West Tisbury: Busy summer weekend

—MV Times

I hadn’t planned on writing a column this week, as I intended to go to my 55th Ridgefield High School class of 1967 reunion. A classmate, Marilou Serfilippi, has organized all of our reunions over the years, and many of us were planning to attend from all over the country. From all over the world, to be correct: One of our group has been living in Paris for most of her adult life. The car was packed. I had my ticket. I was ready to go.

Unfortunately, I was caught up in the spate of boat cancellations that has plagued Island travel of late. Not being a comfortable traveler (I haven’t left the Island in years), the situation totally flummoxed me. A kind lady at our local SSA office changed my reservation for a date in the fall. I couldn’t face the prospect of spending the day in my car in a ferry line hoping to get off so I could drive four-and-a-half hours to Connecticut. So I stayed home.

I miss the office at the airport, where I could have gone and spoken with someone face-to-face. My situation might have been resolved differently. As I began my conversation with Gretchen last weekend, “I’m sorry to be the eight thousandth person calling you about a canceled boat …” She couldn’t have been nicer or more professional. The SSA should be grateful to those I refer to as “the Steamship ladies.”

After all that, I asked Mike if he would like to go to the fireworks. I should have known better. Crowds. Traffic. Having cooked at the firemen’s hamburger booth all afternoon, he did not. So I went with Iyla and her family.

It was the most spectacular fireworks display I have ever seen. The colors. The booms. The crackles. Some looked like Queen Anne’s lace, sparkling and diffusing into a shower of golden rain. Some shot high into the sky in plumes of pink, blue, green, and white-gold that exploded into weeping willow branches and swept to the ground. There were pinwheels and starbursts, palm trees and sparklers, breaking like confetti overhead. I hadn’t been to the fireworks in years, and it was worth the wait. Thank you, Oak Bluffs.

On Saturday, I ventured forth again, to the Field Gallery to Max Decker’s opening. It, too, was spectacular. I have written before of my regard for Max’s paintings. They display an ever-growing mastery of subject, design, the application and movement of oil paint across a rigid surface, a spirit that entices me and draws me in for closer and closer observation.

For a person who barely leaves home in the summer, this was a busy and interesting weekend.

Hunter Moorman sent me a note about the planned celebration of the life of Leslie Gray, his wife. It will be at the Ag Hall on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3 to 5 pm. There will be light refreshments and lots of reminiscences. “All who knew and loved Leslie are welcome,” the invitation read.

A reminder of the August 31 memorial for Ray Phillips, 3 pm, at the Grange.

The grass is brown and crispy underfoot as I water the garden and wait for rain. It seems hopeless. Abby has dug herself a dust bowl in the yard. I don’t know what relief it gives her, but she seems to spend time rolling and digging in it. I think the cats have given up.

We are lucky that our mini-splits were installed by Lowe Energy Design and Barry Stone. I am grateful to them every day. I don’t remember summers being this prolonged, enervating heat in my early years on the Island. I don’t think I even owned a fan. Summers have grown progressively hotter, and we have given in.

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