Authors Posts by Katie Carroll

Katie Carroll

Katie Carroll
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It feels like just yesterday that the summer crowds lined the beaches and filled restaurants and shops from here to Vineyard Haven. The Derby has now come and gone. Halloween is a thing of the past. And, wow, we’ve turned our clocks back and it’s already a week into November.

The Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Association held another spooktacular kids’ Halloween Party at the CCC. I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who helped make this another memorable evening for our town kids. The Athearn family at Morning Glory Farm donated pumpkins and cornstalks that adorned the doorstep. Julie Flanders contributed the hay bale centerpiece. Another secret chocolate drop-off from Allison Berger and MaryBeth Grady of Chilmark Chocolates took place. Those two are some tricky. I needn’t ask: chocolate just magically appears. Big thanks to this year’s costume parade judges: Margaret Maida, Dana Nunes, Linda Coutinho, and Jeremy Bradshaw. These four had their work cut out for them as some of the most creative costumes strolled the floors of the CCC. We had some scary witches including Emily Boyd with her green face. Miss Linden MacLeod was a flower fairy. Clara and Zeb Athearn were bats. Noah Glasgow was a ghoulish doctor.

The prize-winners this year were selected after much debate. They are as follows:

best animal, Tyler Shipway; best homemade costume, Lathrop Keene the blue and white bird; best princess, Imogen Taylor in a handmade costume created by her mother, Kerry; funniest, Kestutis Biskis; best witch, Cali Giglio; most eco-friendly, Charlotte and Will Bologna; most Halloweeny, Tegan Fenner; most original, Freya and Hailey Mayhew the adorable hot air balloons; scariest, Hunter Broderick; and best in show went to Oona Carroll. Oona was decked out in a handmade Angler Fish costume. She managed to wear it for the duration of the party but then had to toss it to the wayside (aka mom and dad) due to the near heat exhaustion happening inside it. I chuckled when Oona the fish and Kestutis the scuba diver were checking out one another’s costumes. It seemed quite fitting to have the two of them standing together.

Mimi Davisson, Vice-Chair of the Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard, shares that

Martha Coakley, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor, will be a guest at the Saturday, November 9, meeting of the MVDems. The meeting will be at Howes House from 9 to 10:30 am. This will be a forum for voters to hear Ms. Coakley’s responses to questions from the audience. All are welcome to attend. For more information, email info@mvdems.org.

Today is the perfect time for everyone to look through their children’s clothes and pull together a bag of gently used items — free of holes and stains — for the Annual Chilmark School PTO Fall Clothing Swap. Winter duds are in high demand with the recent chill in the air. Jackets, snow gear, boots, pants, sweaters, shirts — all are greatly appreciated. The swap is Saturday, November 9, in the front of West Tisbury School from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, during the last rounds of MV Youth Soccer games for the fall. Children’s clothing can be brought to the Chilmark School anytime tomorrow (Friday) or simply stop by the swap Saturday and drop off clothes while your kids shop for some new apparel. Please stop by and shop even if you have nothing to contribute. There’s bound to be some great finds to add to your child’s wardrobe. Any leftover clothing will be donated to the Stone church or the Red Cross.

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All Hallows Eve. The wind will blow the leaves from the branches as children whisk down woodland paths from house to house with flashlights in hand. Screams may follow as friends pop out from the darkness saying the simple three letter word, “boo.” Are they full of fear and needing to reach for a parent’s hand or does the thrill of the night empower them to continue on under the guise of a superhero, most powerful witch or fearless gladiator?

Young Chilmark mermaids, monsters, ninjas, princesses, and ghosts will gather at the Community Center to dine on pizza, stroll a costume parade and scurry off with a treat bag in hand, courtesy of the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Association. Gathering time is 5:30 pm for this low-key community tradition. Stop by the Center to be frightened or dazzled by the witches on broomsticks and fairies with wands. Be watchful for those rambling down the roadsides as they hunt for their next candy victims.

