Happy First Day of school, everyone! The end of summer vacation is here. And while I am sad to see my summer friends go and the weather to get a little cooler, I am delighted to be sending off my son to kindergarten for two reasons: he will now be out of my hair for five days a week, and I no longer have to write a check for preschool every month. Other Aquinnah kids who are starting their kindergarten year today are Waylon Sauer and Billie Diamond. Congratulations to kids and parents alike on starting this educational milestone.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Powwow is this weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday, gates open at 10 am; the grand entry will be at noon with drummers and singers. This year the powwow will be celebrating the life of beloved member Gladys Widdiss who passed away earlier this year, and 25 years of federal recognition. There will be many different types of dancing and singing, drummers from Aquinnah and off Island, lots of traditional garb and great food (try the cranberry lemonade and the corn cakes). It all takes place up at the Cliffs, tickets are $10 each, and tribal members get in free with ID. This is such a great event and an amazing display of our neighbors’ talents.

Because of the Powwow, the Aquinnah Cultural Center will be closed on September 8, but they will have a booth at the Powwow, so stop by to pick up their books, films, CDs, prints and other items. On Wednesday, September 12, there will be a 17th Century Wampanoag Cooking Demonstration from 11 am to 4 pm at the ACC, presented by Kitty Hendricks-Miller, Mashpee Wampanoag. Kitty will roast a fish over the open fire, and prepare a traditional stew of turkey, corn, beans with cornmeal dumplings. The dumplings will be made from nokehick (parched cornmeal) cooked in a clay kettle. For more information on the ACC, call 508-645-7900.

You can stop by the Duck Inn on your way to or from the Powwow to see Elise’s photograph exhibit from 12 noon to 8 pm.

Also this weekend is the Second Annual Artists Studio Tour presented by Featherstone Center for the Arts on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. The Tour starts at Featherstone, with maps and programs provided. Tickets are $50 which allows guests to visit 16 artists who will open their studios and showcase their artwork. A Closing Celebration Reception will take place on Sunday, September 9, from 4:30 to 7 pm at Featherstone. Up-Island artists who are participating include Wendy Weldon, Jay Lagemann, and Aquinnah’s own Joan LeLacheur. Call 508-693-1850 for all the details.

Next Thursday begins Phil Weinstein’s class on the American short story. He will be discussing Ernest Hemingway’s “In Our Time.” The class will be held at the Old Town Hall at 5 pm in conjunction with the Aquinnah Library.

Clyde Smith turned eight over the Labor Day weekend and his parents threw him a fantastic beach party on Philbin, complete with cake, friends, and fireworks shot off from somewhere off Island (perhaps Newport?) that we could see because the evening was so clear. Kids and parents alike hung out to watch the just past full moon rise and talk and stretch the day out as long as we could. It was the perfect end to a Blue moon weekend.

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