Chilmark column

Chilmark column

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Labor Day is upon us. The holiday, observed for the last one hundred years plus which acknowledges the contributions of working people, has come to mark the unofficial end of summer. It is now that our summer friends begin their migrations back to their other lives, where they perhaps wear ties and high heels. Our children will put on sneakers for the first time since June. We begin to pack lunches, organize carpools, and see little faces with tidy combed hair waiting to board the big yellow school bus.

We have one more week to prepare and frolic before the schedule change happens here. Thursday September 6 marks the first day of the 2012-2013 school year.

Attention all yoginis, spiritual souls, and friends that need some inner peace. Today marks the beginning of the third annual Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival. You will find classes with well-known instructors. You will find great add-ons like sunset stand up paddling, a glorious meal at Beetlebung Farm with friend, neighbor, and world renowned chef Chris Fischer, and so much more. Check out their website mvyogafestival.com for more information. The festival runs through the weekend.

In just a few short weeks, from September 23 to 27, the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge will take place. Now in its fourth year, the Challenge was sparked by the idea of Jack Nixon, son of Bob and Sarah, to do something for a few of our nation’s wounded veterans. Home base is the Beach Plum Inn. Local charter captains, Derby members, businesses, and friends like you and me are donating both their time and goods to let these heroes get out on the water, connect with nature, and continue the healing process. Please contact jgrace@innsatmenemsha.com or (508)645-9454 if you would be interested in donating goods, services, time, or sponsorship. Trust me, you will find your participation rewarding.

Garth and Ollie Edwards of Essex, Connecticut, were at their Abel’s Hill home this past weekend to celebrate Garth’s ninety-seventh birthday. August 25 was the day friends from across the Vineyard gathered with longtime Abel’s Hill neighbors and four generations of family to laugh, share stories, and eat cake. According to June Manning, a wonderful time was had by all. Garth and Ollie were accompanied by their assistant, Chris, and her husband, Glenn, on their return trip to Essex on Sunday afternoon.

Celebrating her one hundred and second in Aquinnah on the thirty-first is Beatrice Vanderhoop Gentry. The former Chilmark School teacher is fondly known by many. Happiest of days to you.

Well, she did it. When Ava Stearns, quite decisively, told her parents, “I can win that,” they didn’t think much of it but supported her determination. This talented young rider who recently returned from the Pony Finals in Kentucky laid claim to the $7500 prize at NEHJA Pony Hunter Derby Final held at Fieldstone Show Park in Halifax, Massachusetts. Ava, daughter of Sarah Doyle and Bret Stearns, has really taken the horse world by storm this year. Friends and family are beyond proud of her dedication and determination.

The MacLeod adventure to Canada — as in Hope (Murphy), Chris, Finnegan, and Linden — not only took them to see family and friends, but they managed to squeeze in a wedding. Chris’ stepsisiter Rachel tied the knot as Prince Finnegan and Princess Linden danced the night away. Nanna, Poppa, and Grampy D were so please to see everyone and eagerly await a return trip.

Bob and Emma Shalhope have returned to their home perched atop Menemsha Hill. The lovely couple ventured to Hood River, Oregon, for a Shalhope family reunion. I was lucky enough to sit a spell on Squid Row to hear all about their expedition, yet another leg of their 50th wedding anniversary adventure.

Also celebrating this week is Marjorie Good. Midge will enjoy cake surrounded by friends in Menemsha today. She is another delight I have had the opportunity to chat with on Squid Row this summer.

Speaking of Squid Row. Have you seen the new addition? If you haven’t, I won’t tell you what it is. Stop by and check it out.