West Tisbury: Great ponds


“The great ponds have never been higher,” according to many of our friends who live and/or walk along the south shore ponds. There are reports of flooded roads and basements, too. Sunday afternoon, my husband came home from walking Nanuk with news that an excavator was at work opening the pond at Quansoo. Chilmark Pond had been opened earlier in the week, and we heard that water rushed like a waterfall from our pond’s higher water level into Chilmark Pond. That must have been some sight. And another storm is predicted for this week.

I was so sorry to hear that Bill Merry died on Saturday. He was at Mass. General, and both his children, Dana and Lynne, had been with him through the week. My condolences to his children, to his siblings and their families, and to his many friends. There will be a graveside service at 1 pm this Saturday, March 24, at Lambert’s Cove Cemetery, followed by a celebration of Bill’s life at the Ag Hall.

Mary Rentschler, her husband John Fuller, and siblings Phoebe Cole-Smith and Peter Rentschler threw a fabulous party for their mother Sylvia Thompson’s birthday last Monday, March 12, at Long Hill. Jeremy Berlin played the piano, with his daughter singing alongside. Special surprise guests were Sylvia’s grandchildren: Albion Alley with his golden retriever puppy Olive, Sophie Cole, and John’s granddaughter, Wren Forte. Sylvia was resplendent in an embroidered jacket, gold earrings, and a big smile, definitely the grande dame presiding over her large group of admirers. Unfortunately, the party broke up early for many of the guests to get off-Island before the big snowstorm, due to begin during the night. Albion and Olive made it back to Boston in good time. Peter flew back to Florida from Logan Airport. Phoebe and Sophie drove home to Dirt Road Farm in Weston, Conn., where maple syrup season was in full work mode, presided over by Phoebe’s husband Mike Smith. A big bottle of their 2018 syrup was one of Sylvia’s birthday presents.

Mike and I shoveled out and drove over to Jay and Celine Segel’s on Tuesday morning. Jay was full of news about his latest article, just published in the February issue of Lower Extremity Review. Co-authors are Susan Sanford, physical therapist and owner of Vineyard Complementary Medicine in West Tisbury, chiropractor Lori Yarow of Toronto, Canada, and Jay’s research partner, Sally Crawford of Reliance Code of Denver, Colo. The article is about Short Limb Syndrome, and Jay said that probably 70 percent of the people reading this column have some measure of it. Although defined as having one leg shorter than the other, many people have similar functional imbalances because of trauma, neurological issues, muscular weakness, and poor posture. The article included information about computer-aided gait analysis for diagnosis, quantification, and treatment. Jay is currently working with Johns Hopkins on a new research project studying diabetic ulcerations and pressure problems that lead to limb loss.

Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden will be signing copies of “How to Read Nancy” at MoCCA Festival 2018 in Manhattan on April 7 and 8. They will also be co-hosting a panel with “all-star comics artists” Roz Chast, Patrick McDonnell, and Gary Panter. If you are going to be in the city and are interested in attending, information is at societyillustrators.org.


Closer to home, the Hob Knob Hotel in Edgartown is hosting two Women’s Weekends highlighting the creative writing process. Holly Hodder Eger, author of “Split Rock,” will lead writing groups and beach outings. Island and off-Island residents are welcome to attend. The first session is April 13 to 15. Cost is $300 plus lodging, though those of us who live here wouldn’t need to stay at the hotel. The next session will be Oct. 26 to 28. For information, call or email Diane Carr at 508-627-9510 or dianecarr@hobknob.com.

The West Tisbury School and West Tisbury Library Foundation are working together to offer free onsite child care during our annual town meeting on April 10 (and 11th, if the meeting runs over into a second night). There will be games, crafts, and nut-free snacks. Please register your child or children by calling the library, 508-693-3366, before April 1. A big thank you to Principal Donna Lowell-Bettencourt and to the Library Foundation for a great idea, and for making it easier for parents to attend town meeting.

The library will be closed until noon this Tuesday, March 27, for staff training.

Library programs this coming week include:

Friday, March 23, 10:30 am, Open Chamber Music Rehearsal.

Saturday, March 24, 4 pm, Music Street Musicians concert, “An Uncommon Blending,” featuring pianist Diane Braun, violinist Danny Koo, and guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan.

Sunday, March 25, 2 pm, Reiki Master Corinne Feinberg workshop, “The Opportunity of Chronic Illness: How Chronic Illness, Cancer, Lyme Disease Can Be an Opportunity for Self-Transformation.”

Monday, March 26, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 6 pm, Corinne deLanganvant program, “The History of Skating,” will show its connection to ballet, and some basic skills and movements.

Thursday, March 29, 5 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society concert, “Duets from Classical to Modern Jazz,” featuring violinist Joseph Christianson and cellist Andres Vera of the Quartet San Francisco.

Ginny Jones sent me an article from Britain’s National Health Service about the benefits of knitting, especially with thick yarn and large needles, shown to lower blood pressure, reduce depression, and slow dementia. I hope it’s true, as I love to knit, although I wonder about trying to knit with my cat, Nelson, who is often sitting next to me pulling on the yarn, biting it, and biting me. I always feel like my blood pressure must soar, depression increase as I see dropped stitches, yarn wound around table and chair legs, and bloody spots on me and my project. Nelson seems oblivious to it all. Or maybe he’s secretly gleeful, waiting for me to pick up my yarn and roll it back into the ball, ready to start again moving those busy needles and strands of yarn, all for his amusement.