Chilmark: A friend long remembered

Frank Fenner puts the finishing touches on the school bus shelter he built at the request of his granddaughter on the corner of Middle and Tabor House roads. —Valerie Sonnenthal

I can’t recall who told me to contact Jimmy Morgan and interview him about his paintings, model wooden ships, and relief scenes, but I loved being welcomed into the Flanders Lane home of Jimmy and getting to meet his wife Roberta, and see all her Raggedy Ann and Andy sewing projects, girl’s dresses, aprons, and more. I spent nearly three hours hanging out, and met their oldest son when he stopped in for lunch. I’ve been visiting Jimmy in his car for a number of years, just hopping in beside him if Roberta was shopping. He always had a story to share and interesting book he was reading. Jimmy was kind, always welcoming, and part of a dying breed of commercial draggermen and swordfishermen. My heart goes out to his loving wife Roberta, their children, and extended family.

Last Sunday my friend Miriam, visiting from the Bay area, and I took our homemade lunch down to Menemsha. Flags outside Harbor Crafts and the Texaco station were flying at half-staff for Jimmy Morgan. When I stopped for gas, I was surprised to find both Katie and Marshall Carroll working, however they were having an especially busy Sunday. Katie and I exchanged brief Jimmy recollections, and she hoped to make the potluck. I needed rest, ice, and raising my foot for the afternoon, having broken a toe and sprained the one next to it. I’m sure there were many wonderful stories shared.

Much gratitude to Frank Fenner for heeding his granddaughter’s request for a school bus shelter at the corner of Middle and Tabor House Road. He built it, got permission to install the freestanding structure, and spent last Sunday morning setting it into its new site. There will be nine happy school-age kids sheltering from the elements, besides making it unnecessary for all parents to hang out in their cars in inclement weather.

A celebration of the life of longtime Chilmark resident Barbara Rivers will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury. The service starts at 11 am, with a luncheon and shared memories to follow.

Sunday we savored breakfast at the Aquinnah Shop on their last morning open. We saw other friends who had the same idea. Later we stopped by the Chilmark Store, only to learn it had closed for the season on Saturday. I hope everyone who made it enjoyed their free pizza farewell. And since Columbus Day is Monday, Oct. 8, it’s time to enjoy the last days of most local fare: Chilmark Tavern is open from Thursday, 5:30 pm for dinner; the Home Port’s last day is Friday, Oct. 5; the Beach Plum Inn serves breakfast daily from 8 to 10:30 am through Oct. 20; Larsen’s Fish Market is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm, and Menemsha Fish Market is open daily from 9 am to sundown; Menemsha Market is still open daily through the weekend; the Galley is open daily from 11 am to 3 pm through Oct. 8; and the Menemsha Deli plans to be until November. Their hours are 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Mondays to Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, and closed on Sundays.

Candy Schweder’s Up-Island Pottery sale is Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9 am to noon at 4 Fulling Mill Hill, off Middle Road. Enjoy demonstrations, refreshments, and wonderful deals.

I have wanted to get fried chicken takeout from the Larder in Tisbury all summer, but always missed being there at the right time until last weekend. Jefferson Munroe batch-fries your organic chicken, and we got a bucket with enough for three people, and took three different dipping sauces; a honey-mustard, a Korean BBQ, and another spicy sauce. We all agreed it was the best fried chicken we could remember!

Did anyone notice the new stop sign on the road from Squibby? A piece of history, or perhaps one too many stickers made it the end of the road for what should likely remain a social historic art piece, just a sign of the times.

Congratulations to Thomas Bena, who’s launching an interactive website for “One Big Home,” check it out and share with your friends,

Pizza nights at Chilmark Church continue Tuesday nights from 6 to 7 pm until close to Thanksgiving. Enjoy a social gathering of all ages for free food and fellowship.

Head to Menemsha Hills for the Trustees’ annual Mushroom Walk, led by Wesley Price, founder of the Cape Cod Mycological Society, from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, Oct. 6. Sign up at

Stop by Chilmark artist Heather Sommers’ “Re-Frames” exhibit opening on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 3:30 to 5 pm at the West Tisbury library; the show is up for the month of October.

It’s the final weekend to stop by Kara Taylor’s Art Gallery, open Thursday to Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm, before she heads back to Cape Town, South Africa, for her solo exhibition “Everything I Felt and Heard” at Eclectica Contemporary gallery.

The Peaked Hill Pastures proposals committee will present its work at a public forum on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 pm at Chilmark Town Hall; all are welcome.

Chilmark library hosts the first Friendship Day between Chilmark, England, and Chilmark, Mass., on Friday, Oct. 5, at noon when we welcome Mike Scott, deputy editor and treasurer of the Chilmark Village Voice, and his wife Jo. Please come and share stories, bring photos or other historical documents to share, and welcome our Chilmark visitors from across the sea. The Chilmark Library Wednesdays at 5 pm continues on Oct. 10, come hear naturalist Liz Dengenis, the education assistant at Felix Neck, who leads the osprey and horseshoe crab citizen science program, speaking about the various citizen science projects at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and ways you can get involved in our Island’s wildlife conservation efforts. This presentation from Felix Neck focuses on assessing the populations of: amphibians, odonates (dragonflies and damselflies), breeding birds, including osprey, and spawning horseshoe crabs. Artist Martha Oakes’ new paintings are up through Oct. 5. The Coffee Klatsch Knitting (bring your own supplies and projects) and Chess Meet-Up happen Thursdays from noon to 3 pm. Come enjoy free coffee, just be sure to bring your own mug for a cozy, laid-back, and communal hangout up-Island. Stories with Rizwan continue Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. Learn more at or 508-645-3360.

Native Earth Teaching Farm hosts Lunch at the Farm on Wednesdays at noon. Bring your lunch, then take a stroll around the farm. Preschoolers encouraged but not required. It’s at 94 North Road.

Have a great week.