JOHN S. ALLEY
February brought more than the average amount of snow, and we awoke to another inch of new snow Monday morning. This time it was a welcome white blanket over old dirty snow mounds. The old saying tells us that March will leave like a lamb; we shall see. It’s been like a ghost town all week largely due to winter vacation for the schools. Even the usually-busy Reliable Market down in Oak Bluffs has suffered a slowdown. Spring is just three weeks away. Soon we will be hearing about the birth of lambs at the farms.
Susan Block reports that Frank Adams’s flower garden on Music street is getting close to blooming. Anna Alley has spotted several robins at her backyard feeder. Daylight Saving Time begins on March 10.
The Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank held bank appreciation day for their customers last week. It was a treat to have a sandwich and chowder after being waited on by the efficient tellers. It was truly a bright spot in an otherwise bleak week.
Town clerk Tara Whiting reminds everyone that March 30 is the last day to register to vote for the annual town meeting and election in April.
Old friend Jim Gaffney died recently and we are sorry not to have noted it earlier. Jim was a friend of Fred Fisher’s and spent many an hour in town. When I took my lawn mower to his place for repair he always had a story to tell or an observation on my lawn mowing ability. He was a grand guy, a salty old-timer to be sure but with a good heart. Our condolences to his family.
History notes: The uneasiness felt by some citizens in town about the ownership of the town clock surfaced at the 1926 annual town meeting. William J. Rotch, chairman of the selectmen, was asked to conduct an investigation into the ownership of the town clock and on March 7 he issued the following report: In 1895 the church acquired a clock. It was inspired by Hannah Look, who in her will dated Dec. 1, 1875, left to the Congregational Society or “whatever may be the name” the sum of $200 “to be used in placing a suitable clock in the steeple or belfry with face and hands outside.” The bequest was in memory of her husband David Look. By 1893 the money had doubled and there also had grown a real community interest in acquiring a clock. Special suppers were given to raise money and one gentleman reported he lost interest as he had had “too much chowder too many times.” Chain letters were sent out with sums received from 10 cents to $5. The Sea Gull, a newspaper published by the church ladies, had not been issued for several years, but a special issue was published for the summer of 1895. The success was great enough not only to make the clock possible but a new bell as well which corresponded with the clock machinery. The cost of winding and oiling weekly came to about $20 a year. Half was paid by the church, the other half by public subscription.
Happy birthday to: Sam Alley, Donnie Mills, and Susan Phelps today; Josh Emin, Robert Pacl, Charles Sebastian, Greg Drake and Julia Reeve tomorrow; Tom Church, Francine Fischer and Roger Sylva on Sunday; Vicki Broscheit, Lonni Phillips and Valentine Estabrook on Monday; Catlin Cassiani, Kenneth Vincent, Mark Shelton and Sofi Thanhauser on Tuesday; Doug Seward, June Miller, Victoria Segel, Carol Eno, Hans Adcock and Patricia Kirwin on Wednesday; Jeanne Barron, Mike Eldridge, Polly Bassett, Susannah Maher and Bryan Nagle on Thursday.
Well, that is all the social news for this week. I don’t want to miss the news about your vacation, so please call or e-mail me with details. Have a great week.