West Tisbury: sudden snow


John Alley and I laughed together over both of us starting our recent columns wondering if March would come in like a lion or a lamb. So far, I lean toward lamb weather, as we have had several T shirt days, and hardly any days needing a coat, but whatever the weather, it certainly has blown in. It’s been so windy all week.

Friday night’s snow was beautiful to see coming down when I awoke during the night and looked out the window. Our lawn and all of the trees and shrubs were under a coating of white as the snowflakes danced and fell lightly, tiny snowflakes glittering where the light caught them. It had stopped by morning, and totally disappeared within hours, along with a crisscross of cat and puppy footprints.

We haven’t had enough snowy days this winter. I miss having days sitting in front of a window with a good book, and I miss shoveling the walk like I did with my daddy when I was a kid. I miss happy memories of snow picnics in front of the fireplace in our living room, a day at home all together on a blanket with books, games, tomato soup, and tuna fish sandwiches.

I worked at the polls last Tuesday, sharing the table with Cheryl Lowe. It’s an opportunity to see everyone in town, although it always makes me sentimental to see kids now old enough to vote, often carrying their own new babies in their arms. Slow moments gave Cheryl and me a chance to catch up. Amazing to see how many people voted, 1,292 of our 2,601 registered voters, and to know the results. Biden, Sanders, Warren.

We are heading into the next round of negotiations with Comcast for cable services in town, and Jen Rand is looking for someone to serve on West Tisbury’s cable advisory committee. If you are interested, please stop by her office in Town Hall, or email townadmin@westtisbury-ma.gov.

Don’t forget the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group’s daffodil sale this weekend. They will be available in the hospital lobby this Friday between 10 am and 2 pm, then on Saturday at down-Island Cronig’s, Reliable Market, and the Edgartown Stop & Shop between 9 am and 4:30 pm.

Jennifer Tseng, former West Tisbury library staffer, noted poet and novelist, will be teaching a fiction workshop at Noepe/Featherstone the weekend of April 4 and 5. All levels of writers are welcome to “Start Small: What Writers Can Learn from Very Short Stories.” Fee is $250.

Jennifer has been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to write poetry, and had an essay published in Paris Review Daily about growing up in a bilingual home.

At the library this week:

Thursday, March 12, 10:30 am, “Classical Music Is For You.” At 3 pm, Laura Jordan’s Little Bird Music Class.

Friday, March 13, 3 pm, Hugh Phear will lead a Chain Reaction Activity for kids of all ages.

Sunday, March 15, 2 pm, a screening of Marjory and Robert Potts’ documentary, “You May Call Her Madam Secretary: Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, 1933 – 1945.” It’s in honor of Women’s History Month, and Marjory will be there to talk about the film and to take questions. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a wonderful film about an amazing woman, her ideas and policies, and her influence on the progressive New Deal legislation of the Roosevelt administration. Lots of familiar West Tisbury faces to spot, too.

Monday, March 16, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 6:30 pm, WMVY’s Dave Kish’s monthly Jazz Documentary movie screening, with discussion to follow.

Tuesday, March 17, 4:30 pm, architect Bruce MacNelly will present “The Most Beautiful Room in the World.”

Wednesday, March 18, 4 pm, Sign Language Practice Circle. At 5 pm, Vineyard Conservation Society will present information about the proposal to reduce plastic waste on the Island that we will vote on at our annual town meeting this April.

March 14 will be Beth Kramer’s last day as library director. A party is planned for April 1, but details haven’t been decided yet. I know that everyone in town will want to thank Beth and to celebrate her tenure at the library. Hiring Beth was the best decision I ever made as chairman of the library board, and I will miss her. She has exemplified excellence in library service and in public service. Her warmth made everyone feel welcome. She was always willing to help with whatever request came her way. I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t admired her. More to follow.

The 2020 U.S. Census is expected to begin this week. Keep an eye on your mail for the initial notification letter, and be sure to fill out your Census form online, or by phone or mail. The online and phone versions are available in 13 languages, including English and Portuguese, and the mail-in version is available in English and Spanish. All responses are strictly confidential. The Census will determine about $16 billion in federal funds to Massachusetts, so an accurate count is essential. The Census also affects political representation at the local, state, and federal levels, including the redrawing of legislative districts. For more information, or to get involved in your community, contact Keith Chatinover, chairman of the Dukes County Complete Count Committee, at kchatinover@gmail.com

Mike came home from coffee at Alley’s the other night with news that Muriel Bye had died. It seems fitting that she died right around the presidential primary, as one of Muriel’s many talents was organizing and overseeing elections in town. She made it all look so straightforward that I always wonder at news stories of inadequate voting facilities and questionable results at off-Island sites. Everything went like clockwork in West Tisbury. Muriel was also an excellent nurse, an excellent artist, and an excellent friend. My condolences to all who will miss her.