The Startzell home on Larsen Lane was overflowing this past weekend as they opened their doors to share food and beverages with friends for a belated New Years celebration.

The guests spanned about an 80 year range which made conversation both light and fun and laughter a necessity. To top it off, the sunset from their Larsen Lane home complimented the company.

Dianne Smith and Jane Slater are recently back from a delightful eight-day tour of the island of Madeira where they enjoyed the biggest New Years Eve fireworks display in the world. It was certainly a big and glorious display with some eight big cruise ships from different ports in Europe all gathered in the harbor of Funchal (capitol city) for the annual event.  Madeira is a twelve month tourist economy because it is a volcanic island with no flat land for agriculture or grazing. The shoreline is dotted with villages and there are tours up the mountain to see magnificent views and remote villages that subsist on small farms of bananas and sugar cane. Wine grapes are grown on terraced land down mountain sides. The people are very welcoming and are experienced in tourist compatibility. It was an enjoyable adventure and the wine wasn’t bad either. They travelled with Sagres Vacations.

Conrad Neumann continues to be hospitalized for a stroke suffered in October. Assorted complications delay his ongoing rehab attempts, so be sure to drop him a line just to say hello or offer words of encouragement. You can send correspondence to him at 5412 George King Road, Durham, N.C. 207707.

Pathways will be the place to gather tonight, Friday Jan. 18, for an evening of jazz, blues and all else. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Music starts at 7:00 p.m. You can hear the voice of one of my favorite Chilmarkers, Missis Biskis, commonly known as Ellen, mother of Kestutis, Grazina and Tauras. Her husband Tauras will accompany her on bass and, throughout the evening, Seth Cooperrider, Rico Holley, David Hannon, Barbara Dacey and Nate D’Angelo will also perform.

The Jan. 19 Chowder and a Chat from 12 to 1 p.m. at the library will feature folks from USCG Station Menemsha. This luncheon series will provide folks with an opportunity to drop in and ask questions, learn about what’s going on locally, or just come say hello. I’m not sure who of the 24 standing watch over the greater Vineyard waters will be in attendance, but what I can say is they are all wonderfully engaging humans and you’ll be lucky to chat with any of them for an hour or so.     

Sandra Klaren, captain of the vessel Jest, spent a lot of time in Menemsha over the years. You could see her strolling most summer mornings, often with husband Thornton by her side, around the bight, to the Market for a few necessities or to the Texaco for a coffee. Sadly, Sandra is no longer with us. My condolences go out to her family and friends who, in addition to husband Thorny, include Jonathan, Kim, Kelly, Ellen and many around Menemsha Harbor.     

Alistair and Jimmy Morgan layered the clothes and headed to Foxboro to enjoy watching the Patriots defeat the Chargers at Gillette Stadium.

Lori and Johnny Graham have welcomed a furry friend to their family. The little lady’s name is Charlie and she likes, among other things, to cuddle, frolic and romp in the snow.

Use a big gold star to mark Feb. 9 as an important date on your calendar. That’s the day the Chilmark School PTO has chosen to hold its annual fundraiser at the CCC. From 7 to 11 p.m., the Blues Blizzard will be the place to be seen and the place to enjoy tunes provided by Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. In addition to wearing your dancing shoes, be sure to bring along a smile for the photo booth, an appetite for the drinks and desserts, some cash in your pocket for the $20 entry fee ($15 for seniors) and a checkbook for when you are wowed by the fabulous auction items. The event is adults only so be sure to seek out your babysitters now.