West Tisbury


Going through one of my piles of clippings I found an old West Tisbury column by Polly Woollcott Murphy from May 1987. Her description of this time of year was so perfect that I called her daughter Laura for permission to quote from it. Here it is, italicized as it appeared:

Mid-May is a time of intensive blossoming in West Tisbury, even in such a cold, late spring as this. Town politics blossom into marathon town meetings, and traditional elections. More decoratively, the lilacs come into bloom, even as the pale petals from the apple trees go spinning down the perpetually east wind. The lilacs, both purple and white, and marvelously fragrant, are everywhere, from embryo bushes standing hopefully beside new houses, to great thickets of bloom marking old cellar holes. Originally imported from England in colonial times, the lilacs have truly made the Island their own. They bloom simultaneously with a true Island native, the beach plum, in happy partnership, and with a host of more recent neighbors — azaleas, crabs, Scotch broom and dogwood, to make a flowering May basket of the whole town.

Besides the descriptive opening paragraph, I enjoyed reading about events current 24 years ago. Dr. and Mrs. Robert Eisendrath of Middle Road were here with their sons, Matthew and Noah, and several school friends. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Whiting were building a 24×30-foot barn for two horses and a pony. Linda Bullard of Oxfordshire, England, was at her camp at Deep Bottom Cove with her family, including a daughter, Liza, who had just graduated from Harvard Law School. Mr. and Mrs. Ben Moore had been in New York City for their son Gus’s graduation from Columbia University. Mr. and Mrs. Sanford Earle were settled in for the summer on Old County Road. Mrs. Benjamin O’Sullivan and daughter, Chris, spent the weekend at their house on the Tisbury Great Pond. Mrs. Charles Foote’s daughter, Mrs. Robert Burke, has been visiting from Fairborn, Ohio. Harry Weiss of Old County Road had been bird-watching in Spain. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Gay spent two weeks at their home on Old County Road. Diane Paul’s parents were visiting from Connecticut. Holly Jenkinson, then a sophomore at Emerson College, was working at Alley’s and the Home Port for the summer. Mrs. Everett Whiting had been to Madison, Wisconsin. Mrs. Daniel Mayhew was holding a bake sale for the benefit of muscular dystrophy treatment. Priscilla Fischer, Ann Fielder, Helen Manning, Dionis Riggs, Mike Athearn, Nancy Jephcote, Joan Patadal, Bill Wilcox, Arthur Railton, Marion Halperin, David O’Brien, and Jessica Nickowal were working with West Tisbury School students on their historical pageant. I was opening my newly built gallery here at our property on Edgartown Road, exhibiting work by Island artists Nancy Furino, William Peltz, William Ross Searle, Deborah Colter, and Margaret Taylor Kane, among others. It all seems so long ago.

Everyone in town is heartbroken for Cynthia Walsh, whose son, James, died unexpectedly. My deepest sympathy, Cynthia, to you and your family.

Meg (Dole) and Seth Abramowitz of Jamaica Plain and North Tisbury have a new baby girl. Aviva Bella Abramowitz was born April 11 at Mount Auburn Hospital. She weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces. She was welcomed home by her big sister, Ayelet.

Ken Belain is doing car inspections again at his Mid-Island Repair on South Road.

Shirley Mayhew, Paul Levine, Elissa Lash, and Susanna Sturgis will be reading and discussing their works in progress at another Evening with the Sunday Writers at the West Tisbury Library at 7 pm May 16.

ACE MV is partnering with Cape Cod Community College to offer a 3-credit course at MVRHS. Introduction to Children’s Literature begins May 14. For information, look at www.acemv.org or www.capecod.edu/web/registrar/register. You must use section #64 on the Cape Cod site.

Two weekends ago, I attended a two-day Dementia Certificate Program taught by Suzanne Faith of Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod and the Islands. This Sunday, May 15, I will participate in the annual Miles of Memory Walk to raise money for Alzheimer’s Services. Besides educational programs for professionals and family caregivers, Alzheimer’s Services offers a variety of support, respite grants, referral services, care management, memory screenings, and a telephone help line (508-775-5656). All free. I am eager to help this organization in any way I can, and am asking everyone reading this for your help and support. Please stop me at the post office or Alley’s, Conroy’s, or Cronig’s, or even if you see me walking my dog at the beach. Please hand me a check (made out to ASCCI) or cash for whatever amount you are able to spare. Or mail it to me at P.O. Box 8, West Tisbury. Or just leave it in an envelope on our porch. Thank you all.