West Tisbury


There were lots of familiar faces at the Performing Arts Center Saturday night. Island Community Chorus presented Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man.” West Tisbury was well-represented in both the chorus and the audience at this rollicking performance filled with some great songs. There was plenty of “Trouble” in River City, resolved by the transformation of rogue Professor Harold Hill by Marian the Librarian, and the formation of The River City Boys’ Band, complete with uniforms and shiny instruments. A good time was had by all.

It was a beautiful weekend for gardening, and our federal government didn’t shut down. I’m not sure what that means, if anything, except that most everyone except senators and representatives are disgusted watching the posturing on both sides. Thankfully, our local government doesn’t behave with such disregard for their “employers.” By the time you are reading this, we will have had our Annual Town Meeting and you still have time to run down to the Public Safety Building to vote if you haven’t already done so. Polls are open till 8 pm this evening, April 14.

On the political front, Cynthia Riggs opened her house Sunday afternoon for a gathering reminiscent of her Groundhog Day parties. This one was for folks to learn about the library’s expansion plans and warrant articles. Trustee Dan Waters and Foundation President Hunter Moorman gave an overview of the project and its proposed financing. There were lots of questions, fueled by lots of food, and the company was most convivial. Walking through Cynthia’s garden and into her hyacinth-filled mudroom were pretty nice, too.

A disappointment was the lack of Mary Orcutt. Greg was there, but Mary was in New York for their granddaughter’s birthday. Eleanora Esposito turned two on April 9. Greg stayed home with Dinah, their Airedale.

Susanna Sturgis was there, fresh from her latest wins with her dog, Travis, at the weekend’s Canine Obedience Trials. Congratulations.

I enjoyed meeting Katherine Triantafillou, who is both library user/supporter and one of three candidates for two seats on the Finance Committee. Gary Montrowl and Joe Gervais are the other two. Finance Committee is the only contested race in town. Alix Small withdrew her candidacy, so Linda Hearn and Gina Solon will begin three-year terms as Library Trustees following the election.

Another person I was glad to see was Abigail Higgins. I needed advice. My vegetable garden is overrun with wild onion grass. Trillions of bulblets are breeding underground; leave one behind, and it breeds uninhibitedly, seemingly overnight. Abigail’s advice was carefully digging out every bulblet by hand. I had hoped for an easier solution, like smothering them with thick layers of newspaper or black cloth. No such luck. Mike would cheerfully pour poison on the whole thing, but that kind of defeats the purpose of growing healthy food. Of course, his eyes are bright and he displays a twitching eagerness when it comes to ideas about how to annihilate nature. In his defense, he took out two big trees that shaded the garden last summer, making a good start on next year’s woodpile and showing off his expertise with chainsaw and winches, thrilling his wife.

Julia Humphreys attended a “fascinating” seminar put on by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants in Warwick, Rhode Island. Her golden retriever, Xochi, attended as an observer. The next day they traveled to Smithfield to cheer on three West Tisbury friends and their dogs, who participated in agility trials. Karen Ogden and Austin, Katy Upson and Dundee (winner of five blue ribbons and his first qualifying run,) and Eric Bates with Willow. Congratulations to you all.

Vineyard Gardens’ weekly lecture this Saturday, April 16, will be about dividing perennials. It begins at 11 am.

Sunday, April 17, is Palm Sunday, the official opening of the Island’s gardening season. All the garden centers in town will be hosting events to entice us with early bloomers on display. It’s a great opportunity to indulge your fantasies of the perfect garden, before the year’s mistakes and our aging backs bring us back to reality.

Also on Sunday, at 5 pm, come to the West Tisbury Library for our Annual Poetry Reading. Bring a poem you have written, or a favorite you have found, or just come to enjoy the event.

Whit Griswold was complaining about the user-unfriendliness of his lime-spreader during a recent “work-in-the-yard day.” It reminded me of an old column of Jean Wexler’s about a garden hose she referred to as “an instrument of the Devil.” Jean wrote the Gazette gardening column into the 1990s before Lynn Irons took over. Both are wonderful writers, as is The Times’s Abigail Higgins, full of useful information mixed with the humbling travails all gardeners face. Somehow, despite it all, every spring we start again, our enthusiasm undiminished.