SHE GETS THINGS STARTED – Evelyn Bassett has helped begin a variety of village traditions.
Candy will figure significantly in the reign of Evelyn Bassett as the Grand Marshal of the Barnstable-West Barnstable Fourth of July parade. Because she doesn’t want to ride alone, and because her grandchildren like to scramble for the treats that paraders toss onto the road, she’s found a way to entice her six young family members to keep her company in the lead car.
“I bribed my grandchildren to ride with me,” she said. “I’ll buy you candy, and you’ll get to throw candy” to other children, she reported of her deal with her progeny.
When Bassett, a native of Avon, married her husband Wayne, who was born and raised in Barnstable, “I had no choice in the matter” of where they would live. Their daughter Tara and son Dana (of Millway Marina) attended Barnstable-West Barnstable Elementary School, Barnstable High School, and Cape Cod Academy. Dana lives in the village, Tara in Sandwich, and each has three children.
Bassett, a hairdresser, is known for her many community activities. Town Councilor Ann Canedy calls her “the longest active member” of the village civic association
Bassett credits the late Greg Smith, with whom she got the Fourth of July parade started, as a role model. “It’s nothing political. You just get wrapped up in it,” she said of village activities such as the Christmas stroll, the village improvement association, the water district, polling place services, Friends of the Schoolhouse, and Tales of Cape Cod.
She has also volunteered at the CapeAbilities thrift shop and as a leader of a weight-training program for seniors. “I like people,” she said of her involvement in the community.
“Evelyn and I go way back,” village resident Marilyn Fuller said of work they did together on the civic association. “I said that you need to meet people.” Soon, Bassett became “absolutely indispensable” in local events.
Bassett loves to garden and has tended flowerbeds at the harbor, at the corner of 6A and Millway, at Cape Cod Lane with Carol DiVico, and at Braggs Lane. “But now,” she said playfully, “I’ve embarrassed three young men in landscaping to take over.”
Barnstable Village’s young people are “doing a great job” in assuming responsibility for leadership, she said.
“I am humbled’ to serve as parade marshal, Bassett said, because “so many people do so much” in the village. “There’s a very different experience living on Cape Cod. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re from – we all look out for each other,” she said of her 45 years here.
Barnstable Village’s Fourth of July parade still can use a lot of volunteers. They need people to sell T-shirts with a logo by local artist Kate Gruner to benefit Arts in the Village, as well as floats, bands, fife and drum corps, and volunteers for a dog parade.
“Just show up at 8 or 8:30 behind Probate Court” on the Fourth, said Canedy.
The event also needs volunteers for celebrations in the hollow behind the Unitarian Church, according to Canedy, who said that the person to contact for those jobs is Kara Beal, at
Canedy also would like to recruit people to sell tee shirts.
There will be a meeting for Fourth of July volunteers on June 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cape Cod Art Association on Route 6A. Everyone is invited to come with ideas; the contact person at the association is Roberta Miller.
“This is a lovely, lovely village,” Bassett said. “We’re so lucky here.”
Part of that good fortune is having a neighbor like Evelyn Bassett.