Authors Posts by Linley Dolby

Linley Dolby

Linley Dolby

It is that time of year to stop and give thanks, and then lay into a month of all-out gluttony. This year, I am grateful for this place that we call home. I’m thankful for the sun rising over Cape Pogue and setting out past Great Pond. For beach days that start early in the morning and continue past twilight. I’m thankful for scallops and oysters fresh from the bay, for whole bellied fried clams and calamari and melting mint chocolate chip ice cream running down chins and dripping off of sunkissed elbows.

I’m thankful for four-wheel drive vehicles, both recreationally and practically, wheels cutting tracks through sandy shores or spitting up rainwater covering Nor’easter flooded roads. I’m thankful for brick sidewalks, wooden benches, white clapboard, cedar shakes, a Main Street so idyllic and timeless, rich with history and abundant with promise. I’m thankful for the lighthouses, those GPS beacons of yore welcoming weary sailors to safe harbors. I’m thankful for those who volunteer their time and services to keep us safe. I’m thankful for friendly smiles and warm hugs and sloppy dog kisses and that it is finally appropriate to listen to holiday music on the radio.

Barbara Phillips and her unstoppable crew of Marcia Valenztas, Donna Montesion, and Dawn Gompert recently spent a fun filled weekend in Boston. The ladies visited the Frozen Ice bar in Faneuil Hall, dined in the North End, and of course, enjoyed the highlight of their trip: seeing Stevie Wonder at the Garden.

Congratulations go out to Marshall Highet, who has recently published a young adult science fiction book, Spare Parts. Check out this tale of creatures from different worlds coming together. Watch for book signings as early as this weekend.

The Edgartown School PTA invites you to wear your Eagle pride on your sleeve quite literally. Hoodies and t-shirts (long and short sleeved) will be on sale for the next few weeks to increase school pride and raise money for the PTA. Visit to stock up for yourself and those on your holiday shopping list.

Check out the Felix Neck Fall Festival, Friday, November 28, from 11 am to 3 pm, a tradition held annually the day after Thanksgiving. Now in it’s 24th year, the festival features hayrides, face painting, wreath making, crafts for kids, live music by the Flying Elbows, and live birds of prey from New England Reptile and Raptor. For more info call 508-627-4850. Felix Neck is also seeking volunteers to help with the festival.

Another Thanksgiving weekend tradition is the annual Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society performance that will take place Saturday, November 29, at 7:30 pm at the Old Whaling Church. This year’s concert will feature the music of Bartok, Brahms and Schumann performed by Stephanie Chase (violin), Scott Woolweaver (viola), Scott Kluksdahl (cello), and Delores Stevens (piano). Tickets may be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert on in advance at

Birthday wishes go out to John Morgan, who celebrates November 29; to Ryan Ruley, November 30; and to Willie Bailey and Mark Smadbeck, December 1. Have fun, and gobble gobble.

I have found myself staring at the calendar a lot lately, trying to wrap my brain around how we have nearly arrived at the holidays. The ads are here, the press releases for holiday fairs and bazaars are flooding my inbox, and the wild turkeys seem to be in hiding.

The Edgartown third grade made the traditional pre-Thanksgiving outing to Plimoth Plantation to learn about ye olde New England and spy the famous Plymouth Rock. My niece was among the participants in the pilgrim pilgrimage, and it was interesting to hear her speaking with my grandmother (her great-grandmother) about how the site has changed over the decades. When Grammy was a child, she remembers just seeing the rock, but no plantation, and that there was an ongoing problem with people chipping off pieces of the rock to take home as contraband souvenirs, while nowadays, Caroline assured us, the rock is protected by a fence. I have yet to make the trip myself, but it sounds like everyone had a fun and educational time.

The Edgartown Patrolmen’s Association played host to 71 seniors at the Fire Station for their Annual Fall Feast on Friday. Feasters enjoyed crab cakes, beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, and pumpkin pie. In addition to the food, a lucky few were chosen in a drawing, claiming gift certificates to Island businesses as well as one of the abundance of pumpkin pies left over.

Congratulations to Vera Thornton on launching her new website,, where you can find information about Vera’s real estate brokerage venture. Go check it out.

