Welcome. Edgartown News was born from the simple fact that I have ink and Dektol in my veins and I need to write and photograph more than I need air or food, and from my love for this little town where I grew up and raised my family, the town I have left a few times but can't quite shake for good. Here you will find wanderings and musings, photographs and commentary; the people, places, and happenings - past and present - of a small island town: my home town.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Moonscape

 

I am known to seek out the full moon, carefully checking times and locations with my photographer's ephemeris, setting my alarm, and standing in wait with my camera on a tripod at the chosen time and place. The best time to shoot the full moon is actually the evening before the full moon, when the moon is coming up over the eastern horizon while there is still a little bit of daylight. Of course here on the island it is as likely as not that, even after a crystal clear day, the sky at sunset has become too misty to even see the moon. This evening would have been a good time to have planned such an outing but I forgot all about it. I was happy, though, to have come across this scene while walking to visit my family this evening. This is why I always try to remember to throw my little Lumix over my shoulder every time I leave the house. You just never know.

Monday, February 15, 2021

No Swimming Today

Well, unless you happen to be a seal. 


The Snowy Path (one of my favorite Irish tunes to play on my fiddle).


The bare bones of winter, with seeds of hope embedded within.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

This Changes Everything

January 26, and finally a wee bit of the white stuff. Having lived in Maine and Vermont at various times in my life and having experienced real winter, I have to say I do miss it. This little dusting will have to do. I love how snow changes everything, even if only briefly (because we all know this will turn into rain in very short order).

Monday, October 12, 2020

Out and About

Sometimes it feels as if I haven't left my property in days (because I haven’t), and when I do leave I am usually walking or biking so I don’t venture that far, but today, feeling a little stir-crazy, as well as a bit hemmed in by the gray and drizzling skies, I made a break for it and climbed into the Grand (Ma) Caravan and took a little cruise. I had the newly-serviced Lumix along with me and was eager to get my hands back on her, though when I came across the kite boarders on Sengekontacket a part of me wished I had brought the big cameras along for the ride; another part of me, however, likes keeping it simple and enjoys the challenge of working with the tools I have on hand. And you know what? For what the little Lumix is - a handy high-end carry-around camera - it did a more-than-acceptable job, even with its limitations of focal length and shutter speed.

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
This is not the first time I've photographed this path to South Beach...

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
...or these retired-for-the-season life guard stands.

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
Fishermen, heading home up Kelly Street.

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket

south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket
south beach, life guard stands, stir-crazy, kite-boarders, sengekontacket

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Music of What Happens

An excerpt from The Music of What Happens by John J O Riordain c.Ss.R Celtic Spirituality: A View from the Inside

If you know me or anything about my life you will understand why this segment jumped out at me: 

On the matter of hospitality, there is a curious traditional expression and it relates to the use of music. I experienced it only once in my own life but it was obviously part of the longer and broader tradition... ...I have a beautiful and abiding memory of being welcomed with music as well as the offer of food and drink. It was during a mission in the parish of Ballinskelligs in west Kerry and I was doing house-to-house visitation prior to the week of preaching. The scenery was exquisite as I rose into the side of a mountain overlooking the Atlantic and Valentia Island. There was a lone house there between the mountain and the sea; and in the house there was a lone man, a retired blacksmith. He was standing at the door as I entered the yard. Upon seeing me, he didn't come forward in greeting, as I would have expected in that part of the country where people are so warm and hospitable. Instead, he retired into the house leaving the door still open. It was only when I got to the door that the situation unfolded for me. He had gone inside, taken down the fiddle from over the hob, and played two tunes to welcome the missioner into his house. After that he laid aside the fiddle and reached out both hands in warmest greeting.

Ireland, hospitality, Celtic spirituality
County Kerry, December 2019.

 
Ireland, hospitality, Celtic spirituality
Valentia Island, watercolor by Irish-American artist Joan Walsh. This painting hangs in my living room, the setting for many an Irish traditional music session. 

 
Ireland, hospitality, Celtic spirituality
In July of 2018 I had the pleasure of welcoming the Sisters of Life onto my porch and into my home when they were on their annual mission to Martha's Vineyard. This was shortly after I played them up the sidewalk while they danced a jig ("There are nuns doing what on Main Street?"). Photo by Deb O'Hara Rusckowski

Monday, October 5, 2020

Down at the Docks

In the evening I like to ride my bike through town and down to the docks. I find the salt air and the locals and the fishermen - and the stories they tell - to be a welcome relief from the day's news and the confinement of my four walls and my own mind. What I found tonight was a serious case of derby fever, though I am told it's not the same derby without the bass. Seems that many things are not the same at the moment.
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
The Tigress, colorful sail furled, and put to bed for the night. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Janet Messineo, Island fisherwoman of legend. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
The ubiquitous Dennie Jackson, showing off his Katama University tee-shirt. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
What's in the bucket? Butterfish. Serious fishermen catch their own bait. 

Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress
Edgartown, Memorial Wharf, fishermen, Tigress

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Porch Life

Sometimes I think that if I didn't have a front porch only steps from Main Street in the heart of downtown Edgartown I might have no life at all. Thank God for my porch and the people who wander by and drop in, with extra points for people traveling with musical instruments.
Michael