Authors Posts by Linley Dolby

Linley Dolby

Linley Dolby
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Put on your game-day face, and shirt, and hat, and snacks.

Michael Snowden, Dave Rossi and Pam Dolby helped cheer the Patriots to victory at a recent playoff game. — Photo by Linley Dolby
Zoe Walpole finds that the Pats win when she wears her cap. – Courtesy Kate Walpole — Photo by Kate Walpole
Zoe Walpole finds that the Pats win when she wears her cap. – Courtesy Kate Walpole — Photo by Kate Walpole

Whether it is a special Mexican dip you must prepare, a beverage to be shared at exactly five minutes to kickoff, or a pair of socks you have to wear (or will never, ever wear again), game-day superstitions are nearly as important as the game itself.

Alexandra Taylor, Posie Haeger and Shannon Smith sport lucky Patriots caps. — Photo by Linley Dolby
Alexandra Taylor, Posie Haeger and Shannon Smith sport lucky Patriots caps. — Photo by Linley Dolby

In Patriots Nation, we hear Coach Bill Belichick repeat the phrase “Do your job” over and over, and even as onlookers from afar, that reminder resonates. Many of us feel that call to support our team in whatever way feels right. The neon lights will be on in my dad’s shed at 10 am on Super Bowl Sunday, my husband will be wearing a red throwback jersey, and I will have on the blue-striped — NOT red-striped — beanie with the Flying Elvis turned respectfully toward the east, as out in Arizona, our boys launch through much more rigorous preparations for the big game. So what are the rules in your house? I’ve reached out to some of our local fans for the scoop (as in “story,” not as in the Scoops! tortilla chips that absolutely have to accompany the aforementioned Mexican dip — wink, wink). Here’s what they had to say!

Tysean and Dreyden Thomas, West Tisbury, have their own Pats uniforms. – Courtesy the Thomas family.
Tysean and Dreyden Thomas, West Tisbury, have their own Pats uniforms. – Courtesy the Thomas family.

“Paul Moreau and I have a special portable Pats chair that comes out only for important games. It is placed in the center of the room during the game. Nobody sits in it. When there is a very important play, Paul will move to the chair. It brings Tom luck and guarantees he will make a successful pass.” —Hilary Grannis, Edgartown

“I always make chili on game day!” —Joanne Brine, Chappaquiddick

“I smoke or grill whatever our opponents are, like Ravens/wings, Colts/ribs, and of course, this week Seahawk!” —Dylan Morgan, Vineyard Haven

“I just cross my fingers and pray.” —Kate Walpole, Edgartown

“My ritual is skiing at Sunday River, three years in a row now. They have a Super Bowl party there, too!!! Go PATS!” —Stephanie Teller, Edgartown

As I sit here typing, the blizzard outside my window is beginning to pick up steam. The skylights are nearly covered, and the branches are laden in white. The milk and bread are put away in their respective places, and somewhere there are flashlights and the batteries with which to power them — I’ll have to remember to look for those. Tomorrow, the kids will be out on the sledding hill, and lawns will be adorned with new frosty family members. Me? I say Let It Snow.

It has been quite a stormy snap, with the rain and wind last Saturday making for a nice little afternoon, cozying up in a booth at the Newes. With the exposed beams and the fireplace, and Magoo behind the copper bar, it’s one of my favorite winter spots. It really gives you that feeling of a harbor alehouse in an older time. And man, I love those onion rings!

I caught up with Jim Mullen, who was in town for the annual Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters’ awards banquet and meeting, which took place last Saturday at the Old Whaling Church. On hand were some great raffle prizes and silent auction donations, plus an outstanding buffet. For more info about M.V. Surfcasters, visit mvsurfcasters.org.

The Wharf will host a special bonus trivia night to benefit Relay for Life this Friday, Jan. 30, at 6 pm. Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The event is $5 per person and limited to 12 tables, so when calling for a reservation, make sure you specify to the Wharf staff that you will be there for the event. Wings, chowder, and cupcakes will be provided, and a gift basket will be awarded to the winner. Call 508-627-9966 to reserve your table.

