Chilmark: Elder care, Potluck Jam, radio, Easter activities, library, and Imagined Gardens

—MV Times

The daffodils are bursting, the ospreys have returned and are busy fortifying the nest, and the garlic my father and I planted in the fall is growing. I need to check on the peas. Our family is gathering to say goodbye to a beloved man who is valiantly staying present. We are hoping for more time. Tenderly caring for an elder you deeply love while walking them home is a time full of contrasting moments that are simultaneously gritty and gorgeous. Dad is a cancer survivor succumbing to a rare, fast-growing cancerous tumor secondary to radiation treatments given about 10 years ago. Cancer treatments have come a long way, and many are cured. There wasn’t enough long-term survival data to identify this risk. At the time his first cancer was treated, the doctors blasted the area with radiation, and Dad remembers the doctor said, “I can guarantee this cancer won’t be back.” It is too late for Dad, but we now know how important it is to be careful and minimally radiate a site, and continue annual screenings for cancer in areas that received radiation. Let’s help one another schedule annual physicals and screening, see a doctor if we have symptoms of something, do self-exams, get colonoscopies, Pap smears, and mammograms.

The Saturday, April 1, Chilmark Potluck Jam was canceled. I was disappointed, and as I write, there is hope it will be rescheduled for this coming Saturday, April 8.

Because my father is blind, we listen to games on the radio. Since the potluck was canceled, we tuned in to TuneIn Radio’s broadcast of the San Diego Aztecs game against the Florida Atlantic Owls. I will never forget the sound of Westwood One radio announcer Kevin Kugler’s exuberant and clear voice saying, “Six seconds to go, five seconds, Butler, to the right wing with three seconds, Butler in the corner, with one second, hoists the jumper… IT’S GOOOOOOOD! IT’S GOOOOOOOD! LAMONT BUTLER SENDS SAN DIEGO STATE TO ITS FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME! 72-71! THE BUTLER DID IT FOR THE AZTECS IN HOUSTON!” I will enjoy repeating “IT’S GOOOOOOOD!” whenever something lovely and unexpected happens, remembering that I first heard it with my father.

Events this week at the Chilmark Community Church, Menemsha Road:

Easter Sunday Worship. You are invited to come on Easter Sunday, April 9, at 9 am. The Rev. Charlotte will be delivering a message, and the musical guests will be Phil Dietterich, organist, and Violet Southwick, cellist. Following the service at 10 am will be the return of our beloved Easter Egg Hunt! Invite friends and family. All are welcome!

And Tuesday nights the church offers Pizza Night at 6 p.m. Come for good food, good company, and good games.

Events this week at the the Chilmark library, 522 South Road:

Thursdays, April 6, 13, and 27, at 10:30 am: “Memoir Workshop” with Moira Silva. In this course, a blend of exercises, readings, and discussions will connect writers with their writing and themselves. Participants will form a supportive community while sharing in-process work. We will honor whatever is created, be it essays, songs, letters, or entirely new genres. Writers will leave lighter in spirit and richer in purpose. No writing experience required. Moira Convey Silva is a writing instructor, writing consultant, yoga teacher, community activist, and award-winning writer who, for over 10 years, has freelanced for national and local periodicals. She, arguably, always has the loudest laugh in the room. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invite. Free. Sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library. 508-645-3360.

Saturday, April 8, 2 pm: “Poetry Prescription and Reading” with C.I. Marshall. Does your poem need a visit to a poem doctor? C.I. Marshall, winner of the Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Award, is taking appointments now. Bring your “problem” poems, and Marshall will listen to you read, discuss your poems, then prescribe possible ways to improve them. You will be given a prescription based on your poems’ ailments to take home with you. Followed by a reading of Marshall’s The Locksmith Journeys Into the Afterlife. C.I. Marshall’s poems have appeared in Verdad, Spillway, Packinghouse Review, Beyond the Lyric Moment: Poetry Inspired by Workshops with David St. John, Birmingham Poetry Review, the Broad River Review, Stone Quarterly Journal, and Poems in the Waiting Room, U.K. This in-person event will take place at the Chilmark library, and is hosted in collaboration with the Chilmark and V.H. libraries. Please register for this exciting opportunity by emailing

Pathways Arts at the Chilmark Tavern, 9 State Road, Chilmark, offers the following:

Friday, April 7, 7-9 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm), “Imagined Gardens and Landscapes”: Marianne Goldberg, the founder of Pathways Center for the Arts, created the “Imagined Gardens and Landscapes” thread to provide a platform for creative expression in the world of plants and landscapes in all their forms — imagined, planned, or actual. This year we are highlighting the works of three community members who are on the forefront of connecting plant awareness with global consequences.

Roxanne Kapitan, regenerative gardener and permaculture enthusiast, will showcase her Perennial Seaside Octagonal Garden. Learn about the perennial approach to planning, planting and maintaining an edible food forest. Rebecca Gilbert, farmer and forager, will share highlights of her new book, “Weedy Wisdom.” You will never look at weeds the same way after hearing her inspiring approach to using wild plants to nourish your body and soul. Rebecca Saunders, farm manager at Whippoorwill farm, will display the West Tisbury Library Seed Cabinet, and share how anyone in the community can use it to get and/or contribute seeds. Building and maintaining a local seed bank is the backbone of a sustainable future.

Tuesday, April 11, 7 to 9 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm), Open writing and poetry series with Ron Slate will be an open-mic.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,