All the activity of the past weeks culminates today. The 152nd Agricultural Fair has begun and will run through the weekend. The Fair Ladies have lots of new entertainments to delight. Canners and quilters, artists, knitters, furniture makers, brownie and pie bakers, farmers of flowers, vegetables, and fruits, raisers of goats, chickens, pigs, horses, cows, sheep, miniature-world makers — there is an exhibit for every category and, Island-wide, everyone has been readying their displays. Dogs will be put through their paces. Music will float through the night air. Children are beyond excited. Many grown Island kids will be coming home, some bringing their own kids with them. The Fair is the big news.
I know there is other food, but for me, the fire department's hamburgers and hot dogs, loaded of course, are my choice. I plan to be first in line with my friend, Leslie Baker, as we do most years. Then we will look at the animals and, as soon as it opens, the Hall. I can hardly wait.
"Hog Wild for the Fair" is this year's theme. The posters, tee-shirts, and aprons sport the winning design by Terry Crimmen of West Tisbury. Congratulations. He won the first time he entered the competition.
Brian Athearn and MV Tech have installed WiFi in the Hall, so the Ladies can post updates and photos throughout the Fair. Check out their facebook page, Martha's Vineyard Ag Fair.
Besides The Fair, Illumination Night, and the Oak Bluffs fireworks, the Lyme Center of Martha's Vineyard has planned a day-long information and fundraising day on Sunday, August 18. "Bite Back For A Cure" begins at 11 am with a bike ride for chronic lyme with cross-country rider John Donnally. Meet at the Lyme Center at 38 Panhandle Road. Author Katina Makris will speak at the Chilmark Church from 1 to 3. A fundraising dinner catered by Jan Buhrman is planned for 6 pm at the Grange Hall. Suggested donation is $25. Contact Enid Haller, 508-560-1893 or look at the TBDA website.
Other events on Sunday afternoon are an opening from 5 to 7 pm at the Granary Gallery of paintings by Kenneth Vincent and Jeanne Staples and jewelry by Ross Coppelman. Or one could choose a book-signing/reading of "A Kosher Christmas," by Rabbi Joshua Plaut. The event begins at 4 pm at the Plaut residence, 32 Bridge Lane, off of Lambert's Cove Road, West Tisbury. Call 508-696-0487 or email jplaut@earthlink for more information.
The Community Preservation Committee is advertising their RFP for new projects for the upcoming year. Community housing, historic resources, or open space/recreation are the three categories covered by the CPA. Take a look at the town's website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 508-696-0100, ext. 120, or stop in to talk with Pam Thors at Town Hall. Proposals are due by September 20. All inquiries are welcome.
The library's Mother Goose on the Loose programs for infants and young children are scheduled for 10:30 am today, August 15, at the Vineyard Haven Library and next Thursday, August 22, at the Oak Bluffs Library.
I have often mentioned ACE MV in the column. Lynn Ditchfield and her crew have created an amazing range of educational opportunities for Vineyard residents. They need financial help to continue. If you can help, please contact lynn@acemv or call her at 1-774-310-1131.
Debbie Phillips and her mom, Mary Lue, were laughing like two teenagers when I saw them last week. Mrs. Phillips is visiting from Huntsville, Alabama. She was here for the completion of Debbie's second Women On Fire book, shopping at Chilmark Pottery, tea at Blue Cullen's house, lots of delicious meals, time with her son-in-law, Rob Berkeley, and "grandkitten," Wilbur.
I have loved the last week, with its cooler temperatures, blooming joe-pye-weed, cardinal flower, and peegee hydrangeas, and especially the roar of engines as Harley riders held their annual Ride to the Rock. The bikes were beautiful and all polished up for the event. Riders seemed happy to be here. I wish someday that Mike and I would own a shiny, black Harley and be able to join them.
Meanwhile, we are investing in cat flaps. With all the summer's busy-ness, there have been times when we have had to leave Nanuk, our separation anxiety suffering golden retriever, home. Nan is usually with Mike, but when she is left, she still tears up whatever she can get her nails or teeth into. Wood trim, closed doors, upholstery and bedding have all been shredded. The oddest, though, is that she moves all the chairs in the dining room and tears Porter's cat flaps (there have been several) apart. Mike can only re-glue the plastic so many times before he admits defeat. So he has just ordered a new supply, installed one in the dining room door, and stored the rest away for future use. After much love and almost two years, you would think she would know we will always come back. Still, if you are considering an investment bound to go up, I'd recommend cat flaps.