West Tisbury: Driving with Ms. Kirchmeier


Ruth Kirchmeier and I drove to the Vineyard Playhouse on Saturday evening to the opening of Marie-Louise Rouff’s exhibition there. The trip allowed us time to talk about everything from art we are working on to the change of season, the early darkness and lowering light of fall. Ruth mentioned a small table that Nelson had made for her, so she can sit in a chair by their dining room windows to look out at the birds. Ruth said that her favorite time of day is sitting with her coffee (hence the need for the table) every morning watching the birds coming to the feeder that hangs just outside their window.

The story was so beautiful to me. I realize another gift of Ruth’s friendship is that we both appreciate the moments of our daily lives. We, all of us, are lucky to live on our Island, to be close to nature, to follow the seasons, to observe moments and be grateful for what we see. We are lucky, too, that is a shared value of many who live here.

Marie-Louise’s opening was filled with artists and appreciators of her work, a collection of acrylic paintings on wood or on paper, and four large monotypes. The theater lobby where art exhibitions are held isn’t a large space, but it is bright and has wall space on two long expanses. Work is easily viewed and well-presented. Nice always to have another place to see art, especially in the off-season.

Halloween decorations are making their appearance around town. I have noticed the varieties of pumpkins from pink to creamy white, all shades of green and blue-green, yellow, and orange. Different shapes and sizes, too. I’m waiting for the Charter School scarecrows to appear. At aptly named Ghost Island Farm, Rusty Gordon has outdone himself with his decorations this year. Every time I go, there seems to be something new added to his display.

There are two Halloween parties planned, both with hayrides, games, treats, and everyone in costumes. The West Tisbury library party is Halloween afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. Then head to the Ag Hall for Parks and Rec’s party, from 6 to 8 pm.

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard is looking ahead to their winter fundraiser, Handmade From the Heart, this year on Dec. 8. All artisans, artists, knitters, bakers, quilters, jewelers, potters, ornament makers, anyone who makes unique handmade crafts and foods, are invited to donate something special to help fund Hospice’s care of patients and families on the island. Please call 508-693-0189 to donate.

Bob Doane turned 90 this past week, surrounded by members of his family and lots of friends, many of whom traveled from off-Island to celebrate with him. Happy birthday wishes, Bob.

Polly Hill Arboretum held its first Guided Winter Walk of the season last Saturday. The next one will be Saturday, Nov. 17, at 10 am. Horticulturist and arborist Ian Jochems will lead the tour.

Paul Karasik wrote a piece in the New Yorker about a mural painted by cartoonist Charles Addams. It was a scene of the characters that became familiar as the Addams Family enjoying an outing at the beach, their appearance and activities disconcerting to all observers. The mural has just been restored and installed in the library at Penn State.

The Chilmark Women’s Symposium XLII is this Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 am to noon, at the Chilmark Community Center. The topic is “If Not Now, When?”

Isla McMahon took her first trip off-Island last week. She and her parents, Siren Mayhew and Sean McMahon, spent several days visiting Sean’s family in Longmeadow, and beyond. They returned in time for Siren to perform at Ladyfest. Siren’s cousin, Lucy Mayhew, was also on the program, along with many stellar Island women musicians.

I am often amazed by the young people on our Island. They seem to be so much more knowledgeable and worldly than I remember being as a teenager. Thoughtful, creative, talented, involved. During the Shabbat service at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center this past Friday evening, Violet Cabot spoke about a trip she took at the end of the summer to work at a camp for refugee children in Seattle.

Coincidentally, it was National Refugee Day, and the Torah portion the next day was about Abraham and Sarah leaving their home and migrating to Canaan. Immigrants and refugees have been much in our current news lately, too. Violet wove all these threads together into an interesting and timely presentation. She is the daughter of Ben and Nicole Cabot, granddaughter of Dan and Nancy Cabot and Gaston and Linda Vadasz, all of West Tisbury.

At the library this coming week:

Saturday, Oct. 27, the monthly Lego Club meeting at 2 pm.

Sunday, Oct. 28, 4 pm, “He and She: Their Lips Are Not Sealed,” the Music Street Musicians Fall Concert. Pianist Diane Katzenberg Braun will perform with Boston Opera stars Bethany Worrell, soprano, and Vincent Turregano, baritone.

Monday, Oct. 29, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Class. At 6:30 pm, Teen Open Mic Night for ages 10 to 18. All are welcome.

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard. At 7 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Youth will host a scholarship information session for high school students and their parents.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, is Halloween, a big holiday and a big party at the library. Come in costume between 3:30 and 5:30 pm for hayrides, treats, crafts, and fun.

These cool days and nights have been lovely. It’s been windy, but not unpleasant. Good weather for working outside in the garden, for airing out the house and winter clothes and blankets that have been stored away. Time to put summer clothes away and find wool sweaters and winter coats.

A caveat about the cooler weather. We have been finding ticks, especially on the cats, so don’t forget to check your animals and yourselves after being outside.

Another animal-related warning: If you put rat poison out, please don’t be tempted to try the new neurotoxins. There is no antidote if your pet should eat that kind of poison. Stick with the old-fashioned blood thinners, still toxic but treatable by your vet. If it happens, get your animal to your vet immediately, and bring the poison container if you can.

Have a good week, and enjoy the World Series games. Go Sox!