West Tisbury Column


The air is heavy, humid. The morning fog feels soft, embracing, comforting, floating just above the ground, obscuring detail. If you look carefully, you will see a stand of brilliant cardinal flowers tucked into the marsh alongside the Mill Pond. Whiting’s Pond, across the way, shows off the huge, white mallows blooming right by the road for all to admire. Joanne Scott reports a great blue heron in Whiting’s Pond that she sees on her morning walks.

Joanne also reported the big news that her daughter, Tabor Stafford, was married to long-time partner Christopher Bent, on August 5, during a trip to Las Vegas. Much love and best wishes to them both. They have returned home to Dorchester.

I was sorry to hear that Martha Doane died last Wednesday. Muriel Bye was at the ferry waiting for her son, Steven, to arrive for the family’s graveside service on Saturday morning. My condolences to Dick Doane and his entire family and many friends.

I was at the ferry dock to pick up my cousin, Wendy Savino, who came for the day. Living on the island, it seemed like a lot of driving to Mike and me, but Wendy said the trip from Winthrop is “no big deal.” She started at 6 am to make the 8:15 boat, so we had a lovely long day together. Breakfast on the patio of the Beach Plum Inn and a day talking and painting in my studio. I was so happy she came.

I stopped by Katherine Long’s for eggs and a visit, and to drop off some watermelon rinds for the chickens, a great treat. We walked outside together and all the chickens came running. Peck, peck, peck into the watery rind. My favorites have always been the silkies, with their soft feathers and tiny, delicious eggs. But my eye was attracted by a new resident, a kind of Auntie Mame chicken, covered with the showiest, shining, swirls of black feathers. She looked like a hen wearing an Alexander McQueen dress. Katherine had raised her from a gift egg of unknown variety. She is a frizzled sumatran. Isn’t that an exotic name? Her name is Vesuvius, rather exotic, too.

The J.C. Trio will be at the library this Friday, August 31, at 4 pm, for their monthly concert. Always a wonderful event, they riff and improvise in their stylish way the great standards from the American Song Book. Hope you can come.

Oil painter Anne Martin will be the artist of the month for September at the library. Her paintings represent the fields and trees around her home on South Road and along Blue Barque Road across the street. Jennifer Tseng’s announcement mentioned that Anne had studied with Neil Welliver, a painter/printmaker I much admire, so I look forward to seeing the exhibition that begins September 1.

Saturday, September 1, is the date for the First Annual American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life of Martha’s Vineyard. The fundraiser at Ocean Park, in conjunction with the Martha’s Vineyard Wind Festival, honors the care-giving qualities of our canine companions. Partner with your canine best friend to support the mission of the American Cancer Society. Events include: laps around Ocean Park, a look alike contest, ask a vet, most unique trick or talent contest, best costumes, and more. Local dog trainers and groomers will be giving demonstrations. Pre-register online at www.relayforlife.org/MVbarkMA, $20.00 for 1 dog/1 owner; $30.00 for 2 dogs/2 owners. Registrations at the event are $25.00 and $35.00. For more information contact Tammy King, 508 560-0457 or tking@mvbank.com and Colleen Corr-Panek at 508 922-4521 or rselement@hotmail.com.

The West Tisbury Church invites everyone to Flatbread Pizza this Tuesday, September 4, to celebrate the end of summer and back to school. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the church. Come between 4:30 and 9 pm for dinner and an enjoyable social evening. You may reserve a seat by calling 508 691-1137 or just show up. As organizer Marion Irving says, “Everybody loves PIZZA.”

Pam Thors wants to alert everyone that the Community Preservation Committee is seeking proposals for new projects for the up-coming fiscal year. CPA projects comprise areas of Community Housing, Historic Resources, and Open Space. September 21 is the deadline for submissions. Application information is available on the town website or email cpa@westtisbury-ma.gov or stop by town hall.

Last Wednesday’s New York Times devoted four pages, A10-14, to the two thousand American servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan since the war began on October 7, 2001. I felt I had to look at every face, to read their names, ages, where they came from, to honor their memory. So many children in their late teens, early twenties. And so many more coming home terribly wounded in mind and body. I felt great sadness at their lost lives and dreams, great sympathy for their families, and for all the people, young and old, on both sides of wars.