“Baby, it’s cold outside,” goes the Frank Loesser song. It was written in 1944, but perfectly describes the past weekend. After our lovely respite of sunny days in the 40s, we spent Friday and Saturday at -2° when we woke up. The temperature hardly went above that. The wind blew trees and branches down around town, froze the Mill Pond solid, and kept us busy filling wheelbarrows with firewood, and keeping the wood stove going. Sunday was a little better, and we are expecting a return of milder weather this week.
In last week’s column. I wondered about what we would leave behind for future generations, as emails and computer-generated-and-stored everything have replaced handwritten letters, advertising, news, photographs, little drawings, and notes on paper. Bow Van Riper’s programs that focus on such ephemera always make me think about this, but recently I received a box of old family photographs, letters, and newspaper clippings from a Ridgefield friend.
Many of the photographs were familiar and recognizable, duplicates of ones I had in other old boxes that had been my mother’s or grandmother’s. Some were new to me, though, class pictures of my school-age mother, pictures of her as a young woman, her life as a professional, recognized as one of the first registered pharmacists in the country. Her diploma was in there, too, with a congratulatory letter. I found letters from her congressman and senator, responses to her letters of concern, as news came to America describing the rounding up and murder of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
There were funny things, too. My father kept “the penny I gave you for your thoughts,” and sweet notes he wrote to my mother when they were courting. I recognized his handwriting, and my mother’s. Where else would I have even seen their handwriting? How would I ever have a glimpse into their lives as a young couple starting out, buying Mignerey’s Pharmacy and the house on East Ridge when they moved to Ridgefield?
I was curious to learn if there was a historical society in Ridgefield. There is. I have happily wasted time looking at their website when I should have been writing this column. I have written to ask if they would be interested in anything I have. I am already looking forward to visiting next time I’m in Ridgefield.
Back to West Tisbury news.
Martha’s Vineyard Democrats will hold their monthly meeting on Saturday, Feb. 11, 9:30 to 11 am, on Zoom. The agenda includes committee reports and a presentation on gun safety by the Falmouth Gun Safety Coalition. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the Zoom link. They are joining with the library and the West Tisbury Task Force Against Discrimination to host “West Tisbury and You,” that afternoon at 2 at the library. Find out about how our town works and ways you can participate.
Other events at the library:
The Friends of the West Tisbury Free Public Library are honoring Black History Month with a special monthlong sale of books about African American history and biographies, and books by African American authors. There are books for adults and children on a cart inside the library. Cash-only payments of $3 for hardcovers, $1 for paperbacks, and as marked for children’s books.
Thursday, Feb. 9, at 4:30 pm, Tom Dresser will speak and show slides of his walking trip along West Highland Way in Scotland last summer.
Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2:30 pm, there will be a live jazz concert, a tribute to John Alaimo by musicians who performed with him. Jeremy Berlin, Eric Johnson, and Tauras Biskis will play some of John’s favorite music, including his original compositions and arrangements.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, there will be an artist’s reception for Ed Schulman at 3:30 pm.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, will be the first meeting of “Writing Through: A Five-Session Course,” led by Sue Guiney. Writers will meet at the Howes House from 1:30 to 3 pm on Feb. 15, 17, 22, and 24, with a celebratory reading on Feb. 27. Sign up at email@example.com. Donald Nitchie will lead a Poetry Drop-In on Zoom at 4:30 pm that will continue to meet on alternate Wednesdays through March 29. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I received an email from Richard Rowe about an estimable young man named Finn Fish. Finn is a 2-year-old who has already shown his commitment to being a good environmental citizen by picking up trash along his walks at Lambert’s Cove Beach. He has a fleet of trucks he uses for this purpose. Finn’s mother and walking companion is Ali Fish, an environmental biologist, and a fervent supporter of her son’s efforts.
Don’t forget that next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. Tell someone you love them. Tell several someones.
If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, email@example.com.