West Tisbury: Bulb Planting Day, jazz concert, and Milton Mazer

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— Kyra Steck

I can’t complain about any lack of rain. Reality will be digging in the garden and finding the soil moist and crumbly a ways down, or still dry. I am hopeful that it will be the former. The days and nights of rain have been lovely, the quiet, soft, soaking rain that will begin to make up for our dry summer. A nice chill in the air, too. We lit our first fire a couple of evenings ago just to take the chill and rawness away. I have pulled my winter turtlenecks and socks out of their summer storage. I want to make soup. This cool weather is invigorating.

Hunting season began this past Monday. Don’t forget to wear bright orange or some other easy-to-spot color when walking outside. Make sure your dog is wearing an orange vest, too. Abby’s slides around some, but she wears it. She has to be safe.

By the way, ticks are out in abundance.

Ginny Jones called the other day to talk about a ritual of fall – bulb planting. Last year she and a group of helpers planted a thousand daffodils at the cemetery. Ginny is awaiting this year’s order, another thousand daffodil bulbs, and could use some help getting them in the ground. This Saturday, Oct. 8, will be Bulb Planting Day. Interested volunteers are asked to call Ginny at 508-693-6397. Then bring your shovels or whatever bulb planting equipment you prefer, and plan to get your hands dirty.

The plan at this moment is to meet at the State Road cemetery at noon. Ginny has already arranged for Brian and Kate Athearn, Reid and Moira Siva, Alan Cottle, and Debbie Farber to take 400 bulbs to plant at the Lambert’s Cove cemetery. Ideas for other places to plant some bulbs are welcome.

I ran into Terre Young yesterday. She was one of Ginny’s original crew, along with Mim Douglas, Roe Belain, Kathy Logue, Caitlin Jones and Alan Healy, Sarah Honey, and Hilary Blocksom. Apologies if I have forgotten anyone.

I love the way we do things in West Tisbury. Quietly, with little or no fuss, with no expectation of acknowledgement. It’s just the way it is and has always been. This project would likely remain unheralded, except help would be helpful, and it’s an opportunity to do something nice for others.

A sad note this week is the passing of Bea Amaral on Sept. 16. Mrs. Amaral is one of the people who seemed to be ageless and ever-present. She was always at the polls, checking in voters, counting votes at the end of the night. Bea’s Fabrics was a fixture in town. Mrs. Amaral was the person who could get your errant sewing machine oiled and purring smoothly. She always had a ready store of projects to try, and whatever you would need to make or repair everything. She always knew what to do. Although I was happy for her when she retired, I have never stopped missing her. Her family is planning a memorial in the spring.

Brian Athearn has planned “a good old-fashioned pig roast” for this Sunday, Oct. 9. We are invited to celebrate the life of his mother, Debby Athearn, who died this past February. There was a small burial ceremony at the time, but the real celebration would come when the weather was better. Debby loved her friends, and she loved the pig roasts that Brian and Kate would host at Run Amok Farm. We are all invited to the Ag Hall between 1 and 4 pm, asked to bring a potluck dish and memories of Deb to share. If you have any questions, call Brian at 508-962-2477, or Kate at 508-962-3849.

The West Tisbury library will be open this Sunday from noon to 4 pm, the first of off-season Sunday hours. The first Second Sunday Jazz concert will begin at 2:30 pm.

The day before, there will be a special program, “A Conversation on the Life and Legacy of Dr. Milton Mazer,” at 3 pm. Dr. Mazer’s letters to presidents and other government officials during the Vietnam War years inspired the newly published “David’s Slingshot.” This quote from his introduction gives a sense of his purpose, and a sense of the man he was: “I sought the engagement, by doing what I thought democracy demanded, letting our leaders know how I felt about the issues of the day.”

Dr. Mazer’s other enduring gift to the Island was the genesis of Community Services. Dr. Charles Silberstein will lead a panel discussion with Mike Colaneri, Tony Earls, Tom Bennett, and Peter Kramer.

Please note that the library, schools, and public buildings will be closed on Monday for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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