You write “focused” and I write “focussed.” This has stymied me for years, but I never quite remember to get around to looking it up. Well, just now my computer underlined “focussed” as a misspell. Yet two of my favorite publications each spell it differently. I hunkered down in preparation for Sandy with lots of books, the Sunday New York Times and my newest New Yorker. Ah! There it was again. The New Yorker spells it “focussed,” which is the way I was taught to spell it, but the New York Times writes “focused.” Aside from other articles in both publications, I came upon the word in their editorial endorsements of the two main candidates for the presidency. I realize that this is a social, not a political, column but “all politics are local.” I personally agree with both the New York Times and the New Yorker’s endorsements. So whether you agree with us or not, on Tuesday please stay focussed/focused on my favorite four-letter word: VOTE! Polls are open at the American Legion Hall from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Great things on Main street and the surrounding areas — the Martha’s Vineyard Charter School’s annual scarecrows have been up and about. I must say I think this is the best display ever. The scarecrows are inventive, creative and fun.

How wonderful it is to finally see Cafe Moxie open for business. As soon as I am better I shall be dining there. Speaking of getting better, my thanks go out to Teri Praskach who made the most delicious chicken soup I have ever

tasted to hasten my recovery from illness, which kept me from writing this column last week. Hats off to Teri! Small world stuff: a lovely lady called me from New Orleans last week. She had come across a column I wrote in April of 2002 lamenting the death of Far Tuttle. Certainly Far and his wife Martita, also deceased, were two of our greatest Tisburians. This lady had been Martita’s best friend since high school, and a bridesmaid at their wedding. She had a wedding photo to pass on, and took a chance that I was still the columnist and that my phone number was still applicable. We had a fabulous conversation. I was able to direct her to Far and Martita’s daughter, Fan Tuttle, so the photo could be sent on. You never know.

That same week I received a phone call from a man who asked if I had been at New York University in the fall of a year I am not going to tell you. Sure enough, it was a man I remembered well from our days at Joe Weinstein dormitory, the first co-ed dorm in the nation. He is here visiting friends and his brother, staying in Aquinnah, read the paper and saw my column heading. It all comes back.

Thank you to so many emergency workers who helped make Sandy endurable early this week. I think the emergency phone call system is great. I admire the electric workers and the town staff that kept our roads clear, and, for the most part, our electricity on. Closing school for two days was a great move. Tell me there’s no climate change — I remember a few school days off in my time for snow holidays, but never for a hurricane.

I still haven’t decided if this is a good idea or not, but thank you, Ben Franklin. Change your clocks Saturday night, fall back.

Our American Legion Auxiliary Post 257 will hold its holiday bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 17 this year, the week before Thanksgiving. We are looking for donations of new or gently used items, as well as baked goods. Interesting books, children’s clothes and toys, white elephants . . . you get the picture. Call Linda at 508-693-3687 if you have something for us. The annual Legion raffle is also on the boards. If you can donate a prize, call 508-693-0912. One of the big commitments we already have is 100 gallons of fuel from R.M. Packer or a $200 cash prize.

Belated birthday balloons to my young friend Justin Dalli, who turned four on Oct. 22. Justin is handsome, bright, creative and gives his grandparents, my friends Tony and Bonnie, a run for their money. Have a great year, Justin!

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Mauro Cotta today. Tomorrow is a party for Marianne Schmidt, Becca Hamilton and Marianne Ojile. Nov. 5 honors Alex Campbell, Jessica Brown and Claire Joannidi. On Nov. 6, wish happy birthday to Ceci at Cumby’s who shares his day with Ashley Tilton. On Nov. 7, Lynne Kressin and Jeff Masi Jr. age gracefully. And on Nov. 8, Ed Panek and Adelaide Silva take the cake. Many happy returns.