Authors Posts by Megan Alley

Megan Alley

Megan Alley
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The cooler temperatures are creeping in more frequently, but occasionally warmer days fool us into thinking that summer is everlasting as they tease us with unexpected heat. How worrisome to see how dry everything is, as no longer is our view of the landscape one of lush green but brown dying grass and drooping perennials and leaves. We are now wishing for rain that is so badly needed.

Along with the cooler weather comes the annual migration of the spiders, whose path seems to be directly through my house. Never have I seen such a strange variety: small black ones, swinging tiny tan ones, and then the marathoners, who scurry across the floors so swiftly that they vanish out of sight before I can swat them. It makes me wonder if rumor has it that my home is a branch of Ramada Inn for spiders.

Our library wants to remind patrons that starting Oct. 1 through Feb. 25, 2015, the Alphabits Storytime program runs every Wednesday at 10:30 am. There will be songs, stories, and alphabet crafts with Ms. Zoe. This program is for ages 1½ to 5 years old, and there will be a new letter each week.

Congratulations to Tristian Gromoshak, an Oak Bluffs fifth grader. Tristian was awarded honorable mention for his drawing for the 2014 Kids Day T-shirt contest for the annual Bluefish Derby, and was awarded $25 in “fins” (checks from the Derby to spend at Island businesses).

On Sept. 30, Flatbread Co. will host a benefit night for the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

A celebration of the life of Chilmark resident Beatrice “Beach” Phillipps Bennett, beloved wife of Bill Bennett, is Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury from 2 pm to 5 pm. If anyone would like to bring a dessert to share, they would be very welcome to do so.

The ACE MV Course Sampling Fair is Wednesday, Oct. 1, at MVRHS from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Come meet the teachers, register for classes (36 different classes being offered), and sample delicious food prepared by their cooking instructors. Reminder: There is a $10 late fee if you sign up on the day of the course, so register now. For more info, call Diane Abbot at 508-693-9222.

This Friday, Sept. 26, is your last chance for the season to have one of Grace Church’s famous lobster rolls, which are sold from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, along with a cold beverage and chips. Assorted pies and hot dogs are also available. For information or to order in advance, call 508-693-0332.

“Meditation and Mindfulness: Calming the Mind, Reducing Stress, Optimizing Well-Being” led by Elliott Dacher, M.D., begins its fall session on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Classes are held Wednesday evenings at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Medical Staff Library, 6 pm to 8:15 pm. The eight-week series is co-sponsored by the hospital and the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard. Preregistration is required. Tuition is $150, $130 for YMCA members, $75 for hospital employees. For more information, email Iryna Demedenko at MVHmeditation@partners.org or call 508-957-9476.

Saving the best for last, heads-up for a another delicious Portuguese-American Club fish fry on Oct. 2 from 5 pm to 7 pm. Head to the club and enjoy this always tasty dinner with many tempting sides and numerous desserts.

We send birthday smiles to Susie Wallo on the 26th; Dennis Rose, Lauren Metell, and Keilla Geddis on the 27th; Martin Moreis, Raymond Dahill, and Zachary Mathias on the 28th; and Happy Anniversary wishes to Bernie and Mark Crossland on Oct. 1.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Morning greets us with lingering darkness now as the days are shortened.  For some reason my lab Molly is already arising earlier and earlier in spite of my attempts to convince her that 5 am is not 6 am so please go back to sleep for one more hour. The landscape is tired, as if the effort of presenting a beautiful view during the summer has been exhausting and this, along with a lack of rain, results in dying flowers, drooping foliage and leaves on trees changing color and dropping already.

The Oak Bluffs School, already busy welcoming students, is preparing to acquaint parents and guardians with the staff and programs. You are invited to weekly meetings every Wednesday at 8:30 am in the school library. In these meetings, you may ask your questions and voice concerns.

You will also have a chance to visit your child’s classroom and work when the school hosts Back to School Nights beginning at 6 pm on the following dates: Grade 3, Thursday, Sept. 18; Grade 2, Tuesday, Sept. 23; Grade 1, Tuesday, Sept. 30; Kindergarten and Project Headway, Wednesday, Oct. 1; and grades 5 through 8, Wednesday, Oct. 8.

