Chilmark is ready for those warm temperatures promised for the Mother’s Day weekend . . . suppose there is any significance to that? Womanpower? Guess I am showing my age. The general tree and undergrowth will appreciate any help offered in greening up. The leaves are about three weeks late this year and it does affect some. I saw a large skunk trying to catch a meal just before sunset today and he was scooting around in an area that usually hides any critters in the underbrush. I wonder if he knew how exposed he was?
The cool weather seemed appropriate for the opening of the annual trout fishing season. I remember going out in the cold night air to dig some worms from the hen yard and then getting up before light to get down to the brook and into the woods to the best spots for catching! Lovely memories of my grandfather, who took it all very seriously, and of my mother, who always cooked up the catch — never very large! Chilmark kids through many generations have enjoyed this rite of spring and share similar memories.
A more recent tradition of May in Chilmark is the Chilmark School’s May Pole. What a fun tradition to participate in. The children also continue a very old Chilmark tradition of hanging May baskets on the doors of unsuspecting recipients. The May basket tradition was described in one of the Lucy Vincent diaries. Young adults would call upon one of their friends, leaving baskets on the doorstep and running off to hide in the nearby shrubbery, then the recipient would have to find them and entertain them with hot chocolate and cookies. Chilmarkers know how to have fun! Happy May!
Town meeting was a revelation in more ways than one for me this month. I found out that a number of my favorite neighbors have been sick this cold spring. I want to send happy recuperation wishes to Bette Carroll who is at home now after a bout of ill health and hospitalization. Wesley Cottle is also at home now after two hospital stays in Boston. He is out and about and feeling somewhat better. He was recently re-elected to his job of cemetery commissioner. In true Chilmark fashion, Wesley’s father, Eric Cottle, was for many years a cemetery commissioner.
We send get-well wishes to Clarissa Allen-Posin who is doctoring here and in Boston and we hope she is feeling better soon. The Allen Farm lambs will be needing her fine care.
Welcome home to Marshall and Katie Carroll and Bradley and Brooks. They enjoyed a spring break in Puerto Rico recently. The warm sun was most appreciated.
The town of Chilmark hit a landmark this week when the selectmen finally closed on a land swap with the Hillman family trust. About 12 years ago then selectman Frank Fenner began the negotiations with the family to exchange the town-owned Engley house for nine acres on South Road that will make four affordable home site lots for Chilmarkers. The lots are in the neighborhood of Nab’s Corner. Thanks to the Hillman family, the land bank and the Chilmark selectmen, four Chilmark families will find homes in their own town. Good news, and thanks for all the hard work it took to put it all together.
Jenna Petersiel sends word that the Chilmark Tavern Restaurant will be opening for its fifth season on Sunday, May 18. They will be open every night except Tuesday and Wednesdays until late June, and then will be open seven nights. They will open at 5:30 p.m. This year they are welcoming a new chef, Jenna Sprafkin. She comes to Chilmark from the award-winning Primo Restaurant in Rockland, Me. There they showcased locally sourced meats, fish and produce. She will introduce some of her new ideas, as well as continuing some of the tavern favorites. Come by and meet Jenna and find out how the staff is managing two Jennas!
Joel Glickman, Jennifer LoRusso and their daughter Stella are now full time Chilmark residents and will soon begin building a new home here. They are running the Chilmark Store again this year as they have since 2011. The store will open on May 12 and the hours for May will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it is closed on Sunday, May 18, and opens seven days a week after that. They will continue to supply the store with fresh produce grown in their own gardens just a mile and a half away. They have also launched a website for the store: chilmarkgeneralstore.com. Jennifer LoRusso is the daughter of Chilmark residents of long standing, Frank and Judy LoRusso of South Road.