JOHN S. ALLEY
Today is the start of the holiday weekend. Labor Day is on Monday, marking the end of the high summer season; all municipal buildings and the post offices will be closed. It has been excellent weather-wise but all good things must come to an end, as school starts next Thursday. Many other school systems in the Commonwealth opened last week. There were several end of the season parties last weekend and a few more are planned over the holiday weekend.
High school football practice started a week ago and is now in full swing. The buses will begin operating on the shoulder season schedule starting Monday. We are beginning to settle into our fall routine as the sun is now setting shortly after 7 p.m. A lot of year-round people will be taking a well-deserved vacation, after a hectic summer season. Traffic is beginning to thin out a little each day. Catalogs soon will be in your mail box featuring Halloween and, yes, a few Christmas books have arrived. Starting tomorrow the farmers’ market and artisan’s festival will be held once a week.
Marion Irving, reports that the Congregational Church said farewell to their interim minister, Terry Newberry and his wife Barbara, last Sunday. They gave them gifts to remember us by and held a luncheon on the lawn. The Newberrys have returned to their permanent home in Harwich port. Sunday will be an historic moment for the church as it welcomes its first female minister, Cathlin Baker, to the pulpit and full time ministry. Cathlin, her husband, Bill, and their two young children have arrived on Island and will be moving into the parsonage next Thursday. Coming from New York city to the Island might seem like culture shock for some, but Cathlin and Bill have been regular visitors as they have family in East Chop. The church invites everyone to come and welcome their new minister this Sunday.
Phyllis Meras and Sal Laterra, of Music street, held their seasonal lawn party for friends and neighbors last Sunday afternoon.
Constance Koch, of Edgartown Road, will be leaving for her home in Washington, D.C. soon. She reports having a wonderful summer and all of her children visited her at various times during the month. Daughters Anne Koch and her husband Chuck Taylor who is the managing editor of Seattle Weekly; Sarah Koch, who is a producer for ABC News, her husband Sloan Seymour and their children Claire, Grace and Caroline from the Brooklyn Heights section of New York city; and her sons, Peter who is an attorney in Chicago, Ill., and John from Washington, D.C.
Charlie Kernick, of Edgartown Road, reports that his lady friend, Stevie Hughes, from Hillsborough, N.C., spent her first fair week on the Vineyard with him. She went to the fair and was surprised to see who won first prize in the color portrait category: it was Charlie’s photograph of her and her grandson Beck. He also proudly reports that the “being the non-farming Athearn that he is,” he won another blue ribbon, this time for his heirloom Black Prince tomatoes.
Barbara DeBraganca, of Old County Road, reports that earlier this month in one of the few thunderstorms we have had this summer a bolt of lightening struck a large maple tree in their yard. All electronic items and cable were shorted out including those of her mother who lives next door. The strike was so severe that the tree lost bark from the high notch right down through the massive trunk and along the root system. Furrows were dug through the lawn leading under the picket fence, knocking down the gutters and melting the telephone box.
Caroline Hass and her two children, Moussou and Mariama, of Cambridge, were in town for a long weekend visiting her parents, Gerald and Terry Hass. They had a wonderful time and returned home on Wednesday.
Peter and Beatrice Nessen, of Old County Road and Boston were at their home last week. Peter reports that he is enjoying his new job and his wife has been working in her garden and they are very concerned about the health of the Mill Pond.
Cynthia Walsh, of Old County Road, has had a house full of family visiting her last week. Her son James and his wife Colette, from New Hampshire with their three children Ella Claire, Henri and Audrey, daughter Katherine and her husband Bruce Fernie and their two children Bowen and Avery, who will celebrate her fourth birthday here on Monday. They have rented a house in Lambert’s Cove for two weeks, providing a moveable feast between Old County Road and their cottage and daughter Lawler and her two children, Maddie and Aidan. Unfortunately her husband Terry Parker had to work and was unable to make the trip.
Visiting Nancy and Dudley Eppel at their summer home, Innisfree, last week were daughters, Cheryl Segar and her husband John from Watertown, Lynne, from Boulder, Colo., and Meredith and her husband Chris Jylkka from Weston. Dudley reports that everyone had a good time, attended the fair and the beach. He says that he barely raised enough vegetables to feed everyone this summer.
Eliza Lewis and Neil Miller, of Newton, are at the Lewis camp in Deep Bottom until Sunday. Her daughters, Lily and Evie and Neil’s son Ari are also in residence. Their guests include Greg Barrett, Lily’s boyfriend, who will soon be off to Amherst College and Lily to Yale. Their friends Stephanie Bird and Fred Ausubel are at their Music street house along with their children Anna, Emily and Jonathan.
Fred and Jean Barron, of Campbell Road, have been buzzing around all week getting ready for the marriage of their daughter, Julia, to David Katz — both of them are from Los Angeles, Calif. — next Sunday at their house.
Paul Northcott, of Taranaki, New Zealand, who is visiting his cousin Alan of Hopps Farm Road, brought his vacation to an end by working in the Agricultural Fair at Cozy’s Last Stand. Alan was planning on going to Nova Scotia with his wife but decided a new pickup truck would be more useful.
Kate Warner, of State Road, received a blue ribbon for her bread in the adult baking division. So did Susanna Sturgis of Deep Bottom, and Susie Boaas the same for her beach plum jelly for the third straight year.
The Vineyard Artisans Labor Day Festival begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over at the Agricultural Hall. Andrea Rogers reports that many Island artisans will display furniture, jewelry, photography and much more. There will also be music, food and free admission. The $2 parking fee will go toward the Vineyard Artisans’ scholarship fund. There will be a special invitation-only sneak preview tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Colleen Morris at the library reports that Deborah Silliman Wass will showcase her handiworks of calligraphy and illuminations there during September. Meet her at an opening reception on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 4 p.m.
Well, if Frank Adams was around to see the improvements being made to his old house, he would be pleased. Will Monast, who is in charge of the project, reports that significant changes to the interior are being made each day. The upstairs floors are all new and level, a new stairway will shortly be constructed, the front wall has been removed making the porch part of the house, and the old heat ducts are gone. He believes the old house has had eight additions. The original house dates back to circa 1750. Records show that another building, totally different in style, was moved onto the property, doubling the size of the house sometime around the time of the Civil War. It was less than a smooth job, as ceilings and the upstairs floors didn’t match.
Evidence found on Monday proves that wasn’t the first addition. A scrap of newspaper found in the partition tells us a building was added in 1833 and it was formerly a horse barn! The addition was eventually used as the kitchen. Frank Adams constructed a pantry about five foot square in that building, with shelving and a small door opposite the stove so pies could cool down in the pantry. Under the leveled-off platform, he placed the April 23, 1903 edition of the Boston Herald. In western part of the ceiling sections of 1909 Boston Journal newspapers were found.
Happy birthday to: Nicole Alley, Carol Christensen and Manuel Estrella IV today; Barry Stone, Cheryl Lowe and Christopher Gross tomorrow; Anna Edey, Pat Mitchell, Chuck Wiley, Michael Smith and Janet Johnson on Sunday; Ebba Hierta, Karen Russillo and Candace Webster on Monday; Hilary Blocksom, Ann Bassett, Nelia Decker and Jane Dreeben on Tuesday; Dick Burt, Bonnie Eldridge, Amanda Kram and Mary Sobel on Wednesday; John Hough and Bernie Holtzer on Thursday. Happy second anniversary greetings to Jay Segel and Celine Gobard on Tuesday.
Well that is all of the social news for this week’s edition. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.