A free Health Fair open to the public will be held on Monday, Sept. 22, from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Tisbury Senior Center in Vineyard Haven. Tests include glaucoma, hearing (call for an appointment), blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. There will also be information on elder care, homecare and more, including refreshments and giveaways. For info, call 508-696-4205.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold the 13th annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Edgartown Lighthouse Children’s Memorial at 1 pm, Saturday, Sept. 20(rain date Sept. 27).

The idea for creating a memorial at the base of the Edgartown Lighthouse belonged to Rick Harrington, who envisioned it as “one more light to leave on” for his late son Ricky. Very quickly the concept grew into a way to memorialize the many children who have died by placing an engraved stone at the base of the lighthouse. In the past year, 26 new stones have been added with names of children of all ages and from across the country. The ceremony is an opportunity for families and friends to gather and remember all of the 651 children who are part of the Memorial.

The Museum is steward of the Edgartown, East Chop, and Gay Head Lighthouses and caretaker of the Children’s Memorial.

Stones may be purchased by contacting Betsy Mayhew at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at bmayhew@mvmuseum.org or by calling 508-627-4441, ext. 112.

Here is a chance to support Martha’s Vineyard Community Services: If you purchase items through amazon.com, please consider adding MVCS as your charity of choice. Instead of going to the main Amazon site, shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchases to MVCS. Sign in using your regular Amazon account information and use the search box to find Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Bookmark the site, and when you make future purchases MVCS will be saved as your charity of choice.

In partnership with M.V. Regional High School’s Environmental Club, members of the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative Ocean Sustainability-in-action Project will participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup with a cleanup from 10 am to noon on Sept. 20 of the Tisbury Harbor beach.

Autumnal Equinox Family Yoga will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 10:30 am at our very active library. Celebrate the changing season with family yoga with Ms. Sondra. Stuffed Animal Storytime will take place on Sept. 16 from 10:30 to 11:30 am, and Scrabble and chess will be held on Sept.  20 from 10 to 12 noon.

We send birthday smiles for the month of September to Aidylberg and Woodside residents: William Sullivan, Eileen McLaughlin, Spencer Hilton, Florence BenDavid, and Emma Goldhorn. Smiles to Ronnie Klein on the 19th, Corey and Amber Medeiros on the 20th, Ruth Metell and Ruthie Van Brakle sharing the 21st, Alice June Thompson on the 22nd, Ken Davey, Ann Metell, and Annabelle Metell on the 24th, and Dustin Shaw on the 25th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Now this week starts with the weather that we think of as first days of school in September. Sunny, dry, and very comfortable. My street is very busy every morning with children headed to school. Many riding bikes, some driven in cars, and most walking with a parent and accompanied by another sibling in a stroller. However, an awful lot of the parents, mothers especially, are so focused on their cell phones that I wonder if they realize they are missing a wonderful opportunity to communicate with their children. Please re-think this and don’t miss these precious moments.

I feel most grateful and cared for  this week by all my neighbors, relatives, and friends. Apparently Saturday, when on my way to 4pm Mass in Vineyard Haven, I took off my lifeline as I was driving out of the driveway. And wouldn’t you know, I accidentally set it off. By the time I got to church, my neighbor Mike told me to be sure to reset my alarm when I got home, and then Fr. Nagle said he had just received a strange email from Susie with the same message. When I checked my cell phone after church it was loaded with messages from my family. Thanks to everyone from the friend who called my daughter at the beach, who called my grandson at the airport, who called an EMT friend and my neighbors Mike and Susie, who went to the house to reassure the responding EMTs and Firemen that I was well and safe in Vineyard Haven. Sorry for all the commotion and thanks so much everyone for your caring responses.

Save the date for the Oak Bluffs celebration of Tivoli Day. It will arrive in Oak Bluffs for the 37th year on Saturday, September 13. It is either the celebration of summer’s end or the beginning of the shoulder season. The fun starts at 10 am, ends at 7 pm, and takes place all along Circuit Avenue, which is closed to traffic for the event.