Sarah (Slater), Aaron, Scott and Jack Bennett made a quick trip to town this past weekend. Strolls along the dock, rock skipping at Squibnocket, a wander back in time at the cemetery, dining at Offshore along with visiting grandparents Herb and Jane Slater made the weekend a memorable one.

Are you a frequent flyer at Stop & Shop? Consider signing up for the Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards, which are points that supporters earn with each purchase made with their Stop & Shop Card. At the end of each month, the points earned are used in a calculation to determine your school’s cash total, which is then automatically credited to your school’s account. Funds raised will go to various classroom enhancements. Sign in to stopandshop.com/aplus, enter your Stop & Shop card number, locate the Chilmark School on the list then enter the school ID- 06821. Thank you in advance for helping us earn some extra money for our school.

There will be a winter farmer’s market this Saturday, November 2, at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury from 10 am to 1 pm. Over 20 vendors will be in attendance with plenty of fresh vegetables and other scrumptious goodies. Hot lunch will be available from the folks at Little Rock Farm. If this isn’t enough and you need further convincing, knowing that Ralph and Ethel Sherman will be on hand with their jams and winter squash will certainly be the apple that tipped the cart.

MVRHS theater kids are beginning their rehearsals for what is bound to be a major undertaking for this year’s winter musical production. The plot is based on a T.S. Eliot book, the award-winning music was composed by none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber and it is still being performed on stages around the world. Can you guess what it is? A clue is that the costumes purr-fectly represent each of the characters. Yes, “Cats” it will be. Stay tuned for dates and times.

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Cowboy boots and flowers, friends and family, snappy outfits and funny faces, giggles and laughs — all to celebrate the day Jessie (Kanozak) and Mike Holtham celebrated their union at Flanders Family Farm. Holthams, MacDougalls, Kanozaks, Solons, Whitings, Thompsons and others were there to celebrate on October 19 under a beautiful fall sky and nearly a full moon. Little Jolene’s mom and pop sure know how to throw a rockin’ good time.

This past weekend wrapped up the 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby. Although the fishing was a bit slow in our neck of the woods it seems as if just about everyone that participated could author a chapter in the book titled Memoirs of the Derby.

Quinn Keefe, on the day before he departed for his winter home in Steamboat Springs (with siblings Allie and Grady), got to take the stage at the Derby awards. He took home a third overall in both boat and shore striped bass. Also, on the last day he managed to reel in an albie for his grand slam.

Kindergartener Nathaniel Simich, son of Stevan and Erika (Andresen) and big brother to Kai, took a first overall in mini junior boat bonito. Granddad Spider took the boys fishing one afternoon. We heard him on the marine radio say something along the lines of: I’m not really sure but I think this is a big bonito. Yes, it sure was. On that same trip young Kai reeled in a bluefish that landed him a daily prize.

Lori Robinett, fiancée of and the one that rounds out Johnny Graham’s being, made the journey from Missouri to fish the last week of the Derby. Let me tell you, this duo fished hard. Both Johnny and Lori managed to get grand slams and Johnny was half of the winning grand slam team. You hit the ball out of the park this time, my friends. Yes, that was an intentional baseball reference. How ’bout them Sox?

Happy birthdays to Roberta Morgan, Vinny Iacono, Everett Poole, Jan Burhman, Erika Andresen, Patty Rossi, Paul Mayhew — and a little backtrack to Ray Kellman.

Tomorrow, at 1:15 pm, is the Chilmark School 4/5 students Atiak Fair. The 17 students have all created games for their younger counterparts, West Tisbury School guests and community members to play for $.25 a pop. The goal is to raise money to help build a permanent structure for the Blessed Watoto Community School in Atiak, Uganda. They will have a bake sale and donation boxes too. Next week, as a math lesson, the students will count their proceeds. The goal is to have the amount match what the bank counts. Stop by with some quarters to play a game, stroll through the haunted house and have a snack. Don’t fret. The haunted house is equipped with a scare-o-meter. It won’t be too creepy and ghoulish if you prefer it not.

