West Tisbury: Perfect summer day

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— Kyra Steck

Here we are at the last day of June, and the beginning of Fourth of July weekend. Flags are flying, buntings are draped across porches, fences, and façades of buildings all around town. Plantings are red, white, and blue. Although the summer solstice, the official first day of summer, was last week, Fourth of July begins the height of the Island’s summer season.

The past week has been one perfect summer day after another.

I walked around my garden and noted the presence of two West Tisbury women we lost last week, Rosalee McCullough and Margaret Logue.

I have always loved the McCullough house on Music Street, especially the autumn clematis-draped fence that flowers splendidly, and smells delicious. I have replicated that planting on my own garden fence. It still holds only the promise of abundance compared to its inspiration, but it will always make me think of Rosalee McCullough, a most gracious and elegant lady.

My daylilies are heavily budded, as are Margaret Logue’s. Her huge plantings of daylilies line her side of the fence between her yard and the cemetery, and fill her garden beds with bright reds and golds. Daylilies were always a big part of our summer gardens, and a big topic of our conversation at this time of year. Much time was spent comparing different varieties and digging them up to share. As Margaret’s birthday came midsummer, she usually had new ones as gifts, and those became the raison d’être for another garden tour. There are lots of other memories and lots of other occasions; Margaret had many things to teach me, and she was a natural educator.

My sincere condolences to the McCullough and Logue families.

Kara Taylor has announced the summer hours for her 22nd season. She and her new paintings will be on view at her South Road gallery Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.

The Davis House Gallery will be open by appointment only for July and August. Call Allen and Lynne Whiting at 508-693-4691 for an agreeable time to visit and see Allen’s paintings.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury plans to resume its summer festivals on the lawn after a two-year hiatus due to COVID. The former Strawberry Festival and Blueberry Festival will be combined into one grand Berry Festival, to be held on Saturday, July 16, from noon to 4 pm. I love seeing the tables under tents on the church’s front lawn, and everyone enjoying pies, smoothies, sundaes, and shortcakes. It always feels like a special occasion, and it is. Everything is delicious, and there are usually pies and jams to be bought and taken home.

The summer festivals always make me think about Ralph Jones. He was the grand master of these occasions, a welcoming host, who took great pride in serving his best culinary creations to all attendees.

All town buildings will be closed on Monday for the long holiday weekend.

Not much else to report this week. As you read last week, I have been housebound with what has happily turned out to be a summer cold. My last COVID test, taken this morning, was negative, as they have been all along. Thanks to everyone who called or emailed to enquire about how I was doing.

It’s a little overcast as I am writing this morning. As usual, by this time of year, I am hoping for rain. I called one of my brothers in Connecticut to see if they had had rain. “Just a little. We could use more,” was the reply. Here, too.