Tisbury: New book about the Mayhew house

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Heard on Main Street: If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

Some of us are slow learners. Feb. 22 will always be Washington’s Birthday to me.

I love knowing that Dr. James Richardson III and Richard Burt have published a fascinating new book with the Martha’s Vineyard Museum called “Discovering a Lost Vineyard House,” with chapters on gravestones, the Island’s climate, buildings, shellfishing and farming, early Wampanoags, and more. The subtitle hints at what else is here: “Archaeology and History of the John and Experience Mayhew House Site on Martha’s Vineyard.”

There is history of the early Mayhews, as well as information relating to many others who lived on-Island, both native and English. There are pictures of materials found since the site was located in 1962, with a lot of amazing information gathered since then as well. You will also recognize names and faces in some photos, including Jim Richardson and Dick Burt. I believe the book is now available on Amazon.

You can buy “Covid Monologues MV” at a number of places on the Island, including Cronig’s and Bunch of Grapes. The net profit goes to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger to benefit Island families. But you could donate to that anyway. Why buy the book? It is a wonderful experience to see how we are and have been so connected personally for the past two years with so many others on our Island.

You’ll find echoes of your own feelings: how we have missed being with our families and friends, and some ingenious ways young people have made those connections anyway. One voice shares how an ongoing relationship can change for the better, even with being together 24/7.

I was happy to learn a few new things, to consider changing, and to appreciate the bits with delights that still brighten our dark days. You will recognize so much of your life during COVID that is shared in the short pieces by your neighbors.

At a different level, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Island does not have many foster parents. Did you know that Island children sometimes are sent off-Island, leaving all that they have ever known behind? If you might consider helping, you are invited to the annual foster parent recruitment event to learn more about it. That’s from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, March 12, at the Wildanger home in Oak Bluffs. Call or text 508-326-1155 to register or ask questions.

Each Sunday morning at 11, through May 22, the Vineyard Haven library will replay videos from 2021’s “Summer of Drawing” series with artist Elizabeth Whelan. Join your hosts Elizabeth Whelan and Anne McDonough on Zoom as we revisit all the great classes from last year, leading up to a new series planned for next summer. Whether you missed last year’s classes, want a refresher, or just want to learn more, register at bit.ly/3r93VNN, and join anytime. 

The library is also offering a Zoom program hosted by the MVP Climate Action Plan on “Innovative Approaches to Municipal Stormwater” on Monday, Feb. 28, at 5 pm. Register with amcdonough@clamsnet.org.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to those who party this month. Some very special people will celebrate birthdays tomorrow — me, for one. Also Judy Cronig and Robin Mathiesen. Happy birthday on Monday to Susie Goldstein. Wish the best on Wednesday to Katie Kennedy.

Heard on Main Street: How old will I be? I’m so old I remember when multiplication was called the times tables.