It’s the last weekend in November. Thanksgiving has come and gone. Now we rush forward towards “the holidays,” Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, with parties, presents, guests, travel. Year-round businesses and special seasonal gift shops and sales are all decorated and waiting for us.
The Artisans Fair at the Ag Hall this weekend was the place to meet everyone. I got most of the news for this column from friends I ran into.
Most interesting was Joy Robinson-Lynch’s story. She and Ned had planned to go out to Oakland, Calif., to spend Thanksgiving with their daughter, Elana, and her family. They were forced to cancel their plans because of the fires and resulting air quality. Everything has been impacted by these terrible fires, conditions so bad that their travel expenses were all refunded without comment. Ned and Joy made the best of staying home by sharing a Thanksgiving lobster dinner in front of a cozy fire in their living room.
Tim and Eileen Maley attended Richard Knabel’s and Jim Osmundsen’s famous Thanksgiving dinner. Jim’s mother, Anne, was there, along with Woolcott and Leah Smith, Bob and Maggie Schwartz, Lee Revere, and Joanie Ames.
Cynthia Riggs has had a special guest staying with her at the Cleaveland House, her granddaughter, Masha Stoertz. Masha is on break from Duke University. Cynthia, Masha, and the rest of the Riggs, Fielder, Jones, and Montrowl relatives shared Thanksgiving dinner at David and Libby Fielder’s home.
Heidi and Greg Pacheco hosted dinner for Sharon and Manny Estrella III, Manny IV and Jessica Estrella, and their children, Alley and Morgan. Heidi and Greg’s eldest daughter, Amanda, was home from Anna Maria College. Her sister, Andrea, is a student at the Regional High School.
Hunter Moorman and Leslie Gray spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home, sharing dinner with another couple.
Diana Waring, Rob Myers, and their daughter, Hazel Myers, shared a family dinner with Lewis Waring, all gathered at Pat Waring’s house.
Caroline Drogin was visiting old co-workers and friends at the West Tisbury library last Sunday. She is living in Washington, D.C., now.
Linda Alley and 13 other Island craftspeople and makers of specialty foods have opened Island Made Holidays at Alley’s Farm Stand, behind Alley’s General Store. Hours are 10 am to 6 pm every day through Christmas Eve.
Ghost Island Farm Stand will remain open every day until Christmas, then they will open on weekends though the winter. Besides produce, meat, and bread, they have some amazing food gifts — jams, olive oil, spices — and aprons in French prints.
Same for Grey Barn, open every day selling delicious cheeses and some beautiful cheese knives and boards, canvas bags, eggs, milk, meat, and some surprises, too.
Ginny Jones sent me a list of up-Island businesses that will be open for holiday shopping. Her own store is Foc’s’le Locker in Menemsha. Ginny sells lots of island and island-related books: old, rare, used, out of print, maritime, cookbooks, mysteries, fiber arts, books by Island authors, and books for kids. She also stocks cards, vintage sweaters, buttons, quilts and quilted ornaments.
Also up-Island are Allen Farm, Mermaid Farm, Chilmark Chocolates, Chilmark Chandlery, Copperworks, Stanley Larsen’s fish market, 7A, Fella’s, Conroy’s, Cronig’s, Vineyard Gardens, Middletown Nursery, the Granary, Glassworks, and of course Alley’s General Store. Hope I didn’t forget anyone.
Then there is the annual Christmas Faire at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury this Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. There will be wreaths and centerpieces, tabletop trees, jewelry, gifts, the best-baked goods. Hard to imagine it without Marian Irving behind the bakery table. Hallie Mentzel tells me that Marian is happy in her new off-Island home, but misses her friends here. We all miss you, too.
I just learned that Carol Craven died last Tuesday. She was a star of the arts here when she ran her Carol Craven Gallery. I remember seeing a Fairfield Porter drawing there. He is my favorite artist, and it was a thrill to hold that drawing in my hands, to carefully examine the pencil lines that described a landscape outside his Southampton, N.Y., home. Those lines were drawn by Porter’s own hand. It was a thrill I have never forgotten. I will miss you, Carol, your artistic sensibility, your throaty laugh, your affection for my Talley, your strength these past years.
Martha’s Vineyard NAACP will hold its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 am to 3 pm, at the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging. And beginning this Sunday, the Chilmark Community Church will host the first of three free concerts called Offerings of Music and Light. Programs start at 5 pm on Dec. 2, 9, and 16.
The Neighborhood Convention meeting for December will be held on Tuesday the 4th, 11 am, at United Methodist Church at the Campground in Oak Bluffs. A performance by the Minnesingers will be the highlight of the meeting. Bring your sack lunch for afterward.
Contact Holly Bellebuono if you plan to attend the Healthy Aging annual community meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 9 am to noon, at YMCA Alex’s Place. Bill Novelle, co-chair of Coalition Transform Advanced Care and former director of AARP, will be the featured speaker. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-693-7900, ext. 455.
Maria Moody called to reminisce with me about Harriet Drusilla Hickie, who died recently. She was a West Tisbury native, the daughter of Farmer Green. His vegetable stand remains today in North Tisbury. Mrs. Moody said she remembers Mrs. Hickie as a child telling stories about how much she hated being sent out to the fields to pull weeds.
Happy Birthday good wishes to my Gazette counterpart, West Tisbury columnist John Alley. He will celebrate on Dec. 3.
Friends of the West Tisbury Library work all year collecting and sorting books for the annual Book Sale at their sheds outside the West Tisbury School. Small book donations can be dropped off anytime at the shed. For multiple bags or boxes, please bring them to the sheds when staff is there, usually between 2 and 4 pm, Monday through Friday afternoons when the weather permits. If you have a large donation, please make an appointment with a volunteer by calling the library, 508-693-3366. They ask that books not be dropped off outside the library when it is closed. Dates for the 2019 book sale are July 26 to 29.
The library will be closed Friday morning, Nov. 30, till 12:30 pm for staff training. This week’s events:
Saturday, Dec. 1, 3 pm, there will be a screening of “One Big House,” with a discussion afterward by Chilmarkers who worked on the big house bylaw.
Monday, Dec. 3, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class. At 4:30, a book talk about “Joyce’s Way,” by Susan Klein and Alan Brigish.
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 3:30 pm, an afterschool activity with Hugh Phear. Participants will make a Chain Reaction and build a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption. Kids over 8 years old, please.
Congratulations to our library for being awarded five stars by the Library Journal. From the staff, “A big thank you to all our trusty patrons for your ongoing support and to the CLAMS family of libraries for contributing to the ongoing success of our library. You are the reason we have so many stars.”
Save the date for the Town Holiday Party. It will be Dec. 14 at the Ag Hall.