School started this week and no matter how excited I am to drop my child off at school for the start of the year I always get a little teary when I get there. It is amazing to see how he and his friends have all grown over the summer. Congratulations to Claus Smith who started kindergarten; his brother Clyde Smith is now in third grade. Noah Manning started second grade and Waylon Sauer and Rodeo Purves-Langer both started first grade. Nanauwe Vanderhoop is starting eighth grade and Olive and Violet MacPhail are in second grade. Where does the time go? How did they all get so big so fast? Not to mention all the high schoolers here as well: I’m sure their parents feel like they just dropped them off at first grade and now they are in high school!

I need to make a correction about an item in last week’s column where I reported that one third of the funds needed for saving the Gay Head Light had been raised. I have since been informed by the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee that they have not in fact reached this level yet, although the outpouring of support has been tremendous. And of course they still need money and volunteers so go to for information on how you can give.

7a is in need of workers, both counter and kitchen help. If you are interested contact Nonie Madison at

I had a lovely conversation with Cynthia Akins this week who was visiting her family home on State Road from mid-August until September 8. Cynthia lives in Fort Duchesne, Utah. Her brother, Doug, and his wife, Linda, from White Rocks, Utah, arrived in Aquinnah in mid-July. Two weeks later they were joined by their daughter, Rachel Thompson, her husband, B.J., and their daughters, Jade and Brooklyn. Cynthia arrived on August 15with her friend, Shirlene McCairns. Cynthia and Shirlene work together at the Utah Division of Child and Family Services. Shirlene had been hearing about “Planet Martha’s Vineyard” for 15 years and decided it was time to check it out for herself. Cynthia’s daughter, Thea, who is a nurse at the Yakama Indian Health Service in Washington also came for a visit along with Thea’s cousin, Theresa Secord, a Penobscot basket maker from Maine who gave a basket weaving demonstration at the Aquinnah Cultural Center. Cynthia did not make it to the fair this year but her brother, Doug Vanderhoop, and her cousin Melvin Colby were honored for their service as veterans there. At one point the family travelled to Cape Cod, “for provisions” and stopped in Chatham to see cousins,June James McDonald and Jill James Slonik. They all had such a good time that they nearly missed the boat back to Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you Cynthia for the update on your summer.

The Powwow was held this past weekend and as always it was a great event. I always love the food, but this year I especially loved the drumming and the dancing. It was wonderful to watch and to listen to and I always love seeing how talented my neighbors are and how skilled. I never tire of seeing people I know in a new way.

Happy Birthday to Anja May who celebrates tomorrow and to Ona Ignacio who celebrates on Monday. If they decided to celebrate their birthdays together that would be one heck of a party. Just sayin’.