Well, it wasn't the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, or the Belmont Stakes, but it was nearly as exciting for some dedicated young equestrians this past Sunday. Eight-year-old Bella Thorpe, daughter of Julie Flanders and Bart Thorpe, went home with a champion ribbon after riding for the first time in the walk, trot, canter division on her pony Valentine. Imogen Taylor, daughter of Kerry and Stephen, and Katie Goldsmith, daughter of Susan and Michael, also went home with ribbons after riding at the M.V. Horse Council's Spring Schooling Show.
Congratulations to Jeffrey Smith, the oldest of the kids in the Doyle/Stearns household on Kenasoome Way. Jeffrey pomp-and-circumstanced his way to a college diploma from Bentley University in Waltham. Proud momma Sarah Doyle, along with husband Bret and kids Ava and Graham, made the trip off-Island to wish Jeffrey well and watch him take his final step into the adult world.
Allison Flanders graduated last weekend from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Penn. Decked out in a crimson robe, the same color and style you might see in a Harry Potter film, she tossed her mortarboard into the air with father Steve and sisters Genevieve and Sarah watching. I was so proud of the little flower girl who walked down the aisle in front of me on my wedding day at Bliss Pond Farm many years ago. I am equally as proud today knowing that you walked down the aisle to your college diploma with a smile just as big.
Congratulations to Linda Thompson and Mark London on their new role as grandparents. Natasha (London-Thompson) and Rick Mast brought little Sebastian into the world on May 18.
He's not back in town quite yet, but Bill Edison's summer softball commentary has begun with a phone call. Bill will join us in town next week, but he sends out an SOS in advance of his arrival. What's the big hullabaloo you ask? Well goodness, the softball equipment has up and disappeared. Now, some kind soul likely packed it away carefully somewhere — perhaps in a basement, a tool shed, or a garage. The big question is where. If you are privy to its whereabouts, please kindly get in touch with Bill.
Things around Menemsha Bight have really come alive. The grill has been heated up at the Galley and the soft-serve machines are chilled, filled, and ready to squeeze out some icy goodness. Mary Ambulos proudly consumed her very first sundae of the season and it was an awe-inspiring event. Thank you to the Fenner family for being open once again to fulfill the town's dessert needs (and burgers, fries, hot dogs, and so on).
The other evening I asked Brooks what he thought might make a good dinner. The answer was, of course, mozzarella sticks from the Bite. He and Marshall wandered down, got a slightly greasy brown paper bag full of those crunchy cylinders filled with just the right temperature stringy cheese. Consumed quickly on Squid Row with the sun shining and the faint smell of lobster bait in the background, it was the picture of sheer perfection.
Sunday afternoon was jam-packed with planting. Planting hundreds of pumpkin seeds was the task that will, hopefully, weather well and produce a whole bunch of great big orange orbs. Brian, Kari and Bryce Cioffi along with John, Thea, Ella and Lathrop Keene, Doug and Jared Bardwell, Sean, Dardy, Quinlan and a sleepy Corrick Slavin, Chris and Ellie Dolby, Marshall, Katie and Brooks Carroll, Jon Simcick and Thea's friend Effie (which I may have spelled wrong, whose last name escapes me and it's too late to call anyone to inquire) banded together, mounded dirt, popped in seeds, pulled roots, and played at Homesteader's Farm at Blue Barque. After driving by Sunday evening and seeing far too many crows frolicking in the newly rototilled soil, perhaps a scarecrow might soon be in the making.
If they haven't arrived yet, they soon shall. Teddy Diggs, the new chef at the Home Port will be joined by his wife Holly and daughters Keira (2 1/2) and Lenah (5 months). I look forward to seeing their double stroller hanging off the upstairs porch at the Home Port. Better yet, I look forward to seeing them stroll by to the beach and to waving hello to their smiling faces.
Seth Gambino returns to the Vineyard working as Teddy's partner in crime — managing the front of the house. Seth, a familiar face, is son of Island legend Rosemary of Rosecuts! The dynamic new duo, with a little help from the Nixon gang and all who contributed to the evening, made a restaurant full of fishermen and friends feel welcome at the annual Dukes County/Martha's Vineyard Fishermen's Association Dinner. Thanks Bob, Sarah, and crew for opening your doors.
The Home Port will be open for dinner seven days a week starting today. Lunch and brunch will come later but, lucky for us, donuts aren't just for Sunday brunch. They have made the dessert menu!