The Block Island Times

In Case You Haven't Heard

By Fran Migliaccio | Jun 01, 2013
Photo by: Fran Migliaccio An ancient and loved apple tree bloomed beautifully again this year on Block Island.

About town

The Marathon Bridge Group met on May 23 for its annual awards and potluck luncheon at Margie Comings’s house.

Congratulations go to Team 4, Peter Saxon and Bill Wilson, who came in first; to Team 6, Marianne Mellor and Sara McGinnes, who came in second; and to Team 1, Claire McQueeny and Dottie Graham, who came in third.

Actually, all of the players were winners at one time or another and everyone went home with a “goodie bag.” The rest of the winners were Barry Saxe, Leslie Parsons, Mary Sue Record, Jane Scranton, Arlene Tunney, Pat Doyle, Karen Duale, Cathy Joyce, Nigel Grindley, Pam Hinthorn, Martha Wilson, Marcy Mazzur and Betsy Theve. Congratulations to all the players!

Marathon Bridge will start up again next September. Look for the announcement in early August.

Block Island High School students Tadgh O’Neill and Kathleen Hemingway are bound for Europe this year as Student Ambassadors with People to People International. They will travel with 20 students from Rhode Island and 20 students from another part of the U.S. The educational trip will include a home stay with a family in Austria and an opportunity to stay and work at a farm in Italy. They will also take part in a cathedral renovation project. The two have received some financial help from the Lions Club for their trip, and have done fundraising on their own with a carwash, two bake sales, and a horse drop that is currently being organized. Funds are still needed, and may be donated through the Block Island School Friends, with a memo that the donation is for this year’s Student Ambassadors. And, be on the watch for further fundraisers invented by these two hardworking students.

Previous Block Island Student Ambassadors are Paul Quackenbush, Hailey Kisseberth, and Grace O’Neill, Tadgh’s older sister, who graduates from high school this year.

Block Island everywhere

The day this paper is published, Margie and Bill Comings are embarking on the Queen Mary for a trans-Atlantic voyage to Southampton. The ship will continue on to Germany, then to Norway for a 14-day cruise up the Norwegian coast almost to the Arctic Circle — then reverse the journey back to Hamburg and Southampton, returning eventually to New York. “We are very excited about seeing beautiful scenery and the midnight sun,” writes Margie.

An article about Block Island, written by Tristram Korten, appeared in the May issue of The Atlantic Monthly. Entitled “Bringing Back the Ancient Art of Spearfishing,” it tells of Tristram’s own delight in spearfishing while growing up during summers on Block Island and mentions two other expert Block Island spearfishers, Peter Wood and Chris Blansfield. The article can be found online at

Malcolm Greenaway, who told me of the article, also mentioned that on Sunday, March 31, the morning two networks featured stories about Block Island, a third network, ABC, weighed in with an interview with Jim Wallis, who was promoting his latest book, On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good. Wallis, who serves as a spiritual advisor to President Barack Obama, comes to Block Island every summer. He is married to the Rev. Joy Carroll, who was one of the first female priests in the Church of England.

Malcolm, who doesn’t watch television very often, occasionally tunes in on Sunday morning and said he was able to view all three news segments by sheer chance, flipping channels when ads came on. He also provided a footnote on Erica Hill, the NBC anchorwoman who remarked, after the NBC segment aired, that she loved to visit Block Island. Malcolm advised that she had actually said, “Block Island is my favorite place in the whole world!” A photo that Grteenaway found online of Hill and her husband, David Yount, shows Yount wearing a Block Island shirt as the two stand before a body of water that looks very much like the Great Salt Pond.


A very happy 20th anniversary to Kathleen and Peter Saxon, who were married on June 5, 1993.

Happy anniversary to Marja and Neil Lang, also married on June 5.

Anniversary congratulations to Norma and Jason Reder, June 8.

Happy anniversary to Carol and Henry Hill, June 11.

Of cakes and candles

A belated happy birthday to Sophie, the megadog “best friend” of Pete Tweedy. Sophie turned two on May 13.

Belated happy returns also to Isabelle duPont, May 20; Bobby Leone, Frank Leslie and Roberta Thornton, May 21; Pat Queally and Max Walsh, May 22; Annika Richter, May 23; Bobbie Reynolds, May 27; Nancy Starr Gorman, May 31 (the day this paper hits the street!).

More currently, happy birthdays to Rachel Reynolds, June 1; Connie LaRue and Johno Sisto, June 2; Betsy Pyne, June 3; Joe Sprague, June 4; Bridgette Keane and Bill Comings, June 5; Grace O’Neill, John Barry, Anders Vercelli, Martha Ball, Millie McGinnes and Tom Buol, all on June 6; Sam Stockman, June 7; Janelle Costa, June 8; Eleanor Mott, June 9; Liam Batchelder Anderson, June 10; Ann Henault and Matt Lensing, June 11; Susie Weissman, June 15.

Let us know what’s happening! Visiting relatives, special occasions, updates on friends near and far, projects… Deadline is Tuesday morning, and Fran can be reached at 466-2892 or

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