Attention seniors: The Anchors is planning a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts that will take place Wednesday, Feb. 18 (8:15 am boat off, 5 pm boat back). Among other exhibits that you can check out are these two interesting ones: “Gordon Parks, Back to Fort Scott,” displays groundbreaking photographs of Fort Scott, Kan., focusing on the realities of life under segregation during the 1940s, captured by one of the most celebrated African-American artists of his time. And “Court Ladies or Pin-Up Girls” shows images of women by Chinese artists from the 11th through 20th century. Please call the Anchors to sign up, 508-627-4368.

And Anchors visitors have been invited by the Martha’s Vineyard Supportive Day Program to join in on drumming workshops with Rick Bausman, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm through Feb. 18. Please call if you plan on attending, 508-627-4368. Bring your sense of rhythm, and yourself!

Mark your calendars for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School 2015 Science and Engineering Fair, which takes place Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm at the high school. Learn about hands-on science from the next generation of scientists. The students ask great questions about interesting topics, and then work out methods to obtain data and test ideas. The culmination of their projects is to present their work to judges, parents, peers, and you and me. They do this with enthusiasm, poise, pride, and delight. The event is open to the public, so don’t miss it.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Rebecca Brown, who celebrates Feb. 1; to Ninon Garvin, Feb. 2; and to Ralf Pirozzi, Feb 4.

Updated, 4:45 pm, Thursday, Jan. 22. *

It is time for me to buy stock in Kleenex and chicken broth, because I have officially caught every virus with which I have come into contact this winter. The past few days have been lost in a fog of medicine head and the resulting narcolepsy, so if I start spouting gibberish, please don’t mind me. (In fact, to whomever’s deft editorial hands this column meets on its way to publication, let me just say right now how pretty/handsome you look today, and that sweater really brings out the color of your eyes.)

Previous to the viral squall in which I currently find myself, it was quite a fantastic week. Now, those of you who have been following along with me for a while will understand the sheer wonderment at the story I am about to relate. We had friends in from Minnesota last week, and Dave decided it would be nice to air down the tires on the new-old Jeep and take the guys for a ride out on Norton Point. I opted to ride along, with the unspoken motive of seeing my first snowy owl of the season. (I have made a pact not to mention the snowies this year, because in Dolby column parlance, that would be “sooo 2014,” but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out looking.) Well, on this particular beach ride, I spied THREE of my off-season besties. THREE! Man, that was cool. And my obsession was contagious, as our guests were nearly as pumped about the sightings as I was.

If you are still waiting for your own super-cool owl sighting, you can join the folks at Felix Neck on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm for the Big Moon Owl Prowl, featuring a full-moon-lit walk and other educational activities. For more info, call 508-627-4850.

I’m still processing the news about Chief Tony Bettencourt’s retirement from the Edgartown Police this spring. This chief has accomplished so much in what seems such a short time. I can’t yet quite wrap my cold-addled head around a department without Tony at the helm, and seeing as his exit is still a few months out, let’s discuss some other news from the Bettencourt household: K9 buddy Hooper has a new friend! The Bettencourts recently welcomed the tiny Chi as sidekick and complement to the large Hooper, and wacky big dog/little dog hijinks continue to ensue. I look forward to seeing Tony walking this odd couple along Edgartown/Vineyard Haven Road in his retirement.

I met up with a few folks for bingo at the Wharf last Thursday, and in case anyone has seen the ads and is wondering if it is any good, let me tell you, we had a blast. With Johnny Showtime at the mic, “Not Your Grandma’s Bingo Night” is one part gaming, one part standup comedy. What you don’t bring home in winnings, you’ll gain in belly-aching laughter. So get on down, so I can win all your money. Bingo takes place Thursday nights at 8 pm in the Wharf’s back bar.

