Illumination night was last night, today starts the fair and the un-official last week of summer. So many people will be departing at the end of this week to return to school, work and off-Island life. Some will be back on weekends through September or October, but the pace of the Island will slow a little after this most intense week. Let’s all try and remember that September will be here soon and that the traffic will lighten up. I promise. The steady flow of mopeds driving up to the Cliffs will cease as will the constant stream of runners and bikers and oversize cars. It’s just another couple of weeks. We can make it.

Feeling wonky from the August heat? Stop by the Town Hall today, August 16 between 2 and 3 pm for the blood pressure clinic. Free and open to all residents of Aquinnah. For questions please contact the Town Nurse, Mary McLaughlin, RN at 781-534-2543.

At the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week: on Friday, you can stop by for a tour of the homestead and see new exhibits including framed David Vanderhoop paintings; items from the Nestle Nook and Nottoway Inns from Old Gay Head; and newly donated pottery from the Gay Head Cliffs by Gladys Widdiss.

On Saturday, August 18, there will be a 17th-Century Cooking Demonstration. Kitty Hendricks-Miller, a Mashpee Wampanoag, will be here to roast a fish over an open fire, make a traditional stew of turkey, corn, beans and other seasonal vegetables, topped with cornmeal dumplings. Cooking in clay pots will be demonstrated. Free with admission. The ACC is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm; it’s located at the Aquinnah Circle.

Rachel Paxton, a resident of Aquinnah for the past 11 years, is exhibiting her large scale paintings and mixed media assemblages at the Chilmark Library for the month of August. She also sells her work at the Artisans Festival in West Tisbury and the Chilmark Flea Market. If you are like me and are too busy to make it to anything these days you can check out her website at

The Aquinnah Library Speaker Series at Old Town Hall continues today with Peter Benson Miller and discussing “Stanley William Hayter: Painter.” Versatile British artist Stanley William Hayter (1901-1988) has long been celebrated as an innovative printmaker. Yet Hayter’s renown as a printmaker has overshadowed his equally impressive oeuvre of paintings. This talk will reconstitute Hayter’s trajectory as a painter, from his association with the Surrealists in Paris and his vital contribution to the development of Abstract Expressionism in New York to his late, lyrical paintings inspired by his direct observation of nature.

On Tuesday, August 21, longtime Aquinnah resident Peter Temple will give a talk called “The Importance of Island Non-profits and Their Philanthropic Needs.” Peter is Executive Director of the Martha’s Vineyard Donor Collaborative (MVDC), and has a history in film and television production, as well as teaching at Columbia University Business School as an adjunct professor.

The MVDC is an advocacy organization founded on the premise that the local community is critical to maintaining the character of the Island and that Island nonprofits are critical to sustaining the local community and many of the things we all love about the Vineyard. These include: Advocating for the nonprofit community and their vital contributions to Martha’s Vineyard, educating donors about the needs of the Island and the philanthropic opportunities nonprofits offer, providing capacity building workshops and technical support to the nonprofits.

Both programs are free and refreshments will be served. They begin at 5 pm and end at 6:15 pm. Peter’s talk will conclude the Summer Speaker Series. Cathy Thompson has declared the entire series a great success, with many people attending.

Phil Weinstein will be offering another library course this fall, this time on the short story. Details to follow as it gets closer.

Only a couple of weeks left for the MV Film Festival’s Summer Film Series. On Wednesday at 5 pm, stop by for Cinema Circus and stay for “Sleepwalk With Me” at 8 pm. You can always buy tickets in advance at or by calling the office at 508-645-9599.

Congratulations to Megan Ottens-Sargent on a great reception at the Gay Head Gallery this past Sunday. You must stop by and see the great work she has exhibited there. She also pairs with conservation agencies and donates some of the profits to them.

Good luck to Giles Welch who is headed off to college. He’ll be home again for the holidays when he’ll get the chance to show off all he’s learned.

Lisa Vanderhoop’s 2013 Seadogs Calendar is now out! Available at Cronig’s, Alley’s and other spots on the Island. The calendar is always cute and a great perspective on the beauty of the Island from a dog-lover’s point of view.