This is the second time I'm writing this column. Not only is our computer not working, but neither is the one at the library. I had almost finished my column when there was a power glitch at the library and my column totally disappeared, unrecoverable. The first effort reflected a more positive start to the day, but I will try to recover that along with my thoughts.
There was a sense of well-being following Friday's daylong rainfall. Lawns, gardens, and people all seemed to breathe sighs of relief. Our rain gauge measured three-quarters of an inch, but I heard other reports throughout town of up to an inch-and-a-half. Saturday and Sunday seemed summer perfect with sunny skies and no humidity.
The library was the place of choice on Friday; 896 patrons were served that day. At our monthly Trustee's meeting last Thursday, Director Beth Kramer reported that 14,647 patrons used the library in July, an average of 70 people per hour, and 3,000 more than in July 2006. Wow!
Beth also asked me to tell everyone that the Fine Amnesty Program has been reinstated. In lieu of fines, unopened, non-perishable food will be collected for the Island Food Pantry. Food donations and supplies may be brought to the library regardless, a good opportunity for summer folks leaving the Island or for anyone wishing to make a contribution to neighbors in need.
Emily Smith was at the Artisan's Show on Sunday with her brother and sister-in-law, Craig and Kim Harrison from Lakeville, here visiting Emily and Keston. All were happily surprised by the sunshine, claiming that it usually begins to rain as soon as the Harrisons disembark onto the Island. May your weather karma change for the better. Hope you had fun together.
I keep forgetting to mention all the things going on at the Grange. Besides the Farmer's Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, there is an Artisan's Show every Thursday and Sunday, featuring handmade crafts and artwork by Islanders, and an Antique Show every Friday.
Eleanor Neubert called with news of the Agricultural Fair, which opens this Thursday, August 16. This year's theme is "In the Pink," depicted by Chilmark artist Jackie Mendez-Diez as a cute pink pig looking over a fence, inviting all to come to the fair.
New to the fair this year, Robinson's Racing Pigs will provide entertainment on all four days. Cushing Amusements will offer a "Pay One Price" bracelet good for unlimited rides on Friday night only from 6 to 10 pm. A 2008 calendar featuring fair posters from years past will be offered for sale along with tee-shirts and posters in the Ag Society booth.
Andy Wapner, long-time Vineyard visitor, will be arriving from Philadelphia to stay with Leslie Baker and Dave Gorenberg. They are planning several trips to the fair, as Andy claims she is coming especially for firemen's hamburgers. Leslie has described to me the walk she and Dave take from their house on Elias Lane and along Scotchman's, dark except for the stars twinkling overhead, until they come out onto State Road and are dazzled by the lights and lured by the music at the fairgrounds. What an artistic description from my painter friend.
Another painter friend, Jim Harrington, came with his wife Betty to spend the weekend with Mike and me. They came over on the fast ferry from Nantucket, a trip of 50 minutes instead of the two-and-a-half hours it used to take. Hopefully it will encourage them to come more often, as it was lovely having them with us. I accompanied them to their friend Anthony Panzera's opening at the Eisenhauer Gallery Saturday night. Then we went across the street to see paintings by Jeanne Staples and Allen Whiting at Gardner-Colby, then home for art talk into the night.
We had plans for after Sunday breakfast, but West Tisbury firemen were called to a propane tank leak in Vineyard Meadow Farms, so we lost Mike for most of the morning. The leak proved serious and Mike returned just in time to drive the Harringtons to Oak Bluffs to catch their boat home.
I send the happiest of birthday wishes to two friends and fellow Times writers, belatedly to Jackie Sexton on August 12, and to Brooks Robards on August 21.
I'm not sure to whom I owe a "thank you" for a very special drawing I found on the bag my vegetables were in from the Farmer's Market last Saturday. Devin and Blake Hearn were helping their grandparents, Glenn and Linda, but I don't know which one did the orange colored ink drawing. I cut it out and pinned it up with other artwork and quotations on a board next to my writing table. It made me smile to come home and see it. Thank you.
I just looked out the window and saw the most spectacular orange and gold sky through the trees in our woods. What a beautiful evening, after the rain.