JOHN S. ALLEY
The winter so far has exhibited wild fluctuations of temperature. Monday’s 56 degrees tied the record on that date for the all-time high. Snowfall has been below average since late December.
But there have been days when Parsonage Pond was full of skaters and it was awfully cold, then a few days later a doubles tennis match would take place on the courts in the school yard or golfers were practicing their swing in the field next to the agricultural hall. Today marks the beginning of the school vacation week for Vineyard students and many families will also take a vacation from the winter boredom.
The political season is getting hotter as three people are seeking the office of selectman: incumbent Glenn Hearn of Carl’s Way, Richard Knabel of Panhandle Road and James Powell of Lambert’s Cove Road. You also may vote for two of the five candidates seeking to serve as a library trustee. Incumbents Hermine Hull and Linda Hearn seek re-election and are opposed by Paul Garcia, Greg Orcutt and Cynthia Riggs. Jonathan Revere will oppose incumbent Glenn Hearn for land bank commissioner. Nomination papers closed yesterday. It also looks to be a very busy town meeting this year.
Julie Bruno reports that on Feb. 5, Josephine Bruno of Old County Road and Kennett Square, Pa., celebrated her 90thbirthday. A party was given for her by her two sons, Clarke and William,at Clarke’s home in Princeton, N.J. In attendance were many friends and relatives including Josie’s three grandchildren. The guests included Clarke and his wife Julie and their two children, Alex and Sophie; William and his wife Catherine and their son, Nicholas; Josie’s sister in law, Cris Bowlin, from South Carolina, who has spent many summers at her house on Indian Hill Road; and Louise and Henry Bessire of Edgartown Road. Josie had a wonderful time and her guests offered toasts to a mother, Red Cross volunteer, model, Russian linguist, photographer, wildflower expert and conservationist.
Cynthia Riggs of Edgartown Road recently donated to the Edgartown School a very creative auction item: “Having your name in my next book” to help raise funds for their Washington, D.C., trip. Dr. James Weiss, superintendent of schools, was the high bidder at $375. She received a letter from Chris Pitt, a student in the eighth grade class, thanking her for the donation and reporting that the entire auction netted a grand total of $17,000. Cynthia’s next book, Touch-Me-Not, scheduled to be released next spring, will contain a character named Jim Weiss as he requested. Whether it is a villain or a hero we will have to read it to find out. She also has offered the school to speak about and share her experience of writing.
Ron and Deb Kokernack of Webster, her sister Donna, husband Matt Annese and their daughter Tallia visited with us over the holiday weekend. Ron is determined to rehabilitate my old truck that quit running just after Christmas.
Steve Hart of Old County Road and his significant other Lynne Demond returned home on Sunday after a two-week vacation on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Steve reports that they had a wonderful time and the weather was fantastic but they are glad to be back home.
Richard Paradise of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is hosting the third annual Oscar Night Benefit Party on Sunday at the Oyster Bar in Oak Bluffs. It will start at 6:30 p.m. and the awards telecast starts at 8 p.m. Admission is limited so get in touch with him as soon as possible to secure a seat at this special event.
Marian Irving, senior deacon at the Congregational Church, is pleased to learn the mystery of the scroll found in the church closet has been solved and assures you that it will once again hang on wall in the church.
Here is the story: In mid-June 1957, Mayflower II made port at Plymouth and she brought, among other things, scrolls from the towns of Tisbury and Chilmark in Wiltshire, England, for her sister towns on the Vineyard. The Chilmark scroll was to hang in their new librarybuilding, and the West Tisbury scroll was to be presented to the church by Dionis Coffin Riggs and would hang in the entry of the church building.
The idea of the scrolls originated with the late Donald R. Campbell, a cousin of Mrs. Riggs, who owned a winter home on Old County Road. That scroll was presented to his wife, Elizabeth. Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Riggs of Edgartown Road visited the two English towns on their recent trip overseas and made the arrangements to bring about this new tie, sentimental, historical, and in all ways appropriate, with the namesake towns in Wiltshire. Dr. Riggs wrote to Sidney Pond, alderman of the Tisbury district, and he took up the matter with church people who made the scrolls. Alderman Pond then got them aboard the Mayflower. The Chilmark scroll is from the Church of St. Margaret, and West Tisbury’s is from the two churches of St. John the Baptist, where Thomas Mayhew was baptized and where the old Mayhew family records are preserved, and the Zion Congregational Church.
The text reads: “We, the undersigned, greet our kinsmen in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, and are happy to make this link: we trust the bond between our two peoples will long be maintained . . . .”
There was a special aptness in the presentation to be made by Dionis Riggs, a descendant of John Howland and his wife Elizabeth Tilley, those famous voyagers of the original Mayflower, and also of Thomas Mayhew of Tisbury in Wiltshire, who was the Vineyard’s first proprietor and governor.
Happy birthday to Samantha Church and Roy Cavanaugh today; Ellen Wolfe, Sally Segall, Stuart Gardner and Lukas Higgins tomorrow; Brenda McMorrow, Ernie Mendenhall, Kevin Carr, Tom Ronan and Diane Wall on Sunday; Steve Gallagher, Alison Welles, Kelly Arruda and Susie Bowman on Monday; Katherine Athearn, Ann Nevin, Mason Fischer and Natasha Taylor on Tuesday; Gene Bergeron, Shawn Emin, and Kevin McFarland on Wednesday; and Tom Thatcher, Andrew Kennedy, Susan Goldstein and George Brush on Thursday. Belated anniversary wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mavro and belated birthday greetings to Jean Morton Fischer O’Reilly.
Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s edition. If you have any news, please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.