The final curtain call for Paul Benedict has occurred this week. Paul, an American actor who called Aquinnah home, passed away unexpectedly. He has maintained a summer home for a number of years, and we will miss him around his up-Island stops each day. Sincere condolences to his brother Charles, and to his extended family and friends. Paul was probably best known for his role as Bentley in The Jefferson’s and equally as well-known as the artist painting the “Numbers” on Sesame Street. Paul generously donated not only his time but his script cover to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Children Care Program, Celebrity Hat Auction in the 1980s. He was looking forward to spending the winter on the Vineyard and performing at the Vineyard Playhouse, where he was a member of the honorary board of directors. Paul often participated in productions at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, the city of his youth, and it was from the theatre that the founding director Robert Brustein made the announcement on Wednesday evening of Paul’s death.
Sincerest condolences to the family of David Mayhew Flanders whose service was held on Monday and attended by scores of people from across the Vineyard and beyond. David was best known for his role as an up-Island real estate broker, but he best enjoyed his family and being with his beloved wife, Fran, and their daughters, Christine, Beth and Julianne and especially his grandchildren. David, a multi-generational family friend, would often entertain many of his clients at our family restaurant during the 1960s. We will always remember his great assistance with securing the Vanderhoop Homestead and the purchase of the vast farm on the east side of Aquinnah. He will be missed greatly by all.
Condolences to the family of Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz who died in Ann Arbor, Mich., recently. Dr. Kantrowitz was one of the pioneers in the medical field, among the first to perform heart transplants. His daughter Dr. Lisa Kantrowitz, her husband, Dr. Elliott Fankuchen, and their children are summer residents of Lobsterville.
Aquinnah ballerinas Eleanor and Genevieve Hyland, daughters of Cassandra and Thad, will perform in the Nutcracker Gala. There will be performances on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. each day at the regional high school Performing Arts Center.
Aquinnah town nurse Juleann VanBelle will be available for her regular clinic on Friday, Dec. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. and will have preservative-free flu vaccines available at that time. She will also hold a clinic on Monday, Dec. 8 from 4 to 5 p.m. to give flu vaccines. Anyone who needs to make special arrangements may call Juleann at 774-563-0666 or at her home 508-693-6659.
While you are at Beetlebung Corner on Saturday, Aquinnah photographer John Wightman will have a holiday show of his Island Images at the Bank of Martha’s Vineyard. The show will run through the holidays. Many of the scenes incorporate Island treasures — sea glass, wampum, Island-tied fishing flies and beach grass — into the artwork, making each piece unique.
Wait until you see the coziness of the Aquinnah Public Library in the temporary quarters at the Aquinnah town hall. One would have to decide whether to leave the library at the town hall and then build a new town hall or finally justify the need for a new and larger library for our community. That will be a great poll to dwell on over the winter months. The library will be up and running by Dec. 11. Clarence A. Barnes and his crew moved all of the books and shelves and furniture on Tuesday. Most of the smaller items were carried over on the golf cart loaned by Hugh Taylor. There are sofas and rugs and lots of space for the winter months.
Nina P. Butler has returned to her sophomore year studies at Wellesley College after spending her holiday with her parents Lenny and Mallory. Mallory is on her way to Aspen to spend time with their granddaughter Maeve and parents Kevin and Jeffie Sheehan.
Edwin D. Vanderhoop returned home this week after a brief stay at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
Happy Birthday wishes this week to Ted Howes as he celebrates today. Marjorie Spitz will celebrate on Sunday and shares the day with Sgt. Jonathan P. Klaren, and Nancy Luedeman. Candace A. Nichols will celebrate her special day on Monday and shares the day with twins Robin Kahl and Russell Smith. Paul Henry Jeffers-Mayhew will be 12 years old on Dec. 9 and shares the day with Deborah Hancock. Polly Renear will observe a major milestone on Dec. 9 and was amazed and pleased that after all these years after our work together at Dr. David Rappaport’s office, that I had remembered her special day when we unexpectedly saw each other this week. Tamara Buchwald celebrates on Dec. 10.