Speaking of Halloween, the treat bags are ready for the annual Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Annual Halloween party at the CCC, starting at 5:30 pm. All Chilmark kiddos are invited to stroll the costume parade, eat a little pizza, and check out their friends’ costumes. Potluck snacks, as always is the modus operandi — cupcakes, popcorn, caramel apples, anything that tickles your fancy. Email me or give me a shout at the Texaco if you have questions, Squidrow@Vineyard.net.

Just a reminder, this weekend marks the 32nd Women’s Symposium. The topic to be covered through speakers and small groups is “finding a way.” All are welcome to join in on Saturday October 26, from 9am to 12 noon at the CCC. Although the event is free, donations are welcome to cover expenses. For further information, contact Bonnie George at 508-645-3214.

This month has made me think back to my childhood and reading one of my favorite books, Anne of Green Gables. Like Anne, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?”

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Even if fall wasn’t marked with visual descriptions like changing and falling leaves, you would still be able to sense the seasonal change. You can almost track fall’s movement with the migration of the fish. If you’ve been watching the leader board at the Derby, you will have noticed the bass are getting slightly bigger. Are they beginning their run south?

The harbor is beginning to empty. A few boats have been hauled and tucked away for the winter. Tom Langman has said his goodbyes and has migrated south with the bass. Phoenix II is out of the water until next spring when Tom returns with some new hot lure.

Lovely Lizzie Willette has migrated to Providence where she will spend her winter taking classes. She has always talked about furthering her education. She has taken her future into her own hands and, along with pup Charlie, has set off on another leg of life’s adventure. Providence isn’t too far so she has assured everyone that we haven’t seen the last of her.

Farewell to Ms. Billie Hancock. Her summer of fun has come to a close. Lots of good times with friends, a heck of a lot of fun with daughter Buffy, and memorable moments with grandson Christian are locked in her memory until they all meet once again. A highlight was a trip to New Hampshire with Buffy, Gil, and Christian. Steele Hill Resort in Sanbornton was the destination. Swimming, golfing, tennis, basketball, scenery, touring around, a little shopping and sleeping in were all accomplished on their vacation.

Lori, Craig, Quinn, Allie and Grady Keefe have begun the process of sending packages back to their winter home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They will depart in just a few short days. After a pit stop in Chicago to visit Grandpa Keefe, the kiddos will be home just in time to trick-or-treat. Let’s take a vote. What will Grady be? Will he branch out or will he choose a Star Wars character? There’s been some talk of being a False Albacore.

Katy Smith was down for the long weekend. Although she described college as “not quite what she expected” she is enjoying her freshman year at Simmons College. We’ve been discussing college in our house a lot recently (Bradley is a senior in high school). I think a lot of us agree that college is a whole big package experience. It’s not just academics. It’s not just parties. It’s not just being away from home. It’s not just making new friends and meeting new types of people. It’s all of that and more. That’s why my first question to Katy was if she’s made some friends. The answer was yes. Good, if you have friends to talk to and grab dinner with, the rest will all follow.

The Parker clan made a visit. David, Becky, Sophie, Meagan, Isabel, and Phoebe made a quick trip down to see friends and family including Adelaide, Thea, Ella, and Lathrop Keene, the children of John and Hillary Keene. Also getting a bundle of attention from the Parker girls was adorable one and a half year old Liam Keene the son of Peter Keene and Emily Drazen. They also had a visit with Katy Keene Metell who travelled from Philadelphia for a visit. Breakfast at the Black Dog, strolling Menemsha and a rousing game of Man Hunt (kids vs. parents) were all highlights of the weekend adventure.

Congratulations to Gabe Ambulos, son of Mary and Perry, and his teammates from the CS United Soccer Club out of Plymouth. The team travelled to Connecticut to compete in a Columbus Day Weekend tournament. Day one of the tournament proved to be spectacular. The boys played two shutout games with scores of 4-0 and 9-0. This earned them a spot in the finals. CSU was on fire. They managed a solid win playing four shutout games while, to use proud Perry’s words, putting 18 balls in the back of the net. Amidst all of the soccer frenzy, Gabe and Perry managed to visit the Connecticut contingency of the Ambulos clan.

