I have the first day of school blues. Summer went by too quickly, and I didn’t get enough family time. Yes, you may have seen me standing alongside Marshall. You may have seen me tormenting my dear daughter, Bradley. You may have seen me smearing sunblock on Brooks as he embarked on some adventure with friends along the dock or at his “secret fort.” Alas, we never really did have that treasured family time. I am hopeful the Derby will bring to me what I need. The four of us out on the water feeling the salt spray with a fish on. Okay, so I look at an opportunity to trek to the Edgartown weigh-in simply as an added bonus at the end of the day.

Today marks the first day of classes for all of our Island children. There are a number of new faces at the Chilmark School. We have incoming kindergarteners, a sprinkling of new students throughout the other classes and some eager new educators in the mix. Welcome to all of the new faces, including my lovely six-year-old niece Oona Carroll of Edgartown. She is a tall and proud first-grader today.

The 4/5 class will attend two days of classes and then set out for a week of school at sea aboard the Alabama. I can’t wait to share their experiences with all of you when they return.

The Labor Day softball game at Flanders Field marked the end of the 2012 season. A triple header, hot dogs, watermelon and the final awards ceremony rounded out a terrific season. There were four, yes four, MVPs this year: Hans Solmssen for his purchase of new bases, Caleb Caldwell for his handy skills repairing the scoreboard at night using the headlights of his car for illumination, and Ted and Mark for their creative softball social and passing out caps to the faithful. Finally, the Howie Hustle trophy went to Joe Burkett for his inside-the-park home run. He circled the bases like a greyhound. It’s a long wait until next season, but mark June 30th on your calendars now!

Happy anniversary to Jane and Herb Slater. September 12 marks their 48th wedding anniversary. They look happy as can be riding side by side in their black minivan with their faithful K-9 companion. It makes my heart happy to see them constantly surrounded by their family — children, grandchildren and siblings. Enjoy the day and yet another fine year.

Billie Hancock has departed for the season but only after she had a fabulous 70th birthday party hosted by her daughter, Buffy. Yes folks, Miss Billie was truly surprised by the fanfare and outpouring of love she was shown. Grandson Christian Carroll, along with countless others, will miss her presence. Alas, life in Florida was calling her back.

Sunday, September 9, marks the last of the women walkers gatherings of the season. Julie Coleman invites any and all who are willing to tighten up their laces and set out from Cedar Tree Neck at 9:30. She promises to be on the ball and organize more for next summer. So, grab your bottle of water and your favorite sneakers and head on out there to celebrate the last of the summer.

Big huge birthday wishes to my dear daughter, Bradley Carroll. Yesterday, September 5, was her 16th birthday. Watch out folks. She will be behind the wheel of a car. Give her a wide birth.

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