Tisbury: 'Molly Sweeney' comes to the library


That was a rather nice February. I do enjoy these bits of spring that assure us that warmer days are coming. I hear that bright and cheerful daffodils are in bloom in a few sunny spots on-Island, and pinkletinks were heard in Chappaquonsett.

Today at 5 pm at the Chilmark library you can learn more from Anna Carringer about remarkable pieces in the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Last year the museum published “Island Stories,” highlighting 50 items in its collection. The program is free, and copies of the book will be available.

This evening at the Cornell Theatre at 7 pm, Professor Philip Weinstein begins a new Vineyard Haven library program called “Islanders Read the Classics” (IRTC). He describes “Beloved” as “the novel that takes on most imaginatively and movingly — as probably only a black writer could — the curse of American slavery: its origins in the Middle Passage, its traumatic damage in the mid-19th century, its fallout later on.”

If you didn’t know, the Middle Passage was the stage of the triangular trade when millions of Africans were shipped to the New World as part of the Atlantic slave trade. During this monthly series, a teacher with a passion for a specific book will speak at an Island library. Tonight’s talk is at the Cornell Theatre at 7 pm.

Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Shea and Rachel Cottle Shea. They are the new owners of the optometry practice formerly owned by Dr. Finkelstein. Dr. David Finkelstein now works on Tuesday and Thursday. Dr. Shea and Mrs. Shea are in the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Mrs. Shea has been working with the optician Carol Jann for the past two years. Did you know Dr. Shea is an Island native married to his high school sweetheart? They have two young boys. Our best wishes for a rapid recovery go out to Carol Jann, the optician. Carol and Pat Sylvia this year mark 34 years in this office.

Community Services is for everyone, and the programs are free. The Ripple Group is a series of six sessions starting this evening at 5:30. This is for adults (age 18-plus) trying to understand about addiction, recovery, and treatment as well as how to provide support for one another. To sign up, call Jaime Schwab at 508-693-7900, ext. 375.

Next Monday evening from 5:30 to 8:30 is a parent workshop on “Rethinking Challenging Kids” with Larry Epstein at the MVRHS library. Learn to help children with behavioral challenges, and understand that some kids lack the skill, not the will, to behave. The Think:Kids approach focuses on teaching kids the skills they need to succeed. Call 508-693-7900, ext. 400. There is also a community workshop on “Rethinking Challenging Kids,” also with Larry Epstein, on Tuesday from 1 to 5 pm at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center. Light dinner will be served. If you need assistance with childcare, call 508-693-7900, ext. 400.

Also, Community Services continues with “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren,” a week from Saturday on March 13 at the Martha’s Vineyard Family Center. More: Marney Toole, 508-693-7900, ext. 283.

The First Baptist Church invites you to a corned beef and cabbage dinner on Saturday, March 12, at 6 pm. The meal includes corn or soda bread, potatoes, carrots, dessert and beverage at the First Baptist Parish House on William Street. Enjoy supper with neighbors and listen to lively Irish music. You are also invited to bring your fiddle or fife and join in. Tickets are $12. Call 508-693-1539. Takeout is also available.

A week from Sunday, at 5:30 pm on March 13, the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library will offer “Molly Sweeney,” performed by the Newton Nomadic Theater. This modern Irish play by Brian Friel is the tale of a blind woman, her sighted husband, and her doctor. Islander Billy Meleady, both directing and acting, is joined onstage by Nomadic Theater newcomers Noni Lewis, in the title role, and Stephen Cooper. Three points of view are related by the three characters addressing the audience directly. Their stories interweave onstage, threading in and around each other’s lives, until the unexpected and touching conclusion.

A number of our whaling captains wintered over in Alaska to be first to get to San Francisco to sell their whale oil in the spring. Some of these were Hartson Bodfish, West Mitchell, James Tilton, and Francis Cottle Smith, among others. Are you a descendant of these captains? Or do you know anyone who is? I wish you would let me know.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go to Polly McDowell tomorrow. Wish the best on Sunday to Jonathon Scoggins. Monday belongs to Evan Kristal. Happy birthday on Tuesday to Michelle O’Donnell and Kasarah Bruni.

Heard on Main Street: Never test the depth of the water with both feet.