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Seventeen years ago, amazing friends tied the knot. I remember the day celebrating at North Rock — music, smiles from ear to ear, the feel of fall in the air, and a five-week-old in my arms. Happy anniversary to Hillary and John Keene. Not only is there an anniversary in the Keene household but sixth-grader Thea celebrates her birthday on the eighth. How do I remember Thea’s birthday so easily? It is the same day my grandmother Jean Lees and Marshall’s grandmother Carol Crocker would have celebrated their 98th birthdays. Yes, our maternal grandmothers shared exactly the same birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, there are a bunch this week. I’m sure I’ll miss some, so I apologize in advance for not wishing you a happy one in print. Blow out the candles Elisha Weisner, Soo Whiting, Tim Walsh, Marguerite Smith, Whit Hyde, Colin Ruel, Christian Carroll, Uncle Bud Mayhew, and Richard Williams.

It was a memorable weekend at the Allen Farm. Congratulations to the newlywed couple, Kaila Binney and Ned Allen-Posin. Slow roasted meats, fall flowers, and fresh sea air filled the glorious October setting.

We bid adieu until next spring to Emma and Bob Shalhope. Barn Again has been battened down and the Frontier has been covered for the season. A wonderful summer was had by the Oklahoma couple. Their doors were open to family visits and their travels took them both down memory lane and across some new roads.

The other day was business as usual. Marshall was out front with a customer, and I was inside with the broom in my hand. Yes, I am often asked “Are you riding that again?” We are situated next to the beach so sand does make its way in on occasion. I digress. Marshall spotted a familiar face wandering across the parking lot. My dad, Frank Tamoshunas, had made his way to Menemsha from Waltham for an impromptu visit. Life was, as always, slightly hectic, but he did manage to see his two grandchildren, dine out, wet a line, and tag along on a boat ride.

Wesley Cottle isn’t riding around with an empty passenger seat these days. Don Hurley is back in town and the duo is back to their typical antics. No, no they aren’t trouble, but they do have some good stories to tell, and they make me chuckle every time we share the same air space. A few rounds of golf and lunch at Farm Neck are always in the mix for these two. This trip, they may just go for a little boat ride perhaps with a fishing pole just in case the mood suits them.

Bella Thorpe has a few more ribbons to add to her collection — a few blues, a bunch of reds, and a couple of reserve champions for this 10-year-old horseback rider. Quality riding and a whole lot of fun was produced at this year’s MV Horse Council’s Fall Fuzzy. Bella especially enjoyed the gymkhana portion of the show. Games like izzy dizzy, crepe paper pairs, sit-a-buck, and apple bobbing certainly had the group laughing. Also in the mix were Katie Goldsmith and Ava Stearns. Bella and Katie rode a black pony and wore all black with just a hint of glow on their heads in the shape of the moon and a star for the costume contest. What were they? Midnight of course. Ava made riding the green (as in inexperienced) ponies look simple.

Sara and Scott Smestad were at the show to cheer Bella on. They also made sure to visit with Sara’s sister, Laura Hilliard.

Saturday, October 12, is the annual Justin Lord Coleman Hike-a-thon. Attendees will gather at the Colemans’ house at 150 South Road. Arrive around 11:30 am to listen to the speaker, but be sure to arrive by noon as that marks the time for the group photo and the beginning of the three- to ten-mile roundtrip journeys. For more information, contact Evelyn Kreyling at 508-645-2261

Saturday, October 26, marks the 32nd women’s Symposium at the CCC.

“Finding a Way” is the topic for the 9 am–12 noon event. You will find speakers, small groups, and refreshments among the familiar faces filling the wood paneled center.

Although the event is free, donations are welcome to cover expenses. For further information call Bonnie George at 508-645-3214.

