Aquinnah: open for business


I feel like my summer has arrived — or at least the summer duties are here. I wake up with to-do lists running through my mind. I am not the best at time management, but after living and working here for the past seven years I’ve gotten good at doing four things at once while thinking about two more like it seems that we all do in the summer. And so it begins.

So many openings over the next two weeks. The Aquinnah Shop is open for breakfast and lunch. The Chilmark Store opened on Monday (and they have gluten-free sandwiches, psych!). Chilmark Tavern is opening Sunday night. Dreamcatcher on the cliffs has postponed their opening until Thursday, May 22, when they will open at 11:30 am and hope to see their friends then. The Outermost Inn will be opening next week for Memorial Day weekend and the Gayhead Gallery will also be opening Memorial Day weekend as well. By next week Juli will be doing pizza night on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 pm at the Orange Peel Bakery. It feels like Aquinnah and up-Island in general is back in business.

Congratulations to Belinda Booker and her daughter, Chantal, who both passed the practical exam to become EMTs. They still have to pass the written test, but the practical is the harder of the two (so I’m told). Chantal will be attending University of New Hampshire in the fall so Belinda and her husband, Spencer, will be almost empty-nesters: their son Ben is still at home for a couple more years. Ben will finally have his parents’ undivided attention, which will either thrill him or drive him up the wall.

Megan Ottens-Sargent recently returned from visiting her daughter, Ana, in Los Angeles. Ana is doing very well in pursuing a career in the arts and seems very happy. Megan also attended a protest in Washington, D.C., against the Keystone XL pipeline. Called Reject and Protect, it was led by the “Cowboy Indian Alliance,” a group of ranchers, farmers, and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL pipeline route. Megan volunteered at the protest and said it was an incredible day. There were teepees set up on the Washington Mall and cowboys and Native Americans riding horses through the streets of D.C. If you go to you can see some great photos of the event.

The Gerhards just returned from Hawaii, I saw Lang Gerhard looking very tanned and relaxed at the Taylors’ “Kegs and Cake” block party this past weekend. Hughie and Jeanie also look tanned and relaxed, having just returned from their winter retreat in the Bahamas. Ken Wentworth and Liz Witham were in Mexico working and relaxing in their off time. I also saw Paula and David Eisenberg, who will be here for the season shortly. David is sure enjoying his retirement; he spent a lot of the winter being a “ski bum” in Colorado. Thank you to Alex Taylor, Shawn MacPhail, Noli Taylor, and Isaac Taylor for a great party on Saturday, with great food, wonderful people, and the band “Goodnight Louise” playing. And it didn’t rain! A great day.

Happy birthday to Aquinnah Witham who celebrates on Saturday.

The Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council (MVCC) is holding their first annual Grant Recipient Celebration, 6–7:30 pm, on May 20at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven.

Past recipients of grants from the MVCC, this year’s grant award recipients, and the public are invited to attend the celebration at the film center. Grant recipients will share their work, including salsa dancing, poetry readings, troubadour recitals, film clips, and music. Appetizers and beverages will be served. Organizations from Aquinnah who have benefitted from the MVCC are: Aquinnah Cultural Center, Aquinnah Public Library, Spindrift Marionettes, and Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth to name a few. This is a great council that supports arts in our community.

This year, a group of parents and community members have organized the first (in 12 years) annual After Prom Party. The Dukes County Youth Task Force is assisting this group of parents in organizing and acting as a fiscal agent for this event. The YMCA has generously donated their facility on the night of May 17, from 10 pm to 5 am. The After Prom Committee has been seeking donations and assistance, and the community has been generously coming forward to support our kids in a healthy, drug- and alcohol-free post-prom experience.

The event is for all juniors and their dates. Juniors who do not attend Prom are also welcome to enjoy all the evening nights’ events: a Poolside DJ, Bungee Run, Karaoke in the Base, Games and Music, Velcro Climbing Wall, Movies, great food and some fabulous door prizes and raffles. Juniors will be encouraged to stay the night, and enjoy great breakfast fare before a 5 am pick-up.

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