Well, not only does a tree grow in Brooklyn but a beautiful Christmas tree sprouted at the Henry street home of my brother and sister in law, Jim and Pat Gardella, back from Florida in time for the season. My mother Iole and I spent Christmas with them and their two sons, David and Daniel, last Sunday. Joining the festivities were David’s intended, Liz, and Daniel’s amore, Moah. Friend Rosemary Byrne gamely picked us up in White Plains and drove us into the city to celebrate. The pouring rain helped wash away all the snow and ice that greeted me on my arrival last Friday. Dinner waited for David, statistician (scorekeeper) for the New York Knicks, to return from yet another game they lost. David came in for a great deal of teasing, especially when our gift bags were loaded with Knicks paraphernalia. But I am so proud of my nephew. Who knows? We Red Sox fans waited 86 years. Stranger things have happened.
I almost broke my neck trying to jump out of the shower on Christmas Eve morning to catch the phone. My mother went for it with her cane. Neither of us made it in time to catch Chris Clark’s greeting from Iraq — we had to content ourselves with replaying his message. By the time you read this, I hope to be in Rockford, Ill. with his wife, her parents, and my two grandsons, Corbyn and Dominic. I don’t think it’s asking Santa for much to expect my luggage to arrive on time also, do you?
Gloria von Mehren’s house was full of cheer for Christmas. Daughter Linda arrived from Bourne, son Dennis came from Maine, sister Mary and brother David joins with Billy, Bobby, Doug and Antone Dias. I was sorry to be away and miss one of the nicest and funniest families I know.
If you are a late shopper and still expect to give some gifts, check our library. Our lovely fund-raiser items are beautiful Vineyard Haven library charms, notepads, paper cubes, tote bags, and bookmarks. Just stop by the front desk. If you’re housebound, call the library and they’ll be glad to take your order over the phone and send it on.
Meanwhile, did you know that the fabulous display cases at the library are available for your organization, hobby, collections, or favorite subject? Usually the displays are up for one month. The cases are maintained by the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library. Call Elaine Eugster at 508-693-7614 or Elaine Bart at 508-693-0436 if you have an idea.
We certainly miss Marjorie Convery and the 17 years she put in as our director, but the search is under way for a new one. The committee hopes to have a short list early next month. Cecily Greenaway, our reference librarian who has worked so long and hard there, is filling in for now and doing an excellent job.
The Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP is offering a membership brunch and awards gala on Monday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center this year. There will be a special tribute to Vera Shorter. Everyone knows Vera! The guest speaker will be Sadie Burton-Goss. Grown-ups get membership and brunch for $50, youths join and eat for $30. Call Carrie Tankard at 508-693-2797. I’ll see you there.
As a special New Year’s Eve daytime offering, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is screening Alice In Wonderland at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 31 at the Katharine Cornell Theatre on Spring street in Vineyard Haven. Here’s a great opportunity to get your houseguests with little ones out and about while you prepare for the party!
The birthday bandwagon pulls along Fred Shapiro, Carol Slocum, and Pia DiTerlizzi today. Tomorrow belongs to Len Morris. Dec. 30 is a party for Dane Bliss and Claire Elizabeth O’Leary. New Year’s babies are Liz Duff and Kylee Willoughby. Jan. 2 is shared by Joy Clark Rogers, Brian Doherty, Sue Rabot, Anthony Masi, and Madeline Noel Doup. And on Jan. 3, Carol Clark and Donna Tankard take the cake. Many happy returns.