West Tisbury: It’s always a thrill to see Santa arrive


Santa Claus is coming to West Tisbury this Sunday afternoon. Every year, the West Tisbury Fire Department invites Santa to visit our town, to meet the children, to listen to their requests, to make his list. Santa is taking a break from toymaking at the North Pole to visit the West Tisbury Public Safety Building between 1 and 3 pm.

It’s always a thrill to see Santa arrive, waving and smiling as he approaches the station. I will admit to missing the days when he came to our station on the Edgartown Road. Seeing the fire truck cresting the rise in the road toward our crowd of waiting adults and children always felt so exciting, the anticipation being a big part of the whole experience. It remains much the same, I suppose, seeing the truck turn into the long driveway at Station II, and I should learn to think about it that way. Whatever, I love seeing Santa, and am thankful that he comes every year. See you Sunday at Station II.

The holiday season is already proceeding apace. The library’s party will be Monday, Dec. 9, from 4:30 to 6:30. The Town Party will be Friday, Dec. 13, 6 to 8 pm. Katherine Long’s Winter Solstice Potluck will be Sunday, Dec. 15, from noon to 9 pm. Wednesday evening Advent Evensong services have begun at the West Tisbury Church. They are held at 5:30 pm through Dec. 18.

Libby Fielder has begun planning this year’s Christmas Eve pageant. She is inviting all Island children who might be interested in participating to send her an email at fccowt.pageant@gmail.com. Children between the ages of 5 (by Sept. 15) and 12 are all welcome. You don’t have to belong to the West Tisbury Church, or any church or religion. There will be four rehearsals, about an hour each, between Dec. 16 and 23. The deadline to register is Dec. 13.

The annual Church Faire will be Saturday, Dec. 14, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. There will be wreaths and table decorations made and decorated by church members, gifts, baked goods, and raffle tickets for a Christmas Basket. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am. 

In preparation for the event, the Faire Committee is looking for volunteers to help cut and gather greenery, then to make the wreaths and arrangements for sale. If interested, call Dinny Montrowl at 508-696-4917 or send her an email at dionism9@gmail.com. If you have collectibles, children’s books, or jewelry to donate, please call Vicky Bartels at 508-645-2296.

Linda Alley and her fellow craftspeople, artists, writers, and special food creators have opened their shop behind Alley’s Store. It will be open every day until Christmas Eve, and is always stocked with interesting handmade gift possibilities. Treats for yourself, too.

Here I’ve written all about Christmas preparations and not a word about Thanksgiving, which we all just celebrated. 

I had run into Tad and Judy Crawford at Conroy’s. They were on their way home from volunteer- ing at the Island Food Pantry. They planned a quiet day at home for Thanksgiving, with family coming to them.

Bill and Betty Haynes were having, for them, a small crowd. Their daughter, Janice, and her husband Jeremiah Brown, grandson Nathaniel Haynes, friends Julia Humphreys and Becky and Doug Finn. Always a great meal at the Hayneses; both are beyond excellent cooks.

Bill happened to mention that he had been busy with a project for the Agricultural Society. After admiring the new daffodil display along the road in front of the Polly Hill Arboretum, the Ag Society decided to plant a similar swath. They ordered 1,500 daffodils, a mixed collection of varieties and colors, the cost helped by an anonymous donation of $250. Bill had a wonderful group of helpers in Scout Leader Sara Carr and several Island scouts. Their efforts will be especially appreciated this spring. I remember reading something years ago that I have never forgotten: “Planting bulbs is like mailing yourself a present.”

The Logues and Mendenhalls shared the Thanksgiving table at Eric and Cheryl Lowe’s house. For Kathy and Megan, it was only a short walk next door. Margaret Logue presided, surrounded by children, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Dinny Montrowl told me that she and Gary would be at Libby and David Fielder’s house. Another large family, Dinny said they were expecting about 40 people for dinner. 

The Athearns were traveling from Lambert’s Cove Road for Thanksgiving dinner at Debby’s brother and sister-in-law’s, Norman and Kathy Lobb’s, house on Oak Lane. The Lobbs daughter, Dee Quesnel, and her family were coming from Vermont.

Richard Knabel and Jim Osmundsen were hosting their collection of Music Street friends for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. I have always heard spectacular reports of the food and conversation at those legendary gatherings.

Happiest birthday wishes to Olivia Bent, who will turn 6 on Dec.6. Belated happy birthday wishes to John Athearn (Nov. 19) Katie Stafford (Nov. 26), and Violet Cabot (Nov. 30).

If you have seen the striking photograph on the cover of the latest issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, it was taken by Sarah Mayhew, who also won a prize for it in the magazine’s photography contest. Congratulations, Sarah.

Healthy Aging M.V. is looking for a full-time director, hopefully someone familiar with our year-round community, as well as experience in healthcare and service to an elderly population. If you are interested, email to ahoughton@mvcommunityservices.org by Dec. 12.

Condolences to Nancy Eppel and her family for the loss of Dudley Eppel, who died on Nov. 21 at their winter home in Florida.

At the library this week:

Thursday, Dec. 5, 10:30 am, Laura Jordan’s Little Bird Music and Movement Class for children and families.

Friday, Dec. 6, 5:15 pm, Women’s Committee of We Stand Together/Estamos Todos Juntos will hold its book group. All are welcome.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 1 pm, a conversation about homelessness on Martha’s Vineyard will give information about the volunteer-run shelters and how you can help. From 3:30 to 5 pm, an artist’s reception for Ed Schulman.

Sunday, Dec. 8, 3:30 pm, Second Sunday Jazz Concert.

Monday, Dec. 9, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, the annual Holiday Party. “Celebrate the season with your friends and fellow readers with music and merrymaking galore.” There will be refreshments, materials for making a holiday swag, and music by the Vineyard Classic Brass Band. Please bring a dish to share.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard! From noon to 1 pm, Drop-in Wellness Clinic with nurse Lila Fischer.

Thursday, Dec. 12, 4:30 pm, Michael Blanchard will speak about his new book, “Through a Sober Lens: A Photographer’s Journey.”

Don’t forget to wear orange or some other bright color when walking outside. Shotgun Season, formerly Deer Week, began on Sunday, and will continue through Saturday, Dec. 14. Now it’s two weeks long. Make sure your dogs are prominently attired, too. I can remember seeing people dressed in dull ochre coats with deer-colored dogs walking out in the State Forest or some other wooded area during hunting season. Mike had bought bright orange strap-on vests for Talley and Nanuk to wear. At least tie a bright scarf or something to their collars.

Wishing for a good hunting season to cull our deer population, and a cold winter to kill the ticks.