Time for the citizens of the United States of America to grow up and get with the program. I am referring to adopting the world clock right here in the “we hate change and we don’t want to learn anything new” United States. What brings the discussion up this column is that a dear friend of mine, who shall remain nameless to protect her from more of the slings and arrows of sarcasm and her tight-knit family, made an error last Sunday which will go down in family history — the same way my Aunt Joan, forgetting the mustard at an IBM picnic in the 1960s, is remembered, teased and laughed at at all reunions.
My dear hardworking friend had planned her vacation at her parents’ condo in Florida with her peripatetic 40-year-old brother and super-active four-year-old son. Her oldest brother picked them up at their respective homes by 5:30 a.m. last Sunday to deliver them to the airport for a 7:30 a.m. flight to Florida. The only problem was my friend was thinking a.m. and the flights were actually p.m. Since you can’t linger in your car at airports anymore, her oldest brother pulled off before they realized her mistake and could be ferried back home. Twelve hours in the airport with those two boys! I don’t even want to think about it. Whereas if we would go with the rest of the globe and use phrases like ”thirteen hundred hours,” everything would have been okay.
I remember when my son was in Iraq and would occasionally call me up. (Yes, they can telephone from war zones now). I would ask, “What time is it there?,” and in complete military lingo he would respond “fourteen hundred hours.” I would do some quick arithmetic, never an easy task for me, and figure out what he meant. If memory does not fail, I think when I was about 10 years old our country was trying to adopt the metric system to be on the same page, as they say, with the rest of the world. We were given new charts and rulers at school and some highway signs were altered. Being so “testa dura,” which is Italian for hard-headed, Americans refused to make the change. We are what, the only country still speaking in feet, inches and miles? As I said, if we really want to be a part of the global community a change has got to come.
The Federated Church in Edgartown is offering a free community lasagna meal every Sunday at the Parish Hall from 1 to 3 p.m. This wonderful program will continue through March 24. For more information or to donate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. And please don’t show up from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Our library reminds us they will be closed on Sunday and Monday for the holiday weekend. Other than that brief break they are not slowing down at all. On Tuesday at 7 p.m. Dr. Lena Prisco will speak on part two of her investigation of Lyme disease. And to give you a heads-up, mark your calendars for Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. Liz Villard discusses Island cemeteries, specifically in Tisbury. Liz has knowledge of some of our oldest graves and most interesting personalities, early settlers and whaling captains.
As the West Tisbury library waits to relocate, remember they are offering a story hour at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 in our library.
Finally, Slow Food has rescheduled its brunch to this Sunday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. at the Agricultural Hall. Come hear a panel of local farmers speak and address the issues of food labeling. Slow Food asks that you bring your own place setting.
Anniversary bouquets go out to Lizanne Donegan and Brian Doherty on Feb. 19.
The birthday bandwagon pulls along Katherine Welch, Grace Burton-Sundman and Heliliani Mendes Souza today. Tomorrow is a party for Michael Nagle, Jacqueline Baer, Chelsea Rose King, Mary Lee Gerber and Stephen Kaufman. February 17 shines on Colin Kennedy, Jill LaPiana and Leslie Kent. February 18 is for Charlotte Strople, AJ Ewart and Paul Howes. February 19 sees Noreen Bettencourt, Chris Paffendorf, Bobby Gordineer, Justin Keogh and James Moore party hearty. February 20 is claimed by Warren West, Michael Dowling, Laura Artru and Ben Davey. And on Feb. 21, Michael Cecilio, Marie Boas, James Holenko and Nisa Kontje take the cake. Many happy returns.