Tisbury: Finding a resolution

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— Kyra Steck

Heard on Main Street: When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Last week I was happy to have a chance to speak with Steve Bernier outside, as he was cleaning up the few bits blowing about the parking lot at Cronig’s. He looked good, and sounded really well. When I said I was glad to see him out and about, he spoke of his heart surgery a few weeks ago, and how happy he was to be here. I think he was a little surprised when I said my friends in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Seattle had been asking how he was.

It never occurred to me that I should look up “pest control” when I wanted “bug control” in the yellow pages. Thank heavens Google knows just what I want. I think carpenter ants were roaming all over my deck.

Then it seemed like forever to try to reach a person on the IRS help line. Like the yellow pages, none of the topics are what you are calling about. Finally I guessed right and got on hold. For 30 to 60 minutes, the robotic voice said. At least they did not play elevator music, just kept telling me to go online to do whatever I thought I was doing.

When a human voice came on, I reacted with, “Is this a real person?” Fortunately, he was. We talked, and he asked questions and then had to look something up. He reassured me, “You are not on hold, just give me a few minutes.”

I had expected a tax refund, but they wanted more money. They said I paid $963, which I hadn’t. Then I was told my husband made a 2018 ES payment for 2019, a month before he died. That was the amount that was later applied to 2020, but they never told me. Then my check for 2020 for $1,000 had been credited to his Social Security number, so not to my taxes. Because he’d been dead over a year, they’d “put it in an account.” What will happen is still being determined. My friendly agent on the phone couldn’t do anything but file a report. So I pay more while they figure it out.

Did you know that when a joint return is filed, the male becomes the primary and the wife the secondary? That means they always credit the primary first, no matter who sends the money. But they don’t tell the widow.

It’s not quite as bad as the VA letter to a veteran saying they were told he was dead and would he please call to confirm that. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Joan Druett, an author friend in New Zealand, wrote a short blog about a neighbor there finding a snake (deadly, though just a little one) in a bag of romaine lettuce from Australia. It never occurred to me to look for anything except maybe spiders in the grapes.

I have heard that subs were supposedly spotted off the shore of the Island in WWII. But now the Vineyard Haven library offers the chance to hear about a submarine off the U.S. coast near New Orleans. Author Michael Tougias will share some of his book, “So Close to Home,” the story of an American family’s fight for survival during WWII. They were civilian passengers on a freighter when it was sunk by subs off New Orleans. More than half the crew and passengers died. Those who were saved spent 15 hours in the water, with sharks and debris around them. The Zoom program is Tuesday, May 4, at 6 pm. Register with amcdonough@clamsnet.org.

We still have Islanders getting COVID here, but somehow the sunshine and warmer weather make us think this will end someday, if not this year. It seems most of those getting COVID in America are in their 20s. Maybe it’s true the kids’ brains don’t fully mature until 26 or so.

Happy anniversary on Wednesday, or “Cinco de May-hew,” to Craig and Laura Mayhew.

Big bunches of birthday balloons go out Friday to Andrew Williamson, and on Saturday to his twin, Ellie Williamson. Happy birthday to Herb Ward and Martha Weiss on Sunday.

Heard on Main Street: Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

If you have any Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Kay Mayhew, tashmoorock@gmail.com.