Well, Anna, Sam and I went up to see grandson Robbie and his parents Nicole and Arsen for Thanksgiving at their place in East Taunton. We had a wonderful dinner with Anna’s sister Nina her husband Dieter and their son Nick. Also attending the family dinner was their brother Sir Donald Berry and his wife Christina and family friend Mary Fran Edge of Natick. On our way back to Taunton that evening to watch the Patriots football game it was absolutely amazing to see that Christmas decorations, wreaths, canes and outside lights were in nearly every yard.

Before participating in Black Friday shopping, we drove up to Boston so that I could be sworn in for my seventh term as Justice of the Peace. I am now ready to continue marrying folks, a job I enjoy.

Shopping on Friday was a chore, with hordes of people at every store and mall. The only thing familiar was the holiday music of Gene Autry and Brenda Lee. Santa Claus was welcoming people on the lawn by the highway. We tried to get a lot of shopping out of the way since we had the opportunity. The boats Sunday evening to the Vineyard were jammed, primarily with folks who had gone off-Island for the holiday.

Sig Van Raan reports that after watching the Macy’s Thankgiving parade from a great perch in Central Park, they had their traditional family Thanksgiving with Susan’s mom, age 99, at her apartment. They were joined by Sig’s son Jackson, who flew in from California, and daughter Willie and her husband Mike from Baltimore, Md., along with various extended family. The highlight of the day was watching the New England Patriots crush the New York Jets. Sig is attending a six-week writing workshop at the New York Society Library, which is allowing him to get back to the writing project he has been working on and off for the past five years.

Prudy Whiting of State Road reports that she and her family had Thanksgiving dinner at her brother’s house. Allen and Lynne Whiting hosted the meal. She said the official count at the table was 19 and everyone had a wonderful time.

Linda Alley reports that there will be another farmers’ market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall. Great items for your holiday list include New Lane Sundries’ jams, jellies and mustards; Flat Point Farm’s goat’s milk soaps; Breezy Pines Farm’s herbal skin care products, Vineyard Herb Teas and Apothecary’s teas and skin care products, and a farmers’ market tote bag.

The Saturday Recreation Program begins tomorrow at the school. Art/theater and sports programs will be offered for students in first to fifth grade from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $15. Registration forms are available at the school, or you can register Saturday at the gym. Any questions, call 508-696-0147.

Dionis Montrowl reports that there will be a holiday concert on Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at the church. It is the 50th anniversary of the installation of the organ in the historic West Tisbury church. Phil Dietterich and David Rhoderick, along with the West Tisbury choir, will be celebrating the occasion with choral and instrumental Christmas music. Admission is free. Donations of any amount are welcome and will go toward maintenance of the church organ.

Marian Irving reports that the annual Christmas Faire at the Congregational Church is Dec. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Christmas Faire is known for its wreaths, centerpieces and miniature trees. This year there will be a special emphasis on handmade boxwood wreaths. Advance orders will be accepted until Wednesday; call 508-693-2842.

Patricia Cliggott of Indian Hill Road will hold a special holiday gift show at her home tomorrow and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday gifts include casual clothing and accessories, silk scarves dyed with local plants, tinctures and flower essences. A percentage of sales will be donated to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. Please join her for a warm holiday shopping experience. Call her at 508-687-9847 for more information.

Lynne Ditchfield of Adult and Community Education reports that Festive Jewish Cooking with Ljuba Davis will be held on Dec. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be two classes. For more information and to register, call 774-310-1131.

Anna Carringer reports that Children In the Arts of Martha’s Vineyard will present the 15th Annual Nutcracker Gala at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The Nutcracker Gala features the Atlantic Coast Ballet with a cast of 14 professional dancers. Also performing are the children from the Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet under the artistic direction of Beth Vages. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for priority center seating. This year’s Nutcracker will also have a family cap for ticket prices.

Kim Johnson reports that the Wednesday Advent Potluck was postponed until tonight due to illness. She hopes that this change of date works well with your social calendar.

On Monday, Dec. 8, 1941 the teachers and students in grades 6, 7 and 8 of the elementary School held an emergency assembly at noontime in the gym. James Alley led the students in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Then they all gathered to listen to an address over the radio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a shocked country. He asked Congress to declare that a state of war now exists between the United States and the Japanese Empire. Before the end of the week, a room on the first floor of the school, with the assistance of members of the Grange, was hastily converted into the town’s early warning center complete with a telephone that connected them directly to the Naval Auxiliary Air station. The purpose of the urgency was the fear of an air raid at any time. Blackout regulations were established two and were strictly enforced by an air raid warden who patrolled their sector of town.

Happy birthday to: William Tholen today; Mark Ellis, Morningstar Tarter, Christina Diaz and Rachel Cassani tomorrow; Ed Konicki, Beth Vages, Tracy Smith and Michael Gately on Sunday; Jennifer Rouse, Deborah McGoldrick, Ann Rosenkranz and yours truly on Monday; Richard Doane Toni Cohen, Paul Metell and Dillon Bartkus on Tuesday; Danielle Garcia, Lucina Buehler, Suzanne Aell and Dylan O’Brien on Wednesday; and Bonnie Steere, Beau Monast, Laura Stone and Bonnie Jackson on Thursday.

Well, that is all of the news for this week’s social column. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.


The Gazette staff wishes West Tisbury columnist John Alley a very happy birthday on Monday, Dec. 3.