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And they’re off. After another remarkable summer nestled in at their home just a hop, skip and a jump down Menemsha Inn Road, Lydia and Bill Edison have made the move back to their Elk, California, home. A fond farewell to the lovely man who called me, wrote to me, and stopped by to check in on me and share some hot news. A fond adieu to his lovely bride whom I could occasionally hear in the background of our telephone chats politely correcting him whenever he made a mistake reporting his hot scoop. I look forward to their return next spring and will attempt to make a trip to Elk — population 208.

Ava Stearns, daughter of Bret Stearns and Sarah Doyle and big sis to Graham, has been on yet another equestrian adventure. This leg of her journey has taken her to the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The show’s motto is “where champions rise to the challenge” and that is certainly what young Ava has done. At the time of my writing, Ava won her equitation class. The show runs through October 6, so I’ll bet Miss Ava will experience more success between now and then.

Congratulations to Jennifer Wlodyka. I spotted her name on the Derby board on September 28 with a first place daily for the boat bonito she reeled in. She also managed to take home a women’s weekly for that same fish.

Stephanie Bouchard, her fiance, Nathan Neipris, and his son, Dillon, ventured to the Vineyard this past weekend. They managed to catch up with cousins Hailey and Mikey Waters and a whole gang of other family members. They laughed, strolled, chatted, explored, played and enjoyed the warmth the September sunshine had to offer.

Sixty-three years has passed since Roberta and Jim Morgan tied the knot. I guess that makes 1950 the year they were married. Beehive hairdos, tv dinners, saddle shoes, the hokey pokey, hula hoops, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, square dance, and Ritz crackers were popular. I’m not sure times have really changed just, perhaps, evolved.

Also celebrating an anniversary this past week was that crazy couple that calls Steamboat Springs, Colorado, their winter home. Craig and Lori Keefe celebrated with a candlelit dinner at the Outermost Inn sans children. It’s pretty unusual to see this couple without one, two, or all three of their children in tow. My guess is their dinner table conversation revolved around Quinn, Allie, and Grady.

After all that mom and dad mushy stuff that kids just don’t get, Sunday was funday for the Keefe kids. Quinn, after having been out fishing on their boat for the better part of the day, managed to reel in a 15.26-pound bass right off the dock in Menemsha. The amazing part is he did it all by himself. Dad had popped over to the Galley to pick up a late lunch for the hungry crew. Quinn was just passing the time waiting for his burger. All those hours logged on the dock managed to finally pay off. Lucky.

Every year, the 4/5 students of the Chilmark School prepare a school-wide community service event in order to raise money to help other children in need. This year, the class of 17 students are excited to announce a new initiative: to raise money to help build a permanent structure for the Blessed Watoto Community School in Atiak, Uganda. They will accomplish their goal with the support of Hannah Kahl and Lila Fischer, who lived in Atiak for an extended period of time. Hannah and Lila have spent time in the 4/5 classroom discussing Uganda’s geography, history, culture and what a school day is like for a child in Uganda. The class will share information about their initiative on Tuesday, October 8, 6–7 pm, in the school’s foyer. Friends and community members are invited to join the group. Stay tuned for information about the 4/5 student-run Atiak Fair to be held at the CCC on October 25.

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The countdown has begun. The American Heroes and their loved ones from all over the country are set to arrive at the Beach Plum Inn on Sunday for the fifth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge. This year, in addition to wounded warriors in recovery at Walter Reed, the Nixon family is thrilled to include servicemen and women who served in Afghanistan. The group includes several courageous soldiers from Combat Outpost Keating featured in Jake Tapper’s book, “The Outpost.”

From Sunday, September 29, through Friday, October 4, the group will call the Beach Plum home. They will set out Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 am from Squid Row to fish with some of our local charter captains. They will return around 11 am, hopefully with fish on board and big plans to take them to the weigh in. Are you interested in lending a hand? Financial contributions, goods and services, and volunteers to drive, run errands and assist in various roles are needed. If you’d like to know more or if you’d like to help, email Sarah Nixon or Turner Delano at saltwaterchallenge2013@gmail.com. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, you can do so at www.saltwaterchallenge.org.