In other bingo news, Winter Regifting Bingo will take place Saturday, Jan. 31 at 4 pm at St. Andrew’s Church. Your requirement for admission is a wrapped regifting “prize” to be won. The regifting will continue until prizes are gone, so bring as many prizes as you wish to clear out of your house. Edgartown Second Hand Store will provide coffee and popcorn for nibbles. For more info, call Barbara at 774-310-0209, or Heather Anne at 508-627-5330.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Jade Deslauriers, who celebrates Jan. 22; to Justin LaVigne, Jan. 23; to Louis Paciello and Jeff Donaroma, Jan. 25; to Kathy Vincent, Jan. 26; and to Dana Grant and Nancy Whipple, Jan. 28. And of course, GO PATS!

* An earlier version of this story stated that Bingo at the Wharf was on Wednesdays. It has been corrected to the right day of the week: Thursdays.

Is someone missing a bunch of tennis balls? Because there had to be at least 50 balls bouncing around the streets of Edgartown this weekend. I was talking to Nick Prescott, who had seen a ton of them downtown, and I said, That’s funny. I saw a few near the Stop and Shop parking lot, and didn’t think much of it. Then Alyssa Starzyk also asked about the tennis balls, and we all agreed that it was officially “A Thing.” At least, the kind of “Thing” that passes for entertainment or perhaps even performance art in our sleepy town on a frigid afternoon in January.

In other winter exercises in futility, we found ourselves stuck in the standby line in Woods Hole — or as I prefer to call it, the place where homeward-bound dreams go to die — during yet another weather event on Friday, so of course I took the time to catch up on social media, wherein I discovered the others stuck in the same proverbial pickle. Kelsey Berry had posted a pic of her slipper-shod feet, taken from the vantage of the bed she had assembled in her back seat to wait out the wind. And once we were all aboard, Dave Lawrence got to witness what happens when I am extremely past due for a nap: I believe I came up with close to 25 puns for the word “hull,” much to no one’s amusement but my own.

Also aboard the motor vessel Martha’s Vineyard was first-time ferry passenger Greyson Lucero Antik, with just about two days as a human under his belt — or diaper tabs, as the case may be. This handsome little devil was welcomed by happy moms Hadley and Ruby Antik on Jan. 6, weighing in at 7.1 pounds of absolute perfection. Looks like we’ll have another one running around the fire station, ringing the bell, while Mama Hadley is out saving lives as a paramedic. Congrats to all.

It was not only stormy weather but heavy hearts we encountered this week, as we lost a beloved part-time Edgartonian and full-time friend with the passing of Boatner Reily. I will always remember Mr. Reily for his beaming smile and booming voice, and fantastic sense of humor. As a child, he taught me the right way to eat crawfish and the “real” way to play croquet; as an adult, a fondness for Irish whiskey and an appreciation of pink wine. I loved that his reading tastes were dictated by whatever he could find on the shelves at the Dock Street Coffee Shop, and though he could have his choice of automobiles, his favorite Island car was a 1995 Ford Escort that could barely contain his tall frame. We will miss you dearly, friend, and our thoughts go out to the whole Green Hollow family.

Back by popular demand, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is once again celebrating the faces of Martha’s Vineyard with a second “Island Faces” portrait competition in collaboration with Featherstone Center for the Arts. Three years ago, the museum held its first portrait contest, inspired by the National Portrait Gallery’s annual contest. A panel of judges from the Island’s art community will jury the competition. The winning portraits will debut in an exhibit opening at the Museum on Sept. 4, 2015. The public will once again be able to vote on a separate “People’s Choice” category, the winners of which will be featured at Featherstone beginning Nov. 8, 2015. Details and rules are available on the museum’s website:mvmuseum.org/portraitcontest.php.

