pink, the native sheep laurel in waves at their feet. Two huge kousa dogwoods, from seedlings given to us by friends years ago, now bracket our house on the east and west sides, cascading waterfalls. Orange poppies and purple iris have finished; the daylilies have just begun. Our woods have become an enclosing shelter of green.

The Field Gallery’s first show of the season opens this Sunday, from 5 to 7 pm. Jhenn Watts, Kenneth Pillsworth, and Jeff Hoerle are the featured artists.

Beach stickers go on sale Saturday, June 19. The shed at the West Tisbury School will be open daily, 9 am till noon, with extra hours Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 4 to 7 pm, as well. A season ticket is $50; a walk-on pass is $10. Lifeguards will be on duty beginning next Saturday, June 26. You may also sign up for swimming lessons that begin on July 5. Please call Peggy Stone at Parks and Rec for more information, 508-696-0147.

I have been meaning to welcome Jennifer Tseng back to town and back to our library. She and her family have returned from a couple of years living in California. Jennifer will be reading poems from her new manuscript, “Red Flower, White Flower,” tonight, June 17, 7 pm, at Featherstone. Clark Myers will also be on the evening’s program.

The first summer event at the West Tisbury Church is the Strawberry Festival that takes place this Saturday, June 19, from noon to 4 pm. Strawberry sundaes and shortcakes prepared by church volunteers will be served. They are not to be missed. All proceeds will support the church’s programs and the preservation of their historic building.

Judy Mayhew announces that lobster rolls are back at the Chilmark Community Church every Tuesday evening from 4:30 to 7 pm. This volunteer effort to raise funds for the church gives us a chance for a night out without having to cook dinner. The lobster rolls and homemade cookies are delicious.

We had lots of birthdays to celebrate this past week. Debby Athearn was the featured guest at a dinner party at her house Saturday evening, her natal day. Bill and Betty Haynes hosted a family dinner Sunday night to mark Jennifer Haynes’s birthday on Saturday and Bill’s on Monday. Maxwell Nunes, home from Washington D.C. for the summer, celebrated on June 17 with his family and friends.

The first of the season farmers’ market last Saturday was a bustle of activity. It is always fun to reconnect with summer friends. I was disappointed to pass Suellen Knight driving out as I was driving in, missing an opportunity to chat and catch up after the long winter.

The highlight of the market for me was the sight of a perfect black lab puppy sitting nicely on his leash, politely greeting everyone who visited Lisa Fisher’s display of early vegetables and flowers. The puppy’s name is Shelby. He is as cute as they come.

Have a good week and keep busy.