Grindstone News - July 24, 1991


Go out the church door, and follow straight down the road under the thick canopy of cottonwood trees, and that's Aunt Grace's domain. Mrs. Shirley's son, reading the Grindstone News, said, "There must be a lot of saints on Grindstone Island." That's true - not martyrs, not puritans, not preachers, not do-gooders or policemen or termagants or even moralists - just plain everyday saints multiply hereabouts.


The road under the cottonwoods turns into a lane and peters out in the grassy lawns of the Marra houses, Phil's and Yuvonne's, Jeff's, and Debbie and Steve Donaldson's. Geraniums, petunias and impatiens had a colorful welcome to visitors, and leisurely peace seems to blanket even the sun-splotched patches. Birdsong lures avid birdwatchers like Carol Hansen deeper into the little Eden, into Slate land. But, incredibly, work goes on in Eden. Saturday night. Aunt Grace's generations turned out pots and pots of spaghetti with meatballs, great flavorful meatballs and sauce that had cooked quietly all day long in a parade of crock-pots.


Yuvonne Marra and Debbie Donaldson with the help of Joan Reed, cooked the meatballs and sauce and prepared fresh Italian salad, and Phil Marra and Nat Natali stood at the stoves in the church carriage house all through the meal, turning out great basins of spaghetti. Desserts donated by guest after guest kept being passed through the open window into the kitchen - pies, puddings, cookies, all manner of good things, and a wonderful meal was spread on the red-checked table covers.


Afterwards Bob Smith, the Grindstone auctioneer, revived the conviviality of the carnival that had begun at 4 p.m. in the church yard where games of skill (Can you toss the roll of toilet paper through the hanging toilet seat, or hit the head of the sun-browned cardboard beach lounger, or get the basketball through the ring?) had been played. Caroline and Bubby Lashomb and Karen Lashomb walked Clayton streets last week to get the donations from generous local businesses that provided prizes for the games and drawings, with the help of Joan and Ainsley Read.

Jeff Marra once more organized the whole event and made it happen. Proof of the spaghetti:

Everyone had a good time in spite of the 100 degree heat-wave that rolled over us. All islanders did their parts - Buck Slate washed the front of the church, Bob Smith picked up the trash left on the lawn - and says he is going to vacuum the sanctuary next week!


After the auction, Jaycee and Jamie Donaldson and Jada Lashomb danced at least six routines on the haywagon, to the dazzled delight of little Jalice Gipson whose eyes sparkled so brightly that she turned the whole dance team into lively, responsive performers for the whole audience.

Yet more. After the last dance, choreographed by the young dancers themselves (who were joined by young Master Read) the whole group joined in celebrating John and Aminta Marks' 40th wedding anniversary. Karen Lashomb baked  the cake in the heat of the day -trying to keep her perspiration from over salting her concoction, and Brenda Slate topped the cake with the little bride and groom that topped Buck's and Brenda's wedding cake on the first night the Markses spent in the parsonage behind the church.


Such an evening! And more. That's That played for the party in the hall, hip-to-hip crowded with gentle people. Bubby Bazinet called some squares, Sis Matthews picked the 50-50 prize won by Frank Slate, and Ada Bazinet won six dinners from the hot-dog boat at Potter's Beach.

Next week, July 27, Whirling Disk DJs will play from 9 p.m. 'til 1 a.m. It is proving to be a good summer at "the Hall."


Yet more. All the saints gathered again on Sunday morning for the 10:30 a.m. worship service to hear Mr. Gipson talk about the kind of compassion that made an Old Testament mother offer to give her baby away to save it from being cut in two and divided equally!


Grindstone Islanders met off the island this week at the gracious party at the Winged Bull Gallery I that Greg and Karen Lago gave to I raise money for North Country Public Radio. We talked there about the island's little red school house -a nostalgic place for us all, and heard that some relatives of the Rattrays and Bertha McRae are summering on Jolly Island.


Last week, as Polly Kole went home from church, her boat hit a wave that threw her so badly she spent most of the week in the hospital and must wear a back brace for the rest of the summer. She can't even swim. How awful in such hot weather!


William Gipson's mother is home from the hospital and recuperating from her illness, but won't be able to visit us on Grindstone this summer. William's two sisters are home taking care of 1 her and the whole island is grateful for their compassion.


Next Sunday, July 28, Old Home Day. Salt Gamsey will drive his school bus to transport anyone who needs a ride from the dock on the south side of the island. (But those coming to the church service this Sunday should find their own transportation.) The picnic is held on Potter's Beach, and all the old-timers come. It's a day we all look forward to!


Aug. 11, there will be bus transportation to the Aunt Jane's Bay service. And on Aug. 18, after a potluck lunch after church, auction 2 will take place. Bob Smith will have several much-desired items that didn't get to the first auction because of heat, septic tank trouble, guests and general busy-ness. We're always glad on Grindstone, though, for an excuse for another get-to-gether!

So it is