West Tisbury: Festival of Lights


It was a lovely weekend. Shirtsleeves weather. This weather has been so amazing. Every time I think I am picking the last rose of the year, another bud appears, pink and still fragrant, despite a couple of cold nights. I still haven’t gotten in the habit of remembering to bring firewood in every afternoon. We have hardly needed the wood stove.

Lots of people around for Thanksgiving weekend. Alley’s is already decorated for Christmas, with ropes of garland and colored lights twining the front porch posts, and the tree at Haynes Point looks beautiful with lots of colored lights, welcoming one and all as they enter town. The Antique Show and the Artisans Show were both wonderful, especially running into lots of folks I don’t see that often, so I have lots of news this week.

Rosalie Powell is exhibiting her hooked rugs at the West Tisbury library throughout December. She will give a demonstration on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 5, at 3 o’clock, and everyone is invited to that and the reception at the same time. If you don’t know Rosalie or haven’t seen her rugs, she is a prizewinning rug hooker, a fabulous teacher, devoted to keeping the traditional art of rug hooking alive. If you are interested in learning yourself, Rosalie has a studio, and teaches students of all levels. Call her at 508-693-1984 for information about her next class, which starts Jan. 6, 2016.

I had seen Dan Larsen when I bought fish before Thanksgiving, so asked what he, Shannon, and the girls were doing for the holiday. First they were going to Chilmark for a Larsen family dinner at the Chilmark Community Center. Then they were heading back to West Tisbury to Shannon’s grandmother, the above-mentioned Rosalie Powell. Natalie and Isabella Larsen are the loves of their great-grandmother’s life. Rosalie’s son Ted was there, too, but not Jim. He will be home for Christmas.

Ginger Norton and Doug Ruskin had 14 at their table. Doug’s sister and brother-in-law came from Palo Alto, Calif. His daughters, their husbands, and four grandchildren from Connecticut and New York were visiting the library when I met them.

Jack and Betsey Mayhew hosted the Mayhew clan for Thanksgiving dinner. Betsey made lamb, an untraditional choice, because everyone is either vegetarian or doesn’t like turkey, so lamb it was.

Olivia DeGeoffroy was home with her parents, Karen Overtoom and Louis DeGeoffroy, for the holiday.

George and Andrea Hartman spent Thanksgiving off-Island with Andrea’s daughter, Nina Gabel-Jorgensen. Her other daughter, Ellen, and family joined them for the day.

Rina Landa and her daughter Dorrie, sister and niece of Linda Vadasz, arrived for a holiday visit with Linda and Gaston, and the Ben Cabots. Everyone went to Nancy and Dan Cabot’s for Thanksgiving dinner. Then on Friday, they all came to Ben and Nicole’s to celebrate their eldest daughter, Violet’s, Nov. 30 birthday.

Happy birthday and good wishes to John Alley, West Tisbury columnist for the Vineyard Gazette. He celebrates on Dec. 3.
Santa will be at West Tisbury Fire Station 2 this Sunday from 1 to 3 o’clock.

Olivia Bent will turn 2 years old on Dec. 6. Olivia is the daughter of Tabor and Christopher Bent, granddaughter of Joanne Scott.

Back to Thanksgiving travels and guests. I had the pleasure of seeing Holly Barrio having lunch at the Plane View with her parents, Joannie and Pat, and a friend. Holly looks great, and I hope she had a good visit with everyone here.

Vicky Rezendes and Scott McArthur spent their holiday in Westport, Conn., visiting Scott’s family.

Phyllis Meras was at Cronig’s looking for sour cherries, which she says are very hard to find. Phyllis makes cherry pies for both Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, so getting the proper ingredients is critical. She sends friends off-Island to look for them, and has even traveled great distances herself. Phyllis grows sour cherries, but her crop was devastated by birds this year. If anyone knows of a reliable source for sour cherries, please let Phyllis know next time you see her.

Bob Ganz was quite proud of his Thanksgiving Day menu. He made lobster thermidor using a recipe that took a lot less time than making a turkey, so he and Anne were able to sleep in and be relaxed host and hostess when their guests arrived.

Marilyn and Warren Hollinshead enjoyed a house full of children and grandchildren.

Eleanor Neubert had dinner in her family’s farmhouse, where she grew up. Her daughter, Sara, lives there now, with her husband, Marques Rivers, and their children.

Bea Whiting had to work part of the day, while Patrick and Asa attended two family dinners. They spent the early part of the day with the Ruel family, then headed over to Lynne and Allen Whiting’s, where Bea joined everyone in time for dessert.

Hannah Beecher met her brother and sister-in-law, John and Dolly Beecher, off-Island and traveled to Bradford, Maine, where they shared Thanksgiving with Steve and Robin Bryant.

Keeping the home fires burning at the Slocum House while Hannah was away were Dan, Xiaoshi, and Sunday Hull from Somerville. With them was a friend of Sunday’s named Matt. I didn’t catch his last name. He plans to major in chemistry, and was an interesting addition to our holiday table. Xiaoshi made a delicious dinner and sent Mike and me home with turkey gobbler sandwiches for leftovers.

The West Tisbury Church Christmas Faire is this Saturday, Dec. 5, 9:30 to 2:30. Lunch begins at 11. There will be wreaths, centerpieces, tabletop trees, and arrangements designed and crafted by an able committee. Advance orders will be accepted till Dec. 2, and must be picked up by the 4th. Call 508-696-2842. The bakery table is always fabulous. Get there early. There are photographs, decorations, jewelry, vintage articles, fair-trade coffee and chocolate, jam made by the church ladies, everything for the holiday season. Don’t forget the Advent Evensong service on Wednesday evening at 5:30.

Phyllis Kugler is offering a new class at Airport Fitness. “Golden Moves for Beginners and Seniors” will focus on balance, stability, strength, and posture. The class meets Mondays at 11 am.

Linsey Lee, oral history curator at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, will present a program, “Vineyard Voices Short Films,” at the Film Center on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 4 pm. The films depict Dean K. Dennison Sr., the first African American minister on Martha’s Vineyard; Dorothy Brickman, the first Jewish girl born on the Island; Olive Tomlinson of the Shearer Summer Theater; Eric Cottle sharing his experiences growing up in Chilmark’s deaf community; and Craig Kingsbury’s stories of Prohibition on the Vineyard, complete with rumrunners, bootleggers, and illegal stills.

Hanukkah begins at sundown this Sunday evening. The first candle will be lit and the blessing sung in Jewish homes across town: “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Thy commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.”