West Tisbury: Reflecting the Paradigm


This is one of those weeks that reflects the full paradigm of life. Birth, death, and all in between.

I begin with the death of Robert Potts. Robert died at home, quietly with Marjory, this past Saturday evening. When I saw Marjory on Friday, we knew it could be soon, but he had been skyping on the computer with Oliver earlier in the week and Phoebe had been to visit from Gloucester.

Robert bore his illness with dignity and grace, much as he lived his life. He was a former writer of this column for several years, before retiring to begin The Broadside, West Tisbury’s own paper, sold for “one thin dime.” Devoted readers lined up outside Fella’s and Conroy’s or at the library on Fridays, waiting for the latest installment to arrive. Town politics and town news were covered with wry wit and style. He and Marjory made a great team.

I will miss his sense of humor most of all, his laughing at his own jokes. I will miss his intelligence, his impatience, his carefully crafted sentences, his theatrical skill, his opinions whether we agreed or not. Mostly, I will miss someone I was always happy to say hello to when we met.

Two new babies with West Tisbury roots were born at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, both on Monday, October 6. Welcome and wishes for a good life to you and your families.

Benjamin David Runner is the son of Benjamin Runner and Rose Campbell. His grandparents are Scott and Ruth Campbell and Earl Runner and Martha Caruso. His more-than-proud great-aunt is Hasty Runner.

Jennifer Reekie Goeckel and John Goeckel are the parents of a daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Goeckel. Charlotte is the granddaughter of Chele and Allan Reekie and the great-great niece of Phyllis Meras.

It was my honor to attend Rose Herman’s Bat Mitzvah last Saturday. She read her Torah portion beautifully and gave a thoughtful commentary of its meaning. The Hebrew Center was filled with family and friends from here on the Vineyard and from away. Rose is the daughter of Robert Herman and Madeline Way, the sister of Julian Herman.

The last Farmers’ Market of the summer was held last Saturday outside the Grange Hall in a drenching downpour. This Saturday, October 18, is the first Winter Farmers’ Market of the season, indoors at the Ag Hall. Best news from Linda Alley is that the market will be held every Saturday through December, except for Thanksgiving weekend. Hours are 10 am to 1 pm. Little Rock Farm will provide hot soup served in front of the fireplace. Linda expects over 20 vendors to participate. It’s always a festive atmosphere and, of course, the produce, meat, and baked goods are the best. Hope to see you there. It will be a great place for me to get lots of news for upcoming columns, so stop me to say hello and tell me what’s going on with you.

The MVRHS Minnesingers have planned a Silent and Live Auction Benefit at Dreamland on Saturday, October 25, 6–9 pm. The $25 ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, chowder bar, and desserts. There will be a cash bar. Tickets are available from any Minnesinger member or at the door. Proceeds will help offset travel expenses for the Minnesingers trip abroad next April. For more information, call 508-939-4053.

There is still time to sign up for some ACE MV classes. Check their website to see what is still available: acemv.org.

Come to the Land Bank Public Input Session at the West Tisbury Library on Monday, October 20, at 5:15 pm. The Land Bank wants to know what you think about future projects, what your priorities are, what future acquisitions you suggest, so come and give your opinions.

Lanny McDowell is October’s artist of the month at the library. Come see his paintings and photographs in the Program Room during regular library hours.

Holly Bellebuono and Cathy Walthers will speak about their new books on October 16 at 4:30 at the library. Cathy is the author of Kale, Glorious Kale and Holly has written Women Healers of the World: The Traditions, History & Geography of Herbal Medicine.

Sunday afternoon, October 19, at 4 pm, come to the library to hear fiction writer Sam Decker (son of Chris and Nelia) and poet Clark Myers read and discuss their work.

Leslie Baker and I were on one of our art outings last week, driving around to look at some of our favorite painting spots, checking for colors, talking about everything. We both mentioned not having seen Katherine Long in a while; when we stopped at the library, there she was. Katherine showed us the quilt she had donated to the Children’s Room, a colorful confection to cuddle in and to puzzle over. It’s called “I Spy Fish,” and kids are invited to do just that. The new Martha’s Vineyard Modern Quilt Guild, of which Katherine is a member, has been meeting at the library on Wednesday evenings. Check out their website if you are interested in joining:mvmodernquiltguild.org.

Katherine has been entertaining friends from Washington, D.C. Leslie Koch is a former librarian Katherine had worked with. She is also a quilter and craftsperson. She and Jim Allen spent their visit touring the Iisland, working on projects, and enjoying Katherine’s fabulous cooking.