We are all packing in the last few days of August. This has been a special month for Marvin and Saralee Rosenkrantz. Marvin’s 88-year-old brother Jordan of Longmeadow and Boynton Beach, Fla., was on-Island to spend time with his “baby” brother. This was the first time Marvin and Jordan were able to get together since they were young men living in Revere. Over the last few years Jordan has lost a wife to cancer and a partner to Alzheimer’s. Watching the verbal banter between Saralee, who has Alzheimer’s, and Jordan was especially wonderful for Marvin. Jordan is a man of incredible mental and physical strength. He plays golf three days a week and hits the gym three days weekly as well. Marvin thinks Jordan looks more youthful than he, but I say the verve and good attitude of both these brothers makes them eternally young.
Leigh Smith celebrated her August 15 birthday in the manner she likes most, with plenty of family around. Leigh had son Proctor from Salisbury, Conn., with his daughter Nellie and her friend Alyse. Leigh’s daughter Alison and her husband Richard Driscoll of Delaware also joined in the family reunion. Grandson JP Hitesman of Detroit crossed the big water. Leigh’s goddaughter Harriet Fitzpatrick of Hoboken came with her daughter Erin. As if these weren’t enough visitors for family fun, Pamela Brock, Leigh’s on-Island daughter, had sons Stevie and Johnny from Brooklyn. That was in July. Pam’s good friend Docia Reed of Boston, and Ma and Sally Watson of Vero Beach, Fla., trekked to Tisbury.
Welcome back to Jim and Trude Hart who drove up from Royal Palm, Fla., last week. Hello and goodbye to Kim Beal who visited the family cottage on Leonard. Kim brought her three kids, Christian, Lilly and Quinn for a too brief visit that included beaching, clamming, the library and attending lectures.
Last weekend was amazing — three days, three events. I started on Friday night with the Chicken Alley fashion show. Six local designers showed their couture collections. Yes, Valerie Beggs, I consider you one of us even though you absconded to Pennsylvania years ago! I could not be more proud of Noava Knight, our gal Friday around the thrift shop, who came up with the idea last year. The models and designers included Noava and a bevy of beauties from our high school. It was a bit jarring to see how slim all the girls were and then smell the delightful cooking wafting from the Art Cliff Diner food truck. Jamie Alley did a masterful job as emcee. I did not realize we would all have time to shop for special clothing and jewelry. Nonna has forbidden me to bring anything else home. Don’t tell her there is an orange leather winter coat hidden in the boot of my truck.
On Sunday I joined the mad dash for art treasures in Chicken Alley’s annual sale. This is a big fundraiser for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. It was founded and curated by Olga Hirshhorn. I heard that one eager participant was in line at 7 a.m. This is beginning to rival getting Red Sox tickets. I so enjoyed seeing so many friends and picking up new art work. Again, please don’t tell my mother. Marshall Cole Pratt is the artist to thank for the clever and tastefully designed postcard.
I managed to stop by the Workshop for a reception on Saturday evening. The Workshop is down on Beach Road. A very special young man in my life, Daniel VanLandingham, and several of his classmates are sharing space to show and produce their art. Among the artists were Jack Ryan, Shawn Emin, Colin Ruel, Greg Coutinho, Lauren Coggins-Tuttle and Tracy Crimmen. I ran into the former teachers of many of these students — Scott Campbell, recently retired art teacher at the high school, and his wife Ruth Campbell, recently retired art teacher at Tisbury School.
Swarthmore professor Philip Weinstein’s offers a six-part lecture on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, presented by the Vineyard Haven library through the fall. The course is free and reading materials are stockpiled at our library. The lectures will be held at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
A shout out to my good buddy Wendy Fitting of Gloucester. Wendy and I ruled New York city back in the day. Alas, Wendy, recently retired from the ministry but still working, of course, could not join her friend Grace Schrafft for a long weekend in our town. She sent Grace with some lovely gifts for me. Grace and I met at the monthly library book sale. And yes, two bags of books are also in my truck and don’t tell Nonna.
Anniversary bouquets to Jim and Anne Haney on August 27. Bob and Patsy Wheeler celebrate on the same day.
The birthday bandwagon pulls along Jessica Brown, JoJo Wild and Deral Meadows on August 23. Sunday is shared by Hannah Epworth and Quinn Beal. August 25 is a party for Wendy Smith, Sherm Goldstein, Kathy Donnellan and Susie Goldman. August 27 celebrates dad and daughter, Joe and Cheyenne Cormier. And on August 28 Peter Weisman, Janet Stokes, Chris Alley, Mat Rice, George Platt and Debbie Healy take the cake. Many happy returns.
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