West Tisbury


I awakened early to a lightening sky, sort of a butternut color, that shimmered through the trees off the east side of our house. As the light rounds the house, it becomes pinker to the south, then lavender, then the day’s blue sky appears to the west. The trees and leaves blend together into a mostly-dark abstract shape with the sky colors flickering, changing, as the wind blows.

If the above description sounds romantic, remember that I have just awakened and haven’t put my glasses on yet.

It is still my favorite time of day. I treasure that quiet time to read, write, or just observe. Mike is still asleep upstairs. The dogs have been out and fed. They now form an amiable lump by the side of the sofa where, with Grace the cat stretched across the back, I have my first cup of coffee and enjoy the silence.

Yesterday was my first free day to do nothing but paint. Our art group had met the day before at Claire Chalfoun’s house, where her table held the most beautiful, and probably last of the summer, bouquet of sunflowers. Leslie Baker and I went back to paint them in Claire’s studio (and have a surprise Thai lunch prepared by Claire’s friend, Mai.) I brought the flowers home and painted in my studio till after four o’clock, then dropped them off at Ruth Kirchmeier’s for her to draw and, perhaps, turn into a woodcut. Those flowers certainly provided a lot of happiness and inspiration.

Prudy and John Noon stopped by for a visit. They have been here for a too-brief but wonderful time. Just enough to enjoy the weather, their house, Island routines, and see some friends.

The Slocum house has been full these past two weeks, as Mike’s California relatives have been here in the family house with Hannah Beecher. “Aunt Rose” Terrill, cousins Dana and Julia, with their partners Kimberly and Patrick, came from San Jose and Santa Cruz. These visits remind me of Mike’s stories of Vineyard summers when all the grandchildren and their mothers came in varying combinations, with working husbands arriving on the late boat Friday night.

Ken Baker has been here visiting his sister and brother-in-law, Leslie Baker and Dave Gorenberg. Ken is from Los Lunas, New Mexico. Named neither for the moon nor for the mental condition of its residents, Luna was the name of the rancher who founded the town. It was nice to meet Ken after hearing about him forever from his adoring sibling. Ken planned to stop in Philadelphia on his way home to take his niece, vet-school student Emma Gorenberg, out to dinner.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum opened a new exhibition last week. “Your Town, Our Island” features unique personalities, histories, and stories relating to each of the six towns. This Saturday, October 2, is West Tisbury’s Celebrity Day, when our residents are treated to free admission and a discount membership rate. Museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm.

Habitat for Humanity and the town of West Tisbury are beginning a new project on Bailey Park Road, off of Old County and Great Plains Roads. Call 508-696-4646 for information or an application.

The Harvest Festival will take place this Saturday, October 2, at the Ag Hall. Featuring a day-long panoply of exhibits and activities. the event ends with a potluck dinner.

Also on Saturday night, the Charter School will hold its Third Annual Rock Party and Auction at Nectar’s, beginning at 6:30 pm. Dine on Flatbread pizza and relive the ’80s for $25 per person.

Happy birthday wishes this week to: Megan Mendenhall on September 29, Julie Kimball on September 30, and Rose Herman on October 1.

October is Scary Movie Month at the West Tisbury Library, featuring films of Alfred Hitchcock. See “39 Steps” this Monday night at 7. Buy $1 raffle tickets to win a shower curtain (knife tear not included) and support the Library Foundation. Popcorn is free.

Lots of library news this week. Beginning Friday, October 1, by popular demand, we are adding a new storytime at 10:30 am. Mother Goose on the Loose is for 0-3 year-olds and their caregivers. Friday afternoon at 4 pm, the JC Trio will perform their interpretations of American Songbook classics. Jo Scotford Rice is artist-of-the-month. Martha’s Vineyard Writers’ Residency poetry and fiction writers will read and answer questions Wednesdays at 5:30 pm.

Most impressive — our library was ranked eighth among all libraries in the country for towns with populations between 2,500 and 5,000. Hennan American Public Library Rating measures criteria including circulation, staffing, materials, reference services, expenses. Congratulations to Beth and the staff and to all of us who support them.

The family of Sheila Morgan invites the public to a celebration of her life this Saturday, October 2, 3 pm, at the West Tisbury Church. Her family will host a reception at the Grange Hall immediately following the service. All are welcome.

Has everyone noticed the replica lighthouse that appeared in North Tisbury last week? It is fantastic. That, and the scarecrow-laden haywagon at Middletown Nursery, make me smile every time I go by.