Letter from the Vineyard 08 15 2018 White Wine Problems…



The day began dark, with thundering rumbling across the morning sky and a digital warning that lightning had struck nearby.  But by the time I had showered and prepared to take my friend, Tory, to the ferry, the skies had cleared; it was the beginning of a sun kissed Vineyard day.

I sit, at this moment, at the bar at BTB [Behind the Bookstore], sipping a summer concoction by Colin, mixologist extraordinaire.  When I have sipped it to conclusion, I will gather myself, the coffee I’ve purchased, my newest book [“Little French Bistro”] and head back to my “Best Most Exotic Marigold Hotel” guest house, read and head off for an early night.

Tonight is “Illumination Night” on the Vineyard, when all the gingerbread houses in the MV Camp Meeting Association are strung with hundreds of lanterns of every variety, lit at dark, creating something that Disney has tried to accomplish but can’t fully.  The porches of the homes are populated by their residents.  My favorites from a couple of years ago were a husband and wife, actors retired from Broadway, dressed in 19th Century garb, talking of all the things they have seen and done, a black lab curled quietly at their feet.

Friday there will be fireworks.  And then “the season” will begin to crawl to an end.  Yesterday we did a book signing for “Nine Irish Lives” at a grand house near the Harbor View Hotel, a book edited by Mark Bailey and one of whose contributors was Mark Shriver.  It was a gaggle of Kennedys and Shrivers, a group that looks alike and sounds alike and made me think they were all one big tribe.

Leaving them, I met Tory at the Harbor View and had a lovely late dinner at a table looking out toward the lighthouse, especially enjoying the lobster tacos.

Around me the world swirls and I keep to reading about it as opposed to listening to it – so much quieter.  The Donald and Omarosa are sinking their verbal teeth into each other, carrying the Trump Reality Presidency to new ratings highs.

Trump has also revoked security clearance for John Brennan, a former C.I.A. Director who has been highly critical of the current President.  Some Democrats are raising the specter of a “Nixonian” enemies list.

Manafort’s trial is drawing to a close without the defense bringing in a single witness, believing it had done its job in cross examinations.

The Vatican is slow to respond to a report about sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania that boggles the mind [not to mention the churns it gives to the stomach], dating back seventy years.  It is a crisis that has been brewing for decades, if not centuries and is raging in both North and South America and in Europe and, probably, everywhere there have been priests.

Bouncing off that darkness, there was an article yesterday about how sex robots could be good for marriage, which conjured up the world of Asimov’s “I, Robot” and “The Caves of Steel.”  History and the future are bumping into each other.

And, whether we like it or not, robots are coming.  Hopefully not for us but to help us.

The day on the Vineyard is ending.  The sky is now Dove grey.

My morning will be spent finding a cookbook which has arrived on the island but is in UPS limbo and we need it by 11:30 for a signing at the Harbor View Hotel, a place I have grown to know much more than I would have thought because we have been doing multiple book signings there.

My first night on the island was spent at the Harbor View while my brother and his wife were here, visiting the Vineyard for the first time. Sebastian, who mans the front desk, still remembers my name from that brief encounter.  A memory like that rocks the brain.

Classical music plays; a bird chirps off my deck and another Vineyard day ends.  Not bad.  All my problems today are white wine problems; I could be living in a suburb of Damascus being bombed every day.  Remember that when you are really frustrated; gives life a certain perspective.



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