Oak Bluffs: Illumination night and more

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We are here. The busiest week of the year on the Island started yesterday with our Illumination Night in the Campground. Then we continue with the Dukes County Agricultural Fair in West Tisbury, which runs today through Sunday. For Oak Bluffs, everyone is getting ready to enjoy the annual fireworks put on by the Oak Bluffs Firemen’s Civic Association tomorrow. You can make it a full day of anticipation and celebration by coming into town, buying a lunch or early supper, or perhaps bringing a blanket and a picnic lunch, and claiming your spot in Ocean Park. Then you wait in excited patience as much as possible as first comes the band concert by the Vineyard Haven Band, starting at 8 pm and then at dark, the fireworks begin.

Please remember that not only is this a night of splendid entertainment but it is also a prime fund raiser for the OBFCA. The association provides scholarships for Island students, gift cards and food for those in need at holiday times, and throughout the year whenever called upon. There will also be some fundraising done by incoming Oak Bluffs eighth graders to help fund their eighth grade Philadelphia trip. So please express your appreciation for this end-of-summer fireworks display by making a generous donation. It will be appreciated by so many people.

Just want to remind everyone that I am supposed to have my column sent to the Times by noon on Mondays in order for it to be published in the Thursday edition. This week alone I received three different items from people who had hoped to get info in the column, but they were sent Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, and the events took place before this Thursday.

As Oak Bluffs shares some of their waterways with Tisbury, this news from Tisbury Waterways seems appropriate for all of us. The annual Tisbury Waterways meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 22, at the Tashmoo Spring Building in Vineyard Haven from 5 to 7 pm. There will be a brief update about water-quality issues and mitigation efforts from the M.V. Shellfish Hatchery and from the owners of the oyster farm off Eastville Beach in Oak Bluffs. The TWI projects this past year include among other programs, MVRHS Science Fair prizes and a scholarship funding a local student studying environmental/marine science. All who are interested in the health of our waterways are invited to attend.

Lynn Rebello is enjoying fun times with her mother Joyce Wadsworth, as she arrived last week from Paso Robles, Calif. While here, Joyce is staying with her classmate and childhood friend Cynthia Schilling in Vineyard Haven, but Thursday last, Joyce and Lynn traveled to Rhode Island to visit Ashley Andrews, Lynn’s daughter, and had grandmother and great-grandmother fun with Ashley’s two sons.

“The Beautiful Difference,” the art exhibit which opened at the Francine Kelly Gallery at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs on August 13, celebrates the artistic achievements of nearly 30 generations who share African descent, primarily African American heritage, who are disparate in style yet unified by the variance that is black. Curated by Oak Bluffs’ own Sandra Grymes, it brings together luminaries of the African-American art world. The show will be open each day from noon to 4 pm.

The Island Grown Initiative has been providing free lunch at our Oak Bluffs library on Wednesdays and Fridays this summer. Lunch is served from 1 noon to 1 pm, and the next one is this Friday, August 17.

Don’t miss the Island Author Talk with Susan Klein and photographer Alan Brigish on Wednesday, August 22, at our Oak Bluffs library. From 10:30 to 11:30 am, hear excerpts from the book “Joyce’s Way,” which is at once an inspirational and unpretentious story of accepting and meeting the challenges of parenthood, especially when raising a child with a disability. This book relates the life and love of Joyce Brigish, her husband Alan and their children Cy, Hall, and Jackie, and the couple’s decision to keep their family together while ignoring advice to put Cy in an institution when he was born with Down syndrome in 1968. Delightful surprises await.

We remember Jenna Pothier with birthday smiles on August 17, and send smiles to Russ MacDonald on the 18th, to Becky Rogers and my favorite son Dion Alley on August 19, Marilyn Wey on the 20th, and Leon Holt and Erin deBettencourt on the 23rd.

Enjoy your week. Peace.