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This is my daughter Deb standing outside the Stephen Huneck gallery that used to be on the Vineyard. The picture in the window is perfect for her. She is, to put it mildly, obsessed, with a capital Obsession, with her Boykin Spaniel, Chappy.
We surprised her a few months later with a print for her birthday.
Stephen Huneck is a fantastic artist and sculptor, we had the honor of meeting him at a book signing a few years ago and he not only autographed his latest book for us but he…
… drew a sketch of Chappy inside the cover.
We’ve purchased a few of Stephen Huneck’s paintings over the years. I particularly like this one because of its Vineyard theme. Didn’t you always wonder where all the Black Labs on MV came from !
Here are two of his sculptures that have significance for us. Before we had our chocolate brown Boykin Spaniel, represented here by the dog on the left, we had miniature Dachshunds, represented by the dog on the right. I love the corner doxie, he’s definitely a conversation starter.
Boats are important for getting to an island. You can get there by plane, you can’t get there by train, you can only bring your car so far and then you need… a boat.
Drive your car onto a ferry and you’re good to go.
The Rotterdam from the Islander.
The Katama from the Islander.
Big boats. Little boats.
Artistic boat and whale tail.
Boat at night.
3 car ferry.
Chappaquiddick is a small island off the bigger island of Martha’s Vineyard.
To get there it’s about a 2 or 3 minute ride from Edgartown on one of two On Time ferries. They are called On Time because there is no schedule so whenever they run… they’re on time.
Once you’re on Chappaquiddick, otherwise known as Chappy, you’ll want to check out the beaches.
This is my daughter and her dog Chappy doing just that.
See the beautiful Mytoi Japanese garden.
Visit Cape Poge lighthouse.
Boating, biking, hiking, spending time at the beach… Chappaquiddick is a nice place to get away to…
… and then head back to Edgartown.
In the Campground in Oak Bluffs sits the Tabernacle and across from it is Trinity Methodist Church. Trinity Methodist was built in 1878, a year before the Tabernacle was erected. They have shared the same grassy circle known as Trinity Park for 132 years.
I spent my childhood summers on Martha’s Vineyard and many of those summers I spent my mornings at Bible School in the Tabernacle. As was the custom a girl and a boy would be chosen each morning to walk from the Tabernacle to Trinity Church and ring the 8 o’clock bell. I waited almost all summer to hear my name called, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. Finally it did and off across the lawn my partner and I scampered.
Inside the vestibule tied to the staircase railing was the thickest rope I’d ever seen. The rope was attached to the bell way, way, way up in the steeple and the longer we stood there and pondered the situation the higher up the bell seemed to get.
First though we had to untie the rope, it did not go well, we fumbled along and finally the rope was free from the railing. Time was ticking but neither of us were aware of how close to 8 o’clock we were coming.
Now all we had to do was pull the rope and the bell would ring and … well, that did not go well either. Neither one of us had enough weight to pull the rope hard enough to ring the bell. Rope burn was the least of our problems though as now we were sure it was after 8 o’clock and we’d failed our mission. With what strength we had left we both grabbed the rope, stood on one of the steps and jumped. Just as our teacher walked in the door to see what the problem was we heard… bong, bong, bong… it was ringing, the bell was peeling loud and strong, we had succeeded… we had only missed the 8 o’clock bell by… oh 10 or so minutes. Who would notice!
When I got home at lunch time the first thing my mother said was “the 8 o’clock bell was a bit late this morning, do you know who was ringing it this morning?” I said it had been me… she shook her head slowly and said nothing but I did notice a little smile. By the way, I was never asked to ring the bell again.
I had spent the morning walking along South Beach/Katama with my daughter, drawing in the sand and enjoying the solitude of the beach in May. The waves are higher and more intense on the southern side of the Vineyard…but this day the surf was quiet. We were enjoying the peacefulness when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye lying in the sand. As I approached I saw that it was a large stick, at least that was my first thought. Upon closer inspection I discovered that it was more like a walking stick… it was pretty solid and just the right height.
The top was rounded and well worn, the stick itself was dappled with knots. I wondered where it had come from ? Was it originally someone’s Christmas tree that had been brought to the beach to be recycled. Was it then discovered by a beachcomber and fashioned into a walking stick. If so then why was it lying alone in the sand. Had its owner washed out to sea, been abducted by aliens or perhaps the walking stick had magically walked away to seek adventures on its own.
