Chilmark: Leaf art workshop, Island Eats new program, and Art Talk with Janet Mandel

—MV Times

This week I’m writing from a Boston hotel — doing the MGH shuffle — and so very grateful to friends who stepped in to help keep the home base going. It is a good idea to think about emergency contacts and checklists before you need them. I’d love to hear what others have come up with.

Alone on dreary winter days, darkness can drift inside, but Emily Davis’ workshops flood you with light. Emily, a talented leaf artist, gathered a fabulous group of fellow humans at Pathways on Jan. 21 for a transformative workshop. Emily Davis’ informative and therapeutic approach sparked incredibly astonishing, beautiful, and creative works, and perhaps best of all, friendships. Long after it was over we lingered, exchanging contact information. Her website is, and she promised she will keep us informed about future workshops. 

One of these lovely attendees, Sam Simcoe, gave me helpful advice she received from a nun when she was a young pupil at Catholic school. When she asked a beloved nun for help praying for strength, the nun responded, “Oh, never do that! Because God will send you more. Always pray for peace.” What a wonderful reminder that I can easily forget in times of stress, you are already strong enough and doing enough — you don’t need to do or be more, what you need is relief.

The Chilmark Community Church thanked Carol Loud, over 15 years of service on the organ bench. Carol will fill in from time to time, so hopefully she won’t be a stranger. They are looking for guest musicians each Sunday as we begin the search for a permanent replacement. If you have any willing suggestions, email Charlotte Wright,, or Emily Broderick,

Their Tuesdays @ 5:30 pm free Community Suppers are still paused. They will assess weekly and keep the community posted.

Next Sunday, Jan. 29, they welcome Sean McMahon (guitar) along with the First Baptist Church of Gay Head. 

Thank you, Susan Heilbron, reminding me that “Ed Sussman (not Swenson) is Dana Nunes’s partner.” In last week’s column, my brain coughed up a beloved and now deceased Chilmark friend’s name by mistake. Oops. Thank you, Dana, for your kind response to my apology: “That’s OK; you took him from Jewish to Swedish! Let’s hope that next week he’ll be back to himself, again. No worries. Cheers, Dana”

Billy Dillon, caretaker at the Vagelos property, emailed news from North Road. “My daughter, Augusta Dillon, who grew up next door to you, received her white coat last week at Simmons College. Next October she will become a nurse practitioner in family medicine here at M.V. Hospital. Just more news from North Road.” Congratulations, Augusta, and we look forward to celebrating again in October.

Katie Carroll alerted us to the news that Jessica Mason, mom to Chilmark School students Luca, Anders, and Estelle, daughter of Joan and Jim Malkin, creator and voice of Island Eats, the reusable takeout container program, member of the Chilmark School’s advisory council, and co-director of, cultivating the next generation of cooperative businesses, bringing them to scale, needs our help. About 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with IGA nephropathy, a form of chronic kidney disease. Since her diagnosis, she has been living a pretty normal life. But over the past month, her kidneys have really begun to fail, and she is in need of a transplant. “You’ve got this, Jessica!” And we are cheering you on. Here’s the Vimeo link:

Last week’s Chilmark library virtual series Art Talk with Janet Mandel on Suzanne Valadon was a fabulous and detailed introduction to her work and life. The next one, Feb. 7, is on Florine Stettheimer.

The new fire station to house Chilmark’s engines, new Tri-Town EMT and ambulance, and the barn raising of an 1860 working barn from New Hampshire at Beetlebung Farm are taking shape. And the view from Menemsha Crossroads is delightful.

May threads of connection, woven with care, continue to carry us. Take care of yourself this week.