A Father’s Walk on the Blind Side
Bill Eville

It was a beautiful fall evening on the Island and I was taking an after-dinner stroll with my children. My six-year-old son, Hardy, crashed about in the woods. My daughter, Pickle, not her real name but definitely her given name, walked a few yards in front of me.

Pickle is two and a half and becoming now a small creature of the world rather than just something of my own. She walked in front of me, not even looking back to see if I were following. I felt a tug at my heart.

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A Rolling Stone Gathers No Mozzarella
Bill Eville

The Flatbread Pizza Company opened its doors on the Vineyard on July 3. That was just about four months ago. Somehow, in this short span of time, Flatbread has nestled into the community and grown deep roots. To use local terms, it doesn’t feel like a day-tripper, scattered and a bit crazed with the need to do everything for everyone in a matter of hours. Nor does it feel like a summer dink, yet another vacationer, a little more grounded perhaps but still captive to the roving eye. This is my vacation, by God, and I will have fun at all costs!

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Ingredients to Success Include Bold Leap
Bill Eville

The Limpopo is a river in Botswana. It is also the name of a doughnut served at State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury. But this is not just any doughnut as anyone who as eaten one, or 30, say, in a week-long binge will attest. It is the perfect doughnut.

Brown and slightly crispy on the outside. A brioche dough interior that is neither too dry nor too moist. And a constellation of sugar crumbs coating the outside, sweet but not cloying. To call this a mere doughnut would be like calling your dog just an another animal. It would not be right.

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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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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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Nine Lives Crowd Gets Gift of Immortality
Bill Eville

Nineteen years ago, Eleanor Hubbard adopted a calico cat from the Edgartown animal shelter. Tonight, in New York city, that cat is about to get her closeup.

The cat’s name is Ulla, a Norwegian name. Her actual pedigree is unclear, perhaps French, based on her inclination towards the arts and painting. Over the years Ulla has become Ms. Hubbard’s muse and model in the studio.

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