Let freedom ring! Did you happen to be on Main Street at 2 o'clock on the Fourth? Visitors and Islanders were delighted when the shopkeepers, on behalf of the Tisbury Business Association, emerged from their doors at 2 pm to ring assorted bells to mark America's birthday.
It began because Jane Chandler read a reprint of Eric Sloane's "A Celebration of Bells," which recounts the tradition of ringing bells, from sleigh bells to church bells, throughout history to celebrate good news and freedom. As the Liberty Bell once heralded the revolution, Americans have rung bells honoring the struggle to be free.
In 1963 the U.S. Congress passed a resolution that all bells — church, school, and town — should ring four minutes at 2 pm on the Fourth of July and that governors should name this date as a day for ringing the bells. Jane Chandler owns The Beach House and had a variety of bells in stock. She provided the bells for those who did not have them. This year business owners in town took part in a moving tradition. As Jane says, it is worth remembering what a gift it is to be free. Perhaps next year the tradition will be Island-wide.
Buy books for the beach at the Vineyard Haven Library's mini book sale on Saturday from 1 to 3 pm. Proceeds benefit children's programs such as next Thursday's special musical performance with the Allards at 11 am for ages 4 and up. Tuesday morning at the library the little ones enjoy storytime, One World, Many Stories, with Kathy Forrester. And on Tuesday the 26 little ones enjoy music and songs with Jeremy Berlin.
Then there is one event that makes me wish I were a whole lot younger. There is a special change for ages 8 to 11 for Tween Time at the library: Learn to build Lego robots with Bruce on Wednesdays from 3 to 4:30 pm for the next three Wednesdays, through August 3. These are in place of the regularly scheduled Wii games.
Kathy Poehler learned about seaweed by walking Island beaches with her father when she was young. Now through July see her seaweed collages on display at the V.H. Library.
More at the library: A treat for naturalists, young and old, is this Tuesday evening at 7 pm. Ages 10 to adult can enjoy learning about Martha's Vineyard's river otters. Wildlife biologists Luanne Johnson and Liz Baldwin will share photos, video, and even some fish scales from otter scat for you to identify. I'd love to hear from you if you attend this program.
Have you seen the new 30-minute silent "dynamic postcard" of 130 lovely images of our Island by Susan Klein and Alan Brigish? Think of it as a screen-saver to be used in your digital picture frame or on your TV or computer. Most scenes in "Texture" are from their book "Martha's Vineyard – Now and Zen."
The Martha's Vineyard Garden Club has Don Sibley talking about the history of Bonsai on Tuesday at 1 pm at The Old Mill in West Tisbury. Members free; guests five dollars.
You are invited by the members of the First Baptist Church and the Community Baptist Church in Aquinnah to the installation of their new pastor, the Rev. Ellen P. Tatreau, who will be the covenant pastor for both churches. The service is on Sunday at 3 pm in the First Baptist Church at Spring and William Street, followed by a reception.
Next Thursday take the Drivers Safety Refresher Course with instructor Melvin Thornhill at the Tisbury Senior Center. The course runs from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Bring your lunch. The cost is $12 for AARP members, others are $14. You must register at 508-696-4205.
Happy anniversary to Marilyn and Jack O'Callaghan who celebrate 31 years of wedded bliss on Sunday.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out today to Cord Bailey and Michele Jones. Tomorrow belongs to Jocelyn Ciancio Broadley. Wish the best on Saturday to Jim Richardson. Chris Clark celebrates Sunday. Happy birthday to Linda Kurth who parties on Tuesday.
Heard on Main Street: If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.