Then again perhaps it had been fashioned for a pirate years ago and had just washed up on the sand after floating aimlessly in the ocean for a century or more. What tales could it tell of galleons filled with gold and jewels… of mutinies on the high seas… of long voyages to foreign shores. My mind was filled with unanswered questions and thoughts of adventure.
From time to time I look at it and wonder what its story is, but alas inanimate objects are stubborn in giving up that information.
The Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm, the FIRST fiber CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in the world is having its FIRST Fiber Festival on Saturday April 19, 2008.
Click here and then click on the Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Fest link for all the information. If you’re on MV or close to MV on April 19th come and enjoy the fun. Here’s just a sample of what’s in store.
Join us on April 19th for the Inaugural Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Fest at the New Ag Hall in W. Tisbury.
The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•Sheep and Angora Goat Shearing
•Demos, Demos and More Demos
•Needle Felting Workshop by Stephanie daRosa of Plum Hill School
•Dyeing Workshop by Rebecca Gilbert of Native Earth Teaching Farm
•Beautiful, Island-grown, hand-spun yarn, fleece and roving.
•Great music and great food!
In the middle of Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs sits the Bandstand, so much the centerpiece of Oak Bluffs that it appears on the town seal.
As beautiful as it is to look at…
…there is work that needs to be done to bring it back to its original glory and to also take care of safety issues. According to an article in the Vineyard Gazette, the Dunkl family who own Chilmark Spring Water stepped up and devoted themselves to the restoration of the Bandstand.
The Dunkls are no strangers to caring for old Vineyard structures. Years ago they were hired to do renovation work on the Flying Horses, built in 1876 and brought to the Vineyard in 1884, the same year the bandstand was built.
I think it’s great that the Bandstand is being lovingly restored and expect that it will stand in the middle of Ocean Park for another 100 years or so.
Today would be my mother’s birthday. She’s the reason MV is in our lives. Although born in Maine she was raised on MV and through her we’ve all come to love the Vineyard.
No words I could find could say so beautifully what my daughter Deb wrote below on her blog today about her grandmother.
This is a guest post by Deb, Joan’s daughter, copied from her knitting blog.
Because it’s her birthday, I’m going to talk about my grandmother today. Mom’s Mom.
Because, you see, Grandma grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. She graduated from high school there, her mother is buried there, and she had enormous ties to the island before she moved to New Jersey and met my Grandfather.
She brought my Mom up every summer of her childhood, to romp around Oak Bluffs with her friends Willie Jones and Jackie Robinson. To be spoiled by her godparents. To go to the beach. To ride the Flying Horses. (That’s Grandma kneeling, and Mom is the itty-bitty tyke on the blanket.) All of which, of course, has made my mother absolutely love Martha’s Vineyard–which, of course, you all knew already since you’re here, reading about her MV Obsession. And that love, of course, she’s passed on to the rest of us.
Unfortunately, my grandmother died when I was 9 years old. I distinctly remember the day–June 22nd, the last day of third grade–and I was setting the table for supper when the phone rang. It was Grandpa, asking to speak to my Dad–which scared me right off the bat because, why would he ask to speak to Dad first? And I remember the sound of Mom’s scream when Dad passed on the news. It was totally unexpected. She’d been in bed with a cold but–so far as we knew–relatively fine, until her sudden heart attack. She died in my grandfather’s arms and Mom still says that that was the worst day of her life.
Since I was fairly young when we lost her, I don’t have that many stories of my own to tell about Grandma. (Her name was Maude, by the way.) I wasn’t old enough yet to really sit and talk and laugh with her … but I know that Mom got her sense of silliness from her, and passed that on to me. In fact, Mom has also said that she used to get silly with her mom the way that I get silly with her–obviously something she and I would have had in common.
She also crocheted–I’ve got a box filled with beautiful, dainty handkerchiefs with handmade lace around the edges, for which I give her great credit. I’ve tried doing that myself and find it far too hard to see what I’m doing with the crochet hook at such a small scale.
And, um, did I mention her love of Martha’s Vineyard? (grin) Because, you know, if she hadn’t loved it so much herself, and had such ties to it, she wouldn’t have brought Mom there so often when she was little. And then Mom wouldn’t have loved it enough to infuse that into her kids and her grandkids. And then, certainly, I wouldn’t have a dog with a Martha’s Vineyard-inspired name. (Two of them, technically.) Considering how much I love Martha’s Vineyard, I’m really very grateful for that.
And, of course, those stories that I’ve got–like that diamond ring story–are certainly good ones. But the best thing I owe to my grandma?
Happy birthday, Grandma!