Haven’t seen the Memorial Day Special American Heroes Fishing Challenge? For a $10 contribution, DVDs will be available at the Derby Weigh Station, the Beach Plum and Menemsha Inns.

Sixty years. Count them, one, two, three, four, sixty years ago Carl and Audrey Leaf tied the knot. Happily they celebrated this milestone that not many achieve surrounded by family and friends.

Congratulations to a newly married couple, too. Zoe Pechter and Simon Thompson travelled to Maine to make their union official. A whole convoy of friends ventured north to celebrate their special day with them. I hear their pup Tinker was in the mix at the ceremony and memorable times were had by all. I’m looking forward to the day they move into the home they are building next to me. I’m pretty sure they are going to be sweet neighbors.

Featherstone Center for the Arts presents the the Annual Artists Studio Tour on Saturday, September 28, from 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets are $30, which allows guests to visit 16 artists who will open their studios and showcase their artwork. Our very own artist Wendy Weldon is part of the amazing collection of artist. Tickets may be purchased by calling Featherstone at 508-693-1850.

Dan Leventritt and Jen Wool enjoyed lovely days and nights in late summer with pals who came to visit and entertain them at their home “Blue Barque” down on South Road. It was a bit like a home with a revolving door. Friends Nora and Oscar Jacobsen from Vermont earned big thank yous for teaching Dan and Jen how to crab on Chilmark Pond with bluefish heads from Stanley in Menemsha. Nora and Oscar’s understanding about the difference between female and male crabs kept them in compliance. Not bad for the under-12 set. Vermont/South Dakota artist Lisa Lillibridge landed for a night to teach everyone something about rodeo and textiles. She’s a crafty one. Finally, a touch-and-go by pal Amos Morrill from Antigua and Southern California was especially great since he troubleshooted household issues and took the helm of the Après — with special thanks to Skipper Steve and Pam for donating their afternoon sail to the Possible Dreams auction. Dan and Amos held the helm while Jen made snacks. She says she just doesn’t understand the wind.

An unusual sighting occurred in Menemsha the other day. Isaiah Scheffer found an Argonaut in the pond. Commonly referred to as a Paper Nautilus, this sea creature is related to the octopus. The female sports a fragile paper-like shell to protect her eggs. These amazing pelagic creatures are not typically spotted alive and well sporting their shells.

Tuesday nights are, once again, pizza nights at the Chilmark Church. All are welcome to stop by for a slice, some pleasant chatter and, as always, a round or two of Bananagrams. Contact Julie Flanders 508-645-3723 if you have any questions.

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Big week.

The Chilmark School 4/5 class is back from their adventure on the Alabama. Captain Ian Ridgeway, his crew, teacher Becky Barca-Tinus, nurse Janice Brown, dads Adrian Higgins and Keith Fenner, along with Bella, Brooks, Fynn, Imogen, Keira, Menasha, Noah, Adam, Atlas, Emmett, Katie, Latham, Silas, Tegan, Tristan, Tyler, and William set sail last Monday morning.

They let the wind and the tide guide their adventure which led them to overnight stays in Tarpaulin Cove, Marion, Boston, and Provincetown. My guess is if you ask the children what their favorite moments were, you will get 17 different answers. Some of the many highlights were going under the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges as they made their way through Cape Cod Canal, catching dogfish, spending the night on Fan Pier, eating ice cream in P-Town, and the cook’s affinity for bacon. If you have an opportunity to chat with a student, please do. Their stories are both heartfelt and hilarious. The sailors are back at their desks continuing to share stories with teachers and their younger schoolmates. This adventure will be a topic of conversation that even the Derby might not be able to overshadow.

“Fair winds” and “tight lines” are a couple of the sayings you might hear during the next month. The 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby kicked off at 12:01 am on Sunday September 15. Chores are done. Boats are tuned up. Poles are rigged with new line. Lures are tied with skill. Paperwork is completed. This year’s pink and purple pins adorn black visors, camo, red, green and grey hats. Fresh bait is being caught. Pillows are placed in vehicles so a few Zs can be caught between bouts of fishing frenzies. Fish are caught. Coolers are filled with ice. Fish are delivered to the weigh in. Prizes are sought. Friends are made. Stories are told. Familiar names adorn the leader board. Check out www.mvderby.com for all of the latest information.