The always-popular Appraisal Day will be back at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum on Saturday, December 6, from 9 am to 3 pm. Experts from Skinner, Inc. will provide appraisals and evaluate the public’s prized objects and collectibles. Skinner may consign items with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the museum. Reservations are required for all appraisals. Each individual is allowed to bring up to three items for appraisal. Early reservations are encouraged: this event usually does sell out. To make a reservation, call Jessica Johnson at the Museum, 508-627-4441, ext. 117 or e-mail Please be prepared to give a brief description of your item(s) when making reservations.

The Federated Church of Edgartown will hold its Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths on Thursday, December 4, 5–7 pm, in the Parish House on 45 South Summer Street, Edgartown. Seventy-five originally designed and hand-decorated natural wreaths, for home and business, will be on display in the meetinghouse and available for sale. Admission to the Parish House party includes beverages and hors d’oeuvres. There will be a special wreath raffle, holiday basket raffle, and other surprises of value. Proceeds will benefit the maintenance of the 1832 Sara Mayhew Parsonage. For more information, call Marna Waller at the church office at 508-627-4421.

The Wharf Pub will host a Rebeccah J handmade leather goods party, Sunday, November 23, from 1 to 4 pm. The holiday season is on its way, and it’s the time of year to start shopping, and it’s always nice to support a local artisan. Leather earrings, bracelets, wallets, and more will be available for sale, so go buy [me] something awesome!

Featherstone will also offer the opportunity to keep your shopping local this holiday season. They will hold their 12th Annual Holiday Gift Show Preview Party on Friday, November 21, from 6 to 8 pm. With affordable gifts made by Island Artists, this is an excellent time to find one-of-a-kind items for friends and loved ones. Jewelry, clothing, scarves, stocking stuffers, and ornaments are just a handful of items that can be found at the show. The Holiday Gift show will be open every day from 12 to 4 pm from November 22 to Dec 21.

Birthday wishes go out to Nancy Morris, Chris Lyons, and Katie Brewer, who celebrate November 25; and to Doriana Klumik, Willy Bishop, and Lee Welch, who celebrate November 26. Have a good one, folks.

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Warner Hess, left, as the crab Sebastion, hams it up with Ariel, played by Amelia Craig. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The Little Mermaid was the topic on everyone’s lips last weekend, as the Edgartown School Junior High took the stage to tell the age old Hans Christian Anderson tale through words and song.

Two performances took place Friday and Saturday evening under the direction of Donna Swift and Kelly Sullivan in the Edgartown School gymnasium. Sea creatures kind and cruel and, of course, crabby swarmed the set replete with costumes and backdrops ably constructed by the young thespians themselves.

Wyatt Belisle and Amelia Craig. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Wyatt Belisle and Amelia Craig. —Photo by Michael Cummo

Younger siblings eagerly looked on, yearning for their chance to someday grab the spotlight on the same stage. Proud parents applauded, and teachers nodded along — and some even walked the boards themselves to add to the all-hands-on-deck spirit of this year’s production.

“Flounder’s hair looks like a blue Mohawk,” exclaimed one young theater-goer of Ariel’s fish friend, played by Heather Kirwin.

“Wait until you see Mr. Faber!” warned another, remarking on science teacher David Faber’s role as a princess alongside several other brave educators. From MCAS prep to comic relief, what won’t these courageous souls do for these kids?

But while we are on the subject of the students, let’s talk about the talent. Amelia Craig put her pretty soprano to work in several solos as our mer-heroine, Ariel. Warner Hess was a crabby clawed delight as Sebastian, scampering about, bidding Prince Eric, played by Wyatt Belisle, to go on and “kiss dee girl.” Scuttle, played by Carina Cataloni, and Chef Louis, played by Avery Simmons, provided the laughs with their respective knowledge of cutlery and celebration of its uses.

Caitlin McHugh was a powerhouse in her role as Ursula, along with her sidekicks, Flotsam (Rhanna DeOliveira) and Jetsam (Zack Vukota). Pilot Ryan Murray manned a steady helm above the waves, while Josh Pinto as King Triton kept peace below. And the quintet of mermaids played by Savannah Reed, Raven McCormack, Kazara Aldeborgh, Jovanna Lowell-Bettencourt, and Avery Simmons flurried about prettily all the while.

