Like Father Like Daughter; Amy Helm Rocks Audience Off Its Feet

by Steve Myrick – Tuesday, July 26, 2016 – 6:50am

Some children of famous people run away from their last name. Amy Helm runs right at it, lays a great big sweet harmony up under it and sings a hymn to it. Then she rocks the house so hard and so loud, her father, Levon Helm, who died in 2012, surely hears her.

At the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs Sunday evening, she captivated an audience with a free-flowing set as hot as the stifling air in the old church. She and her band, the Handsome Strangers, appeared Saturday at the Newport Folk Festival, and might have been forgiven for cruising through a few tunes for their Island performance. The heat did prompt a few pauses on stage, but Ms. Helm and her band never cruised, and seemed to gain momentum as the temperatures dropped a few degrees, finishing the performance with jaw-dropping musicianship. – MORE-

Mind Over Matter Is Second Nature for Young Mentalist

by Mike Kotsopoulos
Thursday, July 7, 2016 – 5:30pm

Few people know the difference between a mentalist and a magician. But Nat Lawson certainly does.

The young mentalist sensation walked on stage at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury on Tuesday evening with only a sketchpad and sharpie, no cards up his sleeves or bunny-packed hats, and mesmerized a packed audience.

“This is my fifth time performing this show since I debuted it in January,” he said. Nat is a 16-year old Rockport, Me. native, who also has Vineyard ties — he is a grandson of David McCullough.

While magic uses slight of hand or deception to create an illusion, mentalism exhibits predictable mental actions, according to Nat. He is also a certified hypnotist.MORE

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David McCullough Helps Make History Soar

By Alex Elvin Friday, July 17, 2015

More than 100 people gathered in the West Tisbury Grange Hall on Wednesday to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough talk about his new book, The Wright Brothers. Tickets sold for $100, with all profits going to the West Tisbury Library.

At around 7 p.m., with overhead fans providing some relief to the evening heat, Mr. McCullough emerged from behind a black curtain on the stage, wearing a blazer, khakis and a bow tie. He carried a copy of his book, which tells the story of the two bicycle mechanics from Ohio who changed the world with their achievement of mechanical flight.

Since the book’s release in May, Mr. McCullough has spoken to thousands of people around the country about the project. “Rarely have we ever known anyone,” he said Wednesday, to a standing-room-only crowd that included friends and family.

“Surely one of the most obvious lessons in history is that almost nothing is ever done alone,” he said, speaking deliberately and without notes. “It’s a joint effort.” He noted the many people who made the book possible, including his wife Rosalee, who was also in attendance. Mr. and Mrs. McCullough lived in West Tisbury since the 1960s.  – MORE –

An Evening with Historian David McCullough

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and author David McCullough, a longtime West Tisbury resident, will be speaking at the Grange Hall in July for his only public event on the Vineyard this summer.

Mr. McCullough will be talking about his new book The Wright Brothers on Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. The evening is a fundraiser for the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

Mr. McCullough and his wife, Rosalee, have long been supporters of the West Tisbury Free Public Library. In July 2014, the community room at the newly-renovated library was dedicated to the McCulloughs.

The Wright Brothers tells the behind-the-scenes story of flight pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Mr. McCullough will talk about the book and also about the research that went into it.

Tickets for the July event are $100 for general seating; reservations are required. A limited number of premium seats are available for $500, and those ticket holders will be invited to a reception with Mr. McCullough. Call 508-696-9539 for tickets. – MORE –

David McCullough Flies Deep into Wright Brothers’ Story

By Alex Elvin – April 30, 2015

On May 30, 1899, Wilbur Wright sat down at a small desk in the house that he shared with his brother, sister and father and wrote one of the most important letters of his life. “Indeed, given all it set in motion, it was one of the most important letters in history,” David McCullough writes in his newest book, The Wright Brothers, to be released Tuesday by Simon and Schuster. In the letter, addressed to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Wilbur noted his lifelong interest in flight and his firm conviction that “human flight is possible and practicable.” He announced his plans to begin a “systematic study” and asked the Smithsonian for any material they had published on the subject, along with a list of related works in print. – MORE –

Author Geraldine Brooks Fills Out the Story of Biblical Giant Slayer

By Bill Eville, April 9, 2015

The moment of inspiration for Geraldine Brooks’s new novel, The Secret Chord, occurred about 10 years ago, when her son Nathaniel told his parents he wanted to learn to play the harp.

