West Tisbury

Clear, cold nights have made the stars seem brighter and more abundant. It’s not hard to imagine long-ago viewers, awestruck, arranging them into constellations or a pantheon of gods and goddesses.

Our Annual Town Party will be held tonight at the Ag Hall beginning at 5:30. Janet Bank is in charge this year. She promises ham and turkey; we bring the rest. Hope to see everyone there.

Lights are appearing all around town. Alley’s looks beautiful wrapped in pine roping and white lights. Across the street, both the library and John and Anna Alley’s house are decorated in bright colors. Bob Hennessey showed up at Sunday morning radio check with 400 feet of colored lights that, with help from Kenny Mastromonaco, John Cotterill, and Mike Hull, now outline Station 1. Station 2, the Public Safety Building, is similarly decorated, in time to welcome Santa Claus this Sunday, December 12, 1-3 pm. The crew of Truck #733 will deliver Santa to the station. Children of all ages are invited.

I ran into Jessica and Alley Estrella last week at the Bunch of Grapes. They showed me a new book, “The Family Dinner,” by Laurie David, with photographs of some familiar faces. Morgan Estrella appears on page 27; Morgan, Alley, and their mom are pictured together at a family picnic on page 110.

Driving home later, I was happy to see the Estrella family. Manny and Sharon, with their grandchildren Alley and Morgan Estrella, and Amanda and Andrea Pachico, had decorated the tree at the intersection of State and Old County Roads. It is a welcoming sight this time of year.

The 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by members of the United Nations will be commemorated at a special Sabbath service at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center this Friday evening, December 10, at 5:30. Reverend Cathlin Baker of the West Tisbury Congregational Church and Reverend Rob Hensley of Grace Episcopal Church will join Rabbi Caryn Broitman in discussing how human rights issues are addressed in their respective faith traditions. All are welcome to attend.

Our new state senator-elect, Dan Wolf, will attend the M.V. Democratic Council meeting Saturday morning, December 11, at the Howes House. The meeting begins at 9 am. The senator-elect wants to talk about his plans and ideas, and to hear what our priorities are for the legislature in the next two years. Vineyard Democrats and Independents are invited to come and speak your mind.

Vineyard Artisans will hold their 3rd Annual Christmas Show this Saturday, Dec. 11, 10-4, at the Grange Hall.

The Minnesingers are performing this weekend at the Whaling Church. Members from West Tisbury are: Olivia deGeofroy, Gage Rancich, Emily Lowe, Sammi Chaves, Rykerr Maynard, and Justine Tucker. Concerts are December 10 and 11.

Closer to home, West Tisbury School K-4 grades invite everyone to their Holiday Concert on December 15 at 7 pm.

Come to the library to see paintings by Bill Hoff, exhibiting artist for December. Saturday afternoon at 3 pm, Leslie Wheeler will talk about her book, “Thin Ice: Crime Stories by New England Writers.” On Monday night at 7 pm it will be Pink Panther Night. Enjoy popcorn and Peter Sellers at his best. Tuesday, Dec. 14, our Holiday Party begins at 4 pm.

A CD, “Katie Mayhew and David Crohan in Concert,” has just come out. Check out www.katiemayhew.com.

Happy birthday wishes to my Gazette counterpart, John Alley, who celebrated on December 4. Also to Jessica Haynes, whose birthday is easy to remember. It’s 12/12.

Katherine Long is busy planning her Solstice Party that will take place next Sunday, Dec. 19. More next week.

It was with a sense of irony that I stood outside the West Tisbury Church last Saturday morning waiting for the doors to open at 9:30 am sharp. I had to pick out my Christmas wreath and meringue mushrooms in a hurry, as I was attending Lila Jasny’s Bat Mitzvah in Vineyard Haven, scheduled to begin at the same time. I made it in time to hear Lila read her Torah portion and lead a study discussion that was most provocative. Congratulations to you, Lila. For those who don’t know her, Lila is the daughter of Max and Michelle Jasny, and big sister of Sydney.

Although I am a very minor cog in the journalistic world on the Vineyard, I want to join in welcoming the Kohlbergs, new owners of the Vineyard Gazette. I wish them well. As I do, too, Dick and Jody Reston, who were the faces of the Gazette for most of my years on the Island.