Anyone interested in rugby? It doesn’t matter whether you are an accomplished player or completely new to the game, you are all welcome to give it a go on Thursdays at the West Tisbury School field at 5:30 pm. If you need a little more info or just a little coaxing, email Chas Hollinger at Chholl86@gmail.com. He’s one of the folks you’ll see on the field if you decide you’d like to give the sport a go.

Bill Edison seems to think he bothers me with his calls and notes. Nope. Never a bother to hear from a friend. We had a chat the other day about what he does in the off-season. Bill and Lydia venture back to the other location where they rest their heads — Elk, California. Bill dons his troll hat (are you still impressed that I found the troll story about you, Bill?) and sits down to creating posters for the upcoming Flanders Field softball series. He already knows next year’s round of fun will begin with the swing of the bat and the crack of the ball on June 22, 2014.

Set aside May 4 on your calendars now. We are all invited to Bill and Lydia’s hometown of Elk to take part in Pepper Martin Day. Old-fashioned community softball, just like at Flanders Field, with hot dogs for all. It might be helpful to know that the little town of Elk is on the Northern California coast in Mendocino County, about 150 miles north of San Francisco and 15 miles south of the village of Mendocino. Watch out Edisons, you may just have house guests.

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I find the time to write on Sunday evening. This Sunday evening is unlike the others. The sun has settled behind the hillside. My 17year-old is wrapping up her summer homework and deciding what to wear to her first day of her senior year. My 10-year-old is in a tub full of bubbles preparing to embark on a week-long journey with his classmates aboard Alabama. The bottle is packed for their message in a bottle exercise. A flashlight is at the ready for word searches and comic book reading in his bunk. A toothbrush, a hair brush, and a few changes of clothes are all packed. But, like last year, I expect to have him return home in the same tee-shirt he departed in. The only difference is rather than smelling fresh and feeling soft as can be from the dryer, it will be stiff and salty just as it should be after a mighty adventure on the high seas. The class of mighty sailors will return from their adventure on Saturday and I, along with all of the other parents, am eager to hear their tales.

Congratulations to Hope (Murphy) MacLeod for completing her ninth year of marriage with Chris. He was tickled to tell me it has been nine years and that she is amazing for putting up with all of his shenanigans. May happiness continue to surround you and your charming children, Finnegan and Linden.

The Flea Market may be over, but the Chilmark Church will continue their lobster roll sales through September 17. Mark your calendar. You have one last opportunity to visit with the lobster roll ladies, grab a bite and enjoy the last little taste of an official summer meal on the lawn.

Pam Goff reports that summer is clearly winding down and now is the time to consider Sunday school for your child. Children of all ages are welcome. Service and school begin at 9 am. Stop by to see what it is all about.

Eight women from Julie Coleman’s Chapel Hill, N.C., area women’s walking group arrived this past week ready to hike. Laces were cinched, water bottles were filled and the walking sticks were placed in hand as they set out at Menemsha Hills Reservation. The North Carolina walkers joined up with four of Julie’s M.V. hikers where the group had a ball chatting, walking, and exploring. Julie will do two more hikes before she and her husband, Bill, depart on September 22. The lucky husbands are invited on these last two walks. For information on the hikes give Julie a call at 508-645-2261.

It’s time to kick off Chilmark Preschool’s fall fundraiser with a photo shoot. Family portraits, a group of friends, couples any collection of folks or even the family pet with photographer Eli Dagostino shot at Tea Lane Farm and Morning Glory. September 28, October 13 and October 19 are the dates he will be available. The $75 session includes 15 minutes of shooting and a DVD of final edited, high-resolution photos. The proceeds benefit the Chilmark Preschool’s violin program. Contact Patricia Bacon at pmbacon@aol.com or 401-952-7541 to inquire or schedule your session.

