Several parties were held around town on New Year’s Eve. The trend in recent years seems to be more toward family or neighborhood gatherings to welcome in the New Year. Paul Magid and his wife Anita Botti of Pond Road held a New Year’s Eve dinner party for 40 of their friends and neighbors, Julie Humphries and Binnie Ravitch held annual New Year’s Day celebrations. The traffic in town last Saturday morning could be counted on the fingers of one hand. People stayed at home with family, watched bowl games and relaxed. The weather to begin the New Year was downright cold. Hopefully we will have reached the January thaw by this weekend. The temperature swings have been astonishing with drops of 40 degrees and then rising by the same number. I thought my thermometer needed new batteries!

Our version of the famous L Street Brownies took their annual dip at Lambert’s Cove Beach on the First. The water temperature that morning was 40 degrees, so they did not linger long.

Anna and William Kohlasch of Lexington, spent part of their school vacation with their grandparents, Peter and Beatrice Nessen at their home on Old County Road. Beatrice reports that her husband found many things for his grandchildren to do, including wonderful times at the library.

Sig Van Rann of Music street reports that he and his wife Susan Dickler drove down from New York city with Sofia and Jackson on the Dec. 23 and on Christmas Eve morning, held their annual gingerbread house decorating party with extended family and friends, including all the Binney babies. They had their annual Christmas dinner with the their kids and the Cohen’s and our annual New Year’s Eve dinner party with good friends and neighbors. Their son Jackson has gone skiing in Vermont with friends, and daughter Sofia is went to First Night in Boston with her boyfriend Zach. They extend their best wishes for a happy New Year to all their friends and neighbors.

Judy Hall of Pond Road and Oklahoma City, reports that her husband Malcolm — now that he has taken down all the Christmas decorations — is busy planning their vegetable garden and has started growing plants indoors in their Oklahoma City home to bring to the Vineyard. This year he is growing two different types of okra so he can transplant them immediately upon arrival. He knows Bob Ganz had a good crop of okra last year, but lacked recipes. He will share them if Bob shows him how he grows them from seed. He also reports that Judy just returned from Bethany Beach, Del., where she attended the annual Carmen Miranda winter art festival.

Cynthia Riggs of Edgartown Road reports that even though she is now happily married, she is planning the Ground Hog Day party at her house. It has become a tradition for over a quarter century and also signals the beginning of the town’s political season.

Dan Wolf, state senator for the Cape and Islands, will be a guest at the January meeting of the Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard. The meeting will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Howes House.

Lynne Ditchfield from Adult Community Education reports that starting on Wednesday, Relaxed Body, Open Mind, Deep Rest will be held at the Yoga Barn from 11 a.m. to noon. Next month they will be offering a series of classes. For information, call 774-310-1131.

On Jan. 1, 1943 all of us were asked to contribute in some way to the war effort. In addition to rationing stamps, there were scrap drives and we purchased war bonds. Did you know that women were also asked to save just one tablespoonful of waste cooking fat each day? They were urged by the federal government to do so, as it would go a long way toward the glycerin requirements needed for the war effort. Each community was assigned a monthly quota in the Massachusetts waste fat collection campaign. After the first four months of the campaign, West Tisbury cooks had contributed about 85 per cent of its allotted monthly quota. However, they consistently met their assigned quota of making bandages for the Red Cross. Many times they helped neighboring towns complete their quotas on time.

Happy birthday to Sarah Whyte, Johnny Hoy, Dorothea Arnold, David Burt, Sam Arruda and Anthony Breth today; Jeanne Merry, Jennifer McCann, Gay Nelson, Joseph Myers, Annabelle Brothers, Rose Campbell, Steve Anshutz and Christina Reinhardsen tomorrow; Kern Grimes, Oona Post, Adam Petkus, Joe Eldridge and Christa Fischer on Sunday; Celeste Polagruto, Pierce Kirby III and Brian Athearn on Monday; Mal Jones, Barbara Day, John Mancuso, Rod Welles, Tanya Larsen and Mary Orcutt on Tuesday; Thomas Phillips, Tara Kenny and Heather Maciel on Wednesday and Paul Jackson, Jane Rossi and Lucille Skinner on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Bob Luskin, Jennifer Garcia and Davis Solon.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s edition. Colleen Morris reports that we have nearly reached the halfway point in National Oatmeal Month. Please call or email me with your news. Have a good week.