West Tisbury

Shirley and John Mayhew, married for 64 years, at the Fair. — Photo courtesy of Allison Walker, Windemere

Looking out over our woods, I see already a tinge of orange-red in the shrubbery. The sculptural clump of beetlebungs on Murphy’s pond has thinly reddened across the top, like an outline of underpainting left when sky color met green foliage. A softened streak, but noticeable, and necessary for the composition. It’s almost September and fall is coming.

Mike and I received a surprise phone call from his cousin, Sunday Hull. She and her parents would be arriving from Somerville “tomorrow” for a short, surprise visit to attend the Elissa Brickner Poetry Award ceremony at the Chilmark Library. Sunday won first prize for junior high school kids for her poem, “Lucy Vincent Beach.”

I was amazed, attending the ceremony, at the poems these young people wrote. Sophisticated, elegant, spare or lengthy, their rhythmic use of language dazzled the sizable audience. There were first and second place winners in both categories. Junior High: First, Sunday Hull; Second, Rachel Melliker. High School: First, Thorpe Karabees; Second, Isabel Feinstein. Congratulations and thanks to all entrants and winners. I hope you keep writing.

Our friends from Washington, D.C., Dorothy Barthelmes and Bob Henry, invited us for dinner to meet Lars and Rick, their opera seatmates during the winter. Not only were they pleasant company, Lars and Rick were our chefs for the night, preparing a fabulous meal. They had loved shopping at the Farmers’ Market earlier in the day, enjoyed their introduction to the Vineyard overall, so we hope they will become regular visitors to the Slocum House for many summers to come.

I plan to send them a copy of Ginny Jones’s newly published cookbook, “Fresh from the Vineyard,” as a thank-you present. It will be my best Christmas present this year, too. It is filled with recipes and Island history, perfect for anyone who loves this place. All the recipes use Island produce, farm-raised meat and poultry, or freshly caught fish. The localness, reliance on seasonal availability, and sustainability of our food here make this fascinating reading even if you don’t cook much. At least, enjoy the story and Juliet Kraetzer’s lovely watercolors that must be from the 1950s or ’60s. Copies are available at the West Tisbury Library, Allen Farm, probably at Alley’s and the down-Island bookstores.

Suzi Wasserman wants to remind everyone that the Friends of the West Tisbury Library will hold their annual meeting next Wednesday, August 31, 5 pm, at the library. Following a short meeting detailing finances and efforts for the year, there will be refreshments, most notably the molasses cookies that I look forward to every year made by Suzi’s grandson, Henry Bassett. All are welcome to attend.

Henry has been entertaining Lucy Bilson, a friend from Ealing, U.K., who arrived in time for the Fair, which she enjoyed riding her bike to every day.

The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association is sponsoring The Maddie Show for children at the Oak Bluffs Library this Saturday, August 27, at 10:30 am.

Carol Craven and Haven Cutler, long-time associates in the Craven Gallery, are having an Art Trunk Show today, Thursday, August 25, from 10 to 5, at Carol’s house at 36 Music Street. The rain date is Friday, August 26. The sale features a panoply of work by many Vineyard and national artists. Paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography, and quilts form the collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the West Tisbury Library Foundation. Call 508-693-9039 or 508-693-5792 for more information. Do not park on Music Street.

Talking about the library, I ask everyone to remember that we, the town of West Tisbury, have to match the state’s grant for our library’s addition by December. $2,900,000. We have quite a way to go. This one-time grant exists because of all the already designated money for library construction that has been returned to the state pool by towns that couldn’t match their funding. So please, if you are a summer user of our library, consider making a donation to the Foundation before leaving the island. If you are here year-round, we need your support. Although it would be nice for one person to come along and donate $2,900,000, that’s not likely to happen. We all need to participate, large or small. The library belongs to all of us and exists for all of us. Please write a check.

Take advantage of the opportunity to see Paul Karasik’s cartoons on display at the library till the end of August.

The Boston String Quartet will perform at the Chilmark Church on Sunday, August 28, at 7 pm.

The MVRHS Class of 1986 is planning their 25th reunion the weekend of October 7–10, 2011. Contact Amy Morgan at 508-612-5780, amorgan@advocatesinc.org, or on Facebook.

Ellen Weiss enjoyed the company of her brother and sister-in-law, New York architects Julian Weiss and Kathy Reed, who were here with their family. Adrian Weiss and Elena Elmoznino and their children, Lucian (age 5) and Anouk (1 ½;) came “for 11 days of fun.” Now Ellen is back to work on her summer project, attempting to eradicate Japanese knotweed from her meadow before it engulfs the entire property.