As part of their new Veterans Outreach Program, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services will host a presentation on traumatic brain injury on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 10 am to 12 noon at the American Legion Post 257 in Vineyard Haven. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the second session of the Martha’s Vineyard Veterans Support Series, representatives from the Home Base Program, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Providence VA, and SAVE (Statewide Advocacy for Veterans Empowerment) will be speaking on the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for TBI. Following the presentation there will be an expert speaker’s panel, including an interactive discussion. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by Jan. 23 to Julie Meader at 508-693-7900, ext. 222, or jmeader@mvcommunityservices.com.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Jill Zadeh, who celebrates Jan. 16; to Eric Klaussmann, Jan. 17; and to Barbara Morgan, Jan. 19. Have a good one, and GO PATS!

I love the angle of the light this time of year, particularly on the drive from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown along State Beach. The colors are just so stark and bright, like driving through a Hopper painting. And of course, we know the real purpose of these afternoon drives is to spot my snowy bird friend in the dunes. I have yet to spot the owl this year, not for lack of trying, but I won’t let the ongoing obsession hijack the column this year.

So happy for Dayce and Kurstin Moore, who are finally off on their honeymoon. These two tied the knot back in June, but the summer season allowed no rest for these busy bees — Dayce is a patrolman with the Edgartown PD, and Kurstin serves up the martoonies at Alchemy. The two will spend their well-earned break on Antigua. Enjoy!

I’ve had word from Linda Condlin that daughter Alicia Jean Nicholson, who fell last September and dislocated her knee and broke several ribs, is still working toward recovery and is currently awaiting surgery that will lay her up for three or four more months. Because medical expenses are difficult, and she has been forced to miss some work, her co-workers from the Lookout Tavern will hold a fundraiser on Jan 10 at 6:30 pm at the PA Club. Money Shot and Mike Benjamin will play, and there will be items for raffle. Best wishes to Alicia on the road to recovery.

Chilmark Writing Workshop will be offering a Write from the Heart winter workshop January 23 and 24 (Friday from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm). Yes, this takes place in Chilmark, not Edgartown, but having attended one of Nancy Aronie’s writing workshops back in September, I can’t recommend the experience enough, and for those of you who can’t get the free time during the busy summer months and/or can’t afford the usual tuition, it’s a great opportunity to get a kick-start on winter writing or try something new. Also, homemade soup and hot bread, so yum. This special winter session is offered for $199. Get it all out in two days — ongoing therapy is much more expensive. Call Nancy at 508-645-9085 to reserve your space. You might very well see me there.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Center welcomes Island artists to enter their work for possible exhibit in the Feldman Family Artspace for the 2015 season. Island artists interested in exhibiting their work in the entry lobby of the Film Center should go to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society web site (mvfilmsociety.com/art-at-the-feldman-family-artspace/) for an application and additional information. The deadline for entry is March 1.

The Federated Church will resume serving free lasagna dinners from 12:30 pm to 2 pm every Sunday starting Jan. 11 thru the final Sunday in March. All are welcome, Island-wide. For questions, or in the case of inclement weather, please email antispung@aol.com.

Seniors: The Martha’s Vineyard Museum welcomes you Monday, Jan. 12 at 1 pm for a free tour. Exhibits include “Nancy Luce — Madonna of the Hens,” and “Dogs vs. Cats” — see objects, photographs, and archival material that feature these loveable furry friends, and cast a vote for your favorite. Please call the Anchors to sign up, 508-627-4368.

This Sunday, Jan. 11, please join Vineyard Conservation Society for their third Winter Walk of the season: a visit to Katama Farm, home of the FARM Institute. The walk is expected to include the new interpretive hiking trail that opened last year, and may branch out to other areas of the farm as time allows. FARM Institute staff will add their knowledge of current farm operations and the surrounding area to discussion of the conservation history of the property. Although Katama Farm is now quite well-known (largely due to the popularity of the FARM Institute), many of its current visitors are likely unaware of the unusual history of this special place. The walk will start at 1 pm, and last approximately two hours. For more information, contact VCS at 508-693-9588.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Kristin Warriner, who celebrates Jan. 9; Peter Shemeth, Jan. 10; Becky Beeson, Jan. 11; Tad White, Jan. 12; and Jeff Smadbeck, Jan. 15.

