West Tisbury: In remembrance

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— Kyra Steck

Spring has officially arrived in our house. Nelson brought in his first mouse of the season. He is currently surveying the scene from his carpeted cat perch in our sunroom/greenhouse while Abby is pacing back and forth trying to catch sight of said mouse. Said mouse is prudently barricaded behind a collection of flowerpots, a bag of potting soil, and the pile of firewood that spans the long wall of the room. I have already locked the cat flap.

This is an annual problem. Nelson is the only cat we have ever had who can’t or won’t stop bringing his prey into the house. One session with our friend and amazing animal communicator, Sandy Lagno, put an end to it with every other cat we had. Not so with Nelson, who Sandy once called the most difficult animal she ever dealt with. Longtime readers of this column will remember that Nelson was the kitten who bit; he grew into the cat who still bites and continues his naughty habits regardless of how we humans feel about them.

My husband is sceptical of Sandy’s talents. It doesn’t make any sense to him that someone can actually communicate with an animal and affect its behavior. Sue Hruby is the person who introduced me to Sandy and both of us have watched and benefited from her work with our animals over many years. Nelson just doesn’t care.

As I am writing this week’s column, he is patiently watching in what I call his vulture position (think of Snoopy in Peanuts cartoons) and awaiting his opportunity to pounce. Abby is trying to be patient, but she has no idea what’s going on, and she is a dog. Dogs are always eager for activity. Cats are patient. I am just frustrated.

I know my editor, Connie Berry, is reading this and laughing out loud.

Friends of Joanne Scott have been missing her since she moved from her purple-light festooned cottage on Music Street to America. She wants everyone to know that she is missing us too.

On one of my rare outings off of our property, I had the pleasure of running into several fellow West Tisbury-ites at Cronig’s. Cathy Minkiewicz, Nancy Rogers, Linda McGuire, and Arnie Fischer. Arnie was full of news about twin lambs who were born on March 1, the first lambs since the horrific fire two years ago at Flat Point Farm. Louisa is the mama ewe. The baby girls haven’t been named yet. All are big favorites with the youngest Fischer grandchild, Zinnia, the daughter of Lila Fischer and Nick Turner. Zinnia spends Tuesdays at the farm with her grandmother, Christa, and Thursday mornings with grandfather, Arnie, so she will have plenty of time with Louisa and the twins.

I was terribly sad when Linda Hearn told me that Glenn died last week, a loss to many on the Island, all of West Tisbury, and personal for me. He died at home with Linda and their children and families, the way he was always happiest. He relished the busy-ness of summer when their house was full with the comings and goings of Susan, Mark, and Laura, with spouses, grandkids of various ages, relatives and friends, even tolerating their visiting pets. He loved big meals on the porch or around the dining table where he sat at the head, the paterfamilias surrounded by those he loved the most.

Glenn grew up in Vineyard Haven, but he and Linda settled here in West Tisbury after they retired. It makes me smile to write the word “retired.” They both were busier than most working couples I know. There was the huge garden, where they raised perfect vegetables, and the most spectacular sunflowers and cosmos that magically reseeded themselves year after year in a field behind their house. All that produce stocked their stand at the Farmers Market. My very favorite summer dinner was tiny new potatoes and string beans from Glenn and Linda’s garden, always packed up in paper bags the grandchildren decorated.

Besides the Farmers Market, Glenn was a West Tisbury selectman for many years, and served on the Affordable Housing Committee, among other town boards. He belonged to the Ag Society and worked on the new Ag Hall building when they moved to the Panhandle, as well as on the Ag Fair every August. Outside of town, he was one of the founders of the Farm Institute out at Katama. For a hobby that he devoted himself to, he carved and painted the most beautiful birds, and his daily routine included his trip, rain or shine, to the library to read the newspaper.

Glenn was a gentleman and a gentle man. He was a gracious host, a true friend, a respecter and keeper of Island ways, a man who spoke his mind and kept his word. He will be missed by all who knew him.

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