“This was unexpected,” the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author told a standing-room-only crowd on Wednesday night at State Road Restaurant. Nine-year-old boys don’t usually suddenly decide to play the harp. But it was while watching her son play, during those early lessons, that something shifted in her mind and “threw me into a reverie about that other boy harpist, David.”

Ms. Brooks realized she knew nothing really about the character of David from the Bible, other than perhaps his fight with Goliath. So she read the Bible and discovered, “everything happened to him. Every good thing. Every terrible thing. He’s the first man we know from soup to nuts — from child to terrible father and then redeemed in old age.” – MORE –

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Piano Man Finds Baby Grand for West Tisbury Library

By Sydney Bender on Saturday, October 4, 2014

The idea to acquire a piano for the West Tisbury library originated this past spring when friends rented a piano for Jonathan Revere’s memorial service at the library. “The reaction from everyone about the piano that day was so strong,” selectmen Richard Knabel said. So strong, in fact, that he started thinking: What if the library permanently had a piano?

Mr. Knabel asked library director Beth Kramer and “she thought it was a really good idea,” he said.

He turned to David Stanwood, “the piano man of Martha’s Vineyard,” to spearhead a search to find the perfect piano. It didn’t take long. On Sept. 24, on behalf of the town, the West Tisbury selectmen unanimously voted to accept an original rosewood Steinway & Sons baby grand piano that dates back to 1901. Mr. Stanwood rebuilt the piano in the early 1990s and will continue to maintain it. – MORE –

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David and Rosalee McCullough Honored at West Tisbury Library

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A dedication of the community program room at the new West Tisbury Free Public Library was held in honor of the leadership and community support provided over many years by David and Rosalee McCullough. Mr. McCullough has served as West Tisbury Library Foundation honorary chairman since the Foundation’s inception in 2010. Over a hundred people came out on a rainy evening for the event.

Hunter Moorman, foundation chairman, welcomed the crowd and expressed his thanks for the hard work and financial contributions that made the new library possible.

West Tisbury selectman Richard Knabel remarked that the new library was an example of how private and public sectors can work together toward a mutual goal.

Dan Waters, library trustee, recalled the early days of planning the new library and the instrumental role David and Rosalee McCullough played in getting the project off the ground and bringing it to fruition.

Hunter Moorman presented Mr. McCullough with the symbolic key to the new library. In his remarks, Mr. McCullough expressed his faith in the national public library system, something that is unique to the U.S. –MORE –

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Fact Meets Fiction at State Road Speakeasy

by Bill Eville,  Monday, May 19, 2014

The sign outside State Road Restaurant last Wednesday night said Go Bruins. The parking lot was overflowing and yet upon entering there was no hockey to be found. Instead, there was a crowd of people talking about writing and literature. There was also a large blueprint of the new West Tisbury library balanced on one of the tables, the headline of which read Phase 1, Spring 2014. A wish list of plants covered the left side of the blueprint — bluestem grass, Joe Pye weed, goldenrod, native ferns, fall asters and swamp milkweed.

Hunter Mormon, chairman of the West Tisbury Library Foundation, addressed the crowd, assuring everyone that the plants had been ordered and would soon be going into the ground. “They just haven’t been paid for yet,” he said. – MORE

Next Chapter Looks Smashing at West Tisbury Library Opening

Ivy Ashe, March 22, 2014

Judging by the cars parked along both sides of State Road and the full parking lot of Alley’s, it might have been a summer Saturday in West Tisbury. Instead the crowd of more than 150 people were headed to the opening of the new West Tisbury Library.

“There aren’t enough superlatives, are there?” Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners representative Mary Ann Cluggish said to the crowd.

It has been 17 months since library staff, town selectmen and a crew of youngsters wearing pink and yellow hardhats broke ground on the library’s expansion, which more than doubled the space of the building. The project itself was first conceived six years ago, when the board of trustees began to imagine what the future of the library would be. They started to take more concrete steps in 2010, when a capital campaign headed by the West Tisbury Library Foundation kicked off. – MORE –

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