West Tisbury


Hazy skies seem to hold in the heat and obscure the landscape as though a theatrical scrim was dropped over the island. The weather map promises rain that never comes. It’s the season of yellow in the garden — daylilies, rudbeckia, yarrow, alchemilla. Pretty bouquets have appeared in roadside stands all around town.

Last Saturday, my day was bracketed by two very meaningful events. In the morning, I attended the Bat Mitzvah of Galya Broitman Walt. Galya and her parents, Rabbi Caryn Broitman and Rabbi Brian Walt, led the Sabbath service at The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. Listening to Galya read her Torah and Haftorah portions, giving her commentary, leading the congregation in prayer, song, and discussion — she did a beautiful job and it was an honor to be part of her day. My affection, admiration, and very best wishes to you, Galya.

Late afternoon found me in another SRO crowd, outside the library this time, gathering with friends and family celebrating the birthday and life of Paula Black, who died last fall. There were poems and tributes, even a Chinese-style fable written and read in Paula’s honor. We sat facing a garden Mike Black planted in her memory. Beneath a gingko tree is a bench made of California Aromatic Cedar, the tree donated by the Polly Hill Arboretum, the bench crafted by Tucker and Martha Hubbell. Being West Tisbury, the food was fabulous and every wife in the crowd gratefully watched her husband eating, knowing there needed to be no supper cooked at home that night. Steve Klebs was filming everything, so if you missed the occasion, you can watch it at your leisure.

I met the newest member of our library family. Orla Jolley was in attendance, carried in the arms of her mom, Keri. Keri and Brian are back in town and we’re glad to have them. Keri told me the story of Orla’s name. She was an Irish princess, daughter of King Brian Boru, the teasing childhood name Brian Jolley’s father called his little son.

Welcome back (more or less — technically they are renting in Vineyard Haven) to Emily and Perry Moehnke and their children, Porter, Margaret, and Mathilda. They, with Luisa Basler, their beloved au pair, are hoping Perry can commute from the island to his job as a pilot out of Chicago’s O’Hare. Grandparents Bob and Judy Jahries are happy to have them close by. Four-year-old Porter is a big help to his grandfather in the garden.

Mike Achille is chairman of the Attic & Barn Sale the West Tisbury Church is planning for the end of July. Please call him, 508-693-0165, if you have items to donate. No electronics, please.

Happy birthday to Bill “Jesse” Tester who turns 60 on July 2. He plans to spend the day in the place he loves most and with the people he loves most. No one could have better than that. His family — Linda, Kristin and Josh, Marissa, Shawn, Juliette, Michael and Annemarie, and Gracie — wish him health, love, joy, and adventure. Have a great day.

Three West Tisbury 5-year-olds were among the graduating Garden Gate Child Development Center Preschool Class of 2010. Ryan Harding, Mya O’Neill, and Sydney Marcus, along with their parents, attended the twilight swim and supper at Mink Meadows Beach. The ceremony included the awarding of certificates, tee-shirts, and yearbooks. Congratulations to all of you.

The Summer Reading Program Kick-off, sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Library Association, is Saturday, July 3, 10:30 am, at the Ag Hall. Magician Scott Jameson will entertain children and adults. Admission is $3 per person. “Go Green at Your Library” is this year’s theme. Paul Karasik designed the logo, a green frog, that will be printed on tee shirts for children and bags for adults who complete their designated number of books. Sign up at the library.

The Grange Hall is the summer center of myriad activities. I frequently mention the Farmers’ Market, but should also recognize other weekly events. The Artisans’ Shows on Thursday and Sunday are a feast for collectors of art and fine crafts. Friday is the Antique Show, a collection of dealers of everything from linens to furniture. Wednesday evenings at 8 pm it hosts the Summer Film Series.

The gallery season is going full-speed ahead. Allen Whiting’s opening Sunday afternoon was filled to bursting with collectors and friends. Carol Craven’s new gallery space in North Tisbury has opened to rave reviews. The lawn outside Joan Merry’s Gossamer Gallery is filled with African sculpture; inside, paintings are on display. My Hermine Merel Smith Fine Art is quietly open with Ruth Kirchmeier’s amazing woodcuts and my paintings. I am open Thursday through Sunday and think I’ll skip or at least postpone my party. Parties abound, nonetheless. Paintings by West Tisbury artist Marie-Louise Rouff will be exhibited at Nancy Cramer’s Shaw Cramer Gallery. The opening is Friday, July 2, from 6 to 8 pm. Opening Sunday, July 4, from 5 to 7 pm, at the Field Gallery is a theme show, “Animal,” featuring Ben Cabot’s stately bird carvings. “Vegetable” follows next Sunday at the Granary. Jeri Larsen is artist-of-the-month at the West Tisbury Library. Tree House Gallery’s ever-changing outdoor display always entices visitors.

Murphy and I found the first wild blueberries on our walk this morning. Delicious.