Aquinnah: Story of the wishing tree

— Kyra Steck

Well folks, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for since about March: the end of 2020. For many communities, the past few years have been difficult, but this year spared no one in its strife. I’m not going to recap the year here; you all know what I am talking about. I have a feeling we will be playing catch-up with our grief, and processing the past months for quite some time.  For now, though, maybe we can all just be grateful to turn the page to 2021 and put 2020 to bed. To whomever answers such prayers: please let 2021 be a happy New Year.

Pam Glavin called me in a panic the other night, she had told me that Carl’s tree would be up, and I had already put it in the column and then, there were absolutely no Christmas trees available. Pam’s a hard-working woman, making pesto every day, she had not had time to see the posts on social media announcing the dearth of Christmas trees available on-Island. She had no idea. When she finally finished working and was ready to get a tree, there were none to be had, anywhere. She called around and still nothing, finally she got to talk to the guy who runs the cut-your-own-tree gig near the Ag Hall, whose name escapes me right now. He was closed, done for the season, but Pam pleaded her case, told him that the tree was for Carl Widdis’ gravesite, that she puts it up every year and people come and do good deeds in Carl’s name. Well, the guy knew Carl and said he could probably help Pam out. Two days later Pam calls me back and tells me that she got the perfect tree from him, “just perfect.” It’s up at Carl’s grave just waiting for us to visit.

The Martha’s Vineyard Non-profit Collaborative is hosting their third book discussion in the “Vineyard Reads: Racial Justice” series on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 12 pm via Zoom. Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” will be discussed. This series was created with the help of the West Tisbury library, and it focuses on important readings and challenging views on race and racial attitude awareness. Please contact to register.

Pathways Arts space is available to rehearse/create work. Artists must follow safe COVID-19 protocols. Work can also be posted on the Pathways site and Facebook page. Contact Scott and Keren at 508-645-9098, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. Check out all the cool work people have done at

Kate Taylor and Peter Asher are back in the studio for the first time in many decades. The first single will not be released until the end of January at the earliest, but if you donate to the campaign to help make the album, you will get to hear it first. Follow this link to help this homegrown project happen:

There are three exceptionally talented artists celebrating their birthdays in the first days of the new year. Happy Birthday to Jenny Christy, a fine painter, and to Donald Widdis, wampum artist extraordinaire, on Jan. 2; and to Evelyn Vanderhoop, a master Haida weaver, who celebrates on Jan. 3.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,