West Tisbury: I don’t know what to think anymore


It’s hard to think about what to write after the horrific shootings in El Paso and Dayton this past weekend, following a mass shooting in California the weekend before. We are so lucky to live in a place that mostly feels safe, although I suspect that no one can imagine being shot at when doing the most mundane activities in familiar places. How can we accept this as unremarkable? 

I went to the opening of Rob Hauck’s exhibition at the Edgartown library on Saturday. It was spectacular in every way. The work was all mixed media — mostly collage and painting — much of it using handmade papers. The work was beautifully presented with white mats and white frames that made it seem to float in space against white walls. In his artist’s statement, Rob gave what many of us artist friends thought was the best description of painting. It was a quote from painter Maurice Denis: “a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.” Rob called his show “Coming Apart/Falling Together.”

Lovely news from Suzanne and Rich Hammond. Their daughter, Genevieve St. Onge Hammond, is engaged to Brian Francis O’Keefe, son of Mike and Kathy O’Keefe of Danvers. Brian works for the Boston accounting firm of KPMG. Genevieve is an R.N. at Boston Medical Center. Congratulations and best wishes to you both.

The West Tisbury Congregational Church’s Peach Festival will be this Saturday, August 10, from noon to 4 pm. The tent and sign are already up on the front lawn of the church. There will be peach smoothies, peach ice cream, peach pies, and lots of other peach desserts. They will all be delicious.

At the Sunday morning church service, the Rev. Raphael Warnock will be the guest minister. He is the pastor of the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church, a friend of Pastor Baker, and a regular guest every August. His services are always well-attended, so plan to arrive early to get a seat.

The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard will meet this Saturday morning, 9:30 to 11 am, at Howes House. Michael Blake, New York State assemblyman and vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will be the guest speaker.

West Tisbury authors David McCullough, John Hough Jr., Nicole Galland, and Geraldine Brooks will be speaking at Islanders Write. It’s being held at Featherstone Center for the Arts on Sunday, August 11, and Monday, August 12. David McCullough will be interviewed by Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz on Sunday evening at 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public, but parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Monday’s events are a day of panel discussions, writing workshops, and an open mic beginning at 8 am. For a full schedule of events, look at islanderswrite.com. Islanders Write is put on by the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

The 12th annual Edgartown House Tour and Tea is Tuesday, August 13. Attendees will meet at the Federated Church Meetinghouse at 1:30 pm for a presentation by historian Mary Jane Carpenter about the historical significance of the houses on the tour. Visits to classic homes along South Water Street will follow. At the end of the afternoon, everyone will meet for tea served in the backyard of a house overlooking Edgartown Harbor and Chappaquiddick. Tickets for the tour will go on sale at 1 pm the day of the event at the Federated Church Meetinghouse, 45 South Summer St. Parking is at the Edgartown School. For more information, call the church office at 508-627-7077.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Thursday, August 8, 10:30 am, Elliott Bennett will lead a flower workshop for folks of all ages. Flowers will be provided, but feel free to bring something special to share. At 3 pm, Dena Porter will talk about the book “In a Different Voice” by Carol Gilligan.

Friday, August 9, 10 am to noon, Mac pro Paul Levy will be available to help with your Mac problems and questions. At 11 am, Laurence Pringle will speak about his newest children’s book, “The Secret Life of the Skunk.” He will be accompanied by local expert Luanne Johnson. Free lunches will be served on the porch from noon to 1 pm. Tattoo artist Charlotte Rooney will be giving henna tattoos at 3 pm. Signup is required.

Saturday, August 10, 10:30 am, Reina del Taco will be the special guest reader for Drag Queen Story Time. At 3 pm, Frye Gaillard will talk about “A Hard Rain,” his book about the 1960s, a transformative decade.

Monday, August 12, 10:30 am, is the first session of Mathea Morais’ Writing and Reading Workshop for kids ages 9 to 15. Signup is required for one day, some days, or the whole week. The class runs through Friday, August 16. Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop will meet at 11:30 am. At 3:30 pm, Nancy Sinsabaugh will lead a Financial Aid Workshop for high school seniors and their families. At 6:30 pm, free movies and popcorn for families and teens.

Tuesday, August 13, Mac pro Paul Levy will be available between 10 am and noon. At 10:30 am, Janet Burkin will give a Lantern Decorating Workshop for kids ages 8 and up. It’s just in time for Illumination Night. Signup is required. Lunch will be served from noon to 1 pm. At 3 pm, Carol Rocamora will present a program, “Women in the Theater.”

Wednesday, August 14, 4:30 pm, Jenny Allen and author Ed Levine will have a conversation about his book, “Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption.”

Well, here I have written my column about events and people on the Island this week after beginning by saying we all just go on as though these mass shootings are nothing out of the ordinary. We all watch the news and go on as though nothing had happened. All those people killed and injured for no reason other than to make some statement about what? Our children start school, and learn the protocol for how to respond if someone comes into their classroom and starts shooting at them. We have compromised our privacy rights and engaged in an endless war since 9/11 because we were attacked by foreign terrorists and 3,000-plus Americans were killed, yet we go on with our lives after these daily and weekly hate-filled tragedies by ourselves against ourselves.  

I don’t know what to think anymore.