The onstage action was complemented by offstage creativity, particularly in the concessions for sale in the lobby. Crab cookies, fish cupcakes, and blue-frosted pretzel sticks as well as the crowd-pleasing good ol’ Vlasic “sea cucumbers” provided ample nourishment inspired by the ocean’s depths.

Saturday night’s performance was followed by many thank-yous and offerings of flowers and gifts. First came the bouquets from students to the dynamic duo of Swift and Sullivan. Next the leaders thanked the crew behind the scenes, a group of seven or so black-clad stagehands who ensured smooth sailing from scene to scene. Finally, this school year’s departing eighth-graders were presented with gifts to commemorate their Edgartown School theater careers.

From actors to light techs, providers of sustenance to adoring fans, The Little Mermaid was a collaborative success. It clearly takes not just a village but the entire lost city of Atlantis to raise a production such as this, and there was not one “Poor Unfortunate Soul,” but a plentitude of smiles to be found “Under the Sea.”

Where is everybody, you wonder? They’re all out scalloping. My husband, Dave, found his first amateur scalloping venture quite a success, as my freezer and my belly will attest. Everyone seemed to be out on Sunday dragging in their allotted family haul, then in driveways over barrels shucking shells.

Randy Walpole was out recently and ran into Tommy Teller as he came in with his haul. He invited Mr. Teller to stop by his place later and take some scallops home. What he didn’t expect was that Tommy would show up with his own scallop knife and start shucking by his side. The two swapped stories of Edgartown back in the day, and Randy showed Tommy the fish that his father had caught decades ago in the Derby, which is proudly mounted on Randy’s wall.

Some did not have quite the same positive outcome with their first try at scalloping, despite research and elbow grease. I won’t mention names. But Bill Jacob coincidentally had a lovely Sunday morning on Chappy with Cheri Mason and their K9 pal, Jack, hanging by the water with a broken five-gallon bucket.

It’s almost time to hit the slopes for the Edgartown School seventh grade, and they could use your help. They are currently selling raffle tickets for a cornucopia of prizes to raise funds for their annual trip to Gunstock. Raffle items include gift certificates, pies, hand-painted placemats, and more. See a seventh-grader to purchase tickets, or visit Pamela Alwardt in the school’s front office. The drawing will be held November 20.

Grace Preschool will host a Turkey Run on Saturday, November 22, at 9 am in Vineyard Haven. The children will run from Bunch of Grapes to Owen Park with oranges, water, and medals at the end. This year, the kids will be accompanied by an actual turkey. All money will benefit the preschool’s enrichment program, which supports local artists and programs. For more info, call 508-693-0332.

Kids, it’s never too early to plan for the new year. So grab your parents and get down to the Children’s Room at the Edgartown Library this Saturday, November 15, from 12 noon to 4 pm to decorate your own 2015 calendar. Bring favorite photos that you would like to include, and everything else you need will be provided. Call 508-627-4221 for more info.

As part of this year’s celebration of the centennial of the Panama Canal, the MV Museum is opening a new exhibit on November 13 titled “A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama.” The exhibit explores the Vineyard’s connection to the famous project.

After the French began construction of the Panama Canal in 1881, the United States finished the project and opened it on August 15, 1914. George Washington Goethals, known today as “the Genius of the Canal,” oversaw the completion of the project after others failed several times. George was a member of the Island Goethals family, and the Museum has a rich collection of information on him including postcards, historic photographs of the construction, and documents exchanged during the process. The exhibit will debut in the Museum’s Spotlight Gallery and be on display through December 10th. Visit for more info.

The Senior Fall Feast is Friday, November 14, at 3 pm, sponsored by the Edgartown Patrolmen’s Association, and held at the Edgartown Fire Dept. Free! Sign up with Donna at the Anchors, 508-627-4368.

