West Tisbury: daylily season


It’s daylily season, the midsummer weeks when daylilies are at their height of bloom and ubiquity. I think all of us growing up in New England had a patch of orange “tiger lilies” growing at the ends of our driveways and along stone walls and roadsides. They bloomed and spread with impunity then. I don’t remember deer decapitating them the way they do now. They were always there.

When I lived in Edgartown in the early 1980s, Trudy Goff had a lovely display of orange daylilies and purple adenophera in front of her fence on the corner of Davis Lane and School Street. I have tried to duplicate it in my own yard, as I adore that combination of colors and plant shapes, the delicate spikes of adenophora interspersed with the hearty daylilies. Despite what gardeners say about the invasive nature of adenophora, mine has made only a tepid showing after several years. Still, I soldier on. The images of Trudy’s display and the spectacular one currently across the front of Vineyard Gardens in North Tisbury are too hard to resist.

I saw Nicole Alley walking along Music Street the other day, pushing a twin-size carriage containing her twin boys, Mark and Eddie. She and her husband, Arsen Hambardzumian, the twins, and their older boys, Henry and Robbie, have all been staying with John and Anna.

Good timing for a visit, as John has been ill and needed help filling in for him at the Post Office at Alley’s Store. Anna and Nicole helped out, as well as Charlie Kernick, Lynn Christoffers, and other friends. Wishing you a quick recovery, John, and a return to your post.

Sheila Fane sent me an announcement of the marriage of Thomas M. Fane and Lauren A. Durgin.

West Tisbury author Geraldine Brooks will lead off the Martha’s Vineyard Author Series beginning next Thursday, July 21, at the Chilmark Community Center. She will speak at 7:30 pm about her latest book, “The Secret Chord.” For tickets and information, check out mvbookfestival.com/authorseries.

Jeanne Staples, Scott Terry, and Bob Avakian will be the featured artists at the Granary Gallery’s opening this Sunday, July 17, 5 to 7 pm.

Paul Karasik will teach a Graphic Novel Workshop on Martha’s Vineyard this August 26 through Sept. 2. Contact him at paulkarasik6@gmail.com if you are interested.

Marsha Winsryg and friends have planned a wonderful series of puppet shows at the Grange Hall throughout the summer. The upcoming show is this Monday, July 18, at 11 am. The program includes “Limbo Dance Party” with wild calypso-dancing puppets, and “The Adventures of Sasha,” about a young girl who learns about fun and friendship from her grandmother, a skunk, and a bird. Tickets are $5.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will host its annual Blueberry Festival this Saturday, July 16, from noon to 4 pm. Lots of blueberry treats will be served. Smoothies, sundaes, pies, and the newest offering, blueberry peach pie.

Did I loan my Elizabeth Peyton book to anyone reading this column? I rearranged the bookcase in my studio last week, and couldn’t find that book anywhere. If you have it, please bring it back, or at least let me know where it is.

At the library this week, the following:

Thursday, July 14: Teen Writing Workshop with Mathea Morais, 10:30 to noon Thursday and Friday. A book talk at 5 pm by Holly Eger, speaking about her latest book, “Split Rock.”

Friday, July 15: A book talk at 7 pm by Peter Kramer. His latest book is “Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants.”

Sunday, July 17: Troubadours and Troubairitz VII: Poems, Songs, and Music from 12th and 13th Century Southern France, at 3 pm.

Two movies at 6:30 on Monday evening, July 18: “Minions” for families, and “Jurassic World” for teens.

Tuesday, July 19: A Tween/Teen Cooking Class begins at 5. Chef Sarah Waldman will teach you how to make smoothies. Over the next four weeks, you will learn to make ramen noodles, frozen treats, and energy balls. Mindfulness Meditation begins at 6:30 pm, and Writers Read begins at 7 pm.

Wednesday, July 20: Mariah MacGregor begins a four-week art class for tweens and teens. It will meet Wednesdays at 4 pm. At 7 pm, learn about Hal Garneau’s collection of antique stereoscope views, “Cottage City Through the Stereoscope.” Hal has been collecting these views of Martha’s Vineyard for more than 35 years.

Thursday, July 21, Preschool Storytime begins at 10:30 am. There will be two special guests, Elephant and Piggie, stars of Mo Willems’ stories. Roberta Kirn will teach some new songs from her travels and lead the singing at a Song Exchange at 5 pm.

As I wrote last week, Mike’s cousin, Hannah Beecher, had family galore visiting her at the Slocum House. It was such a wonderful time for all of us. The meals were huge, mostly cooked and eaten outside at long picnic tables under tents in the side yard. Besides Hannah’s brother and sister-in-law, her two sons with their families, and cousin Dan Hull with his family, a changing collection of resident family and friends appeared with food and drink and more bodies to add to the chaos.

It reminded me of stories I had heard over the years about the family summers on the Vineyard. Mike’s grandparents were in the Slocum House then. There were worn paths through the woods between everyone’s houses. His aunt and uncle lived down the street in the former Susie Scott house, across from the fire house. His parents built their house in the meadow around 1960. The kids all played together, went to the beach, were pretty free to do what they wanted to in those days. In the evenings, the adults would wander between one house or the other, carrying drinks and snacks, to visit and talk the night away. Neighbors joined in, too. Everyone knew everyone. Whitings. Scannells. Smiths.

I can picture it all in my mind. Everyone tanned and laughing, fireflies and cigarettes twinkling in the darkness. So different from my childhood. Last week gave me an opportunity to have a bit of what I missed growing up. It felt like the perfect summer evening to make my drink and carry it up to join the crowd. It was a taste of summers past, my peek into the fantasy of my husband’s childhood. It was magical.