It’s officially a new year, and 15 seems like such a nice, tidy number. Time to put away all the excess of the holiday season, and once again clean the slate, a white page filled with the hope and promise of all to come. And I know I’m a little late on my annual plea, but while we’re talking about clean, white stuff, would a little snow be too much to ask? Believe me, I am not complaining about walking around in only a fleece in December, but I’m thinking it’s about time for a little bit of winter chill. Hats, scarves, and pink noses, mittens and cocoa. Kids on sleds. That kind of thing.

Watch out world — there’s a new Mundt in town. Ryan and Michelle Mundt welcomed Evangeline “Lina” Frances Mundt on December 26, weighing in at a precious 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Right now, she has about as much hair as her father and uncle, but luckily photo evidence attests that she looks super cute in tiny pink hats. Congrats all!

I had word from Ellie Bates that Amy and Trevor Bates both made it home for Christmas, each having time off from their jobs. Amy is teaching eighth grade language arts in the Chicago Public Schools at the Dr. Jorge Prieto Academy. Trevor has his own lighting, staging, and rigging business, and has helped set up for the Nutcracker and the Boston Pops. Their parents, Gordon and Ellie, are thrilled everyone could be together.

I guess it’s time for the winter migration to happen. The Condlins have already made their way to Florida for a few months of sunshine and sandy toes. Lee and Cheryl Welch came back to dry land long enough to share the holiday with all the kids and grandkids, but now it is back to the boat, in time to ring in the new year on some other far-off island. If any of you get bored and need some guests to come liven things up, I am accepting any and all invitations.

A lot has been going on behind the scenes at the Anchors over the past week. The crew cleared out to have the floors refinished, and wow do they look shiny and new! What a way to welcome the new year. Regularly scheduled programming will resume soon. Perhaps ballroom dancing would be an appropriate activity atop the newly gleaming planks.

Felix Neck has earned a shout-out for the banner year they have just completed, with 2014 marking the 50th anniversary of the Fern and Feather Day Camp. To commemorate that momentous achievement, they undertook a $50,000 scholarship drive, which raised funds to provide financial aid to Island families so that they can send their children to the camp. Also, Sanctuary Director Suzan Bellincampi’s new book, Martha’s Vineyard: A Field Guide to Island Nature, has been named one of the Best Books of 2014 by the Boston Globe, and Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary was voted Best of the Vineyard for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, the Sanctuary has worked with the folks at Windemere to bring the outdoors to those who can’t get out, and the property has gained a treehouse and a new hay wagon. We are lucky to have such a great space here in our town for education, exploration, and community. Keep up the good work, Felix Neck! And readers, if you haven’t stopped by to hit the trails in a while, get on over there. Make it a New Year’s resolution.

Birthday wishes go out to all those Baby New Years: Holly Bruguiere, who celebrates January 1 on New Year’s Day; Rebecca Bartlett, January 3; Deborah Elias, January 4; Jake Sylvia and Dee Laird, January 5; Lindsay Medeiros and Alex Morrison, January 6; and Katie Jordan and Ryan Smith, January 7. Have a great time.

I have to tell you, as I was writing the date on this column, I accidentally typed 2015. I guess I’m getting my practice in for next week, but let’s try not to get ahead of ourselves. That said, Merry Christmas, everyone! As I write this and look at the weather predictions, it looks like instead of an idyllic white Christmas, we are gearing up for a muddy one. Santa will be facing a water park of chimneys, and Mrs. Claus will definitely have some serious laundry to do come Friday. Well, I hope that you all find yourselves next to a roaring fire, or at least the cable Yule Log channel, surrounded by those you love, with a cup of good cheer in hand. And for those of you who have your own sleighs to navigate to points beyond, be safe!

What a proud moment it was for our town Sunday night, when our own Edgartown Police honor guard took the ice at the Garden for the National Anthem before the Boston Bruins game. Old Glory, the flag of the Commonwealth, and our very own Town seal were presented and flanked by Michael Snowden, Dayce Moore, Michael Gazaille, Willy Bishop, and Chris Dolby. My brother, Chris, was mere feet from Rene Rancourt, as he serenaded the land of the free and home of the brave. (Two fist pumps, for those keeping track.) And, of course, the Bs got the win. Hats off, guys!

