‘Looking Back’ with Shirley Mayhew at the Chilmark library

Shirley Mayhew, author of "Looking Back: My Long Life on Martha's Vineyard." — MV Times file photo

Local author Shirley Mayhew will speak about her memoir, “Looking Back: My Long Life on Martha’s Vineyard,” at the Chilmark library on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 5 pm.

After meeting at Brown University, Shirley Mayhew came to Martha’s Vineyard as the young bride of John Mayhew in 1947. According to a press release, they enjoyed adventures with oysters, and had three children, then both became teachers.

“Johnny was a math teacher at the high school, and I taught Language Arts to grades six, seven, and eight in Edgartown,” says Ms. Mayhew. “We both retired in 1986. During those years of teaching, I was a photographer, watercolorist, and world traveler. I published a book in 1973 called ‘Seasons of a Vineyard Pond,’ and sold travel stories to magazines and newspapers.”

“For about 12 years I have been a member of a writing group in West Tisbury, and lacking the imagination for writing fiction, I turned to memoir writing. I have engagement calendars going back to 1946, photo albums of almost my entire adult life, and journals from every foreign and domestic trip I made.

“‘Looking Back’ [published last summer] includes four essays about teaching school, and four travel stories about my trips to Russia, Peru, and Kenya, but most of them are about my life in West Tisbury: 68 years of Vineyard life. Many of them are illustrated by photographs from all my family albums — some of the more recent ones were taken by my daughter Sarah, who has far surpassed me with her wonderful bird photography. The last essay is about my fear of public speaking!”

Admission to Ms. Mayhew’s author’s talk is free, and the program is sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. Call 508-645-3360 for more information.