West Tisbury: Musicians unite for project

— Kyra Steck

It smells like fall when I walk outside. Our yard is blanketed with leaves — yellow, red, brown, some already crunchy underfoot, some remaining full and pliant. Mosses make a still brilliant green contrast wherever they peek through. Asters and goldenrod are blooming, along with tall white anemones that thrill me every year. They have spread themselves into ever-widening and random places, green and white. All is rain-refreshed after yesterday’s downpour.

Make sure to notice the changes at the Mill Pond and Parsonage Pond. The big shapes of massed shrubbery have turned to faded rust, low and spreading, making interesting patterns along the water’s edge. Open fields of faded grass or bright new cover give spreading views to berried, tangled hedgerows. I love watching the changing of seasons, the yearly reprise and ritual. Last night’s harvest moon made our yard almost day-bright when we took Abby out for her last pee.

Tom Dresser has written a new book, “Ghosts of Martha’s Vineyard,” that he will virtually present from the West Tisbury library next Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 4:30 pm. It’s time to get in the mood for Halloween, which is only a few weeks away. Email wtmail@clamsnet.org for your Zoom invitation.

From a casual conversation between friends Jay Segel and Kate Taylor, came a project and a song. “A World of Different People (Human to Human)” is the title of the song Jay wrote after he and Kate decried the lack of unity in our country, how we are polarized into Red States and Blue States in our news media, and disturbing political conversations amongst friends and acquaintances. It became an official project for Doctors Without Borders and the artists hope it will raise money for that organization.

Pond Road Project brought together 17 musicians to collaborate on the making of the CD. They are C.J. Anthony, Logan Belle, Barbara Dacey, Thornetta Davis, aReJay Ella, Juanita Bright-Ferguson, Rose Guerin, Stacey Joy, Bobby Kane, Jim Parr, Dave Perkins, Seay, Jay Segel, Robbie Soltz, Craig Spano, Kate Taylor, and Kimberly Townsend. Jay’s wife, Celine Segel, designed the website and art. Take a look at pondroadproject.com.

Barbara Dacey described the project as “a heartfelt plea for harmony and healing.” Kate Taylor spoke of “unity and harmony, justice and dignity.” The song is expected to be released on Oct. 20, before our up-coming presidential election. May it truly be a reminder of our innate humanity and common purpose.

As for the Nov. 3 election, Sue Silk of the League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard wants to remind everyone that the League is still working to register 100 percent of eligible voters on the Island and getting 100 percent of those voters to cast their ballots. The deadline to register before the election is Oct. 24 at 8 pm. Town Clerk Tara Whiting-Wells is available to help you complete the process. Call  her at town hall between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Her phone number is 508-696-0148. All forms are available in the lobby at Town Hall.

You may also register online at RegisterToVoteMA.com. You will need a Massachusetts driver’s license or a state ID card. If you received the Information for Voters pamphlet from the Secretary of State, it should have a voter registration form inside, or you can print a form at

sec.state.ma.us/ele or call 1-800-462-VOTE (8683).

Then decide whether you want to vote by mail or in person. To vote by mail, check your current voter status before Oct. 24 at RegisterToVoteMA.com to make sure you are eligible and properly registered. You may apply to vote at MailMyBallotMA.com either electronically or request a paper ballot to be mailed to you by calling 1 800 462-VOTE. Submit your application to Tara at town hall.

Your ballot should arrive during October. It will have an early voting envelope to be filled out with your name, signature, and physical (not mailing) address. Mark your ballot and seal it inside that envelope. Enclose that inside the postage-paid white envelope that can be mailed, hand-delivered to Tara, or to one of the drop-boxes at town hall. Make sure your mailed ballot is postmarked no later than Nov. 3.

If you prefer to vote early in person, come to the Public Safety Building beginning Oct. 17. Hours will be weekdays 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, and 9 to 11 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Early voting will end on Oct. 30. The polls will be open on Nov. 3 from 7 am to 8 pm.

I hope I have gotten this all right. If you have any questions, call Tara at 508 696-0148.

Don’t forget that Monday is Columbus Day (Indigenous Peoples’ Day), a national holiday. Town offices, schools, the library, and the post office will all be closed.

I suppose everyone has been following the news reports of the president’s Covid infection with all its twists and turns, statements and repudiations. It almost mimics the plot of a Greek tragedy, the hero’s hubris brought down by the gods. It is no longer “a hoax” for him, his family, and anyone who associated with him, as all proceeded maskless and unconcerned these past months. I don’t mean to minimize the seriousness of his illness and I do hope for his return to good health.

Still, he is receiving the best care that anyone could get, care denied to most Americans. I can’t help wondering about the 210,955 people who have died of COVID, the over 7 million Americans diagnosed with the disease. Were they given such assiduous care? How would we have coped with this pandemic if the administration and Supreme Court had already dismantled the Affordable Care Act. (The Affordable Care Act and Obama Care are one and the same piece of legislation. I keep hearing on the news that there is some misconception about that.)

I can’t help thinking about such things.

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