Oak Bluffs: Peaceful celebrations

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How peacefully two of the major events of the summer in our town were celebrated: Illumination Night and the fireworks show. Kudos to the Oak Bluffs police department, and the fire and EMS departments for a job well planned and well done. Even with a three-day weather delay for the fireworks, it went off beautifully and was enjoyed by thousands; such a contrast to the violence and hate in many parts of the country. It was made clear that the statue near the Oak Bluffs police department and Trinity Church in Oak Bluffs is actually a Union Soldier, and not a Confederate soldier. Bitterness and hate consumes so much time and energy. I am reminded of the lines of a song in the play “South Pacific” written over 60 years ago.

“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, you’ve got to be taught from year to year

To hate all the people, your relatives hate before you are six or seven or eight

You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

Let’s teach peace and tolerance instead of hate. With that in mind, may I say, that I hope President Obama enjoyed his brief stay with us and I, along with so many other people, miss his presence.

Rose Cogliano, director at Oak Bluffs Council on Aging, wants everyone to know about a fabulous trip taking place on Sept. 14. Participants will be going to the Heritage Museum in Sandwich. You will be able to view the amazing gardens and shrubs, wander through the museum and small shops, and enjoy lunch at the Magnolia Café, where all entrees are $10 and under with the exception of the lobster rolls. Everything is right onsite. There will also be time to stop at the Christmas Tree Shop. You will be leaving on the 8:15 am boat from Vineyard Haven and will return on the 6:15 pm to Vineyard Haven. The cost of the trip is $65 not including your boat tickets and spending money for incidentals and lunch. Please sign up with Rose at the center if you wish to go on this excursion.

The missions committee of the Federated Church in Edgartown will sponsor its 12th Annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, August 27. This annual breakfast is held to benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group. The breakfast will run from 8:30 to 10:30 am in the parish house, at 45 South Summer St. The menu for the breakfast includes blueberry pancakes, bacon or sausage, syrup, and a beverage. Cost is $10 for adults; $5 for children; and $25 for families with children. For more information call 508-627-4421,or email admin@federatedchurchmv.org.

Summer may be winding down, but events at our Oak Bluffs library are still in high gear. On Friday, August 29, the Forever Young book club will be meeting to discuss “Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys. Ending the day, the literary horror flick “Dracula” will be screening at sundown. This is Francis Ford Coppola’s rendition of the Bram Stoker classic, with Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman, and Anthony Hopkins. Screening is under the stars, so bring a chair if you want. The library will provide blankets. And on Thursday, August 31, at 6 pm, the library will host “The Ocean Unites Us: 1619-2019.” This event is being led by Chandler Saint, the president of the Beecher House Center for the Study of Equal Rights and co-director of the Documenting Venture Smith Project, along with the Ghanaian Cultural Ambassador, Johanna Odonkor Svanikier. The presentation will consist of a history of Venture Smith, a freed slaved (c.1729-1805) who documented his life through autobiography. Chandler Saint will present his research drawn from his published books. The event will end with a discussion about the planned re-enactment sail of the slave ship that brought Venture into New England after he was captured.  

This is the kickoff of the Oak Bluffs Public Library’s Maritime History Month, which will continue with regular events until the end of September — stay tuned for a complete schedule.

We send birthday smiles to Ken Rusczyk on August 26, Erika Bettencourt on August 27, grandson Chris Alley, Anne Lemenager, and the Marchand brothers, Andrew and Matt, on August 28, Liz Wilson and Darius Spain on the August 29, and Pam Melrose on August 30.

Enjoy your week. Peace.