John S. Alley

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Sprinkle a little salt over your left shoulder before reading this column for luck. Today is the beginning of a long holiday weekend. Monday is Patriots’ Day and it is also the beginning of spring break week over at the school and the 116th running of the marathon up in the Boston area. Trout fishing in the Mill Pond continues each day and should pick up next week. If the weather warms up we shall see our first prolonged visit by summer folks who will be coming down to open up their camps or houses. The blue flowers in Paul Cook’s front yard burst open in all of their glory last week, transforming his lawn into a sea of blue. Daffodils everywhere have opened up signaling spring is here.

Monday is the last time to file your tax return with the federal government (although you have until Tuesday to file state returns). There used to be long lines at the post office with folks getting their returns postmarked before the deadline. But now you can file them online in a snap and save a lot of time.

Linda Baughman, of Philadelphia, Penn. arrived last Sunday to visit her friend Phyllis Meras on Music Street. Linda reports that it is great to be back. She had Easter dinner with the Alley family last Sunday.

Our daughter Nicole and her husband, Arsen Hambardzumian, and their son, Robby, of East Taunton came down to spend Easter with us. We had a family dinner and Linda Baughman joined us. Arsen had several septic systems to inspect and he is in the process of developing engineering plans for a new one, so on Monday he attended to that business and they returned home on Tuesday.

Andy Boass and his wife, Susie, of Hopkinton, have been here for the past two weeks at their home at Glimmerglass. Susie, one of the famous Glimmerglass Girls, reports that Andy has been busy with his bees and she has been working on family geneaology and bottling honey for their roadside table.

Allen and Lynne Whiting, of State Road, have recently returned from a month on the island of Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They crossed paths with many people with Vineyard connections, including Melissa and John MacDonald and their children, Caitlin, Jeb and Ty. Allen had one of his better painting years while there. He made a number of small paintings, many of which will be posted on his Web site. Some larger versions will be shown at their gallery this summer, which opens Memorial Day weekend. The Web site,, will appear with a fresh new look by the end of this month. Lynne was grateful to be able to exercise her newly replaced hip with long walks and saltwater swims and to catch up with friends they have made there over the years.

The annual town meeting was held Tuesday night and it was well attended. Muriel Bye, election warden, wants to thank each and every voter for participating in the annual election yesterday. Muriel reported that now that the town election is over for this year she can devote attention to her garden.

Lynne Christoffers, of Edgartown Road, returned home from a business trip to New York city recently. She is a professional photographer and has exhibited photos here. She enjoyed marching and taking pictures in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, meeting old friends and enjoying the city. She returned home in time to attend the annual town meeting and participate in the elections.

Old friend Jane Baker passed away on Tuesday and services will be held for her tomorrow in the Lambert’s Cove cemetery.

The Vineyard Conservation Society reports that April 21 will mark the 20th annual Earth Day beach clean-up sponsored by the society. Volunteers are asked to go to one of the supervised beaches between 10 a.m. and noon. It might come in handy if you bring your recycled dog food and birdseed bags and gardening gloves. For more information call 508-693-9588.

Jennifer Tseng, over at the library, reports that on Wednesday, April 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m. the library will be screening Under Our Skin, a film about Lyme disease. Dr. Enid Haller will lead a discussion afterward. The event is free and open to the public. The Community Poetry Reading will take place Sunday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. will be their last in the “old library.”

Joan Jenkinson, animal control officer, reports that a rabies clinic will be held tomorrow at the North Tisbury Fire Station (Station 2) from 10 to 11 a.m. with Connie Breese as the veterinarian on duty, and in Edgartown at the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard from 10 to noon. The cost is $15 per animal. All dogs must be on leashes and cats and ferrets in carriers.

Dan Waters reports that author John Hough Jr. will kick off this spring’s Speakeasy Series of author talks on Tuesday at the State Road Restaurant, in collaboration with the West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc., who are presenting a series of intimate evenings with noted authors to benefit the library’s capital campaign. John’s novel, Seen the Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg, skillfully portrays life in the Union A­rmy during the Civil War and tells the story of two young brothers coming of age who volunteer to serve their country. In addition to hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments, the Speakeasies offer an unparalleled chance to mingle and speak with an author in person. The Speakeasy Series will continue on Wednesday, May 16, with Alexandra Styron speaking about her new book, Reading My Father. Then, on Wednesday, June 20, novelist Richard North Patterson will be the guest speaker. His 20th novel, Fall from Grace, is a family drama set on Martha’s Vineyard. All Speakeasy events begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at State Road Restaurant. The price per ticket is $75 per person. Space is limited, so early booking is advised. For more information, or to make reservations, call Carol Brush at 508-693-3489.

Susan Goldstein reports that the Mansion House is delighted to welcome a new breed of guests, with eight new pet-friendly rooms available for everyone’s best friends starting early July. Former front porch retail space has been reallocated and the Mansion House is in the process of designing pet friendly guest rooms.

The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living is holding the third in a series of popular cultural luncheons on Saturday, April 21 from noon to 2 p.m. at The Grill on Main in Edgartown. The luncheon will honor, highlight and examine the history of the Martha’s Vineyard Campground Meeting Association of Oak Bluffs. Tickets are $25. Call Leslie Clapp at 508-939-9440 for reservations.

On the evening of March 19, 1971, the newly opened and popular Black Dog Tavern, operated by Allan Miller of Christiantown, and located at the rear of the old Dukes County Garage in Vineyard Haven held a festive Mardi Gras party. Those present from West Tisbury included Travis and Merrily Tuck, Janet and Ed Cuetara, Mary Jane Case, Gerald Kelley, John Alley, Francis Crane, Jack Mayhew, Bill Prokoff and Lucia Evans. The guests all wore costumes and prizes were given in several categories — most delightful, most disgusting and most phantasmagorical. One of the prizes was won by former West Tisburyite Brandon Wight, who looked dapper as a cavalry officer, was the honor of cutting the seven foot long cake, fashioned as a dragon, complete with green icing. The cake was made by Paul Hardman and Steve Plummer.

Happy Birthday to Prudy Whiting, Sarah Neubert and Deborah Eggers today; Gina Leonardi, Diane Nolan and Marion Ellis tomorrow; Anne Bresnick, Donald Luce, Mike Post and Jonathan Revere on Sunday; Janet Bank, Kimberly Angell and Linda Vadasz on Monday; Tom Wetherall and Maggie Schwartz on Tuesday; Hector Lobb, Mary Fischer, Lynne Whiting and Lori Scanlon on Wednesday; Mary Dinitto, Lee Revere, Martha Thurlow, Diane Emin, Justin Kelleher, Lucas Emin, Todd Follansbee and Lorraine Eldridge on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Carmen Wilson and Sally Sherwood.

Well, that is of the social news for this edition. If you have any news you would like to share please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.