JOHN S. ALLEY
Well, sprinkle a little salt over your left shoulder before reading today’s column. The winter season officially begins next Saturday, Dec. 21, and the temperature has been jumping around nearly as much as the energizer bunny. It feels like we are in for a cold snap, with a dusting of snow to make the season bright. That day also marks the winter solstice, and it will be the shortest day of the year. We must think positively as the days will be getting a tiny bit longer starting next Sunday.
The spirit of the holiday season is upon us and we stopped at Dee’s Place in East Providence for the best breakfast in town when we were away for Thanksgiving. The place was packed and the food was excellent as usual. The owner sold the place to her daughter since our last visit and she changed the name, but it was the same fine food and Dee was operating the establishment as usual. She wishes everyone on the Vineyard a happy holiday season.
Cathlin Baker, pastor of the First Congregational Church, reports she will be offering the third contemplative Advent service on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Healing and Transforming is the subject.
Phyllis Meras returned home last Saturday from a business trip to New York city. She also found the time to attend one or two cultural events and began working on her annual Christmas poem. Linda Baughman of Philadelphia is sorry to miss the holidays on the Vineyard, but she wishes everyone a happy holiday season. Dr. Gabrielle Walker, author and environmentalist from London, England and Lyon, France, extends her best wishes for the holiday season to all. Cousin Millie Fodor out in Lautenberg, Ohio, and Dianne Carbone extend their holiday greeting to everyone back here. Toni Kurash and Simi Horwitz send greetings of the season from New York city and so do the Plakins sisters, Ava and Naomi. Diane Smith, head nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Jane and Ed Konicki of Webster wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Marian Irving reports that last Saturday’s Christmas Faire was a huge success and she wants to thank everyone for their participation, donations and help at the event.
On Sunday at 4 p.m. the First Congregational Church will present a Christmas concert featuring Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, with accompaniment from local harpist, Sandra Bittermann. The choir will also sing holiday favorites including Christmas hymns for the congregation. Join them after the concert in the parish hall for a Yuletide reception.
Sig Van Raan and Susan Dickler report that they will be celebrating Christmas in New York for part of the holidays as their kids will be meeting them there. Susan’s daughter and her husband will come up from Baltimore, and Sig’s son Jackson will fly in from California to join his sister Sofia and her boyfriend Zach who will come down from New Hampshire for Christmas. They will attend an Irish Christmas concert and meet up with friends for a gala holiday dinner at Susan’s mom’s place. Then they will come to the Vineyard and visit with extended family for our annual gingerbread house decorating party, including the Binney family with all the little ones.
Warren and Marilyn Hollinshead of Pond View Farm Road returned on Tuesday after a trip to London during Thanksgiving week to see a lot of friends remembered from when they lived there. One friend invited them for a joint Thanksgiving/Hanukkah dinner. After museums, theater and music there, they travelled to Barcelona, Spain, for a week of touring and looking at a lot of architecture and art, especially Picasso and Miro paintings from the 1920s and 1930s.
Paul Karasik reports that the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School is hosting a group of 15 students from Castellon de la Plana, Spain, for 10 days which began last Monday. The students and their chaperones will be living with host families from within the charter school community. For many of them, this will be their first visit to the United States. Many activities have been planned, including an overnight field trip with their charter school friends to Boston to visit the MIT Museum, Faneuil Hall and the ART theater.
Paddy Moore reports that the MV Dems will meet tomorrow from 9 until 10:30 a.m. at Howes House. They plan to develop their key issues for 2014 candidates for congress, governor, state senator and state representative.
On Dec. 22, 1949 the school presented its Christmas program the same afternoon it closed for the holidays. The school was without heat due to an electrical failure, so the exercise was held in the Agricultural Hall. The play Mother Goose Land was presented by students Joan Merry, Walter Vincent, Alice Churchill, Virginia Bardwell, Winifred Alley, Peggy Scott, Rita Alley, Constance Morrow, Meg Wilkinson, John Alley, George Churchill, Shirley Burt, Margaret Duquette, Dixon Rogers, Robin Elwell and Veronica Kelly. Christmas carols were sung by the entire school and recitations given by the students. Miss Helen R. O’Donnell, teacher for all four grades, directed the program with the assistance of Lydia Drew. Refreshments were served by the P.T.A.
Happy birthday to Simon Bolin, Kim Rosen, Lynne Demond, Ian Webster, Amy Raines and Austin Racine today; Sarah McKay, Melanie Miller, Kathleen Gibbs and Katherine Upson tomorrow; Rachel Schubert, Nick Thayer, Mathew Ryan and Timothy Silva on Sunday; Brandon Segel, Sue Hruby, Jason Ling, Jon Fragosa and Benjamin Rossi on Monday; Amy Eisenlohr, Abby Webster and Carol Brandon on Tuesday; Nyama Wingood, Bob Levine, Warren Hollinshead and Susan Kaeka on Wednesday; Janice Manter, Carl Alwardt, Pam Putney, Pat Hughes, John Thurber, Allison Carr, Logan Russell and Marcy Klapper on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Lisa Smith and Anne Howard, and anniversary wishes to Bob Bunch and Sandra Polleys.
Well, that is all of the social news for this edition. If you have any news about the holidays and guests at your house please call or e-mail me.