West Tisbury: Farmers Market and Blooming Art

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— Kyra Steck

Rain. Rain. Rain. Two lovely days of soaking rain, followed by dry, sunny, temperate days. I wish it would stay that way.

I am writing upstairs today, a change from my usual perch on our living room sofa, so I have different views. Instead of green woods, I am looking down onto my perennial garden off our kitchen porch. Pink rosebuds are beginning to open. They will be full, blowsy blooms in another day or so. There are still a few poppies, iris, and foxgloves, but the roses will make the big show, along with matricaria that has self-seeded everywhere.

I like it up here. It feels like I am in a treehouse looking out at the tops of everything. One of my odd amusements has been drawing abstract compositions of trees from above.

We had a major crisis over the past week when Mike’s Fire King tractor died in the middle of his lawn mowing. He has spent a lot of time trying to find another engine for it. No luck. He is facing the probability of a new machine with as much good humor as he can muster. He and the Fire King had a history.

Mike found the Fire King on the Island. In fact, he thought it was the one his father had gotten rid of in one of his legendary purges. Mike spent a winter rebuilding and restoring it, finally painting it its original bright orange. It was a thing of beauty, and he remained devoted to it for 12 or so years. For now, Mike is walking behind a regular mower, but I can tell he misses being the grand seigneur of all he surveyed from his former lofty perch.

Big news! Kieran Calder Hammond was born on May 25. His parents, Bethany and Stephen, and his big brother, Silas, welcomed him home to West Tisbury. I have been informed by my source (grandmother Suzanne Hammond) that Silas is taking his new responsibilities seriously, and will be in charge of teaching Kieran everything he needs to know for the foreseeable future. Can’t wait to meet Kieran and to watch him grow up. Congratulations to the Hammond family.

Anna, Nicole, and Sam Alley will host a gathering this Saturday, June 18, 4 o’clock, at the Ag Hall, for all of us to celebrate our old friend, John Alley, who died in 2021. John was husband, father, friend, raconteur, West Tisbury selectman, and member of more committees than I can count. He represented West Tisbury, his town, with enthusiasm and pride. He was also our town historian. Bring a potluck dish, a memorable story, a poem, a song, whatever you would like to share. Anna has requested that you send her an email at alleys@vineyard.net so she will have an idea how many people to plan for.

The Farmers Market has opened for the season. It’s staying at the Ag Hall, although behind the hall, rather than in the parking lot. Hours are 9 to noon, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“Blooming Art,” the Garden Club’s fundraiser for its scholarship fund, will open this Friday, June 17, at The Old Mill. Floral arrangers are paired with artists to design an arrangement that reflects or highlights some aspect of the artwork. Hours are 10 to 5, Friday and Saturday, and 10 to 3 on Sunday. Admission is $10.

The Howes House Watercolor Painters Art Show opens Friday, June 17, at noon. This group has painted and exhibited their work together for many years. Friday hours are from noon to 4; Saturday hours are 10 to 2.

While you are visiting these two art exhibitions, walk down the path to the library to see Heather Sommers’ new work. It will remain on display through the month of June.

The library will be closed on Sundays through the summer. It will open at 12:30 on Friday, June 17, to have the morning for staff training. Saturday, June 18, the Bonsai Club of Martha’s Vineyard will speak and give a demonstration of bonsai techniques at 11 o’clock. Some examples will be on display through June 21.

The Field Gallery is open for the summer, right next door to the Howes House and the library. Hours are daily, 10 to 4, Sunday, 11 to 4.

Juneteenth, June 19, is our newest national holiday, so expect the Post Office and town buildings to be closed on Monday in recognition. There will be lots of events islandwide through the whole weekend. Look in the newspaper for the list.

This will be a busy weekend. It’s Father’s Day, too. Keep your fingers crossed that we will have good weather for all the events, and for some special time with your dad. If he is gone, take a moment to remember a happy time.

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