Welcome, September. August sure went out with a bang. The last weekend of August saw the departure of the president and his family and the arrival of hurricane Irene. While I did prepare, buying extra water and candles, putting away deck furniture, and filling a couple of buckets with water, I was a little skeptical that we were really going to get anything.
I'm of the mind that whenever the weather people make a big deal out of something it tends to be less than expected, and when they predict a "light storm" that's when your roof gets torn off by the wind and a tree lands in your living room. While I know that other parts of the country got hit really hard and are still feeling the effects of Irene, here in Aquinnah it never felt really dangerous, probably because I spent most of the day inside.
By 9:45 am our power was out and it stayed out. That was really the only hardship of the day. My husband and I did make a couple of forays to Red Beach. In the morning at high tide, the water was up to the dunes and East Pasture Shore Road was partly flooded. Later in the afternoon a bunch of people were at Red Beach, some checking on their boats, others with "cabin fever" just needing to get out.
We all watched a man on his boat that was moored in the pond. I'm not sure what he was trying to accomplish, tie on extra line? Bale water? But we all kept our eyes on him as his boat was pushed around by the waves and the wind.
By evening, the lights still out, we stopped by a friend's and had a lovely dinner cooked on the grill, by candlelight. Then home to bed by 10 pm, with the hum of electricity starting up again around 10:30.
Tonight, at 6 pm artist Wendy Weldon will give an "artist talk" at the Shaw Cramer Gallery on Main Street in Vineyard Haven where she has an exhibit up through September 5. She will also have an open studio on September 10 from 10 am to 4 pm as part of the Featherstone Artist Tour at Featherstone Center for the Arts.
Speaking of art and galleries, the newly re-opened Gay Head Gallery has new hours, Thursday-Monday from 11 am-5 pm and you can always call 508-645-2776 for an appointment.
The Aquinnah Public Library received a grant for small rural libraries, from the LIBRI Foundation of Eugene, Oregon. The library just received 84 children's books that focus on diversity and they will be displayed in a specially labeled section of the library. Thanks go out to the whole Aquinnah community that participated in the bottle drive over the winter and spring that helped provide some of the money for the matching grant. Thanks go out also to the Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library for providing more matching funds and to Amanda Hutchinson especially for redeeming all the bottles and cans. In addition, the library was awarded an additional $350 worth of children's science and math books, from the LIBRI Foundations' donors, Hal Berenson and Laura Ackerman.
Tonight at the library the book discussion group is back. It will meet at 5 pm to discuss "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave. On Thursday, September 8, from 5 to 6:15 pm at the Old Town Hall the final talk in the library's summer lecture series will feature Tom Dresser discussing his new book, "The Wampanoag Tribe of Martha's Vineyard: Colonization to Recognition."
On September 15, from 4 to 5:30 pm part-time Aquinnah resident and Swarthmore College professor Phil Weinstein will start a course called, "Fictions of Colonial Encounter." The course will be held from September to December at different libraries on the Island, It will look at the 19th- and 20th-century western colonial empire experience from two white British writers and two black Nigerian writers. This course is free and open to all Island residents.
The schedule is as follows:
Thursday, September 15, Aquinnah Public Library: "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad (1899)
Thursday, November 3, Chilmark Free Public Library: "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster (1924)
Wednesday, November 16, at 7 pm Vineyard Haven Public Library: "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe (1966)
Thursday, December 15, Oak Bluffs Public Library: "The Joys of Motherhood" by Buchi Emecheta (1979)
At the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week, stop by Friday, Saturday, or Wednesday between 11 am-4 pm for house tours. On Saturday, September 3, at 6 pm the Center welcomes a very special guest speaker, Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Due to the hurricane, the Boston String Quartet concert at the Chilmark Community Church has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 2, at 4 pm.