Was it just me, or was the past weekend a little intense here in Aquinnah? On Saturday we had Michelle Laurie’s beautiful memorial. Michelle’s husband, Phil started off the ceremony talking about how he and Michelle met (at a Halloween party), how they came to the Vineyard (she read a book about the Island and suggested it as a vacation spot), and what Michelle loved (music and dressing up).

There was a very funny and touching tribute by Michelle’s brother and a slide show of her life. After the speakers, people went down to Philbin to scatter her ashes and then came back to Town Hall for a reception where Michelle’s favorite cocktails, Apple-tinis and Cosmopolitans, were served. It was very clear how many of us still miss her.

And then came Sunday, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and while I don’t think there was any official commemoration of 9/11 in Aquinnah, many of us here, myself included have lived or are living still in New York City and have very vivid memories of that day and the long, slow days that followed and of course memories of the lives lost.

During the entire weekend, there was also a joyous occasion running alongside the more somber events, the Aquinnah Wampanoag Powwow. This is such a wonderful event. I love the drumming and the dancing and seeing tribal members from all over dressed in traditional clothing. Siobhan Westcott, an Alaskan native, flew in from Albuquerque just for the occasion; she wore a beautiful dress that her father had re-beaded by hand. The food, as always, was fantastic, and I must say that our Black Brook singers are really good.

All in all I felt like I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend.

This afternoon at the Aquinnah Library, Phil Weinstein starts his book discussion group about colonization. Today at 4 pm, the discussion will center on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” There will be three more books discussed in the series, all held at different libraries on Island. You can stop by or call the Aquinnah Library for the complete schedule, 508-645-2314.

This Friday and Saturday, the Aquinnah Cultural Center will offer tours of the Vanderhoop Homestead from 11 am to 4 pm.

On Wednesday, September 21, there will be a traditional wood carving demonstration from 11 am to 4 pm. Wampanoag people were known for their woodworking skills, making bowls, spoons, combs, clubs, bows, arrows and many other items from the different parts of many kinds of trees. Join Jonathan Perry as he demonstrates traditional wood carving methods as he works on an intricately designed 17th-century-style hair comb.

For more information, call 508-645-7900 or email

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold the 4th annual “you can’t spell mARTha’s vineyard without A-R-T” party at the Shephard Fine Artspace, 8 Uncas Ave., in Oak Bluffs on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 6 pm. A limited number of tickets are available for $250 each. There will be dinner and art displayed by many Vineyard artists from all over the Island. This event benefits the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. To purchase tickets, call Development Coordinator Susan Wilson at 508-627-4441, ext. 117, or email

On Monday, Sept. 19, the film “Read Me Differently” will be shown on WGBH at 10 pm. This film was made by Aquinnah resident Jean Entine’s daughter, Sarah. The film chronicles three generations of women in one family dealing with various learning disabilities — now called learning differences. The film depicts the yearning all of the women have for connectedness and shows the missed opportunities that are caused, at least in part, by their learning challenges. To learn more about it, go to Congratulations, Jean, I know you must be very proud.

Aquinnah meditation teacher Elliott Dacher will be teaching two beginner classes on meditation and one advanced class at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital this fall. Classes begin the last week in September. The beginner’s classes run for eight weeks on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 6 to 8:15 pm, and the advanced class will meet once a month on Saturdays, starting September 24. Call Allison Walker at 508-862-1940 to register.

The Tisbury Travel Club is planning a trip to Gloucester to see Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House that has been featured in Antiques Magazine; they also hope to catch the brilliant foliage out at that time. The trip is scheduled for October 13, and you must sign up now if you are interested. Call 508-696-4205 for details.

The Class of 1966 will celebrate its 45th Reunion on October 15 and 16.. There will be a gathering at 5:30 at the P-A Club on Saturday, and at 10 am on Sunday, at Farm Neck. For more information or to reserve your space, call Herb Ward at 508-693-7683.