West Tisbury: Dorothy Parker quotes

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— Kyra Steck

Another glorious weekend with temperatures in the 70s. A new president. Twenty new cases of Covid on the Island, more than 10 million across the country. My mood runs the gamut between happiness and misery. Writing that sentence reminds me of Dorothy Parker’s review of an early performance by Katharine Hepburn that “…ran the gamut of human emotions from A to B.”

I wonder why I never get anything done, or why everything takes longer than I had planned. Looking up that quote, I got involved reading lots of Dorothy Parker quotes and poems. She was one witty lady. One of her quotes was, “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” I would have loved being sharp and quick-witted like that, to have had a seat at the famous Algonquin Round Table with Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, Harold Ross, and so many of the brilliant writers who lived in New York City in the 1920s. It’s pure fantasy. Anyway, it was fun reading about the participants when I was supposed to be focusing on writing this column.

Enough about Dorothy Parker and her New York set. I had copied down several of her quotes and planned to use some of them, but maybe it’s time to get back to West Tisbury news instead of rambling along here. I will mention that Alexander Woollcott was the brother of William Woollcott and uncle of Polly Woollcott Murphy and her sisters, Nancy Woollcott Smith, Barbara Woollcott Scannell, and Joan Woollcott Jennings, all of whom lived in West Tisbury, and members of their families still do. Polly wrote the West Tisbury Column for the Vineyard Gazette for many years.

I was terribly upset to read that several people who work at Cronig’s are among those diagnosed with the latest number of Island Covid cases. Everyone at the store has been amazing and has kept us fed and cared for throughout this pandemic. May you recover quickly, and may Cronig’s reopen soon. We miss you all.

Congratulations to Lynn Hoeft, who has become our newest library trustee. She was appointed at last week’s selectmen’s meeting.

Happy birthday and anniversary wishes this week to Tara and Stephen Larsen.

When Mike came home from his Sunday morning radio check at the fire station, he asked me if I had felt anything like the earth shaking while he was gone. It turned out that we had a 3.6 magnitude earthquake. It was actually in Buzzards Bay, but could be felt on the Island. Of course, I didn’t notice a thing. I was busy reading the Sunday New York Times, doing the crossword puzzle, and watching non-stop election updates on television. It seems that this is the second earthquake we have had fairly recently. I don’t remember any before this past year. Wonder what’s going on?

So far, since Joe Biden has officially become President-Elect, the world hasn’t fallen apart, as some predicted. I had better finish up this week’s column and turn on the news just in case something happened while I was writing. I hope all will be well, the transition will go smoothly, and all of us can support our new president, vice-president, and their administration.

I will leave you this week with a few more Dorothy Parker quotes to make you laugh. I don’t know what she was referring to; the website I looked at just listed the quotes.

“This wasn’t just plain terrible; this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

“You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.”

Have a good week.

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