West Tisbury: Town party on Thursday


It’s hard not to be in the holiday spirit. The West Tisbury Church Fair was Saturday, filled with friends and greenery, cookies and gift possibilities. Sunday afternoon I was at West Tisbury Fire Station 2 awaiting Santa’s arrival. Luke Sudarsky picked Santa up in Engine 734 and delivered him to a waiting sleigh and a line of children and families that stretched around the entire station. Beth Kaeka and Kenny Mastromonaco handed out fire hats, toys, and candy canes as Luke Sudarsky and Joe Uva handed kids down from Santa’s lap. Brynn Schaffner took photgraphs. It was totally festive.

There are lots of new babies in town, lots of young kids, all with their lists for Santa. I saw Reed, Miles, Oscar, Jean, Xander, Jen, Dominic, Vincent, Quin, Will, Olsen, Ellis, Gus, Roark, Nathan, Azor, two Christophers, Nova, Evan, Roan, Vincenzo, Isabella, Nellie, Derek, and Suzanne. I apologize if I missed anyone.

A nice tradition for many families was seeing Santa, then going to get their tree on the way home. Middletown and Vineyard Gardens were both decked out in lights with lots of trees and wreaths and garlands. Cider and cookies, too.

I will admit to climbing up on Santa’s lap myself every year to ask for something special. (I do wait till after all the children have gone first.) My wish is always for world peace. Sadly, neither Santa nor I have been able to accomplish much there. As Santa and I were busy bemoaning our lack of progress on world peace, I forgot to give him my list for this year. Just in case he reads my column: a cashmere bathrobe and closet doors.

Leslie Baker, Ruth Kirchmeier, Claire Chalfoun, and I went to the Island Chorus Concert Sunday afternoon at the Whaling Church. Both the music and the setting were glorious. I hadn’t seen Margot Datz’s murals yet; she did an awesome, as in awe-inspiring, job. Then we went to Liz Taft and Nancy Gilfoy’s for our art group’s Christmas dinner, always a special gathering, part of our Christmas tradition. The drive home was filled with holiday decorations and lights brightening the night.

Our West Tisbury town party is Thursday night at the Ag Hall from 5 to 8 o’clock. Please come. Bring a finger food to share, a hearty appetite, and your holiday goodwill toward all. The hall is always beautifully decorated, a roaring fire going, and everyone in town will be there.

Then comes Katherine Long’s famous Solstice party from noon to nine this Sunday, December 14. Katherine’s mother, Katherine Long Sr. as I always call her, and Katherine’s sister Mary Ruth will be here, and many familiar members from the Vogl side of the family. Katherine is busy cooking and trying to keep her cats in order. It will be wonderful, as it always is. The food is a potluck, so bring your best offering, some wine, and your good selves. Everyone is invited, but please, no dogs.

Don’t forget that Red Stocking is going on this week. It has moved from Grace Church to St. Augustine’s. Also, don’t forget the Island Food Pantry. There are donation boxes here in town at the library and Cronig’s.

Hanukkah begins on Tuesday, December 16, at sunset. I have to polish my menorah in preparation, to be ready to light candles for eight nights and to attend the Hanukkah service at the Hebrew Center Friday night at 5:30. It’s a very beautiful service, by the candlelight of all the menorahs everyone brings with them. Then potato latkes afterward for dinner.

Eric Johnson and Sam Graber-Hahn will perform guitar and violin duos at the West Tisbury Library Sunday afternoon, December 14, 4 to 5 pm. “From Bach to the Beatles,” the announcement says.

The library’s Lego Club meets this afternoon, Thursday, December 11, 4–5:30 pm. Martha Hubbell has a special crafting workshop planned for kids 9 and up; come to the library next Wednesday, December 17, at 4 pm, to make pipe cleaner animals. Please pre-register at the circulation desk or by calling 508-693-3366.

Tom Dresser and Jerry Muskin have written a new book, Music on Martha’s Vineyard. They will be at the library to talk about it next Thursday, December 18, at 4:30 pm. There will be live music, too, by the Long Point 5. Books will be for sale and signing for $20 a copy. The event is free and all are welcome.

Patricia Cliggott continues to open her Indian Hill Road home for the Lovingkindness Sale on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 to 4, through Christmas. Island-made gifts and art are available and part of the proceeds goes to charity.

The Winter Farmers’ Market continues at the Ag Hall every Saturday through December. Hours are 10 am to 1 pm.

Valerie Sonnenthal has a schedule of classes planned through the winter at her Peaked Hill Studio. Call or email for more information: 508-645-9692 or valerie@peakedhillstudio.com.

ACE MV has also put together their winter class list and descriptions. Look at their website: acemv.org.

Joe Sollitto called this morning to talk to Mike. I said, “He’s out bringing in wood for the stove.” We started talking about the joys of wood stoves, their warm heat, as well as the amount of work they take, reminiscing about trips to the State Forest or other sites around the Island to cut down trees, then all the splitting and stacking once those logs got home. Joe told me a story about Hollis Smith making an iconic comment, oft repeated, “You get warm twice. Cutting and splitting it, then sitting by it.” True, and nicely so. Despite the work and the mess, I am devoted to our wood stove and hope we never have to give it up.