West Tisbury: Lullaby video, Tom Thatcher, Music Street concert, and Lyme disease

—MV Times

Cool days and cool nights. Trees are mostly leafed out, leaves already darkening in color, and obscuring the view as they blow across my windows. I’m still writing upstairs in my aerie that reminds me of a treehouse I had as a child, a dogwood tree outside our dining room where I read, wrote, drew, and felt invisible.

Paul Karasik told me a story about a piece of music he couldn’t get out of his head. He heard “The Dream Passes by the Windows” a Ukrainian lullaby, sung at a Martha’s Vineyard Community Chorus concert. Being an artist and doing what artists do, he went home and made a six-panel comic, turning the musical experience into a visual one. His wife, Marsha Winsryg, suggested combining the two. Paul asked chorus director Bill Peek, who asked the original trio, Molly Conole, Jenny Friedman, and Jessica Sanseverino, to record their performance. It was made into a video that can be seen at

thenation.com/article/world/a-ukrainian-lullaby. Please take a look at this moving and beautifully composed video.

I am sad to report the passing of Tom Thatcher on May 20. I can picture Tom wearing a jacket, an ironed shirt, a bow tie. He was the somewhat formal sort of gentleman that I grew up with, of dress and manners, like my father and others of that generation. He was knowledgeable about art, music, books, Island history, an interesting conversational partner, someone I was always happy to see. He was often at the library or concerts. His eyes crinkled up when he smiled. I can’t believe that he was 96; he retained a boyishness that was endearing.

I knew of Tom before I ever met him. I can’t remember who took me to see his daffodil-filled field on South Road the first spring I lived on the Island. When I met Mike, I heard stories about Tom and his Martha’s Vineyard Pottery in one of Dan’l Manter’s outbuildings, a place he and other neighborhood kids frequented.

“He was so good to us kids. He always let us play with the clay and make things,” said Hannah Beecher, Mike’s cousin. We have two pieces of pottery that Mike made — an ashtray and a tile, both with a spouting whale swimming through the waves.

Condolences, too, to the family and friends of Sally Segall, who died on May 16. I didn’t know Sally that well, but ran into her and her husband, Marshall, often at the library. She was part of West Tisbury.

The annual “Remembering the Rosenthals” concert by Music Street Musicians at the West Tisbury library is Saturday, June 3, at 4 pm. The program will include Baroque, French, Argentinian, and Hollywood movie music. On Monday, June 5, the monthly wellness clinic will meet from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, including blood pressure and other screenings, health counseling, and health news. It’s free, and all are welcome.

The Neighborhood Convention will meet on Tuesday, June 6, at 11 am, at the Chilmark Community Church. Deborah Medders will speak about “From Restriction to Empowerment.”

I have been lucky enough to have tours of two friends’ gardens. Mike and I had breakfast at Sandy and Jim Turner’s last Sunday. After we ate, Sandy and I headed outside to see everything. She has a mostly shade garden in the woods, conditions similar to mine just up the road. Her rhododendrons haven’t wintered over well, so she has replaced them with different varieties of viburnums and Japanese maples, to a spectacular result. All are underplanted with ferns, ajuga, hellebores, astilbes, sweet woodruff, and incorporate the native oaks, sheep laurel, and ferns into her design. It’s lovely.

On Friday afternoon, Betty Haynes and I were invited to Julia Humphrey’s for lunch, a rhododendron walk, and to meet her visiting friend, Clay Dilworth. Most of Julia’s rhododendrons were planted in the 1970s, and are tall and well-established. They line her driveway, continue along the edge of her woods, and enclose her yard in a froth of white and pink. It was warm enough to eat outside, allowing extra time to enjoy the view. And the company. Clay was full of stories about her long friendship with Julia, her life in New York, and her recent move to the mountains of North Carolina.

After these many years living on the Vineyard, and after all my complaints about the rampant number of ticks this year, I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually get Lyme, and I did. It was a surprise, as I tend to be casual about taking ticks off, wiping the spot with alcohol, and that’s that.

Mike didn’t wake me Sunday morning, just left a note saying he had an itchy rash and went to the ER. I hadn’t woken him Saturday night when I saw an itchy rash on my arm, planning to show it to him in the morning. We could have gone together.

As it turned out, he has Lyme, looked at my arm, and thought I should go, too. So I did. The woman at the admitting desk, the nurse leading me to the same room, the gentleman taking my information, and the ER doctor all laughed at me arriving with the same complaint. “I just saw your husband,” they said, one after another. I came home with doxycycline and instructions to stay out of the sun. Doesn’t it seem ridiculous to live here and have to be bundled up in long clothes, wary of being outside because of ticks?

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