—Photo by Robert Avakian
—Photo by Robert Avakian

It has been a week of latkes, chocolate, cookies, ravioli, and nog, making me most thankful this holiday season for the ladies at the Evolve Pilates studio: Laura Alexander, with her amazing mat and reformer classes, and Griffin Hughes Douglas, who brings the pain on the TRX straps. Thank you both very much for balancing the extra calories with lots of fun and just the right amount of torture. Readers, if your New Year’s resolution is to get fit, go check this place out. I’m a believer.

The Edgartown Library will host a children’s New Year’s Eve party December 31, from 1 to 3 pm, complete with noisemakers, party hats, popcorn, and a screening of the classic Peter Pan movie starring Cathy Rigby. So bring the tykes to their celebration before you scoot off to yours. The library will offer several other vacation activities for the kids over the week ahead, including movies, crafts, and games, so check the website, edgartownlibrary.org, or call 50-8627-4221 for more info.

The Harbor View Hotel will once again host their annual New Year’s Eve Celebration, December 31, beginning at 9 pm. The event will feature two bands — the Sultans of Swing and the Mike Benjamin Band — as well as fireworks, snacks, and a midnight champagne toast. Visit harbor-view.com for more info, including room specials. And be sure to say Happy Birthday to the fabulous Elizabeth Rothwell while you’re there.

A guy walks into a bar — so begins many a joke told by Wharf court jester, Bruce E. Bruce Farland, who I hear has just celebrated a birthday on December 21. I hope your rear is still recovering from that paddle with which you are always so quick to bless others on their birthdays — all jokes aside.

Another one I missed last week was Cooper Avakian, who turned two on December 20. This future NHLer celebrated with a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed bash, surrounded by friends and family.

This week, we have Charlie King, who celebrates December 25; Seth Butynski, Kevin Foran, and Matt Dello Russo, December 27; Abby Leighton, December 29; and Alex Avakian, December 30. So wish these folks a very special Happy Birthday. They’ve been upstaged.

I’ve been on the road so much the past couple of weeks that I’ve had to delay getting into the holiday spirit, but last night we finally got the tree up, the cards are in the mail, and I only have a couple more people to knock off on the shopping list. I’m proud to say I did about 90 percent of my shopping locally this year, and if you have any last-minute shopping to do, consider trying to do it here on the Island.

I haven’t had a chance to hop around and check out the lights yet, so if you can recommend any not-to-be-missed displays, let us all know! Who doesn’t love a good glowing Santa with festive accouterments?

We had quite the tailgate turnout in Foxboro this weekend. Dylan Morgan and Ben Connelly served up breakfast sandwiches while Fred Fournier made French toast Monte Cristos on his little camp stove, a great little brunch. Meanwhile, we waited patiently for the piece de resistance, the 13-pound bird to come out of the deep fryer, joined by tater tots and fried stuffing balls. Jake and Annie Sylvia, Willie Bishop, and Grace Murphy were there to join in the pregame fun. And now the Pats have yet another AFC East title under their belts. Not too shabby.

Ugly sweaters were the dress code at the Smith holiday party this past weekend. Word is, Greer Thornton was owning it in a tacky number that featured a slot for an iPod to display a roaring fire. Best, right? That is, until Tom O’Hanlon walked in with a similar setup, but his Yule log burned in HD on a full-size iPad. Score one for Tom the Teletubby.

Hello to Ilija Talon Trance, who made his debut December 19 in the wee hours of the morning, weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Parents Lindsay and Michael Trance and big brothers Ian and Isaac are all thrilled. Can’t wait to watch this little one grow.

The kids from Rainbow Place invite you to their annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Whaling Church on Thursday, December 18, at 6 pm. The preschoolers will be up on stage performing some Christmas classics, and then everyone is invited downstairs for cookies. Call 508-627-8607 with questions.

