West Tisbury: Early voting, soup and bread lunches, Howe’s House, and Jennie Greene

—MV Times

Watching the snow falling Tuesday morning, I kept hearing in my head the lyrics to “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from “Oklahoma” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Of course, I was looking at my snowy woods instead of Gordon MacRae riding through a sunny cornfield, but I was watching a beautiful landscape before me, nonetheless. Wednesday morning elicited the same response, as the blue sky made a bright contrast to the white snow, and the sun made everything sparkle. These sunny mornings the past week or two have been glorious.

Don’t forget that this Saturday, Feb. 24, is the last day to register to vote in the March 5 Super Tuesday Presidential Primary. Town clerk Tara Whiting-Wells and registrars will be at the Public Safety Building from 9 am to 5 pm on that day. It is also the first day of early voting. Tara will be there for early voting through the following week, Monday through Friday, 8 to 11 am. The polls will be open on March 5 from 7 am. to 8 pm.

There is a drop box at Town Hall for absentee ballots. It has been refurbished and moved into the Town Hall lobby, which is unlocked between 7 am and 9 pm.

School vacation is next week. The West Tisbury Library Foundation, the Friends, and Chef Deon are providing free soup and bread lunches at the library, Monday through Friday, 11:30 am to 1 pm. Everyone is welcome. Plan to stay for a movie on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30.

Joyce Albertine is really retiring as longtime director of the Up-Island Council on Aging, so a search committee will be forming to find her replacement. It is expected to be a commitment of three months of frequent meetings on Zoom. The committee will be responsible for recruiting, evaluating, and recommending the most qualified candidate, and holding in-person interviews of the finalists. If you would be interested in serving on the search committee, please contact Peter Cook, chair, at petercook@comcast.net.

I am ending this week’s column with news of the passing of our dear friend Jennie Greene last Tuesday. She was a regular on the bench, inside or on the porch, for coffee hour at Alley’s. Jennie lived down at Quansoo, so brought reports of weather and seasonal phenomena that often differed from what we were experiencing in West Tisbury, Island weather being what it is. She was a careful observer of the natural world, of the arrival of seasonal birds, of trees as they newly budded and later lost their leaves, of whatever was flowering or walking or flying through her yard. She loved dogs, especially her golden retriever, Dory, who will miss her terribly.

She knew everyone, so she had a perspective on Chilmark news and politics to add to whatever was under discussion on the bench. Politics, both local and of the world, were frequent subjects. Jennie was thoughtful, wise, prudent, stoic, and kind. Her strong values were as rigidly upright as her spine, indeed she lived as she believed. She was honorable above all.

I looked at the photograph of Jennie that accompanied her obituary. She was wearing a bright pink shirt, looking straight at the camera as she stood laughing on the beach. Wind was blowing her hair away from her face. She was a picture of happiness and health, as she was for much of the time I knew her.

So many summer evenings, sitting on Alley’s porch, looking across at the library, the Howes House, at passing vehicles, at the trees across State Road. “Look at the spaces where the sky shows between the branches and leaves.” I would be looking at colors; Jennie would be looking at signs of approaching weather.

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