West Tisbury: We were very lucky


Hurricane Dorian came and went with barely a notice. We had a lot of wind and rain Friday night when Mike took Nanuk out. Saturday morning was breezy, but there wasn’t even a twig down in our yard. When we took Nan for her walk, we saw a big tree down along New Lane, and there was quite a bit of surf when we walked down to the pond. I didn’t see any other damage as I drove around town over the next few days. We never lost our power, so all the gallon jugs of water we filled went into cleaning the fish tank. We were very lucky.

The Bahamas had been devastated by the storm, much of it flattened or underwater. I cannot imagine seeing our Island in such a state, and so many people and animals killed, as happened in the Bahamas. Much of the Southeast coast of the U.S. was badly damaged, too. The power of nature is sobering, and always wins over our attempts to control it.

Belated happy anniversary wishes to Manny and Sharon Estrella, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sept. 6. You have a lot to celebrate — your long and happy life together, your children and grandchildren, your many friends, your contributions and service to West Tisbury. I haven’t heard yet if the dinner party Manny planned for the family was a surprise for Sharon, but am sure it was a perfectly lovely evening. May you have many more years together.

I thought Olivia Larsen was just on vacation the past three weeks, but she had taken some time off from her post at the library for her wedding to Michael Gately. They were married on August 24 at the Sailing Camp. Instead of going away after the wedding, they decided to stay here to enjoy the end of summer on the Island. Wishing you both every happiness in your life together.

Olivia returned to the library in time for Nelia Decker’s retirement party last Tuesday. So many people came to wish Nelia well, to share stories, to bring notes and gifts for her, and for the library, in honor of her long career as children’s librarian for West Tisbury. There was a book for everyone to write or draw pictures in. There were lots of laudatory speeches. There was chocolate cake with at least an inch of delicious ganache filling. There will be another occasion to celebrate when Nelia’s gift arrives; it is a red bike rack, to be placed outside the library. Everyone will be encouraged to ride their bikes to the library, as Nelia did so many times during her 25-year tenure.

Partygoers also welcomed Alexandra Pratt, who has assumed the position of children’s librarian. Alexandra will bring a new vibe to the Children’s Room, and in another 25 years, West Tisbury parents and children will be lauding her, remembering her as the librarian of their childhood, the one who gave them just the right book, the one who taught them to love books and reading. And she will.

The first change Alexandra has made is changing the day for storytime to Wednesdays at 10:30 am from Thursdays.

Other library events this week:

Thursday, Sept. 12, 10:30 am, Little Bird Music Class for Kids with Laura Jordan.

Saturday, Sept. 14, 1 pm, Patient Centric MV will hold a community outreach meeting to discuss proposed siting of an adult-use marijuana cultivation and product-manufacturing establishment in West Tisbury. At 3 pm, the topic will be the proposed siting of a retail establishment.

Monday, Sept. 16, 10:30 am, Mother Goose on the Loose storytime. Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Class will meet at 11:30 am. At 3:30 pm, Island Climate Action Network will talk about local climate action opportunities this fall and winter, including Vineyard events around the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, and a series of events and workshops leading up to the 2020 spring annual town meeting, when climate-related articles will be on the agenda.

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council will hold an information session for potential applicants as the FY2020 grant cycle begins. All community members are encouraged to learn more about this funding opportunity for arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences.

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 10:30 am, Healthy Aging M.V. will host an Advance Care Planning Workshop. Sign up at hamv.org/advance-care-planning. Also at 10:30 am, the new day for storytime with books, puppets, movement, and song.

When you look at the back page of the Sept. 23 issue of the New Yorker, you will see a drawing by a familiar-looking hand. It is by Paul Karasik, his first drawing for the weekly Caption Contest.

Marsha Winsryg has three spaces left on her two October tours of Tuscany. Her website had the most glorious photographs and commentary. Take a look at https://aacdpafrica.org. For more information, you may email marshawinsryg@me.com. Her African Artists’ Community Development Project is the beneficiary of profits from her tours and other fundraising events.

Kara Taylor has planned a special show at her gallery with an opening this Sunday, Sept. 15, from 5 to 7 pm. “Fog/Shore” will showcase the photographs of Lara Forte.

At A Gallery, a new show will feature the paintings of Billy Hoff, Alejandro Carreno, and Jack Yuen, and a book of photographs by Ed Grazda, “On the Bowery, New York City: 1971.”

I stopped at the Howes House the other day and came home with a sheaf of papers describing a variety of events. I urge everyone to do the same, as there are lots of opportunities to learn about estate planning (Monday, Sept. 16, 1 pm), reverse mortgages (Monday, Sept. 23, at noon), and disaster preparedness (Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1 pm, with lunch served at 12:30 pm). There is a writing group that meets every Tuesday, 11:15 am to 1:15 pm, and an origami group on the fourth Wednesday of the month. On the second Tuesday, UICOA staff members travel to the Chilmark library from 2 to 3 pm in an outreach program. Call 508-693-2896 for more information, or just stop into the Howes House. There is a big calendar in the lobby that lists lots of other events you might find of interest.

I am enjoying the cooler nights, and the smell of autumn, that combination of sweetness and decay. It’s still green, and the days feel pleasurably warm, but the rhythm of the season has changed, and it feels good to pull a sweater over my shoulders as the evening progresses.