West Tisbury: Congratulations graduates


The air is all roses, both from those intentionally planted in gardens and from the wild multiflora roses along the roadsides. Their perfume is everywhere, probably intensified by the warm sunny days we have been having. It’s not too hot, not too humid, just enough breeze. No bugs. Just perfect blue and green days.

One of the benefits of houseguests at this time of year is making us take a little time off to enjoy our Island ourselves. An old college friend, Bob Chapman, visited Mike and me from Mill Valley, Calif. I took him to walk under the Kousa dogwoods, through the fields and playpen at the Polly Hill Arboretum, along the Moshup Trail, and for an afternoon at Red Beach. All beautiful, and all outings I wouldn’t have taken on my own, being too preoccupied with “getting everything done.”

This week, Michael and Linda Dzuba are here from Philadelphia with their children, Noah and Alanna, and their service-dog-in-training, Snuggles. They aren’t staying with us, but we already have dinner and breakfast plans, and anticipate lots of spontaneous drop-ins and art outings.

Resident summer friends are appearing, too. Ellen Weiss and Mary Beth Norton are settling into homes and routines. Sally Thibodeau was at Heather Gardens last week. Allison Dougherty just arrived. She will be teaching at Featherstone this summer, and weaving her colorful rugs. I saw Richard and Elizabeth Langer this past weekend, and spoke on the phone with Brooks Robards.

Best of all was seeing Jane Farrow at Blue Cullen’s annual tea party. Jane came last year, too, and had such a good time that she promised to be here again this June. Coincidentally, Jane’s friend, Anne Billings, was on the Island, so Blue invited her and we all got to meet her. Blue’s cat, Evinrude, greeted us with a flick of her tail. Tables were set on the patio with pretty tablecloths, teacups, and dessert plates, and gorgeous bouquets of flowers from Blue’s garden. Everything was perfect, the day, the food (especially Ralinda Lurie’s chocolate cupcakes), and the company of all attending, a combination of old and new friends. Newest was Charlotte Goeckel, age 2, dressed in her floweriest dress and tea party hat, who came with her mother, Jennifer Reekie, and grandmother Chele. Thank you, Blue, for a very special day.

On Sunday afternoon, Sue Hruby and I attended the RISE Vineyard Performing Arts dance recital. Our friend Joanne Scott’s granddaughter, Bianca Stafford, age 3, was dancing. It was fantastic. Lots of other dancer’s names we recognized from town. The young dancers were adorable, and the older ones so professional. I am always amazed at how talented kids seem these days. They were really good.

Friday evening, the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center welcomed home Galya Walt and Giulia Fleishman, who spoke about their experiences living in Jerusalem this past year. Both were students and volunteered time working with children and the elderly. They traveled too, made friends, learned languages, experienced living in a Jewish cultural environment. Galya is the daughter of Rabbis Caryn Broitman and Brian Walt. Giulia’s parents are Martha Fleishman and the late Jay Fleishman.

As soon as I finish writing this column, I plan to take Talley for a walk on the bike path across from the West Tisbury School to explore the galaxy. Fifth grade art and science students have constructed a scale model of our solar system, the planets painted and labeled with the distance from the sun in miles. Everyone is invited to walk or bike the 0.4 miles to Neptune.

Allen and Lynne Whiting are opening the Davis House Gallery for the summer this Sunday, June 26, from 4 to 6. If you miss the opening, gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 1 to 6. The Whitings have just returned from an opening at the Concord Center for Cultural Arts, where Allen is participating in a group show, “Responding to Place,” that runs through August 13. Kib Bramhall and Ken Vincent also have paintings in the show. So does Wolf Kahn, a longtime friend and plein air painting partner of Allen’s, so the two had a pleasant visit together.

This weekend is the Howes House Annual Art Show and Sale of watercolors by the Friday Morning Painting Group: Nancy Cabot, Susan Silva, Susan Boass, Ellie Bates, Nancy Holt, Sally Flood, Grace Barile, Jeri Larson, Angela Edgerton, Maryann Doleszar, and Susan Tonry. Hours are Friday, June 24, noon to 4, and Saturday, 9 to 2.

Nancy Shaw Cramer is hosting a showcase of her textiles and jewelry at her home, 38 Look’s Pond Road (off Music Street) this Saturday, June 25, from 11 to 3. All are invited to see and enjoy the art and crafts and beautiful garden.

Paddy Moore is looking for volunteers for Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard work groups. Last winter’s survey gave them four areas to focus their efforts on: challenges in health and mental health, aging in the community, caregiver support, and transportation. If you are interested, please email healthyagingmv@gmail.com.

“Stan Murphy Paintings and Drawings: A Retrospective” opens at Featherstone this Saturday, June 25, with a slide show and talk by the artist’s son, David Murphy. The guest curator of the exhibition is Nancy Kingsley. The show remains on view in the Virginia Besse Gallery through July 14.

Also on Saturday, Rolf Diamant and Nora Mitchell will talk about their new book, “A Thinking Person’s Guide to America’s National Parks,” at the library at 4 o’clock.

Sunday, June 26, 5 o’clock at the library, “An Evening of Original Poetry and Music” with Tony Kendrew, Nick Branch, and Al Schackman.

Martha’s Vineyard Community of Mindfulness will meet at the library every Tuesday, 6:30 to 7:30. Bring a cushion.

“Geoffrey Cowan: A Conversation With Tweed Roosevelt” on Tuesday, June 28, 7 o’clock, has been moved from the Ag Hall to the West Tisbury library. Mr. Cowan will speak about his new book, “Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary.” A conversation with Theodore Roosevelt’s great-grandson will follow. What an interesting topic, especially in light of the primary season we have just been through. The program, sponsored by the WT Library Foundation, is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale.

Vineyard Conservation Society will hold its annual meeting at the library Wednesday, June 29, 5 to 7. The business portion of the meeting will be followed by a presentation of Island photography by Neal Rantoul. His work focuses on the continually changing Island landscape due to the unpredictable power of nature and the pace of development and human impacts.

Vikki Segal and Dan Howard were married on Saturday, May 28, at Stonehurst Manor in North Conway, N.H. They will be living on the Vineyard after their honeymoon trip to Venice, Italy, and cruise through the Greek islands. Rachel Cassiani was the maid of honor. The wedding was attended by lots of Vineyard friends. Jay and Celine Segal and Michelle McCrumb and Peter Wasner, the bride’s family, made the trip over Memorial Day weekend. The groom’s parents and sister, Chris and Laurie Howard and Lisa Howard, also attended. Jay said they had a gorgeous day with mountain scenery, lots of music, dancing, a strawberry shortcake wedding cake, and all the happiness a wedding day could have.

Congratulations to all the West Tisbury School eighth graders who graduated last Thursday evening.

A big black Lab appeared in our yard Sunday morning, causing much barking and disturbance between him and Talley and Nanuk. When he finally left (I tried to get him on a leash, which sent him running off into the woods), I heard a familiar yowling somewhere in the yard. Finally looking up, I discovered Nelson perched on a high tree limb. Mike was at the firehouse for radio check, so I went across the road to get him home to help get Nelson out of the tree. The ladder went up, ratcheting higher and higher, then leaned against the limb. Mike began to ascend. Nelson was so horrified by the commotion that he came out of that tree like a shot. Crisis averted, and a good laugh besides.