West Tisbury: Book sale and doozying up

— Kyra Steck

Mornings have been overcast. A few days have turned sunny by the afternoon, but most have remained the archetypal hazy, hot, and humid most of us expect of summer weather. I wish it would rain, maybe clear the air from this heavy, sticky heat.

Orange butterfly weed and white daisies color the fields. Woods are heavily, relentlessly green. At least they are not dried out and dusty from lack of rain.

I have been spoiled by Steph daRosa bringing me multicolored bouquets of nasturtiums, my favorite flower, and armloads of delicious vegetables from her garden when she comes to pick Iyla up after our Thursdays together. Iyla and I have been obsessed with glitter lately, serving glitter tea and doozying up our stuffed Maileg mice and each other, leaving sparkling trails around the house.

“Doozying up” is a wonderful phrase from a story about two fox sisters named Zelda and Ivy, stars of a series of children’s books by Laura McGee Kvasnosky. It means just what it sounds like, fashionably embellishing, like Ivy’s tail after her bossy older sister painted a blue stripe in it, cut scallops into it, and finished with a garnish of glitter. “Like movie stars,” Zelda said. We have the books at the library and they are fun to read together with a special child.

July 16 was Margaret Logue’s birthday. I trust that she was well-celebrated by her family and had a totally special day.

Happy birthday wishes to Steph daRosa and my husband, Mike Hull, who share a July 24 birthday, to Claire Chalfoun on the 26th, and to Julia Humphreys on the 29th. Belated happy birthday wishes to Skyler Wallcox, whose first birthday was June 16.

A belated congratulations to Brian Athearn, recipient of this year’s Spirit of the Vineyard Award. Mike and I have known Brian most of his life, and are proud to know the man he has become. He is a wonderful husband, father, son, friend, farmer, hunter, tech expert and fixer, and a great supporter of our town and the Island. He is currently president of the Ag Society. He and his sons have placed flags on veterans’ graves at the West Tisbury cemetery for more years than I can remember. He will be honored at a ceremony during the Ag Fair on August 22.

Genevieve Hammond and Brian O’Keefe were married on June 26 at Flat Point Farm. I can think of no more perfect spot for any occasion, but especially for a wedding on a beautiful summer day. The bride and her mother, Suzanne, arrived on a boat piloted by her father, Rich. They were met on the dock by her brothers, Stephen, Evan, and Leigh. Her nephew, Silas Ray Hammond, was the ringbearer. He made quite a picture toddling up “the aisle” for his auntie. Genevieve is the daughter of Suzanne and Rich Hammond of West Tisbury. Brian’s parents are Michael and Kathy O’Keefe of Danvers. She and her new husband will live in Boston. May you have a happy, long life together.

The Friends of the West Tisbury Free Public Library will once again hold their book sale this summer in the school gym. There will be some adjustments post-COVID: tables will be widely spaced and books will be sold by the bag, rather than individually priced. The sale opens on Monday, July 26, and will last a full week. Bags will be sold for $10/bag through the week; half price on Sunday, August 1, and free on the last day, Monday, August 2. Hours are 9 am to 2 pm daily. This year’s sale will be the Friends’ 61st. Masks will be required. Bring your own bags and expect to load them up with treasures. See you there.

I am sad to report that a very special friend of the library, Hallie Mentzel, died in New York City on June 23. Hallie and her late husband, Al, lived on Old County Road for many years. She became a special friend when we served together on the library board and both belonged to the Friends. She eventually moved back to New York, where she had grown up, lived full-time, or just winters, whatever suited at the time.

As we loved many of the same things, I enjoyed her tales of museum visits, her beloved East 86th Street neighborhood with a movie theater, a library, and a Barnes & Noble, all within walking distance. She enjoyed hearing about what was happening at the library, what was blooming in her former yard, news of mutual Island friends, books we were reading. Friday evening at 5 o’clock was our time to talk and to wish each other a Shabbat Shalom before lighting our candles. I especially feel her loss every Friday at 5 when I have nothing to do.

My condolences to her children, Andrea, Nina, and Tony, to her friends at our library, League of Women Voters, Family Planning, all the causes she worked to support. There is a requirement in Judaism toward working for a more just and better world. My friend Hallie Mentzel most definitely left her mark.

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