Join Herb Foster on Wednesday, November 19, at 10 am for the first in a series of walks to visit historic Vineyard WWII sites. Herb, one of the authors of Martha’s Vineyard in WWII, will lead the walks. The first walk will include Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary Trail and the Ruth and Ed Brooks Trail, which offers views of the pond and John Butler’s Mudhole. The walk will leave from the Anchors. Call 508-627-4368 to sign up.

Birthday wishes go out to Jennifer Hanna and Alicia Nicholson, who celebrate November 16; to Jennifer Klein, November 18; and to Susan Murray, November 19. Have a good one!

Wow, that storm last weekend was something else! We had some big branches down around the yard, one of which crashed into our garbage bin so loudly, we jumped out of bed. We were relieved to see the house and car intact, but that garbage bin will not make it through many more of these storms.

Some folks with off-Island plans this weekend found themselves stuck — for better or worse. Donna Goodale’s plans to see the Dalai Lama speak were sadly scrapped, while Alyssa Starzyk’s intention to put in a work day on Nantucket, I’m guessing she wasn’t too disappointed to miss.

The proud, the few, the Patriots fans were not to be outdone by some silly storm. Many made plans to spend the entire weekend off Island to avoid any Steamship-related SNAFUs. Others could very well have surfed over on the back of a dead whale, like that guy in Australia last week. I’m not sure of his exact method of transport, but birthday boy Dave Garvin made it to Gillette to celebrate with his brothers, Gronk, and 68,000 of his closest friends. Luckily for all, the weather was not amenable to the full donning of Mr. Garvin’s birthday suit.

It was a very happy Halloween for Melanie and Nick Prescott, who warmed their new home with a few friends that evening. A lone trick-or-treater knocked on the door and looked on in dismay as instead of promptly addressing his bid for candy, Melanie ran in the complete opposite direction, rushing to get a camera to capture her first ever trick-or-treater. She was so excited, that little pirate could easily have robbed and pillaged his way straight to the bottom of that candy bowl.

I am so excited about the MV Museum’s new exhibit on Nancy Luce, my favorite of all our historical figures. I have been fascinated by the “Chicken Lady” and her three-legged cow since I was a little girl. And I had no idea until I received the press release from the museum that we potentially share a birthday. This explains some of my wackier tendencies, I suppose.

“Madonna of the Hens” will open on November 7, with an opening reception in the museum Galleries from 5 to 7 pm, and will remain on display through January 31, 2015. The exhibit celebrates 200 years of Nancy Luce and looks back at the life and writings of this enigmatic and now beloved “Chicken Lady.” Nancy eked out a meager existence by selling eggs, small books of poems she wrote about her beloved flock of chickens, and photographs of herself to curious passersby. Her story is full of loneliness, but it contains compassion, love, and even moments of fierce joy.

The exhibit will feature original poetry books and artwork, letters to and from Nancy, and objects from her home. It also includes her chickens’ tombstones and contemporary art that was inspired by Nancy and her legacy. As part of the exhibit, the museum will host a program Thanksgiving weekend that includes modern poetry inspired by Nancy and a closer look at her life and legacy. Chief curator Bonnie Stacy will facilitate the program dedicated to the chicken lady on Saturday, November 29, at 3 pm in the museum Library.

Be sure to catch the talented thespians on the Edgartown School in their performance of The Little Mermaid Jr., which will take place Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8, beginning at 7 pm. The play recounts the familiar tale that takes place in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, where a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she’ll have to defy her father, the king of the sea, escape the clutches of an evil sea witch and convince a prince that she’s the girl with the perfect voice.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Tim Defelice, who celebrates November 7; Edison Parzanese, November 9; Jen O’Hanlon, November 10; and Meg Rottman, November 11.

The scarecrows have been popping up all over town thanks to the Charter School children in anticipation of that spookiest of holidays: Halloween. Soon the streets will be filled with ghosts, pirates, superheroes, boxy Minecraft people, and so very many tiny Elsas, all in search of tricks and treats with a bias toward the treat side.

The O’Hanlons started their celebration last week with a pumpkin-carving party in the back yard. Grace hosted the tinies, while Tom and Jen entertained the bigs, and everyone had a good time. From what I hear, the bouncy house was a big hit.

