Letter from the Vineyard 09 05 2018 The people I knew…

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My time on the Vineyard is finishing, finding me at the end of “the season,” feeling surprisingly nostalgic for my “Best Most Exotic Marigold Hotel” guest house while facing the departure of the people who have intersected my life “this season;” some already gone while others I will leave behind when I depart in eleven days.

Let’s see:

There is Alexander, a high school senior who is now off for his freshman year at Duke, a human who seems capable of unbridled delight at life, off into pre-med.  When he was hired I told Joyce that every older woman would want him to be her grandson.  I was not far off.  Extraordinarily knowledgeable about books for an eighteen-year-old, he was a charm to be around.

Alexander

Sam, short for Samantha, is off to the University of Michigan for her Masters in Choral and Musical Theater.  It would not surprise me that we would see her on Broadway one day.

Sam

Janet, high school teacher turned cleric, has accepted her first “call.”

Janet

Tea, the Serbian, here for her third summer, will remain after I leave and then go back to grad school in her hometown, not far from Belgrade.

Tea

Courtney, is off to finish college, and will face life full on.  She is one of “the Mettlers,” a family of long island history; her father and grandfather members of the most exclusive club on the island, unavailable to certain billionaires who lust to be included.

Courtney

Hayley begins her senior year of high school, a quiet individual with huge depth, making her final decisions as to where she will spend her collegiate years.

Hayley

Young Layla is back in California already, a sprite with a whole life in front of her; her parents are friends of Joyce and Jeffrey and this was her first job.  So young and so old at the same time…

Layla

Colin is the expert mixologist at BTB, a talent in the mixology world that will rise and probably be considered one of the great bartenders somewhere, someday.  He is, as you can see, intense about mixology.

Colin

There is Nadia, who rose to the occasion when the chef hired for the season flamed out.

Nadia

And we have Misha, the barista who oversees the coffee, an island legend after three years of consistently producing the island’s best coffee, famous for having been stateless for a while when the Soviet Union broke up and his USSR passport no longer meant anything to anyone.

Misha

 

The list goes on and can’t end without my mentioning Vlad, the Romanian young man who works at the bookstore and at The Paper Store down the block.  There is something between us that makes me smile.  He is protective of me.  We bring each other food and water for shifts.  After I was in the ER when I threw out my back, he did his best to make sure I didn’t lift the tables and chairs that go on the porch.

Vlad

Monday, he showed up when he wasn’t working to make sure I didn’t do it.

Truth is, I am old enough to be his grandfather and yet, how sweet it is, we are friends.  He is not planning on returning next year; this is his fourth year and he thinks it’s enough.  He’s probably right.

What I have learned from Vlad, or re-learned, perhaps, is that friendships can bridge generations; caring knows no age. When I leave, I will miss him.  He has been the unexpected human joy of this summer.  It is likely I will never see him again and before I leave, I want to share with him how much he has meant to me.

Thank you all!

 

 

 

 

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