Summer friends are beginning their annual return to town. The bench at Alley's has its full complement of coffee drinkers as Ellen Weiss arrived last week from New Orleans. Mary Beth Norton called me Saturday afternoon to say she was here, busy with historical projects on-Island and off. As soon as Brooks Robards gets settled in, we can begin our beach walks. I hope they will be weekly beach walks this year, instead of the once or twice a summer they have numbered the last two years. I can't understand how we all get so busy but we do.
Not ever too busy for Tuesday night lobster rolls at the Chilmark Church Hall. Beginning June 14 and continuing through the summer, the best lobster rolls on the Island (maybe in the whole world) are served by Judy Mayhew and crew. I didn't get the times yet, but you can call the Church to find out.
Friends of Beth Kramer will want to know that her stepfather, Jack Hopkins, died on May 22. Beth has been back and forth to be with Jack and with her mother, Joan. We are all hoping Joan will get to the Vineyard this summer for some TLC. Meanwhile, please write to her at: 7957 Gun Cay Avenue, Orlando, FL 32822.
The life of James Walsh will be celebrated at a memorial service this Saturday, June 11, at the Ag Hall at 2 pm. Island friends of Cynthia Walsh and Jaime Hamlin are invited to attend. Family members and friends from as far away as China will be arriving to share their memories and stories. It will be a Quaker service, so anyone will be welcome to speak.
Cynthia Riggs will read from her newest mystery, "The Bee Balm Murder," at the West Tisbury Library this afternoon, June 9, at 5 pm. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.
At 7 pm tonight, poets Dawn Lundy Martin and Ronaldo V. Wilson will be at Featherstone to begin this summer's Martha's Vineyard Poetry Festival. Come and hear them read. Admission is $5.
Lucy Mitchell is Artist of the Month at the West Tisbury Library. She has arranged a perfect grid of paintings and collage, twelve of sixteen, from a series called "A La Ronde," reminiscences from a trip to a house of the same name in England. See the work and read about it. They are meant for contemplation.
Friday evening, June 10, an auction will be held at the Ag Hall from 6 to 8 pm to benefit the Windemere Resident Activity Programs. Trip Barnes will be the auctioneer. Among the items offered are art, handmade furniture, plane and boat rides, and gourmet gift baskets. Admission is free and all are welcome. Please come and support the programs that enrich the lives of everyone at Windemere.
Saturday morning, June 11, State Representative Tim Madden will attend the Martha's Vineyard Democrats meeting at the Howes House. Beginning at 9:30 am, he will speak about recent legislation and challenges, particularly regarding the one seat Massachusetts lost because of redistricting after the last census. Following Rep. Madden, delegates to the Democratic State Convention will share their impressions of the six candidates running in the Democratic primary. The winner of the primary will oppose Senator Scott Brown in the 2012 election.
Vineyard Gardens continues their Saturday morning lecture series with a program about native plants. It begins at 11 am.
Glenn and Linda Hearn have returned from Rockport, where they attended the high school graduation of their eldest grandchild, Emily Collins.
Appropriate for this season of graduations and reunions, the Vineyard Playhouse presents "Tape," a play by Stephen Belber, through June 18. It's billed as "A riveting, caustically funny play about high school friends who meet up ten years later and wrestle with questions of memory, motive, and truth." For more information, go to their website.
As I'm writing this, the sun is brightening our woods and gardens. My perennial garden is at its peak this week. Orange Oriental poppies, big as dinner plates, glow as if they were lit from within. Together with Siberian iris in shades of darkest purple to pure white, the colors vibrate. It really is striking and I wish it lasted longer. In another few weeks, the day lilies will have bloomed and all will be dull and unrelenting green for the rest of the summer.