The temperature had been mild for this time of year until reality set in on Tuesday. The leaves for the most part have fallen to the ground and were blown around by the strong wind last weekend. Along with the shorter days it is getting mighty grim outside as we approach the shortest day of the year next month. Next Friday is the traditional start of the Christmas season and considered by retail merchants the busiest shopping day of the year. Can you believe that there are just 37 shopping days remaining before Christmas! Also remember the shotgun season for deer starts soon and will last for two weeks, so wear bright-colored clothing if you walk in or near the woods.

All town buildings will be closed on Thursday and Friday, creating a long weekend. The Thanksgiving holiday will find quite a few families gathering in town and a fair amount of us going off-Island. Boat and air traffic will be getting busier than normal starting Saturday and all next week in both directions.

We all gathered around our television sets Friday night to watch the horror unfold in Paris, France. Jay and Celine Segel were over there attending a family event but she said on Facebook that they were okay and their departure was uncertain. They are now back home and all of us are very thankful. Our heart goes out to all of the people who lost their lives or were injured.

The First Congregational Church will be holding a family Thanksgiving service at 10 a.m. on Sunday. All are welcome.

Manuel Estrella, fire chief, reports that the West Tisbury Fireman’s Civic Association will soon be distributing food baskets to the elderly in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Linda Alley, aka the jelly queen, reports that the farmers’ market Saturday at the Agricultural Hall will feature items you can use for Thanksgiving. Also the Island Made Holiday Shop opened at Alley’s Farm Stand Friday morning, featuring 14 Island artisans selling their material and of course Linda’s famous jelly.

Don and Marcia Klepper-Smith have recently moved to town full time. Marcia erected a peace pole to commemorate their at-long-last move to their Vineyard home after 35 years of coming and going. She looks out her kitchen window and is now reminded every day to pray, and to somehow contribute her part to peace on our planet, especially at this time, with what has just occurred over in Paris.

Marian Irving, of Old County Road, wants to remind you of the date of the congregational church’s annual Christmas Faire. It will be held Dec. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They will be accepting custom orders for either evergreen or boxwood wreaths through Wednesday, Dec. 2 by calling the church office at 508-693-2842.

It is well worth your while to drive by the Gatchell residence on County Road in Oak Bluffs to view their superb display of Christmas lighting. They will be turning them on Thanksgiving night and every night until New Year’s Day. Bob reports that they have been hard at work decorating their yard, hanging almost 25,000 lights for the past few weeks. He will unveil a new surprise or two that he has been working on for several months that will make it an even more fantastic display of Christmas lighting than last season.

Happy Birthday to: Glen Gaskill, Joan Borkow, Willy Mason, Carlo D’Antonio, Sam Hopkins, Craig Dripps and Tom Bartosiewicz Friday, Bernice Kirby, Dorothy Post, Danny Metell, and Stephanie Russell Saturday, Dan Cabot, Paddy Moore, Nancy Dole and Sagitta Woodman on Sunday, Jim Barrett, Ann Reekie and Richard Greene on Monday, Teddy Karalekas, Nick Bayer and Ken Belain on Tuesday, Dan Waters and Helen Green on Wednesday, and Maria Gaskill and Owen White on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Teresa Nelson. A very happy 36th wedding anniversary to Allen and Lynne Whiting on Tuesday.

Well that is all of the social news for this week’s column. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Remember that 63 years ago Friday the soon-to-be famous chimp, J. Fred Muggs, made his first television appearance on the Today program. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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