West Tisbury


Last time I saw him, Brian Mann irreverently quipped, “I guess God reads your column.” He was referring to my complaints about lack of rain, as last week we got almost four inches.

Unfortunately, most of it came in rather violent thunder and lightning storms that knocked out the Emergency Communications Center Friday night. Communications duties for the island were taken over by Bob Maciel Sr. at Station 1 across the road from us and the Oak Bluffs Fire Department. All went smoothly and regular service resumed Saturday afternoon.

And the rain continued. Murphy, our golden retriever, is a reliable barometer of storm activity. He has become more and more fearful of approaching storms, pacing back and forth before the onset, growing increasingly restless as lightning and rain begin.

Shirley Mayhew and I were laughing about the cost of “doing it yourself” the other day. I was telling her about Jayne Beitman’s new vegetable garden. Jayne’s husband, Ron, had described their first dinner from the garden: a small cucumber and some lettuce leaves costing about $99.99, and the string beans at a bargain price of $39.99 each. Shirley’s reply was, “You mean, like our fish for $39.99 a pound?”

The July issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine includes an article, “The Athearn-Mayhew Feud,” that features Jack Mayhew, son of John and Shirley. Johnny Hoy and his children, Ruby and Gus, are on the cover.

Katie Mayhew is performing with David Crohan in a Summer Benefit Concert for COMSOG Sunday, August 1, 4:30, at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. A reception following the concert is included in the $25 ticket price. CDs of last year’s concert will be sold at the concert. If you can’t wait, pick one up at Alley’s.

Also on Sunday, from 5 to 7 pm, come to the first “Library After Hours,” sponsored by the WT Library Foundation. Local chefs, local authors, and local musicians will be on hand.

All this, of course, after visiting the Friends of the Library’s Annual Book Sale. Their big fundraising event of the year takes place at the W.T. School gym this weekend, Friday through Monday, 9 am to 3 pm. Books are free on Monday. Please bring your own bags.

West Tisbury selectmen voted unanimously at their July 21 meeting to award three lots in Bailey Park to Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard for affordable housing units.

There are a number of openings on town committees. If interested, please send a letter to Jen Rand at P.O. Box 278 or email townadmin@westtisbury-ma.gov by August 12. Committees are: Energy, Town Hall Art, Fence Viewer, Planning Board Associate, Shared Use Path, Conservation (1 full-time, 1 associate.)

George and Joan Thomas opened their home for the first in a series of parties the Library Foundation will give to introduce people to the library’s plans for expansion and its vision for the future. Somehow everyone managed to take their eyes off the Thomas’s gorgeous view to listen to presentations by Dan Waters, Beth Kramer, and Chuck Hughes. The foundation is an official fundraising organization for the library and hopes everyone in town will participate in this project. I was pleased and surprised to hear that 85% of town residents have library cards. Julia Fleischner, a guest and summer resident, said she uses our library quite a lot, finding it “better than our library in Philadelphia.” Wow.

Henry and Louise Bessire have as guests this week Louise’s favorite cousin, Cathie Hartnett, and her husband, John Monto. Part of their time together will be spent in Portland, Maine, where they will all attend an opening gala of an exhibition of Winslow Homer’s paintings and studio. Mark Bessire is director of the Portland Museum. Before arriving on the Vineyard, Cathie and John visited the ICA in Boston, where Paul Bessire is deputy director.

The Bessires are looking for a copy of the July 15 Boston Globe. Paul Bessire was pictured on the back page of the Metro section. Please call 693-2696 if you can help out.

Julianna Healy will be showing her paintings at the library through the month of August. “Mostly what’s around our yard,” is how she described her thickly painted oils of forsythia and rhododendrons blooming, as well as landscapes of ponds and views around town. Meet her at a reception, Thursday, August 5 at 4 pm.

Driving around town, I am already seeing tinges of color across the treetops. Peas have gone by; beans are abundant. Winter squashes are fattening up. Phlox and dahlias provide colorful flowers, along with annuals —zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers. Soon it will be time for the fair and the end of summer.