Seniors, don’t miss Everybody’s Favorite Chicken Marbella Lunch and Birthday Cafe at the Anchors on, Friday, December 19, at 12 noon, with special guest Adele Dreyer playing holiday favorites, on the piano. You’ll also get to appreciate the wonderful artwork displayed by the Anchors Needlepoint Group. Following lunch, stay for a screening of the movie Mau’s Last Dancer. Also, Monday, December 22, from 11 to 11:45 am, come say Hi to the High School Leadership Class and join in on a game of charades. You can continue to get to know our Island teens. At the last Meet and Greet, you may have discovered that many of the students had connections to the Anchors with grandparents and parents. Very cool to make these connections! To sign up or find out about future events, call 508-627-4368.

Mark your calendars: Featherstone will host a winter field trip to the Worcester Art Museum to check out the Flora in the Winter show on January 29. To RSVP, for more info, or if you have questions please, call us at 508-693-1850 or email Veronica at veronica@featherstoneart.org.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Albert Lattanzi, who celebrates December 19; to Meghan Kill, December 20; to Dave Rossi, December 21; to Kelly Hess and Salissa DeOliveira, December 23; and to Michael Brown, December 24. Have fun, folks!

I’ve been on the road with my gram and gramp, Ted and Floss Morgan, this week making our semi-annual trip to New Orleans to visit with Fred Morgan and family, the first-born of the Morgan tribe. Grampy spent time at the WWII Museum, where he and several other veterans were honored in a Pearl Harbor Day luncheon. Grammy once again enjoyed whipping about the Quarter in a pedicab, which has come to be her preferred form of transportation.

We were able to catch up with the next generation on this trip — my cousin Kelley’s kids, Morgan and Baxter Hebert. Gramp, Uncle Ted, and 10-year old Morgan hit the links together, continuing a legacy of club-throwing and knuckle-biting from great-granddad, to granddad, to kid. The night before, over trays of crawfish, Baxter, age 7, shared with us worlds of truth while decimating 18 saltines in rapid succession. Everyone had a great time, full of laughs, fun, and dat good Cajun cookin’.

We have a new Edgartonian, folks! Chris and Jamie Ann Greene welcomed daughter Colby Elaine Greene to the world on Friday, December 5. Big brother Christopher is currently hiding all his toys.

The snowy owl is back. That’s right, my father’s bane returneth, but just in time for the writing of this column, Dad finally — finally — saw the owl with his own two eyes. So no need to mock him all winter this time around. There goes so much material straight out the window — or over the dunes, as the case may be.

Guys, Santa is coming! Can you believe it? That’s right, this weekend, the Christmas in Edgartown celebrations will officially kick off this, the most wonderful time of the year, as the fat man rolls down Main Street in traditional Edgartown style: seated atop an antique fire truck. The weekend’s jam-packed agenda will include tours, open houses, beer tastings, bargains, parties, craft fairs, cookies, lighting displays, Teddy bears, and of course, nonstop Santa! For a complete schedule of events, visit edgartownboardoftrade.com, though there are a few highlights I think you all should know about.

First off, Edgartown’s own Brian Ditchfield will be headlining a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival event Friday, December 12, at 6:30 pm, with his short, theatrical reading of a story based on Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, followed by a screening of the classic Christmas movie, A Christmas Story. Brian’s story, A Child’s Christmas in Edgartown, alternates between Dylan’s tale and his own words, beginning with the line, “It was the morning of Christmas Eve and Simon and I strayed from his family’s farm…,” and I’m pretty sure we know which “Simon” he is referring to and which “family farm.”

Sara Piazza will be hosting a Christmas carol sing-along by the fireplace on Saturday, December 13, from 2 to 6 pm at her home and photography studio, 117 Upper Main Street. This should be a rousing good time. Call 617-872-6110 with questions.