Congrats to the McGroarty crew at MV Wine and Spirits on their first full year in business up at the airport. If you haven’t checked out the store yet, get up there. They have a vast selection of craft beers, in addition to all the old standbys you could possibly require. So go grab yourself some holiday-appropriate pumpkin brew — and tell them Linley sent you.

Happy anniversary to Dan and Laura Townes, who celebrated 12 years of marriage on October 26. Here’s to many more!

All right, folks. I know you all trust me for the lowdown on your Hallow’s Eve plans, so I will try not to disappoint. Here are the places to be if you are young, old, or in between.

First off, for the kids, the Edgartown School will host their Annual Spooktacular Halloween Fest Thursday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 7 pm in the gym. The event will include games, treats, surprises, and of course a costume contest.

A Halloween dance for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders is scheduled for October 31, from 7 to 10 pm at Alex’s Place at the YMCA. Go check out the laser light show, live DJ, and enjoy some snacks.

The Edgartown Board of Trade will present their annual Happy Haunting festival downtown on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. Participating shops will offer trick-or-treating, and you can stop by Backwater to enter the costume contest. Next up, bring the kids to the Kelley House for a Dance-o-Rama family dance party in the Chappy room from 12 noon to 2 pm.

For the grownups, Edgartown Cinemas will play the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Friday, October 31, at 9 pm. Saturday, November 1, the Atlantic will host their annual Halloween throwdown, complete with DJ and costume contest.

Join Holly Nadler to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Edition of Haunted Island. The edition boasts six new chapters, including one about the ghost at the Anchors Friday, October 31, following lunch at 1 pm. Buy a copy of Holly’s book at Edgartown Books, and she will sign it at the Halloween Lunch. For info, call 508-627-4368.

Kids of all ages: Don’t miss the Third Annual “Truckin’ MV,” Saturday, November 1, from 11 am to 1:30 pm, in the MVRHS parking lot, hosted by Vineyard Montessori. You are invited to see, touch, interact, and explore dozens of cool big trucks and vehicles, including fire trucks, police cruisers, cherry pickers, and excavators. Food and snacks will be available for purchase, as well as raffles, games, and more. For more information, visit or find Vineyard Montessori on Facebook.

The Harbor View Hotel and Kitchen Porch will co-host Swine & Dine: A Celebration of Heritage Pigs, a series of events that underscore the importance of local farm communities, from October 31 to November 1. Jan Buhrman, the founder of Kitchen Porch, will lead both of the weekend’s events, held at Harbor View Hotel.

Festivities include the Local Smoke-Out on Friday, Oct. 31, 6–8 pm, featuring all-you-can-eat local pulled pork and an assortment of homestyle food, local beer from Bad Martha Beer, live music by Good Night Louise, and pig masks for guests of all ages. On Saturday, Nov. 1, the celebration continues with the Grand Gala from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The evening will include a discussion with Jan Buhrman about raising heritage-breed pigs, and Kari Underly, a master butcher and James Beard-nominated author of The Art of Beef Cutting, will explore the process of butchering and preparing humanely raised pigs. Guests will also enjoy a six-course dinner featuring bacon-wrapped Vineyard scallops, braised pork shoulder, and bacon ice cream with lardo shortbread and pecans. To register for Swine & Dine, please visit

Birthday wishes go out this week to Michael Brisson, who celebrates October 30; to

Heather Lee Van Murphy, November 1; to Paul Moreau, November 2; to Kiernan Komarinetz, November 4; and to Brice Contessa, November 5. Have fun!

What a busy weekend in Edgartown! With the Food and Wine Festival taking place in venues throughout town, the Pumpkin Festival over at Morning Glory, and the final Derby weigh-in — not to mention, about eight thousand weddings — town was bursting at the seams.

Kudos to the ladies at the Board of Trade on another successful weekend of food, wine, and fun events. I made it to one of the wine tastings on Friday, and the room was packed. From what I understand, nearly every seminar, tasting, and party was sold out. Bravo.

Congrats to the winners of the Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, and to all the organizers and volunteers for another successful year on the books. A special shout-out goes to Brice Contessa for his Grand Slam win, which is awarded to the angler who weighs in the heaviest aggregate (total weight) of the four species of fish in the tournament — that is, a striper, a blue, a bonito, and a false albacore. Brice is only the second fisherman in Derby history to accomplish this feat with a flyrod. I love the spirit of this prize, because it truly reflects the joy of fishing, and Brice really embodies that joy.