A great time was had by all last Sunday when the Tisbury Fire Association Car Show took over Main Street, Vineyard Haven. According to Wooten Bassett resident and classic car enthusiast Paul Iantosca, Arlan Roth was there with two of his classics — a 1956 Buick hardtop and his 1942 Roadster. Paul was their with his flashy red Oldsmobile 442 convertible. Mark Levin, who happens to play Chilmark softball with Paul and Arlan, was also in attendance. Paul managed to get Peter Simon out onto the streets to give him a quick lesson in the fine art of classic cars. According to Paul, Peter said, “What is all the excitement about old cars? I just do not understand anything about it.” While out on the streets, Peter wanted a picture of Paul with his “Howie Hustle” Award presented to him earlier that day. Paul proudly had it displayed on his car.

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September. It may seem to many that July and August are the busy months. But, if you think about it, September really is jam-packed full of stuff. School begins. The Chilmark School’s fourth and fifth graders experience school at sea aboard Alabama. The Martha’s VIneyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby encompasses lives. The American Heroes Saltwater Challenge takes place. We say farewells to summer friends and greet those who prefer quick visits in the breezy autumn air September brings with it. We will eat cake and watch friends blow out candles as September is a big birthday month — including that of my dear, sweet daughter who happens to be 17 today.

The MacLeod family — Hope, Chris, Finnegan, and Linden — has returned from a couple of weeks in Canada visiting members of the MacLeod family tree. New Brunswick was the key destination. The kids had plenty of hugs, chats, and happy moments with Nana, Poppa, and Grampy D. They swam in the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy and have managed to return home with all of their fingers and toes despite the many wild adventures they experienced.

Emma and Bob Shalhope are back in residence at their North Road home. Two weeks was spent touring Scotland with daughter Adelaide and her husband, Brian Winne. The Shalhopes adventure began in London. They then travelled to Glasgow where they celebrated Emma’s birthday. Apparently it was a “big one,” but I’m not supposed to mention the actual number. Trust me, it was hard for me to believe Emma is the age she is. I’m still actually doubting the accuracy of Bob’s information.

I digress. From Glasgow the foursome ventured to Gartness, then toured to the Isles of Mull and Iona — both of which belong to the group of islands off the west coast of Scotland known as the Inner Hebrides. A highlight was a visit to Iona Abbey, one of Scotland’s most historic sites, originally founded in 563 AD. Their trip wrapped up back in Glasgow where they met up with friends that were made ten years ago when Bob was teaching in town.

Please mark your calendars as all are welcome to visit with the Simonsen family as they remember and celebrate the life of Vibeke Andrea Simonsen, who died September 14, 2012. The family would like friends to join with thoughts and stories at the Simonsen family home on Flanders Lane in Chilmark on Saturday, September 21, from 4 to 6 pm.

Can you believe it’s been 10 years already? The new library opened in 2003 and the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library are celebrating this anniversary with an afternoon tea beginning at 4 pm on Wednesday, September 11. Everyone is welcome to stop by for refreshments.

Martha’s Vineyard SeaCoast Defense Chapter would like to shout out a little thank you to Matt Tobin and his team of landscapers at Tea Lane Nursery for their continued upkeep of Place on the Wayside where the Reverend John Mayhew bid farewell to his Native American friends before his ship was lost at sea in 1657.

The awards ceremony at the end of Chilmark Softball’s season were, according to Commish Bill Edison, were full of surprises. Max and William Lombardi were named the Rookies of the Year. Hans Solmssen and Mark Friedman were proudly cheering as Paul Iantosca was awarded the Howie Hustle Honors for quickly retrieving balls hit into right field’s Poison Ivy patch. Much to my amazement, the chuckleheads up there at Flanders Field chose me as their Most Valuable Person. I never hit a ball but always was there in spirit eagerly awaiting my weekly commentary from Bill and the occasional visit from Hans. I am truly honored to be the recipient of this year’s bright red banner. I am feeling speechless and very humble so I will wrap up with a simple thank you.