Hut, Hut, Harp? Island Teen Takes Versatility to New Level
Bill Eville

The curly-headed cherub strumming away on a harp is a time-honored icon. Try and consider Valentine’s Day without the sight of Cupid, his bow and arrows at rest for the moment, offering up a musical interlude. But what if Cupid had been allowed to grow up, pack on layers of muscle and play lacrosse and football, grinding out yards on the gridiron in front of cheering spectators. Would he still play the harp? And if so, what would he look like?

He would look like Nathaniel Horwitz, a 16-year-old junior at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.

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Moving Toward Shore, Paddling Together
Bill Eville
For my wife Cathlin’s last day of radiation treatment for breast cancer, the kids and I head into Boston to be with her. Eirene, aka Pickle (age four), decides to dress as the hobbit Frodo Baggins. Her costume includes a pair of blue jeans, a white mesh shirt she says is the elven material mithrail, and a long turquoise cape. She also insists that her face be rubbed with mud, as during Frodo’s travels to Mordor he was often dirty.

Hardy (age seven) wears the same pants and shirt he has worn nearly every day for the past few months.

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Follow the Breath, Watch The Mind, Arrive Home
Bill Eville
A week ago more than 100 people from around the world beganarriving on the Vineyard. Most looked like regular folks, bearded or not, wearing jeans or skirts, sneakers and shoes. They could have been leaf peepers who took a wrong turn on their way to the Berkshires. But some wore flowing crimson robes, a visible sign that this group was up to something different.

More telling, though, was that they appeared more relaxed than most people. They didn’t pack as much stuff either.

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Funny Bone Anchors Stories of the Heart
Bill Eville

On Sunday, Oct. 28, Ann Randolph will perform her one-woman show Loveland at the Katharine Cornell Theatre. The show, like all her shows, is based on real life.

“The tale came out of traveling back and forth from Loveland, Ohio to Los Angeles,” Ms. Randolph said. “My dad was dying and my mother had a stroke and then took up drinking for the first time in her life.”

If this sounds like subject matter one usually runs in the opposite direction from, consider this.

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Read On! After 25 Years, Blues Still Biting
Bill Eville
John Hersey was a master at both fiction and nonfiction writing. He wrote more than 20 books, including Hiroshima, a short but searing account of the effects of the atomic bomb as seen through the eyes of six survivors. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his novel A Bell for Adano.
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Film Festival Continues Jamming
Bill Eville

This weekend the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival continues at venues throughout Vineyard Haven. The opening night ceremonies heralded in a new era as the first-ever film was screened at the new festival center located at 72 Beach Road in the Tisbury Marketplace.

The movie lineup continues through Sunday, at which point 22 films from around the world will have been showcased. A full schedule can be found online at mvfilmfest.com

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Running or Rolling, Road Race Rocks
Bill Eville

It is unknown what the winner of this year’s Chilmark Road Race — Hugh Parker of New York city with a time of 16:07:29 — did to prepare for the race. He ran fast and shirtless in the morning downpour, crossing the tape nearly 30 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, David Melly of Newton, and the women’s winner Nnenna Lynch, also of New York city, who finished with a time of 19:21.27. Perhaps Hugh woke early, stretched and ran eight or nine miles just to warm up. He looked that fit and that youthful on Saturday morning.

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Sometimes, the Goal is in the Process
Bill Eville

My five-year-old son, Hardy, and I were kicking the soccer ball around the backyard and for the first time Hardy seemed engaged in the game rather than frustrated with the rule of not being able to use his hands. This was big progress. Up until the age of four, Hardy was a city boy, and I have to admit I hadn’t been doing enough to make sports a part of our lives. But since moving to the Island I have been determined to make up for lost time; especially with youth soccer just beginning.

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Threading Together a Boy’s Lifetime With Fishing Line
Bill Eville

I went fishing the other day at the jetty by the Vineyard Haven drawbridge. It was early evening, the sun beginning to set, and I was alone on the rocks. The sky was clear and on the horizon the mainland hovered like a thick slice of bread. The steamship chugged by sending four-foot swells my way and a seagull taunted me from above.

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Wreath Ladies’ Tradition Remains Rooted in Beauty and Friendship
Bill Eville

A row of decorated wreaths rests along the front pew of the West Tisbury Congregational Church. There are wreaths with red bows and holly leaves, pine cones and delicate juniper berries. A few feature small, felt cardinals peeking out from amongst the greens. There is also a homemade boxwood wreath with no trappings other than nature’s varied shadings of light and dark green. It glistens next to a faded blue Pilgrim hymnal. And then there are three wreaths at the end of the pew adorned with orange slices.

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