We had a visit last week from my two biggest fans from the Lone Star state, Tim and Matt Morgan. The two were in town to visit family, and Matt, who hasn’t made the trip in a couple years, had a full agenda. From a musical sit-in with Sara Piazza and Co. to lobster dinner, Matt managed to cover all the bases in a short amount of time.

The winter migration has begun. Tim and Laura Bryan have packed up the truck and headed for their off-season digs. Kevin Ward and the Keldi crew set off on their course to Florida. Fair winds and following seas everyone. We’ll see you next year!

I mentioned last week that Tom Dresser and Jerry Muskin have been making the rounds to promote their new book, Music on Martha’s Vineyard. This week, I sent a request out to Tom for some tidbits about Edgartown folks and places represented in the book. Tom mentioned a piece about Kevin Keady of Chappaquiddick, whose song “One Way Home” is featured in the Chappy Ferry Book. And of course, the legendary Hot Tin Roof is well represented. The book recounts the time all five Taylor siblings were on stage, singing away. Kate Taylor recalls, “There wasn’t room to fit a paper clip on stage. All of a sudden, who should appear in the wings but John Belushi! With his uncanny physical agility and grace, he did a couple of cartwheels across the front of the stage, grabbed a mic, sang a couple of numbers and waved good-bye to the screaming crowd.”

You can catch Tom and Jerry at the Edgartown Library, Wednesday, October 29, at 7 pm, to learn more about the book, and get the lowdown on your favorite musicians and the musical history of the Vineyard.

Fall Electronics Disposal Day will take place Saturday, October 25, from 9 am to 2 pm at MV Community Services. Recycle your personal or business old and tired air conditioners, cell phones, computers, copiers, dehumidifiers, fax machines, microwaves, monitors, laptops, printers, ranges, refrigerators, scanners, stereo equipment, televisions, washers and dryers, and so on. Your small fee will benefit MVCS and all of their much needed programming.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Maria Thibodeau, who celebrates October 24; to Paula Dello Russo, October 25; and to Heather Smith, October 27. Hope you all have a good one.

I get up to take my dogs out at 4 am every morning (rest assured, we promptly return to bed once everyone’s rituals are complete), and I’ll tell you, there are few things that make it worthwhile to rise that early, in my bed-loving opinion. One, of course, is the crisp starry sky, in which I can make out Orion and maybe a planet or two (no one is arguing with my planet identification at that hour). But my favorite thing about 4 am is hearing the bell of the Old Whaling Church peal so clearly through the noiseless dark.

I imagine what it must have been like to wait and listen throughout the village for this old stalwart of time-keeping to declare lunch time for the worker bees, and of course, the end of another long work day. For kids, five dongs decreed: it’s time to drop the bicycle and the marbles and the jump rope and come inside for dinner.

When I was little, we had the fire station horn wailing at lunchtime each day, as well as that special code we eagerly waited to hear with our noses pressed to frosty glass windows, watching the snow fall — I believe it was two honks repeated three times that signalled a snow day. And then there were the harrowing honks declaring someone in distress — somewhere, something was on fire, and we had no indication of whether that thing was small or large, brush, car, or God forbid, someone’s house.

Amazing to think of these times before cell phones and Facebook and all of the static and bustle of a future we could hardly imagine. And somehow, we got by.

I remember one day when the fire horn was stuck and rang out incessantly for hours until someone was able to fix it. We walked around all day with our hands over our ears. And a funny story about the Whaling Church bell: several years ago, after the bell was restored and set back to work, a man visiting Edgartown with his wife came into a Town Hall office and requested that the bell be “turned off” at night, because it was affecting his sleep. After some discussion (and perhaps a covert eye-roll or two), it was suggested that the fellow bring his request to the Board of Selectmen, who would meet the following Monday. But he of course would be gone by then. Sorry, bud. Someone needs a lesson in Old New England charm.

Okay, enough reminiscing — we have some business to discuss.

