I am starting the New Year in the Old Country. I arrived in the nick of time for a lovely party on New Year’s Eve. The invitation was graciously extended by new neighbor Keith Herman and his partner Luz Gomez. Danny did the grilling honors. Sisters Sophia and Emily had their hair fashioned beautifully by Ann. Ann’s daughter Melanie was quite energetic and announced she liked reading comics. I read a book to Emily and she applauded at the end.

Luz is the mom of Danny, Sophia and Emily. With Melanie in the group you could not have asked for more polite and well-brought up kids. Grownups Laura, Luis, Jose, Ricardo and one brother whose name escapes me rounded out a loving family meal with an amazing amount of delicious food. We chatted, chowed, laughed and toasted when the ball dropped in Times Square. I daresay this is the first time in years that I have managed to stay awake for it. Thank you Keith and Luz for welcoming me into your family.

Great news from one of Ma’s kids. You all remember Ma, Shirley McCarthy, who had a giant blended family of birth kids, adopted kids, foster kids, and a day care center for years. That woman loved children. And, oh, she could dance! Well Shirley’s daughter, Chrissy McCarthy, mother of handsome, young Wyatt, has, with her son’s approval, gotten engaged. Soldinar Oliveira is her intended. This family will party hard to celebrate Chrissy’s engagement.

Cathlin Baker at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury reminds us that from now through April a community supper will be held at the church every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Meanwhile, Sofia Anthony, who keeps me informed about Neighborhood Convention, announces the next meeting will be at First Congregational of West Tisbury at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8. All are welcome. Bring a sack lunch. The Peter Luce Playreaders will be performing for your pleasure. This performance will be Soap Opera by David Ives. I’ll see you there.

I promise Arnie Reisman I shall be at the next Poetry Cafe on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. This winter event takes place on Thursday nights once a month at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. Admission is $10 — all the poets, poetry, and pie you can ever want. The Pie Chicks bring the pies. The poets next week are Annette Sandrock, Holly Bergen, Christopher Legge and Paul Dawson. Arnie is our master of ceremony. I cannot wait.

The Vineyard Playhouse is also hosting a Wicked Good Revue this weekend. Directed by Molly Conole, accompanied by Peter Boak and Molly Sturgis, the singers of well-loved standards and Broadway tunes are Molly, David Behnke, Jenny Friedman and Ken Romero. I have seen this group before. Broadway’s got nothing on us.

Looks like the playhouse is taking over entertainment on this rock for the winter. The $5 cash only at the door movie on Monday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m is Back to the Future starring our own Michael J. Fox. And people ask what we do in the winter!

Our condolences go out to Marilyn Van Tine, Karen Gerlach, and their large family and many friends on the death of Carl VanTine last week. Marilyn was his loving Mom, Karen so admired and loved her big brother. If we can do anything for your family please let us know.

The birthday bandwagon pulled along Glen Searle on Jan. 1, and on Jan. 2 Anthony J. Masi takes the cake. Many happy returns.

Send Vineyard Haven news to iklean@yahoo.com.