West Tisbury: The comfort of cat love

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Nelson is sleeping peacefully on my chest. I had planned to attend a couple of events over the weekend that would have given me plenty of social interaction and news-for-the-column possibilities, but ended up home with a two-day migraine that has left me still weak and happy for the comfort of some cat love, despite having to reach an extra eight or ten inches over him to reach my laptop’s keyboard.

I had planned to write about libraries, ours, and the concept of free public libraries, after reading an article in the New York Times a week or so ago. It was followed by letters to the editor, laudatory letters and personal accolades regarding the value of the public library in each of the writers’ lives. Most people find their libraries invaluable, as a public resource, and as a place that brings communities together. To me, the public library has always represented the best of us, an institution that relies on the honesty and civic respect of our fellow citizens. It is available for everyone to borrow materials from, with the assumption that they will be carefully used, then returned for others to use. Everyone is welcome to participate.

One of the things I meant to do this weekend was attend a celebration of the life of Ben Moore. My strongest memories of Ben tie in with our library, to continue the theme. He designed the building we moved into when the old Music Street library became too small. He tried his best to design a practical addition to its beloved mansard-roofed structure, but eventually a new location designed specifically to be a library was decided upon. Ben’s building felt so spacious when we moved into it in 1993. By the time it, too, became too small, we all felt a nostalgia for the building that had become so familiar and comfortable, and it became a requirement for the new architects to respect and maintain the integrity of Ben’s design. Ben remained a supporter and regular patron; it was often the place we ran into each other, and it remains the place I remember him fondly whenever I am there.

Heidi Dietterich, the new Community Preservation Committee administrative assistant, called this morning asking that I remind everyone that this Friday, Sept. 28, at 4:30 pm, is the deadline for eligibility applications for CPA projects for fiscal year 2019. You may go to the CPA tab on the town website, westtisbury-ma.gov, to find information and downloadable application forms. Or stop in at Town Hall.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of Scott’s Grove, the latest affordable apartments in West Tisbury. All are welcome to attend this Thursday afternoon at 4 pm. Scott’s Grove is located off the Edgartown–West Tisbury Road, next to the ball field and Fire Station 1.

Tanya Larsen called this morning with news that the Up-Island Council on Aging has hired a new administrative clerk and receptionist, Diana Braillard, who will assume her post on Oct. 1. Ms. Braillard is an island native who grew up in Vineyard Haven. She worked at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital before taking this job.

Tanya also mentioned that we are all welcome to stop by the UICOA to have our new Medicare cards laminated. Seniors have recently been issued cards with new Medicare ID numbers to replace the old cards that used our Social Security numbers for identification. Joyce Bowker had laminated the old cards when each of us applied for Medicare. It was nice to have them preserved in that way.

The Island CROP Hunger Walk is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14. Teams will meet at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven, walk to Trinity Church in Oak Bluffs, and return to St. Augustine’s. Plan to walk yourself, to form a team, or to contribute to the cause by supporting a walker you know.

The October Neighborhood Convention meeting will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 11 am, at First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven. Margaret Hanneman, the new director of the Island Food Pantry will be the speaker. All are invited to bring lunch and attend.

A reminder to everyone to make sure you are registered to vote in this November’s election. Check with town clerk Tara Whiting at Town Hall, or call 508-696-0148.

By the time this column comes out, you will have missed the first meeting of “Islanders Read the Classics” on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The group will continue to meet on Wednesdays through Dec. 12 at the Katharine Cornell Theater at 7 pm. Philip Weinstein, the Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English Emeritus at Swarthmore College, will lead the group reading works of Marcel Proust. Look into it if you are interested.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Thursday, Sept. 27, 4 pm, there will be a Cuban Dance Presentation and Class led by Christina Montoya. Participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes to dance in. At 6 pm, there will be an information session with members of the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council, who will answer questions and give instructions to anyone with a proposal for a 2019 grant award.

Saturday, Sept. 29, 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, materials to make pinecone fairies will be set up in the Children’s Room for drop-in family crafters.

Monday, Oct. 1, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s balance class will meet.

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 10:30 am, beginners and advanced dancers are invited to an Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard. No sign-up is required. The class will continue through the fall.

I stopped by Joanne Scott’s this afternoon after I finished writing this column. As I was leaving, she came running out to my car with her cell phone to show me the announcement from the West Tisbury Police Department that Dan Gouldrup had died earlier today. We were both shocked. Dan was so much a part of our town, as are all the officers, someone who was “always there,” waving as I drove by him at the fire house or the Farmers Market. He was often on duty at the airport, and always a part of fire department/police department dinners, training, parties. He was often at Cronig’s or the Post Office, often available for a chat. He often brought Nanuk home when she was younger and more curious, and the police station was still down the road. He was a part of Mike’s and my life. And that was in a peripheral way, nothing like the way he was there for his family and close friends. My most sincere condolences. A celebration of Dan’s life will be held at the Grange Hall this Saturday afternoon from 2 to 6. So many people will miss him.