Congratulations go out to Steve Ewing, who will receive the Creative Living Award, established to recognize members of the Vineyard community who embody the spirit of Ruth Bogan, who, in the words of her friend Ruth Redding, was a “gallant woman who loved beauty, who loved the Vineyard and who believed ‘anyone can do anything.’” In addition to having built most of the private docks on the Island, Steve is a conservationist, public servant, family man, and storyteller. He has served on innumerable conservation committees, is a charter member of the MV Scottish Society, and was the first Poet Laureate of Edgartown. Yes, he is also a poet. You may have heard one of his pieces at the opening of the Annual Town Meeting.

The Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard is pleased to announce that in a ceremony on Thursday, October 16, at 5:30 the Grange Hall in West Tisbury, Steve Ewing will be awarded the 2014 Creative Living Award. The public is invited to attend. This will be the 32nd year of the Creative Living Award. The evening will also include a drawing for guests to win the opportunity to award $1,000 to Island nonprofits. This drawing was made possible by the 11 members of the Permanent Endowment Board who donated $1,000 to demonstrate their commitment to fostering philanthropy on the Vineyard. The winner of the drawing will donate their winnings to the Island nonprofit of their choice.

Jerry Muskin and Tom Dresser will give a talk at the MV Museum on Wednesday, October 23, at 5:30 pm on their new book, Music on Martha’s Vineyard, just published by the History Press. The book comprises great stories about the musical history of the Vineyard.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Omar Mohamed and Alex Schweitzer, who celebrate October 16; to Dean Golder, October 17; to Caroline Taylor, October 20; and to Sara Piazza, October 22. Have fun!

One of the best things about this time of year in my opinion is fresh acorn squash. I find myself imagining new and different ways to work this favorite ingredient into every meal. From squash stuffed with sausage and rice to squash lasagna with alfredo sauce to squash soup with white beans and kale, much of my fall is spent in epicurean squash fantasy. And last night did not disappoint. While y’all decorate your tables and stoops with fall veggies — well, I assure you, things are very seasonal in my belly.

A funny thing happened over at Sweetened Water this past Sunday. My father was doing his usual morning rounds in the yard and spied seven or eight turkeys hanging out on the roof of the house. Ever the amateur photog, within moments the iPhone was out and he was snapping a ton of pictures to disseminate by text. One of these photo texts went straight up the road to the Avakians, with the caption, “Turkey dinner tonight, bring cranberry sauce.” Well, somewhere between my father’s phone and the others, the picture was lost in the cellular ether. A few hours go by, and Dad gets a call from Bob Avakian wondering what time he is expected for turkey dinner, and the two surmise that the photo did not make the transmission. No, there will not be turkey dinner. Just a joke. Miscommunication resolved. Moments later, the phone rings again, and it’s a disappointed Gail at the other end, fresh home from Stop & Shop to lament, “But I already bought the cranberry sauce!” Turkeys: 1, Sweetened Water: 0.

Congratulations to Zach Townes, who has been taken on as a full-timer with the Edgartown Police Department. We are all fortunate to have this awesome dude out on the streets keeping us safe, always with a smile on his face.

The third annual Walk for the Animals will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 (rain date: Monday, Oct. 19) at Tradewinds Park in Oak Bluffs — this year, with a Halloween twist. Participants are encouraged to bring their pets in costumes, and prizes will be awarded. Anyone who likes to walk is welcome, whether you have a pet in costume (or not) or you just want to walk by yourself or with two-legged friends. All may start their walk anytime between 10 am and 12 noon. Registration forms are available online at, our Shelter page on Facebook, and all the veterinary clinics on the Island. Call the Shelter, 508-627-8662, or Duncan Ross at 508-693-0541 for more information or directions.

Featherstone will host their 11th Annual Chocolate Festival October 11 and 12, with a preview party Friday evening, Oct. 10, from 6 to 8 pm in the Gallery and under the Featherstone Tent. Your entry donation includes endless chocolate treats and hands-on chocolate art making in all mediums. Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12, the Festival will take place from 12 to 4 pm each day. Taste chocolate concoctions made by Island bakers, artists, and chocolate lovers at the annual festival at Featherstone Center for the Arts. Pay-as-you-try chocolate treats for everyone. Call 508-693-1850 or email for further information and to reserve your space for the preview party.

