I moved away from the Vineyard 10 years ago. Not completely; I came back each summer. But our kids were enrolled in school far away, so I had to leave the Island before Labor Day each year, which seemed inhumane. About two weekends after Labor Day, I’d find myself thinking of Oak Bluffs, and Tivoli Day. Though I knew there had been rainy Tivolis, I remembered it as that perfect mid-September day — puffy clouds in a blue sky, the bright sun shining down on people dancing, laughing, celebrating their good fortune. I pined for that feeling of being one of the lucky ones who got to stay on the Island for our sunniest month when everyone else had (for the most part) left.
It was with some hesitation that I walked into town this past weekend for my first Tivoli in 10 years. So much about the Vineyard, and pretty much everything else, had changed in that decade that I wasn’t sure what I’d find.
Blissfully, it was the same old, same old. Bluefish blasting music, women selling quilts for good causes, guys in kilts taking shopping pauses, a thousand good-food smells wafting around. And of course, another perfect September day.