Town Column : Oak Bluffs
The town was awash with visitors this past weekend with participants and observers for both the Monster Shark Tournament and the annual P.A. Club Feast crowding into every space. The parade up Vineyard Avenue to the cemetery and club was enthusiastically received by all the spectators who waited patiently beside the roadways for the marchers. Soon up the street they marched: police, club members, politicians, the band from New Bedford, the Portuguese Dance Group from New Bedford and the many fire trucks. All were given most appreciative applause by all of us who were so glad to see that some of the Island and town traditions are still carried on.
Maryann Alwardt's granddaughter Amber Medeiros had a very busy weekend. Amber had successful eye surgery at Norwood Hospital on Friday and still had the honor of carrying the crown in the Holy Ghost Parade on Sunday. Her twin brother Cory also marched in the parade. Pam Medeiros and David Medeiros are the parents of these nine-year-old twins as well as their older sister Ashley who will soon be 19.
A new chess group is forming at the Oak Bluffs Library. Chess players of all ages may come to play at the library on Saturday mornings starting at 10 am on July 26. All levels are welcome, including people that have always wanted to learn but could never find a venue. Preston Averill Sr. will be attending the group to offer assistance and instruction if necessary, and refreshments will be served.
The Martha's Vineyard Film Society Tuesday night film series at the Tabernacle will show the film "Rare Bird" on July 29. Bonus will be "Bird Quest," a nine-minute short film by Vern Laux and Bob Shriber. There will also be a question and answer session with Mr. Laux, noted Island bird-watcher.
Our condolences to the family of Robert Williston, who died Saturday last. We send our sympathies to his wife, Sis, and children Brenda and Bob and his grandchildren. Bob was a familiar figure, driving around town and always ready with a friendly greeting.
Congratulations to Steve and Kristen Siple Mathias on the birth of their second son on July 9. Nicholas Wray Mathias was happily greeted by his big brother, two-year-old Zachary, and his grandfather, Doug Siple.
Shannon O'Connor and her dad, Sean O'Connor, played in the Father-Daughter tournament at the New Bedford Golf Club recently and were very proud when they won the tournament for her age group. Shannon is also the daughter of Paula Gibson O'Connor and the granddaughter of Bobby Ann Gibson.
Bobby Ann has had a busy summer with many family members visiting. Her son Michael Gibson and his family were here from Palm Beach Gardens. Her other daughter, Pam Hendricks, and Pam's daughter, Shana, have also been her guests during the summer.
The Oak Bluffs School garden is growing and they had a tremendous planting day on Saturday. Everyone is welcome to come by and see the beautiful boxes, flowers, veggies, and herbs. They still need some help and are looking for a family to do garden maintenance during the week of August 23 through the 29. It would include two to three days of watering, weeding, and harvesting any goodies that the garden is producing at that time.
The Friends of Oak Bluffs, along with the YMCA and Vineyard House, will benefit greatly from those who can buy a table or a "seat" ticket for the Martha's Vineyard Festival on August 10. The tables give you prime seating in front of the stage with beautiful flowers and linens, sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and spirits to devour, and you will be waited on hand and foot. The cost is ten people for $10,000. The $350 seats give you the same food, drink, and seats and all get free parking. It is a wonderful chance to help three charities while watching renowned entertainers with the Boston Pops in our crown jewel, Ocean Park. Please call Judy Williamson at 508-693-2700 or Nancy Billings at 508-693-0106 for ticket sales.
We send birthday smiles to Paul Robinson and Joanne DeBettencourt on July 26, Travis Bernard and Rachel Barrett on July 29, and Heather White and Bernie Crossland on July 30.
Please be patient in these traffic jam times of summer. If you can safely do so, please allow traffic coming from side streets out so they can merge with the stream of cars. There are many more bikes on the streets than usual and it is good to see that most of the riders are wearing helmets, but I cannot figure out why I see so many families with children wearing them but the adults seem to feel they are invincible as they merrily ride along helmet-less. Do they ever stop to think what the consequences to their young children would be if the parent were to suffer a fall and injury because of this? The children would be in a strange place with no parent capable of caring for them. I wonder why they call it common sense if it is so rare?
Enjoy your week and send your news along to me.