West Tisbury


Fields are green again. Butterfly-weed nestles its orange heads down into the grass as Queen Anne’s Lace dances above, softening and obscuring the colors below.

Town has been abuzz, as preparations for the 150th Agricultural Fair proceed. Eleanor Neubert called to remind everyone that entry forms are due at the Hall no later than Monday, August 15, at 5 pm. Leave them in the green box on the porch if no one is around.

Kicking off this year’s Fair, there will be a parade on Tuesday the 16th at 5 pm. It begins at the Grange Hall, proceeds down Music Street, around the Panhandle to the Agricultural Hall grounds.

The “Fair Ladies” have planned a lot of special entertainments in honor of this 150th anniversary. The biggest is the two-day appearance of The Flying Wallendas, who will give three performances on both Thursday and Friday.

Also this year, there will be a book for sale. “The Barn that Moved Away” was written by Marilyn Spooner, a former owner of the dairy farm barn that became our Agricultural Hall. It details the efforts of “barn busters and barn raisers” who went to New Hampshire and saw this project through. Ms. Spooner’s daughters, Elaine and Susan, will be at the Fair.

This Saturday’s Farmers’ Market hosts the Second Seafood Throwdown, sponsored by NAMA (Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.) Linda Alley sounded very excited when we spoke over the weekend. Charlie Kernicke, Joan Nathan, and Karen Pickus are the judges. Josh Aronie of the Menemsha Cafe and Chris Fischer of Beetlebung Farm are the contestants who, with limited time and money, will purchase supplies from around the market to prepare a fabulous meal that includes a till-that-moment mystery fish. The final dishes are judged on taste, of course, but also on the presentation and use of ingredients. Everything is prepared in front of the crowd. “Little tastes given out to the audience,” said Linda. “Last year it was well-attended and a lot of fun.”

For dessert, step right across the street to the West Tisbury Church’s Peach Festival that begins at noon. Peach smoothies, peach shortcake, Mad Martha’s peach ice cream made with Morning Glory Farm peaches compose the menu.

The Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock will be the guest preacher this Sunday at the West Tisbury Church’s 10 am service. He is Senior Pastor of the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and a friend of our Rev. Cathlin Baker.

The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club will hold their Annual Meeting this Tuesday afternoon, August 16, 1 pm, at the Old Mill. New officers will be elected at this meeting. Tim Simmons will speak about global warming: Plants and Habitats. All are welcome to attend. There is a $5 fee for non-members.

Have you ever wanted to know how to make paper lanterns? Just in time for Illumination Night, Martha Hubbell is giving a workshop for young adults at the West Tisbury Library on Wednesday, August 17, at 5 pm.

John Forti, Curator of Historical Gardens at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., will be at the Polly Hill Arboretum for a two-day program. Tuesday, August 16, 10 am, he will speak about heirloom and native plants. Wednesday, also at 10 am, he will lead a nature walk to observe and gather wild edibles.

Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers. Please call Neal Sullivan at 508-696-4646 if you are interested and willing.

Happy Birthday wishes to Bea Whiting on August 14.

Ruth Kirchmeier and Nelson Bryant had a houseful last week. Ruth’s sons, Eli and Jacob Ohlhausen, came with Jacob’s wife, Elizabeth, and her mom, Donna Fleshman. Lots of visiting with Island friends and family, lots of sightseeing, as Donna had only been here briefly before, for the wedding last fall, and lots of fabulous meals, as all are amazing cooks. Everyone was in jolly spirits when I saw them.

Setti Warren, mayor of Newton and Democratic primary candidate for U.S. Senate seat currently held by Scott Brown, will speak at 9:30 at this Saturday’s M. V. Democratic Council meeting at the Howes House. All are welcome.

Last week, my darling yellow lab, Talley, went off to CCVS on Bourne for surgery to repair a torn ACL. It was her second time. She had her left knee done last year; this year it was the right that tore on a not-very-strenuous walk a couple of Sunday mornings ago. She is home recuperating comfortably. I have to thank the SSA crew at all levels for making everything as comfortable and easy as they could for us and especially for her. The ladies at the airport are always helpful, and the guys at the boat do their best to put our car in a cool, airy spot — no mean accomplishment in this heat. FYI, should you ever need to know, the freight boats are the best way to travel. Windows open, and a breeze are assured, to keep you and your pet as cool as possible. Thanks, everyone.