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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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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Make Way for PikNik Pop-Up Shop
Bill Eville

During the first week of November one of Trip Barnes’s moving trucks pulled up to an empty store on Charles street in the Beacon Hill section of Boston. For years the space had been the home of a quaint children’s clothing store, but that had recently gone out of business. Now, from out of the truck came a flotsam of items, including numerous rusty bikes, old doors and assorted oars.

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Island Community Embraces Ideals Set by Work in Uganda
Bill Eville

On Tuesday at a benefit night for Lila Fischer and Hannah Kahl’s coming trip to Africa to work for Earth Birth, Ms. Fischer held up a jar she planned to pass around throughout the evening for contributions. There would be a prize each hour, she said to the packed house at Flatbread/Nectar’s, for the largest contribution.

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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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Journey Together Reaches Greater Depths
Bill Eville

My daughter Pickle, age three and half, has been talking a lot about death lately. The other night at dinner she turned to her mother, Cathlin, and said, "Babu and Babshi died." She was referring to the nicknames of my wife's parents who both died before Pickle was born.

"Yes," Cathlin said. "They did."

"A lot of people die," Pickle said. She pursed her small lips and folded her hands one over the other. "Like eight people," she added.

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Muppets Choose Vineyard Family For New Special
Bill Eville

Last spring Betty Burton received a call from a producer for Sesame Street. One of the most respected television programs for children had been branching out recently, from singing songs and learning how to count with fuzzy Muppet friends, to producing shows that educate kids about some of the bigger, more tragic issues kids face today. A new episode in the works was to be about poverty, specifically the issue of kids in America going hungry.

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Uncovering True Self, One Still Moment at a Time
Bill Eville

For more than 20 years Dr. Elliott Dacher practiced medicine. He was an internist going about his rounds of helping patients with their physical ailments. Over the years, however, he began to sense that something was missing. He didn’t know exactly what it was, but he felt an inner longing, both for himself and for his patients, whom he felt were not receiving the entire package.

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Triathlete Is Fueled By Memories of 9/11
Bill Eville

Last winter, Jennifer Sanford was sitting at her desk at MassMutual in Springfield where she works as a trader, when an e-mail message came across her screen. The message gave the details of an upcoming triathlon to be held later that summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Ms. Sanford had never entered a triathlon or a race really of any kind before and so it wasn’t the competition that first caught her eye. It was the date of the race: Sept. 11, 2011.

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Journey Home from the Fair Lasts a Lifetime
Bill Eville

I have mixed feelings about going to the Agricultural Fair. This has nothing to do with the fair itself, which at 150-years-old has aged exceptionally well, maintaining its links to the past without a hint of mustiness. It is very much a thing of the present and this weekend I will bring my children to the fair many times.

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