JOHN S. ALLEY
Well, all sorts of decorations, wreaths, outdoor lights and Christmas trees are being put up and decorated each day around town. The spirit of the holiday season is upon us. It is also getting closer to the winter solstice, and the shortest day of the year next Friday. I am sure many of you have your shopping mostly done and are well prepared for Christmas with everything wrapped — like Jane Konicki, Barbara Day and Judy Hall. The rest of us are just beginning that frantic mad scramble to get it all together for the holiday. We promised ourselves we would not let it slide after last year, but once again are frantically working against the clock.
If you missed Santa this past weekend, there’s still a chance to see him on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Black Dog campus in Vineyard Haven.
Katherine Long of Scotchman’s Lane, Glenn and Rosemary Jackson of Stoney Hill, and Mariko Kawaguchi and David Kish of Oak Lane will be hosting the 34th annual Winter Solstice Party Sunday afternoon at Katherine’s home from noon until 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome — please do not bring your dog along. Their parties are nothing short of superb, and are sure to be one of the highlights of the season.
Linda Baughman of Philadelphia, Ava and Naomi Plakins of Doyelstown, Pa. and Diane Smith of Boston are sorry to miss the holidays on the Vineyard. In the meantime they wish everyone a happy holiday season. Dr. Gabrielle Walker, author and environmentalist from London, England and Lyon, France, extends her best wishes for a happy holiday season. Toni Kurash and Simi Horwitz in New York city; cousins Millie Fodor and her mom out in Loudenville, Ohio; Dianne Carbone in St. Lucy, Fla. and Rosemary Tedeschi in Yorktown, N.Y. extend their holiday greeting to every one.
Leslei Monast, of Waldron’s Bottom Road, reports that her husband Will has gone over to Cuttyhunk to cut their Christmas tree and gather some more information for the interesting stories he writes for the Gazette on a regular basis.
Hunter Moorman and Leslie Gray are pleased to announce that they have settled full-time in their home on Panhandle Road and are now permanent residents. Congratulations!
Sarah Mayhew of Davis, Calif. arrived on Wednesday to spend the holiday season with her mother, Shirley, and all the members of her family.
Chief Dan Rossi and his wife, Jane, report that their sons Ryan and his wife, Ellen, of Hatteras, N.C. and Benjamin, of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. will arrive next week to spend the holidays with them. Dianne McDonough reports that tonight is Girls Night Out for Dianne Silva and Kim Baumhofer. They will celebrate the holiday season at the Ocean View with friends Jacquie Callahan, Sandy Mott, Mary Newsom, Margaret Stafursky of Oak Bluffs and Carol Ramsey of Edgartown. The Divas, retired and soon to be retired from regional high school, will be decked out in their holiday finest!
Martha Moore reports that the holiday organ and choir concert is on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 3 p.m. in the church to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Noack organ, a gift from Jane Newhall. Solo organ pieces, choral and instrumental music will be performed by David Rhoderick and Phil Dietterich and the choir. A candlelight reception will follow in the Parish Hall. Donations are welcome for organ maintenance.
Linda Alley of New Lane reports that the Winter Farmers’ Market will take place tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall. You will have time to pick up your favorite market gifts for the holidays.
Tara Whiting, town clerk, reports that 2013 hunting licenses and stamps are available. Tara and the Chilmark town clerk are the only people selling them this year, or you can go online. If you want to get a jump on next year or want to gift it to a friend or relative for Christmas, call her at 508-696-0148 and stop by during normal office hours. They will need your hunter safety card or any previous year’s hunting license.
Marian Irving reports that the church elves were thrilled with the response to their Christmas Faire last Saturday. They greatly appreciate the support of the community for this annual event, and were delighted to exceed their anticipated goal of $6,000.
The Steamship Authority is pleased to once again offer you an opportunity to be a part of the 2013 Preferred Excursion program. They have sent out an email containing all of the necessary information for you to participate in the Headstart Program. The Preferred Excursion applications are now available on their website and at all terminals. If you have any questions, please call their reservations office at 508-477-8600.
Jennifer Tseng, over at the library, reports that Mother Goose is indeed alive and well. Nelia and Amy will be reading to children up to three years of age at various locations on the Island during the library renovation project. On Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. storytime will be at the old Music street Library and on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. it will be at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and at the Oak Bluffs Library. For more information, give her a call. Also, she wants library patrons to be aware that the library will close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas. On Dec. 15, 1999 the West Tisbury Grange 251 celebrated the 95th anniversary of its founding with a dinner at the Grange Hall. It was a gala affair. The hall was decorated with candles and greens on each table and over 40 Grangers and guests attended the event. Sam Alley volunteered to operate the elevator, delivering guests to the second floor of the hall. The Grange was formed on Dec. 5, 1905 in that very same room. Worthy Master, John Alley, organized the program and served as the master of ceremonies. The dinner was catered by the culinary arts class of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, under the supervision of Peter Koines. Everyone in attendance gave high marks to the dinner and the professional way the culinary arts students prepared and served the meal. That night, speakers included the master, who gave a presentation of the Grange’s history. He reminded those present that in 1950 the Grange purchased the first set of swans for the Mill Pond. The state master saluted the fifty-year members in attendance: George Manter, Donald and Tina Fisher and Alma Benson. Chris Scott, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, thanked the Grangers for the part they played in acquiring the hall and wished them well in the new century. The featured speaker of the evening was America’s eminent historian, David McCullough of Music street. His talk about the Grange and John Adams was nothing short of superb! When he finished his talk everyone gave him a standing ovation. Happy birthday to Rick Karney, Kathleen Gibbs and Brett Fisher today; to Michelle Brescia, Rachel Schubert, Janice Cramer, Nick Thayer, Catherine Brennan and Tim Sylvia tomorrow; to Deborah Vincent-Coutino, Jon Fragoza, Ben Rossi and Sue Hruby on Sunday; to Anne Holmes, Ian Warner, Amy Eisenlohr and Renee Rudd on Monday; to Howard Borggaard, Nyama Wingood, Warren Hollinshead, Sam Griswold, Susan Kaeka and Carol Brandon on Tuesday; to Jeff Dando, Marcy Klapper, Allison Carr, Pat Hughes and Janice Manter on Wednesday; and to Joyce Collins, Ray Gale, Rosalie Powell, Sara Roan and Christina Bradlee on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Lisa Smith. Anniversary wishes to Bob Bunch and Sandra Polleys. Well, that is all of the news for this week’s column. If you have any news ,please call or email me. Have a great week and start your shopping now. Remember what Will Rogers once said — you can make your money last longer if you fold it in half!