Aquinnah Column


What is up with the killer mosquitoes this year? I live on the south side of Aquinnah and we rarely get mosquitoes, but we are under siege right now. We can’t go outside without dousing ourselves in Off (I’ve given up on the DEET-free natural stuff). On the north side where the bugs are usually more plentiful, it is impossible. If you don’t spray down before you leave your car, you will be attacked unmercifully. While the intense rain we’ve had the past couple of weeks is welcome as the rest of the country suffers in drought, the mosquitoes are a very unpleasant side effect of the humidity. Will it get better, as everything does here in September? Do we now live in the tropics? Will it be like this every summer? Should I buy one of those bat houses so that I have a natural predator of mosquitoes on my property? There seems to be no relief in sight and they are just bad all over.

Goings on at the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week include: Powwow Music and Eastern Social Dance Songs from 11-4 pm, on Friday, August 24. Join Aquinnah tribal members Jonathan Perry and James Hakenson as they demonstrate several types of traditional and contemporary music, using the large powwow drum, hand drums, water drum, rattles, and flute. Come and learn some of the variety of songs and get ready for the Aquinnah Powwow.

On Saturday, August 25, Jewels from Shells: Wampum-making Demonstration from 11 am to 4 pm. Darius Coombs, Mashpee Wampanoag, will demonstrate the art of making wampum jewelry. Try drilling the quahog shell with traditional tools, and shaping a piece of shell on sandstone. Free with admission.

On Wednesday, August 29, you can stop in for a tour of the Vanderhoop homestead from 11 am to 4 pm. At 6 pm author Geraldine Brooks will be at the ACC for a second roundtable discussion (the first was held last summer). This discussion will center on the changes Ms. Brooks made in the recently released paperback version of “Caleb’s Crossing” after the 2011 event. $7 suggested donation at the door. For more information on all programs and events, please call 508-645-7900.

The following event is being held on Friday, August 24, at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs and is being sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace; many members of the host committee are from Aquinnah so I thought I’d mention it: Angela Davis and Gina Dent, “Reports from Palestine.” Angela and Gina were part of a delegation of women of color who visited the Occupied Territories in July 2011. They will share impressions, lessons learned, and ways to move toward a just peace. At 5:30 pm, tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Members of the host committee include: Adrianna Ignacio, Mitzi Pratt, Jo Ann Eccher and Derrill Bazzy, and Jean Entine.

Lauri Bradway and Steve Yeomans are having a huge moving sale at the Old Town Hall, this Saturday, August 25, from 9 am to 3 pm. It’s a familiar Vineyard story: the house they were renting is being sold, and they now have to move and downsize, hence the sale. They are also looking for a new place to live. If you know of anything, you can talk to them on Saturday.

Happy Birthday to Barbie Bassett, whose birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthdays also go out to Noli Taylor and Trisha Garnier, who both celebrate today.