Other events include a Dickens Village display with trains at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts; local artisans craft fairs at the Edgartown School and The Newes from America Pub; a gift wrap station at Lighthouse Properties, to benefit Habitat for Humanity; Donaroma Nursery’s Evening of Enchantment; the lighting of Edgartown Lighthouse, the Chowder Contest, and of course, the Christmas parade.

The Charter School will host a Big 80s Dance Party and Rock Auction at Dreamland this Saturday at 6:30 pm. Auction items include a plane ride from Katama Field with Capt. Livingston Taylor, a new freezer full of local meat and seafood, an authentic clambake for 12 at Hancock Beach, and tons more. Plus DJ Jay Araujo will spin some dance tunes for all to enjoy.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Cindy Andrews, who celebrates December 12; to Tommy Smith and Denis Toomey, December 13; to Jen Freeman, December 14; to Lauren Florio, December 15. Have a ball, y’all!

It seems we’ve gone straight from turkey comas to decking the halls without time to blink. I suppose that’s the way it goes when Thanksgiving falls so late in the month. Throw out your decorative gourds — it is time for fragrant greens and silver bells.

Several people got a head start picking out their Christmas trees this past weekend — among them, the DeOliveira clan was all smiles and ruddy cheeks, as veteran tree-picker Mateo and first-timer Luiza settled on their favorite.

Kevin Searle got himself a little Charlie Brown tree to decorate, which I don’t know how he’ll find the energy for after completing the marvelous holiday display on brother Glen’s Chase Road lawn. You’ve really outdone yourself this year, buddy! Kevin would like me to let everyone know that there is a box for canned goods on the premises for the Food Pantry, so once you’ve had your fill of oohs and ahhs, pay it forward with some grub for those in need.

With a toddler and an infant “helping,” decorating has held a particular challenge for Derek and Brooke Avakian. Son Cooper was clever enough to recognize a football-shaped Christmas ornament, and got in a good quarterback snap before discovering that small glass footballs are not for throwing. Oopsy!

The Jordans had a full house for Thanksgiving, with all the kids coming home. Collette, Philip, and Stevie arrived as expected, and then Jen surprised her folks after quite the journey from her home in York, Maine.

Watch for Edgartown residents Nils Aldeborgh, Caley Bennett, Erik Faber, Kayla Goldman, Jared Livingston, Darby Patterson, Sara Poggi, and Michaela Rivard, who will be performing in the MVRHS Minnesingers concert at the Whaling Church December 12 and 13 for Christmas in Edgartown. More on Christmas in Edgartown next week, of course, but be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss these talented singers.

Next on the agenda for Tom Dresser and Jerry Muskin in their Music on Martha’s Vineyard tour will be a fun event at the Anchors. Next Wednesday, December 10, from 11:30 am 12:30 pm, the two will host more than a book talk — they have invited Taffy McCarthy to play the guitar and sing. Tom will also speak about prominent singers and musicians who have performed at the Edgartown Whaling Church, from Tom Rush to Gale Huntington to Beverly Sills. Should be an entertaining event.

I’ve recently learned about the MV Prostate Cancer support group, which has been a great help to many men in our community during their battles with the nasty disease. The group meets at 4pm on the third Wednesday of every month in the Conference Room #1 of MV Community Services Building C. If you or someone you know might be feeling alone with this diagnosis give this group a try. Visit mvprostatecancer.org for more info.

If you haven’t checked out the MV Film Center in Vineyard Haven yet, ‘tis the season. This month, they’re featuring four holiday classics, new and old: Love Actually, Elf, and It’s a Wonderful Life on consecutive Wednesday nights in December, and a special Saturday matinee of Home Alone on December 20 at 1 pm. Live music, cookies, warm drinks, tree lighting, and more will take place in the lobby. Time to leave that trail of breadcrumbs and get out of E-town for a spell. For a list of times and other coming attractions, visit mvfilmsociety.com.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Thayer Whipple, who celebrates December 4; to Joanie Creato, December 5; to Polly Toomey, December 8; and to Galen Brew and Dale Morgan, December 10.