The Anchors is now offering Mindful Movement: Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Kung) Thursdays at 10 am. Enjoy meditation in motion. Release unnecessary tension, gain balance and flexibility of joints and muscles, focus the mind, move more easily with less impact, strengthen healthy breathing patterns and increase vitality. Gain energy without expending energy. This 8- to 10-week session is for beginners and those with experience. All welcome, including drop-ins. Each session reviews and builds on previous sessions. Clear, easy-to-remember foundational movements become a basic practice for home, or the basis for further study. For more information, call 508-627-4368.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Patrick Smadbeck, who celebrates October 9; Kraig Mundt, October 11; Chris Dolby, October 12; Dan Deslauriers, October 13; Laurie Norton, October 14; and Phoenix Malfa, Sara Leandro, and Emily Dwyer, October 15. Hope you have a blast.

Jason Shemit wheels a 93-lb. pumpkin and its owner, his daughter Addison, 3½, down Anthiers Way in Edgartown. Neighbor Paul Jackson invited Addison to pick out a pumpkin from his garden. – Joan Shemit

Ride along Beach Road right now on a given Saturday, and the other side of Senge looks like a never-ending carnival of big white tents. Downtown, packs of people dressed to the nines wander aimlessly before finally giving in and asking directions to a particular church — and maybe a good place to get some coffee, while you’re at it. It is the season of love on Martha’s Vineyard, as brides and grooms and their entourages are everywhere you turn your head.

Among the newly wed are a few of our own. Lisa Barbini exchanged vows with Fran Detoma this past Saturday in Sturbridge, and many friends and family were there to partake in the joy. Luckily, Dick Barbini was not allowed to select the dinner menu for the event; otherwise, it would have been bologna sandwiches all round! Man, that guy loves a bologna sandwich. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness, guys!

Meanwhile, the Magnuson crew bore witness to the vows of happy couple Rachel Magnuson and Raphael Gonzalez in Onset. Wishing you all the best for a lovely future.

Also on tap this season are those autumnal colors popping up all over my Facebook feed. You would think the page was sponsored by Ocean Spray or something, the way the pictures of apples and pumpkins take over. Babies smaller than pumpkins, toddlers larger than pumpkins, dogs dressed up as pumpkins — they are all represented. And the apple-picking and apple-baking and apple-tree-climbing! Cider, please! The DeOliveiras got their fill of the apples out in Sturbridge, all smiles and ruddy cheeks. I have never picked an apple, but it does look like fun.

Get on down to the Anchors and check out some art. Susan Sellers will be exhibiting her plein air paintings of Island and Maine landscapes during October. A draftsman, graphic artist, and sign maker, Susan considers her fine art freeing, and works in an expressionistic manner. Visit her work at

Lily Morris of Chappaquiddick will offer her beautiful large-format landscape photographs for sale in an elegant benefit event this Columbus Day weekend. The event, called “Shine,” will take place Oct. 11th, 12th, and 13th from 10 am to 8 pm at 129 Indian Hill Road in West Tisbury (first mailbox past Christiantown Road). Local hidden treasures made by Vineyard artists and artisans will be offered for sale in an exquisite setting, in the warm and welcoming environment of a lovely private home gallery, with delicious snacks provided and beautiful products available for purchase. A portion of the sale benefits “the sameheart,” a documentary film by Len and Georgia Morris, which proposes a way to end child poverty.

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. Members and visitors greeted the exhibition that resulted with great enthusiasm, encouraging it to occur again. Beginning Oct. 1, the museum will begin accepting entries for the second contest. A panel of judges from the Island’s art community will jury the competition, and the winning portraits will debut at the Museum’s summer opening reception on June 12, 2015, and remain on display through the summer. 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 Oct. 18, 2015. Visit for further info.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Tricia Willoughby, who celebrates Oct. 2; Andrea Dello Russo, Oct. 5; Kacy Hintze, Oct. 7; Susan Koerner and Mike Dow, Oct. 8. Hope you all have a good one!