West Tisbury: Local pottery shaping the way


“Tra la! It’s May! The lusty month of May! That lovely month when ev’ryone goes blissfully astray.”

So sang Queen Guinevere in “Camelot,” a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. I remember the scene. The queen and her ladies were celebrating and fantasizing about warm spring dalliances with handsome knights.

And here we are, still at home, still watching coronavirus cases and deaths rising, regulations to wear masks at all times in public, worried about money and an unknown future, neither a knight nor lady in sight. We are certainly not carefree by any measure.

Still, the soft air and warmer weather is pleasant. The world outside our windows is greening up. Things are blooming. We have connected with friends and family via Zoom, an odd, but functional conduit for bringing us closer together than many of us could imagine.

I heard Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, talking about making spaghetti and meatballs for his adult children, all gathered at home through the pandemic, that despite everything, it was a very special time for them all being together. There is so much speculation about the world we will eventually venture out into; how will it — and we — have changed?

I drove Mike to Vineyard Haven to the ferry one morning last week, through mostly empty roadways. The few people we passed were masked and gloved. The idea of my strapping husband being vulnerable came as a shock to me. I rarely worry about Mike. He is strong and competent. But here he was out in public, having to go back and forth on the ferry, a stewpot of virological danger. He had his mask and gloves on, hand sanitizer and his book in his backpack. He would be safe. Would he be safe?

One of the unexpected bits of fun that has come out of this enforced social distancing is that the fire and police departments have taken to drive-by birthday greetings for kids in town. At the appointed time, fire trucks and police cars drive past a house, waving, honking horns, and sounding sirens, as the birthday celebrant and family wait inside or out in their yard. I think this has happened for three or four children so far. It must make for a birthday one would never forget.

Micah Thanhauser had a virtual opening for Merry Farm Pottery. He had sent out announcements that showed shelves of his handmade platters and vases and mugs veiled by an opaque screen cover. At 5 pm on May 1, the screen cleared and his website was available. I scrolled down to look at everything. His work is beautiful. Elegant, simple shapes, with painterly glazed brush marks that swirl and swoosh across each object. Take a look at his website: merryfarmpottery.com.

Last Friday evening, the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center honored the four 2020 graduates of the Regional High School, who are members of the congregation. They are Violet Cabot, Rose Herman, Jaiden Edelman, and Ayanna Fhagen-Smith. Listening to them, four thoughtful, articulate, bright, and socially committed young people, I have hope for the future of our world, and I wish them all the very best as they venture forth to college in the fall.

I was sad to see that Janet Bank died last week. She was such an active part of town when she and her husband, Shelton, lived here. Now they are both gone. My condolences to their children and to all who will miss them.

Cindy Trish, the new executive director of Healthy Aging M.V., wants everyone to know about a two-session “Advance Care Planning Workshop.” It will be held on Zoom on Thursday, May 7, at 2 pm, and on Thursday, May 14, at 5 pm. It is a good time to think about our end-of-life wishes and priorities, and how to talk about them with our families. The program will be through the West Tisbury library. You can sign up at wt_library@clamsnet.org.

Programs at the West Tisbury library this week include:

Thursday, May 7, at 10:30 am, Little Bird MV’s Laura Jordan will continue her virtual music class for kids through Zoom. Email mlawson@clamsnet.org for the Zoom invitation to join.

Thursday, May 7 at 2 pm, Healthy Aging M.V. will offer a 90-minute Zoom session to share and discuss information on advance care planning. Visit the library website for more info. Please email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to join.

Friday, May 8, at 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly will continue teaching an all-levels Kripalu Flow Yoga Class via Zoom. Contact wt_mail@clamsnet.org to sign up.

Friday, May 8, at 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky will lead her weekly Balance Class through Zoom. You will need a chair for some of the movements. Kanta will be leading her class on both Mondays and Fridays at 11:30 am. Email ogately@clamsnet.org to join.

Saturday, May 9, at 9:30 am, Judy Kranz will teach a free Pilates class via Zoom. Her classes will be offered on Tuesdays at 8:30 am and Saturdays at 9:30am. Please contact rrooney@clamsnet.org to join.

Saturday, May 9, at 1 pm, Bob Gilpin will lead an online workshop via Zoom for high school students and parents about “Getting Started in the College Process.” Email lhearn@clamsnet.org to join.

Monday, May 11, at 2 pm, join them for online Adult Community Dance Class with The Yard’s Jesse Keller Jason. Classes meet Mondays at 2 pm and Wednesdays at 10:30 am on Zoom. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to join.

Monday, May 11, at 7 pm, Niki Patton will lead monthly Writers Read via Zoom. If you would like to be a reader or just attend as a listener, please contact Niki at gaia1muse@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 13, at 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly will lead a weekly Chair Yoga and Meditation class on Zoom. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to join.

Wednesday, May 13, at 4 pm, read and discuss “Persuasion” with librarian/Jane Austen fan, Dee Leopold. This book club will meet three Wednesdays on Zoom. Email dleopold@clamsnet.org to join.

We walked together along the Great Pond with Abby on Sunday. Where only days ago there had been a broad swath of beach was now a narrow strip that ended before we could get to the landing, so we walked back the way we came. We saw almost no one, and we all kept our distance.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.