Port Authority: One Journey to Food, Wine Festival
Bill Eville
The Douro River runs through the middle of Portugal. It cuts west to east from the Spanish border until it spills into the Atlantic Ocean. Steep rugged cliffs, rising up four to five hundred metres, flank the route of the river. The heat in summer on those cliffs climbs to 120 degrees or more. There is no shade. The soil is baked dry. To walk upon it is to sink into layers of dust. It is a land not fit for people or for many other living things. And yet within this inhospitable terrain, not navigable by car or tractor or any other motorized accessory, lies the heart of the port wine industry and a grape so hardy its roots can tunnel up to 30 metres deep into the rocky soil in search of water.
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Dancers Are Leaders Not Followers
Bill Eville

At the end of last Saturday’s afternoon performance at the Yard Mary Paula Hunter, the founder of the dance company Jump, took a bow with her dancers, all of them teenage girls. The girls wore what one might expect classically trained dancers to wear. Leotards, ballet shoes, a tutu or two here and there.

Ms. Hunter, on the other hand, wore the ragged remains of a wedding dress. She was also covered in food.

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Notes from Island Washashore: To Cope, Try the Tree Chair
Bill Eville

The other night a friend from New York city called to see how I was doing. About a year and a half ago, my wife and I and our two small children moved from New York to the Island. It had been a tough transition for me. At a party last winter I spoke to a woman about my difficulties. She nodded gravely, then said almost off-handedly, “I know how you feel. It took me 15 years to settle in.” She walked off to get another drink. I headed to the bathroom and wept.

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Many Ways to Play the Beautiful Game
Bill Eville

The other day I brought my son, Hardy, to his last soccer game of the spring season. Hardy is five and half now and the game of soccer still rather new to him. Dribbling the ball, passing and scoring are secondary considerations. Mostly, he likes seeing his friends.

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Now as Then, Always Watching Dad
Bill Eville
The other day while mowing the lawn I stopped to wipe the sweat from my forehead and assess my progress. I am forever tinkering with my technique; an up and back pattern, a series of ever shrinking squares, or even, on a rare day, just going with the flow. Deep in thought I happened to notice, out of the corner of my eye, my five-year-old son, Hardy, dressed in a flowing green cape, pirate hat, and a pair of flippers. He was lurking near the shed and watching me. I pretended not to notice and restarted the mower.
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Fatherhood Is a Test Drive For a Change in Thinking
Bill Eville

I was driving along the West Tisbury-Edgartown Road when I noticed a police car parked just below the rise of a hill. It was an obvious speed trap. After I had driven out of sight I reached down to flash my lights at an oncoming driver. This is what I have always done. The unspoken law of us, the drivers, versus them, the police, seems to require it.

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Rewriting History With Tony Horwitz
Bill Eville

In the book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, college history professor James Loewen tackles the subject of why nearly all high school students find history boring. One of his main conclusions is that textbooks place characters from history into one of two categories: Hero or Villain. There are no gray shadings, no nuance as to how nearly everyone, in both character and action, can be both good and bad, misguided and prophetic.

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Journey Together Reaches Greater Depths
Bill Eville
My daughter Pickle, age three and half, has been talking a lot about death lately. The other night at dinner she turned to her mother, Cathlin, and said, "Babu and Babshi died." She was referring to the nicknames of my wife's parents who both died before Pickle was born. "Yes," Cathlin said. "They did." "A lot of people die," Pickle said. She pursed her small lips and folded her hands one over the other. "Like eight people," she added.
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Muppets Choose Vineyard Family For New Special
Bill Eville

Last spring Betty Burton received a call from a producer for Sesame Street. One of the most respected television programs for children had been branching out recently, from singing songs and learning how to count with fuzzy Muppet friends, to producing shows that educate kids about some of the bigger, more tragic issues kids face today. A new episode in the works was to be about poverty, specifically the issue of kids in America going hungry.

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Uncovering True Self, One Still Moment at a Time
Bill Eville
For more than 20 years Dr. Elliott Dacher practiced medicine. He was an internist going about his rounds of helping patients with their physical ailments. Over the years, however, he began to sense that something was missing. He didn’t know exactly what it was, but he felt an inner longing, both for himself and for his patients, whom he felt were not receiving the entire package.
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