JOHN S. ALLEY

508-693-2950

(alleys@vineyard.net)

Well, the weather record is now complete for November and for the first time in over a year it was a colder-than-average month. The month seemed to fly by and we are approaching our shortest day of the year. December was off to a warm start with T-shirts the preferred clothing on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

The holiday spirit is alive and parties are popping up all around us. Fire Chief Manuel Estrella of Indian Hill Road reports that the lights were put on the tree at the Old County and State Road intersection recently. They will be lit each night until the New Year. A few homes so far display outside lights and Christmas wreaths.

Marjorie Peirce Irving reports that the First Congregational Church Christmas Faire will be held tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. Bring your friends and families to shop for handmade wreaths, decorations, jewelry and baked goods, and enjoy lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. My wife Anna threw a birthday bash dinner for me Monday night. The guests were our son Sam, Kern Grimes and Susan Block. The dinner was superb, with good red wine, and Susan made a plate of her famous homemade brownies. A good time was had by all.

Phyllis Meras of Music street returned home last Saturday after spending a week in New York city on business. She will soon be writing her annual Christmas poem for the Gazette. Sal Laterra of Providence, R.I. arrived on Wednesday to visit with her. This was his first visit here since their trip to Turkey in October.

Katherine Long of Panhandle Road cordially invites you to her 34th annual Winter Solstice party on Sunday, Dec. 16 from noon until 8 p.m. All ages are welcome. Their party has become one of the highlights of everyone’s holiday season. Katherine’s Texas chili is an extra special treat; you haven’t lived until you have tasted it. She says come when you can and leave when you must, just don’t bring your dog along!

Heidi Schultz of State Road reports that a Christmas concert by the strings and flute players of the Vineyard Sinfonietta will be held at Howes House on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Martha Hudson (mezzo-soprano) in singing a few carols to celebrate the season. The concert is free and open to all ages.

Lindsay Miner, development assistant at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, reports that MVCS will be hosting Holiday Blues with Dr. Dominic Maxwell on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the regional high school culinary arts room. Join Dr. Maxwell for a talk about seasonal depression. Clinicians will be available for private screenings.

Ellen Gatchell, over at the chamber of commerce, invites all chamber members to the business after-hours annual holiday party at the Grill on Main on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is a wonderful party.

Janet Bank reports that the town holiday party will be on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall. Please bring a dish to share. Families are encouraged to come and share the music, food and meet your neighbors.

The selectmen and trustees of the public library invite you to attend a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at noon. A special children’s groundbreaking ceremony will be held later the same day at 3:30 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held at the library building site at 1042 State Road.

Libby Fielder reports that the First Congregational Church is seeking children to participate in their Christmas pageant at the Agricultural Hall on Dec. 24. Children ages 5 to 13 who wish to participate must attend a casting meeting with their parents on Dec. 16, a dress rehearsal on Dec. 23, and must arrive at 4 p.m. on Dec. 24 for the pageant. Please contact her at 508-684-8086 for more information and to volunteer. All faiths are welcome.

Patricia Cliggott of Indian Hill Road reports that Lovingkindnessmv holiday gift show continues at her home every Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. till Christmas. It features yoga clothing, herbal salves, crystals and even dog biscuits. A generous percentage of sales helps provide home-cooked meals to hospice patients and their families. Call her at 508-687-9847 for more information. The History Channel reminds us that President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull knew a Japanese attack was imminent 71 years ago today. They had received intelligence reports of intercepted coded messages from Tokyo to the Japanese ambassador in the United States about an imminent attack. However, they did not know where or when it would happen. The ambassadors were at the State Department when the White House announced the attack on Pearl Harbor to a stunned nation. People knew that this meant we were now in a state of war! It was quiet and chilly that fateful Sunday on the Vineyard: Frank Adams, on Music Street, had started his coal furnace for the first time since March; Donaldson’s Garage was about to receive its monthly shipment of gasoline from the Mobil terminal in Vineyard Haven Monday morning; and Antone Campbell was preparing to milk his cows. Many families had cut a proper Christmas tree and had prepared their parlors to receive guests that afternoon. The attack was announced over CBS radio by John Charles Daly at about 2:30 p.m. As evening fell people kept their radios on to learn more news from Pearl Harbor. Plans were made for the president to address Congress the next day shortly after noontime to declare war on Japan. The school would hold a special assembly at noon so the students could listen to his address to the nation. On Friday Dec. 12, 1941, four days after entering World War II, the Town Civil Defense Committee held a rally at the Town Hall in North Tisbury. They were told what is expected of you during an air raid: 1. Do not use the telephone; 2. Build and use blackout curtains immediately and when the warning signal sounds after dark, turn off all your lights.

Happy birthday to: Sarah Vail and Grace Murphy today; Christopher Cini and Jane Sobel tomorrow; Sam Mason, Emily Smith and Karen Colaneri on Sunday; Kansas Brew, Ginny Bardwell Jones, Galen Brew, Ellen Weiss and Dana Rezendes on Monday; John Sonia, Deborah Pigeon and Boris Yanez-Veiasco on Tuesday; Alan Reekie, Linda Baughman, Brian Bilsback, Frank Sinatra, Donald Gosselin and John Thurber on Wednesday; Jan Schulze, Susie Trees and Barry Rosenthal on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Bob Bunch, Polly Renear, Avi Lev, Ronni Simon, Grace S. Batesole and Laurel Wilkinson.

Chanukah, the eight-day festival of lights, starts tomorrow evening. Coming at the onset of winter, it celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, purity over contamination and spirituality over materialism.

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