Halloween is fast approaching. Get that costume ready. This Saturday, October 26, at the library you can make a spooky pumpkin during craft time from 12 noon to 3 pm. Remember there is coffee and tea all day on Saturdays. Next Thursday (Halloween) you can stop in and see the librarians all dressed up and maybe you’ll get a treat or two.
The second winter Farmer’s Market will be held this Saturday, October 26, 10 am–1 pm, at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Pam Glavin from Aquinnah will be one of the vendors, selling her famous Pam’s Pesto.
The Aquinnah Halloween Party will be Thursday, October 31, 4–6 pm, at the Old Town Hall. If you would like to help decorate on the day of or clean up on the following day, you can contact me. If you would like to be on the trick or treat list, please contact Alex Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do I need to tell you to come in costume? I didn’t think so.
Happy birthday to Curtis Langer, who celebrates today. Thank goodness I remembered (we both forgot our anniversary two weeks ago). I would be in big trouble if I forgot!
Islanders who have memories, experiences, or photographs from the Vineyard during World War II are being sought for interviews for a book about WWII on Martha’s Vineyard. They are particularly interested in anyone with recollections of Aquinnah during the war, the signal corps base on Peaked Hill, the USO, patrolling the beaches, practice invasions, and relations between armed forces personnel and Vineyarders. Any and all contributions are appreciated. Please contact: Tom Dresser at 508-693-1050 or email@example.com, Herb Foster at 508- 627-7456 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jay Schofield at 508- 693-2957 or email@example.com. There is also a Facebook page: World War II on Martha’s Vineyard.
Ricky Vanderhoop was honored by a very stylish, moving, and wonderful wake and funeral last week. The wake was on Thursday at the Old Town Hall and many, many people came to pay their respects to the Vanderhoop family. There were photo boards and albums around the room with pictures from Ricky’s childhood through the births of his grandchildren. My particular favorite was the photo album of Ricky’s wedding circa 1980: Ricky and his brothers seemed like a force to be reckoned with back in the day. On Friday the service was held at the Gay Head Baptist Church and it was beyond standing room only. The church was packed with family and friends and so was the parking lot. A crowd of people stood at each window of the church and listened to people tell stories of Ricky and sing songs and hymns in his honor. His brother Buddy told a very funny story about he and Ricky running away from home at ages eleven and nine respectively and making it all the way to their grandmother’s house in Providence before being sent home. There was also a lovely rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” by Ricky’s nieces. After the service there was a joyful caravan of “hot rods” all the way around the head and up to the graveyard where Ricky was laid to rest by his family and about 400 others.
The day concluded with a potluck supper at the Aquinnah Shop with more stories and more singing — and a full moon, to boot. You really felt throughout the day how loved Ricky was and how people equate the Vanderhoops, the Aquinnah Shop, and the Old Town Hall with a feeling of “true Aquinnah.” I heard many times on Thursday and Friday when looking at pictures or standing in the middle of the party, “This is how I remember it, everyone here together for every occasion,” as if that feeling is what it really means to be from here and to be a part of this community.
I was so moved and so impressed with how the entire Vanderhoop family mourned the loss of Ricky. From the care he received throughout his illness and his passing to the drumming and ceremonies, the stories and the honesty with which they all grieved and are still grieving. It was a gift to watch and to be a part of it in some small way. It will take a while for the air to reconfigure itself around the absence of Ricky.