We have been so fortunate to have a series of wonderful animal control officers in our town, and I can remember back to the caring and delightful John Rogers. But Laurie Clements saved the day on Wednesday! I was parked in front of Rainy Day and saw Fiona Townes watering the beautiful flower baskets outside the store. Fiona drew my attention to a small bird, alive, not moving, under one of the flower baskets. We checked the flowers for a nest; there was none. It did seem to be a baby. Sure enough, on the corner of the roof a mama was calling out for her lost child. Heather from Rainy Day provided a box for protection from the sun, Fiona’s husband, Richard, reached Laurie on her cell, I stood guard so no passing dogs would eat it and no passing pedestrians would accidentally kick the box. Within minutes, Laurie arrived, assessed the situation, then pointed out the nest up on the Church street side of the building, and a daddy bird swooping down to look for his offspring while mama cawed on the corner of the roof. Laurie gently lifted junior and put him in a much safer and shady place along the side of the store, protected by a small wall. She said the folks could feed him from there and continue with his aviation lessons. Yet another heartwarming story in small town life. Thank you, Laurie.
Congratulations to Amanda Murphy, daughter of Jo Ann and Brian, who just graduated cum laude from Northeastern University.
Condolences to the family and friends of one of my very favorites, Elinor McCabe. I was looking forward to putting Elinor’s 94th birthday in the column June 9. Then I received the news that she had died in California. Elinor lived on Island for many years. She was well educated, extremely intelligent, and so very talented as an artist. Above all, she was a delightful friend. She will be greatly missed.
The neighborhood is bustling. We welcomed Paul and Marge Howes back for the season on Tuesday night. As always, good news and bad news. I didn’t dare say while they were reading this column from their other home in Connecticut but during the past winter neighbor Chris Paffendorf found a female turkey had expired on their porch. Marge and Paul returned to find a proper gravestone on their premises, decorated with flowers and turkey feathers, displaying an original poem (by yours truly) and commemorating the passing of Thomasina the Turkey. We held a combination welcome home and proper turkey reception at Chris’s house. Last night, we gathered at the Howes’ — they waste no time getting back into entertaining — and had the pleasure of the company of neighbors Chris, Wanda, and Jim and Trude Hart. Jim wants to remind all of you interested in coins that a meeting of the Martha’s Vineyard Coin Club will be held at our library on Thursday, June 11, from 6 to 7 p.m. All are invited.
We know by now that the annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, this year from Sept. 10 through Sept. 13, is a great success that brings much business and many film aficionados to our Island and, especially, our town. Richard Paradise is inviting seasoned volunteers, or first-timers, to a pre-festival volunteer meeting on Friday, June 12, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Louisa Gould Gallery on Main street. Wine and snacks will be served, plans will be made, and, you realize, as a volunteer you may attend all films you work at for free. If you cannot attend this meeting, or want more information, call organizer Mary Spencer at 508-627-4011 or e-mail: Maryvineyard@verizon.net.
In other film society news, tomorrow night’s offering at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre is Wendy and Lucy. Michelle Williams plays the woman who travels across country with her dog, Lucy, in search of a better life in Alaska. Don’t miss it.
The Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard always has interesting events. If you are off-Island on Saturday, June 13, or would like to go to the tradition of the Highland (amateur) Games in Richmond, R.I., check the Web site at riscot.org for directions and information. Some of the featured games to be held at the Washington County Fair Grounds are the caber toss, the 56 lb. weight thrown for height, and the Scottish hammer. There will be Scottish food and opportunities to research your clans and tartans. Special children’s activities are in the works. If you want information from a local, try Elaine Pierce, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Deborah Medders, email@example.com. Deborah also has some exciting news about the Scottish Bagpipe Busker Rob Calder, who will busk his way across the United States this summer.
The birthday bandwagon pulls along Mat Hebert and Margie Meltzer today. Tomorrow is shared by Hildy Mitchell and Denise Searle. June 7 is a party for Larry Leuning, Trude Hart and Grace Murphy. June 8 honors Pat Garza, Wendy Fitting, Miles Gross, David Alan Friedman and Marshall Cole Pratt. June 9 is for Junior DePaula, Elizabeth Baldwin and Tasha Bahal. June 10 sees Grace Schmidt — 92! — Joshua Robinson White, Ruth Stiller, Crystal Baker and Keosha Walker grow old gracefully. And on June 11 John Crews, Flo Koster, Suzanne Walker and Mareda Gaither-Graves take the cake. Many happy returns.