West Tisbury: flowers everywhere


Flowers everywhere. August is the best time of summer gardens, arms full of flowers for bouquets around the house, baskets of produce for dinner. Squash and tomatoes and raspberries and beans to eat right in the garden. I can’t pick them fast enough.

Summer friends are arriving as fast as the summer’s produce. Dorothy Barthelmes and Bob Henry arrived for their six weeks at the Joshua Slocum House. Dorothy’s daughter Buffy Webber is here with them. Their first guests, Rick Trevino and Larz Pearson, have sent a case of wine ahead; they arrive next Monday for a week.

Michael and Linda Dzuba appeared at our house Thursday afternoon with their black lab, Mimi, a special friend of our dogs, Talley and Nan. We had the three of them chasing each other in circles around the yard, barking, full of energy.

Pat Ternes will come on Friday with her daughters, Liz Zeiss and Cathy Ternes, for the opening of an exhibition of watercolors and oils by her late husband, Bill Ternes, well-known painter and workshop teacher for many summers here. Bill died in February, so this show is my tribute to a dear friend and mentor. As with all of us artists, he has left behind a studio full of paintings. Hopefully, everyone will come and we will sell lots of them to those who remember Bill and those who discover his work at this exhibition. It will be at my gallery, Hermine Merel Smith Fine Art, this Sunday, August 10, 4 to 7 pm. Please park behind the Fire House and walk across the road; there is limited parking at the gallery for anyone who can’t walk any distance.

I love the summer traditions all these visits perpetuate, the looking forward to special meals and outings that have to be just as they always are. The Book Sale with Bob and Dorothy, our first dinner of pork tenderloin, potato salad, and corn, the amazing feast Larz and Rick will prepare, ladies nights out, just Dorothy and me, while Bob plays bridge and Mike works on the hamburger booth for the Fair. Michael and Linda will come for dinner tonight, lobster, which Mike hates, so we do it on a Monday when he’s at the firehouse; Mike’s famous hamburgers for their anniversary dinner on August 10. Pat is a wonderful cook who spoils us when she comes to visit. There are special breakfasts with Julie Kimball, firemen’s hamburgers at the Fair, lunches or dinners on my porch when Mark Reisman returns from a trip with off-Island treats, beach walks with Brooks Robards, Ellen Weiss, and Mary Beth Norton, movie nights with Chari Isaacs, seeing everyone at the Farmers’ Market.

I went to the Friends of the Library’s Book Sale this morning and came home with two boxes and a shopping bag filled with books. Since I have been writing more, my choices comprise volumes of poetry and essays, plus some mysteries and children’s books I couldn’t resist.

While there, I had an interesting conversation with Tom Thatcher about West Tisbury Library history I didn’t know. Tom was on the first Library Board of Trustees and had spearheaded the transformation of the second floor of the Music Street library into the first children’s room. It had been a museum filled with stuffed birds and memorabilia, rarely visited. The librarian of the day was Lena McNeil. Tom helped clean out the space, put in lighting and heat, brought in shelves and books. I remember it as a cheerful room with red-painted bookcases when I arrived in town in 1985. Ann Fielder and Gay Nelson were the children’s librarians. I don’t imagine it had changed much from the time of Tom’s renovation.

The library remains the place to go the year-round. Here is the schedule for this coming week: Poets Justen Ahren and Amira Thoron are reading Thursday, August 7, at 5:30 pm. This Saturday, August 9, there is a rocket-making workshop from 11 am to 1 pm, and a frozen Tisberry Yogurt Social at 4 pm with music by The Vineyard Sound. Mother Goose on the Loose story times for infants to three-year-olds meets on Monday mornings at 10:30 am. Mac Pro Paul Levy continues his drop-in help for those with Mac problems on Mondays from 11 am to 1 pm. The Monday Night Movie is Marcia Rock’s “Surrender Tango”the screening and tango demo beginning at 6:30, with dancing afterwards. On Wednesday, August 13, 10:30 am–12:30 pm, Debbie Yapp will give a workshop for fifth and sixth graders on identifying, collecting, pressing, and creating art from botanicals found on Martha’s Vineyard. Yoga for Kids four to eight years old will be led by Laura Edelman at 10:30. Nicole Cabot will read and sing about melons in a special Island Grown Harvest Story Hour for kids on Thursday morning, August 14, at 10:30 am. Sue Guiney will read from her latest novel, “Out of the Ruins” on Thursday evening. Paintings, collages, and original prints by Elizabeth Langer are on display throughout August in the Program Room. Pre-register for Mathea Morais’s writing/reading workshop for ages 9 to 14 that will be held the week of August 18-21, 10:30 am–12 noon; snacks, books, paper, and pencils will be provided. All programs are free.

Tuesdays at Twilight, a concert series sponsored by the West Tisbury Library Foundation, will host Spotlight on Youth, a concert showcasing the Vineyard’s best new talent on August 12. The concert begins at 7:30 at the Grange Hall.

You may have noticed a photograph of a familiar-looking cat in a familiar-looking setting in Sunday’s Boston Globe. Jan Van Riper’s Prince, from Lynn Christoffers’s “Cats of Martha’s Vineyard,”appeared in an article about Vineyard books. Suzan Bellancampi’s “Martha’s Vineyard: A Field Guide to Island Nature” and “Morning Glory’s Farm Food; Stories From the Fields, Recipes From the Kitchen” by Gabrielle Redner were also mentioned.

Domingo Pagan will open his studio at 121 Waldron Bottom Road this Saturday, August 9, from noon-4 pm. He calls his show Flowers and Other Colors.

Allen Whiting has new paintings hung at his Davis House Gallery, open Thursdays-Sundays, 1–6 pm.

North Water Street Gallery opens a show tonight, Thursday, August 7, 5–7 pm, of work by Wendy Weldon, Carrie Gustafson, and Jim Holland.

On Sunday evening, 5–7 pm, the Field Gallery opens their new show of paintings by Craig Mooney and Traeger Di Pietro.

I attended the fabulous print show at Featherstone Sunday evening. Having been a privileged observer of Leslie Baker’s weekly sessions at the print studio (I’m on her way home, so she stops for coffee and to show me her latest monotypes) I have had my interest in monotypes rekindled. They are a combination of painting and printmaking, where the artist paints on a plate, then runs it through a press, transferring the image onto dampened paper. It only produces one impression, hence a monotype. They were called The Painterly Print in a show at the Metropolitan Museum back in the 1970s. Rembrandt, Degas, and Whistler were early masters. The show at Featherstone features some worthy continuers of this artistic tradition.