Sub·sti·tute noun — a person or thing acting or serving in place of another.

For the time being, a substitute is what I will be. I graciously ask you to understand that I am not Jane. Although I see things from a slightly different perspective, I will strive to keep you informed and hope that I am rewarded with your approval. And, yes, after a brief respite, Jane will certainly be back.

Jane, your amazing source of news and information, recently lost her husband of 50 years. Herb was always by her side pushing her to do things — write her column, participate in town politics and simply enjoy the company of her friends and neighbors. He, as she referred to him so fondly when we spoke the other day, was shy himself but lived through her interactions in our community. Jane would arrive home from a meeting at the town hall to find Herb waiting for her at the door asking, “So, tell me, what happened?”

Jane and Herb married in 1964 after having met in Menemsha. Jane was working at the gas station and Herb was swordfishing on the Aloysius. After spending their working years off-Island, the couple returned to Menemsha where they made their home on Basin Road. It was a daily occurrence to see the pair, usually with their pup Lucy in tow, circling the shore. They would always smile and wave. (For those of you who don’t know me, my husband Marshall and I run Menemsha Texaco — that very same gas station where Jane met Herb over a half century ago.) Oftentimes they would stop and say hello, which always made me smile.

Herb’s presence in town will be sorely missed. However, Jane is not simply a storyteller; she is keen on documenting history. She will see that his memory lives on and we will all have the pleasure, when she is ready, to hear her stories.

Families gather around tables not only to enjoy a bountiful meal but to reflect on the year that is drawing to a close. Doors open and close as relatives appear having driven across town or flown in from across the country this week.

The Slater home, like many others around town, is brimming with family this week. Son Caleb and daughter Sarah (Slater) Bennett are in town with their spouses Chris and Aaron and children Celia, Jack and Scottie to remember and give thanks for so many years with Herb.

The Scott clan meandered back to town for Thanksgiving to meet up with Josh, Lindsey, Tristan and Charlotte. Marie and Jon led the way with daughter Malia (Scott) Stanley following with her husband Chris and children Eva, Theo and Quinn. Also swooping in were Nathaniel and Maureen, Andrea and Bill and their babes, Rupert and Rosa.

Bella Thorpe and her mother Julie Flanders made their annual pilgrimage to Greenwich, Conn. The two joined up with longtime friend Elise (Hillman) Green and her daughters, Ridgeley and Chandler, to enjoy the The Enchanted Forest presented by the Junior League of Greenwich. The weekend of festivities was filled with holiday cheer, including breakfast with Santa, a tea party, gingerbread workshops and more.

The Keene clan comprised of John, Hillary, Adelaide, Thea, Ella and Lathrop, ventured to Carlisle, Mass., to enjoy Thanksgiving hosted by David and Rebecca (Harrison) Parker. The cousins were welcomed by the Parker gals; Sophie, Meghan, Phoebe and Isabel. Also finding a place at the table were Suzy Keene and her children James and Sarah.

Gabe Ambulos, son of Mary (Kuh) and Perry, will don his soccer cleats for the Global Premier Soccer Thanksgiving Showcase taking place this weekend. He will join his CS United Soccer Club U15 elite team in some intense competition.

Farewell to Evan Lavigne who has fulfilled his last day of duty at USCG Station Menemsha. He is off to the Taunton Police Department.

A very happy second birthday to Penny Lou Athearn who celebrated surrounded by family with a cake decorated to resemble a genuine U.S. currency coin. Uncle Simon Athearn took on the cake challenge and really hit the ball out of the park.

Mama pig Ginger, who makes the Grey Barn and Farm her home, gave birth to nine healthy piglets this weekend.

This past Saturday the flour was flying at the West Tisbury School as students in grades three to five gathered for a bake-a-thon to benefit the Island Food Pantry. Chilmark kiddos in the mix were Barrett and Delilah Oliver, Bryce Cioffi and their moms Elizabeth and Kari.

Robin Smith, Eleanor Neubert and their K/1 Chilmark School students hosted their All About Me show last Wednesday. It was a joyous event filled with songs, artwork and sharing from the heart. Zeb Athearn was thankful for deer for hunting. A genuine sentiment as the 2014 archery season wraps up.

Please remember to wear some orange if you plan to walk trails about town. Shotgun season goes from Dec. 1 to 13, and primitive firearms from Dec. 15 to Dec. 31.

A Christmas tree sale and open house to benefit this year’s West Tisbury sixth graders will take place at Middletown next weekend (Friday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6, from 12 to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 7, from 12 to 4 p.m.) Stop by and enjoy picking out your tree with some really enthusiastic kids and, trust me, you won’t be able to pass up their bake sale sweets. Chilmark alum Immy Taylor, Noah Glasgow, Brooks Carroll, Bella Thorpe, Fynn Monahan, Menasha Leport and Keira McCarthy will be there with jingle bells on to entice you.

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