West Tisbury: Farmer’s Market, turkey dinner, town visioning workshop, and Charlie Parton

—MV Times

When my brother, Andy, called me Tuesday morning to wish me a happy birthday, he said it was snowing in Redding. Just a few flakes, but snow, nonetheless. Snow on Nov. 1 is remarkable, and has never happened before that I remember. Just thinking about it was a lovely birthday present.

I love my birthday, and spreading it out to as many days as possible is an annual tradition. First, I was taken out to Hamburger Night at State Road by Michael, Linda, and Ilana Dzuba, who were visiting from Philadelphia. Because of Halloween falling on a Tuesday, Iyla and Blue couldn’t make my birthday cake until Thursday. Meanwhile, there were presents, cards, phone calls, emails. My gifts from my niece, Charlotte, and my brother, Mike, arrived in Saturday’s mail. We had breakfast with the Turners, celebrating Sandy’s birthday, too, which falls this week. Kathy Logue and I are planning something; we haven’t decided what or when yet, but it’s nice to know there is more to look forward to. I love my birthday.

The first Indoor Farmer’s Market will be this Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Ag Hall. Linda Alley didn’t have all the information yet, but I expect there will be hours posted on the sign. It’s always a surprise to still find so much gorgeous produce in November. Plus the baked and cooked items, Linda’s jam, indoor plants, and all sorts of unexpected wares. See you there.

M.V. Democrats’ monthly Zoom meeting is this Saturday. Virtual doors will open at 9:15 am for the 9:30 meeting. For information or to get the Zoom link, email demsmv@gmail.com.

Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock, there will be a memorial service for Bob Fischer, who died on Oct. 14. It will be at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Edgartown.

If you don’t want to cook Saturday night, the First Baptist Church will be serving a turkey dinner in the Parish House on Williams Street, Vineyard Haven, between 5 and 6:30 pm. You may eat there, or order your dinner to go. For reservations or information, call 508-693-1539 or 508-246-1729.

Jane Rossi told me that the West Tisbury planning board is organizing a two-day visioning workshop for April. You may remember the last one was done in 1997. Jane said that the report from that weekend can be read at Town Hall. it will be interesting to see how we have done to enact whatever we felt was important back then, and to compare with whatever we decide in April. Our town, although small by national standards, has grown considerably over 26 years, and changed in ways we might not have envisioned. Food trucks, affordable housing, service businesses, and safe roads and pathways are possible topics that may be discussed. To be continued.

Don’t forget the Special Town Meeting on Nov. 14, 6 pm, at the West Tisbury School. The warrant is on the town’s website. It looks like mostly housekeeping articles, paying bills and amending wording in several bylaws, but the big discussions will likely concern articles relating to affordable housing issues. Read the warrant yourself in case I have mistakenly glossed over anything huge.

I am sad to be the bearer of news that Charlie Parton died last week, on Oct. 30. He was 98. As anyone who knew Charlie would attest, he lived those 98 years as fully and richly as anyone could. I feel lucky to have years of memories of Charlie behind the counter at Alley’s, to hear his laughter (often at his own jokes) as he sliced cheese from the wheel on the counter, or dished up hot fudge sundaes on winter Wednesday nights. He really did maintain the truth in advertising as the general store that had everything. There was paint, hardware in drawers, work clothes and boots, plumbing and electrical supplies, food for us humans, as well as our pets, newspapers, keys (Charlie was a locksmith, among his many talents). We all went in for Diane Wall’s doughnuts and coffee. Charlie’s wife, Teena, stocked the best cooking equipment, and filled the front porch with plants and garden supplies every spring. Remember Lambert, the store cat, who ruled the roost from his bag of Meow Mix? Alley’s really served the year-round working community. If you needed something the store didn’t stock, Charlie and Teena would find it and order it for you. More business was conducted inside or on the porch than anywhere else in town.

You will have to read the formal obituary to learn of Charlie’s myriad other talents and achievements. For this column, there are only my reminiscences of him as a treasured friend, storekeeper, weaver, lover of his many friends and of all animals. My love and condolences to Teena.

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