Chappaquiddick leapt into summer last weekend, along with the rest of the Island. Houses that had sat empty and waiting all winter were full of people again. Now comes the lull that — when the weather cooperates — brings a sense of summer but without all the crowds.
In June the Island still feels fresh. The flowering rosa rugosa, Russian olive, and honeysuckle are adorning the roadsides. When things first start to leaf out, each tree and bush stands out from the surrounding woods, its shape distinguished by the color of its leaves. By the end of June, all the differences in color will have become more similar, and the woods merged into a wall of green.
The weather last weekend was fully cooperative for bicyclists and beach-goers, and anyone else who wanted to be outside. The mosquitoes showed up right on schedule — they always arrive on Memorial Day weekend — but they still seemed a little lazy, as if they were not fully alert to the possibilities in the great numbers of people.
My mother Jane Knight and sister Dorothy Knight came from Sterling for the weekend. They thought they’d start home ahead of the crowds by leaving on the noon ferry on Monday. On the way to the boat, the roads between here and Vineyard Haven were surprisingly empty. It turned out that everyone else had the same thought. The passenger line snaked all the way across the lot and around to the street in front of the ticket office. However, the ferry waiting in the slip was the large-capacity Island Home — that was the first time I’d been glad to see her big bulky shape. My family got on, I don’t think all the people in line did.
The two On Time ferries had a busy weekend. Peter Wells has been putting them through their paces all spring, and given their ages, they’re in tiptop condition — ready to keep up with the beach crowd. It’s nice to have Peter’s daily presence on and about the boats, but as he did manage to launch his Shields on Monday, there’s some hope that he’ll take an afternoon off to go sailing.
Capt. Charlie Ross has been seen ashore lately. Since he’s in recovery from knee surgery and not up to driving the boat yet, he offered to sell the ferry’s T-shirts, hats and tickets. Peter set him up with a table and rocking chair — he said Peter had put him out to pasture — and he served as informal information bureau for the weekend. Charlie said, “It’s better than just staying home,” but he seemed quite happy with the job — maybe he’s considering a career change.
The next potluck at the community center is on Wednesday, June 4, starting at 6 p.m. for hors d’oeuvres and 6:30 for dinner. The hosts will be Rob and Melissa Kagan, along with their daughters Ilana and Sasha, and Tom Osborn and Amanda Cohen. Amanda, who has been commuting to Chappy, recently made the big move here from West Tisbury.
At the last potluck, some people and I were talking about the ease of using the bus to get around the Island, and the benefits of biking across to town instead of taking a car. I recently bought an annual bus pass — this is my second year. It’s very relaxing to have someone else drive through the traffic and crowds in the summer. Taking the bus makes me leave a little extra time and I end up not feeling so rushed getting places. Joanne Scott from West Tisbury will be giving T’ai Chi classes every Wednesday from 8 to 9 a.m. at the community center, beginning this Wednesday, June 4. It will be Yang form, all levels, and cost $10 — anyone is welcome for one class or all. Joanne has been teaching for 10 years, and she trained with Web Kirksey, a student of H. H. Lui from Chicago, and June Lordi from Maine.
Edwina Rissland will be showing her photographs at the Bank of Martha’s Vineyard in Chilmark from June 6 to 13. The opening reception is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 6, and regular hours are Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon and Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The show ends Friday morning, June 13.
Photos are from trips abroad, including shots from a Saturday morning street market in Bologna, and from the large and busy wholesale fish market (called Tsukiji) in Tokyo. Taking pictures at Tsukiji was almost guerilla photography, Edwina says, since the market was very actively selling fish, and she needed to stay out of the way.
There are a couple of shots from early morning rows on Poucha Pond, some of boats at Gannon and Benjamin, and a set from Oxford (where her daughter Olivia has been studying as a Rhodes scholar and just finished her doctorate in molecular biology). She also has some abstracts — giclee prints — that emphasize the form and color of the subjects, what could be called abstract realism.