West Tisbury: Old town dump, ‘Becoming Gandhi,’ Human Recovery Library, and Paul Doherty

—MV Times

It feels like we are back in time to July, and summer’s hot, humid days and nights. What a miserable week this has been. This week’s weather is expected to be more of the same, maybe with on-and-off thunder showers, maybe just plain miserable. Maybe it will cool off by the end of the week.

The Derby began at 12:01 on Sunday morning. Expect avid fishing friends to be exhausted after being up all night on a beach. Hopefully, they will be happy, too, with a fish to be weighed in. There will be donated fish for seniors at the Howes House on Thursdays.

Mike and I were reminiscing with his cousin, Hannah Beecher, about going to the old West Tisbury dump. Those were the days when there were treasures to be had just for the picking. Building codes were somewhat looser, and recycling and Yankee ingenuity were put to good use. Many of us built and furnished our houses in some part with someone else’s discards. Windows. Doors. Sinks with fittings. Sets of chairs. Oriental carpets. Everyone had stories of amazing finds.

Of course, there were mistakes, too, like the time Mike’s father threw out his mother’s Lenox dessert plates, and was forced to go back to retrieve them. Luckily, he found them. Mike remembers having to rescue his snow tires from the dump after one of his father’s purges. Remember snow tires?

Mike’s father, Richard, was famous for getting rid of things, but Aunt Janice was the treasure hunter sine qua non. Hannah remembered her wearing high rubber boots when she went to the dump, so she could easily climb down into the pit when she spotted something. Hannah said that Janice retrieved a Harris tweed jacket she gave to Hannah’s father, Bud; it fit him perfectly. All of us were the grateful recipients of Janice’s keen eye.

What began this conversation was disgust at the amount of litter along the roadsides and the carelessness of people with their recyclables at the transfer station. Transfer station. It sounds so antiseptic and uninteresting. “Dump” sounded much more colorful. I remember standing on the tailgate of my father’s Chevrolet station wagon and heaving bags into a smoldering pit. What a funny memory to hold dear, but at age 5 or 6 it seemed momentous.

Hannah brought us gifts from Cape Made of Cod, the online store of Milo Agnew, son of Ezra Agnew and Kelley DeBettencourt. Milo won an art prize at the Ag Fair this summer for a drawing of himself wearing a superhero cape made of cod. He and his mother turned it into a website displaying various wares sporting superhero Milo. Take a look: the-milo-store.printify.me/products.

Perry Garfinkel is in town, staying at his old digs off Music Street, where he had lived in the mid-2000s. “Being here is like a personal literary walking tour. I’m taking a sentimental respite, seeing old friends and familiar places,” he said. Perry is readying himself for the launch of his soon-to-be-published book, “Becoming Gandhi: My Experiment Living the Mahatma’s Moral Truths in Immoral Times.” He hopes to be back next summer to participate in some of the Island’s book events.

The M.V. League of Women Voters is hosting a membership tea for members and for those interested in joining the organization. They will also honor longtime member Leigh Smith. The event will be held at the M.V. Museum on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3 pm. Research historian A. Bow Van Riper will speak about the league’s history on the island. If you are interested, RSVP to membership chair Carole Early at caroleearly@gmail.com.

At the library:

Thursday, Sept. 14, members of the Human Recovery Library will be available for conversations between 1 and 5:30 p.m. The Human Library is a program where people are “lent out” for 15-minute private conversations about various topics. This program is about addiction and recovery.

There will be a reception for artist-of-the-month Paul Doherty this Saturday, Sept. 16, from 3 to 4:30 pm. He is exhibiting photographs of landscapes showing the effects of light and color from the wildfires this past summer.

Sunday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m., members of the M.V. Cultural Council will offer guidance and information about applying for one of their grants this fall.

Deb Dunn will speak about “10 Tips to Help Your Child’s Reading Bloom” on Monday, Sept. 18, at 4:30 pm. The program is for parents, family, caregivers, and teachers of young children.

All programs are free, with no sign-up required.

The air is heavy and full of moisture. Mike is already downstairs, and I can smell fresh coffee brewing. Time for breakfast and “Morning Joe.”

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