On Saturday, Simon and Robyn hosted the annual Morning Glory Farm staff talent night at their farm in West Tisbury. A light misty rain did not dampen anyone’s spirits as the Athearns cooked us up a barbecue of MGF corn and burgers, plus salads and side dishes galore. There was also cake.
Farm kids played in the grass as party-goers climbed aboard the Providence-based Acme Photo Booth, a 1970 VW bus converted into a “photographic van” for on-the-spot photos. We also paid visits to the new baby lambs, and noticed that the chicken house has its own tiny mailbox.
As night began to fall, it was time for the show. Our stage was a hay wagon attached to an antique tractor and most performers simply sat on the edge. First to pick up her guitar was farmstand staffer Alyssa Cimeno, who recorded her first CD when she was still a senior at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. She’s working on her second CD now — you will be hearing more about this singer-songwriter.
Farm field worker Lydia Fischer, who studied songwriting with Livingston Taylor while earning her degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, is another strong musical talent on the MGF staff. She plays guitar, writes music, sings and like Alyssa, she attended Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School before going on to college.
Other performers sang and played the ukulele and guitar, did rope tricks and yoga calisthenics and told jokes. Then Simon’s dad and MGF co-founder Jim Athearn brought out his trombone for a pair of very different, but equally classic tunes. First, with farmhand Chris Nolan on guitar, he played a nostalgic waltz called Ashokan Farewell, originally recorded by a group called Fiddle Fever and made famous as the theme song for Ken Burns’s 1990 PBS series The Civil War.
Jim then went solo, with big-band backing on tape, for a heartfelt rendition of the Frank Sinatra hit My Way, which brought down the house.
Chris Nolan returned to the stage with an original song about working on the farm and Simon, our CEO, presented a unique talent that could help win a bar bet: With a piece of string and a pint glass, he proved that the circumference is much greater than almost anyone thinks.
A big hand to everyone who organized and took part in this very fun evening, and special thanks to the Athearns for opening their home farm for the event — and letting us see the baby lambs.