Town Column : Edgartown
I have recently discovered that there is not enough time left in the summer for me to actually accomplish everything I need to accomplish. I'm already getting by on about four to five hours of sleep at night. Unless I eliminate that entirely, one or two of these plates I'm spinning is going to drop.
Last night, we went to see Built on Stilts, the ongoing dance festival, now in its 12th year, at Union Chapel. First off, I'm ashamed to say that I think this was the first time I've ever been inside the chapel. What a wonderful old building it is.
As for the Built on Stilts performance, it was great, and not just because Amelia was part of it. The basic concept of this event is several nights of shows, with each night being a different line-up so no two nights are the same. Each night opens with a half hour of drumming, during which the dancers warm up. Amelia's group, which is comprised of a number of kids from the Rise - Vineyard Performing Arts Studio, performed a number in Sunday night's show and will perform again on Tuesday night. Last night there were also a number of solo and two-person dances, often choreographed and performed by the same person, as well as a trio of belly dancers and some larger groups. The final performance of the night was a spoken word performance, with a wonderful poem that eloquently spoke to the reasons dancers dance. It was a wonderful evening for the performers as well as the audience. Amelia has thrived being enmeshed in the dance community like this, watching professionals and working with a group of older kids who basically formed together about a month ago to learn the choreography and practice the steps. If you missed it this year, be sure to make it to at least one show next year. It really is worth seeing and experiencing.
Mark your calendar for the 2008 MSPCA Walk for Animals, which is on Sunday, Sept. 7. Registration is at 11 am and the walk begins at 12 noon. There will also be refreshments, raffles, and canine good citizen testing. The registration fee is $25 and you are encouraged to get sponsors to donate. For more information, call the shelter at 508-627-8662.
On August 25, from 12 noon until 7 pm, The African Artists' Community Development Project is having a sale at the West Tisbury Grange Hall. As always, we're raising money for the Upeme Hope Children's Home near Lusaka and the Mama Bakhita Center for Disabled Children in Livingstone, Zambia, as well as for other smaller groups sending teens with AIDS to high school in Ghana and helping refugees in Niger. All the profits go to these causes. Please come see our beautiful crafts and jewelry.
Ursula Prada remains at Massachusetts General Hospital, having suffered a brain aneurysm on August 7. Ursula is in very serious condition in the ICU. She is making slow progress, but it will be a long recovery. Barbara would like to thank all who have sent their good wishes to the family. Many of you may have seen Barbara since then, as she has been going back and forth between Boston and here, managing all of her various responsibilities. A fund has been set up to help with expenses, and anyone wishing to contribute can call Cindy Bonnell ay the Edgartown Town Hall at 508-627-6140 for more information.
Happy belated birthday wishes go out to David Burke, who celebrated his day on August 19.
My sincerest condolences go out to my dear friend Bill Bailey and his kids, Luci and Willie, for the sudden loss of Bill's brother, Bob, due to a car accident. Bill, of course, is well known around these parts but many of us were also lucky enough to know Bob from his "visits" here, during which he would work with Bill and the crew and hang out in the van on Main Street. Bob was a great guy with a wonderful wit. I'm glad to have known him and I'll miss his visits to the Island.
So that's what I've got. Labor Day is fast approaching. Summer is fading. But September is a wonderful month on the Vineyard. Be sure to get me some news.
Have a great week.