The 4th Annual Jena Pothier Ring Challenge is also on Saturday the 13th.  To date over $13,000 in funds has been raised.  Show your skills and see who will be the champion at catching the most rings in this annual fundraiser to support the Jena Pothier Flying Horses Scholarship Fund, where 100% of the proceeds benefit MVRHS students.  There are four categories: Mini Junior (up to age 8), Junior (ages 8 to 15), Adult (16 and up). Professional can be any age, you know who you are. Cost is $10 per entry and a table will be set up to register participants all during Tivoli Day. The event starts at 4:30 pm.

So just to keep you extra busy, also on Saturday is the George V. Tankard, Jr., Memorial 5K Road Race, sponsored by the MVNAACP. The race starts at 11 am at the Wesley House, and you may register on Friday from 7 to  9 am or on Saturday from 8 to 10am. This race is a Scholarship Fundraiser.

Even though summer is ending, our Library continues with its many programs. The Ring-A-Ding Story Time takes place every week on Wednesdays at 10:30 am until September 25, when it will be

replaced by Alphabits Story Time. This new program will start October 1, on every Wednesday, and run through February 25, 2015. Children will enjoy songs, stories, and alphabet craft with Ms. Zoe. Program is for ages 1 1/2 to 5 years old. A new letter will be featured each week.

Little Yogis (yoga for children) takes place on Thursdays each week from  4 to 4:45 pm through May 28, 2015, with Ms. Sondra for children age 4 to 11 years.

Hoopfest will be held on Saturday, September 13, at 10:30 am, featuring hula hoop games and fun for kids age 3 and up.

A very special party will take place at the Library on Friday, September 12, from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Please join everyone as they thank Rosemary Hildreth for her 20-plus years of service to the library and wish her well in her retirement.

Come to Featherstone to see the sparks fly at the first annual iron pour on Martha’s Vineyard. On Saturday, September 20, from 10 am to 9 pm, you can celebrate the revival of the industrial arts with the casting of 1500 pounds of molten metal. You can enjoy the day by simply watching or you can create your own piece of cast iron art. Purchase a scratch block $30 or a scratch bowl $50 (limited). Scratch block carving from 10 am to 6 pm, metal pouring from 7 to 9 pm, rain or shine.

Belated huge birthday smiles to Ann Tuccelli, who celebrated her 90th birthday on August 25. Ann now resides at the Glenridge Nursing Home in Malden. For many years she worked, along with her sisters, at the family business on Circuit Ave., Mary’s Linen Store. Birthday Smiles to Emily deBetttencourt on September 12, my daughter Mary Alley on the 13th, Florence BenDavid on the 15th, followed by Rick Kelly on the 16th.Patty Morreis, Kathy Burton, Natasha Huffam and Vani Personi share the 17th. Happy anniversary to Rick and Pat Kelly on the 17th also.

Enjoy your week.  Peace

Megan-AlleyWelcome to September with visions of cooler weather and less crowded streets, stores, and beaches. How quickly the summer flew by. Labor Day passed quietly. It is supposed to be a day to honor all workers, but I am sure most employees did not spend the day relaxing but attended to their jobs. Just to put things in proper perspective and so you won’t feel sorry for yourselves, here are some wage figures from the Oak Bluffs town report for 1960. The Police Chief’s wage was $4,200, Fire Chief’s $300, Harbor Master $250 and the Treasurer $1,900. So things have improved a bit since that time.

School opens today and before we know it students will be engrossed in their studies and   extracurricular activities. Please be aware that students will be gathered at the bus stops and riding and walking to the school, so take extra care in driving.

For the second year in a row our Oak Bluffs Library won a blue ribbon at the fair for their book display. Congratulations for your hard work.

Programs upcoming at the library are: the Oak Bluffs Writer’s Group, today from 10 am to 12 noon. The Book Babies group will also meet today, from 10:30 to 11:30 am, and the Little Yogis program is from 4 to 5:45 pm.

Each month we screen a different movie from a new era. Themed games, trivia, and fun —  period clothing optional.

Stuffed Animal Storytime will take place on September 5, 10:30–11:30 am. Bring your favorite pal to storytime for stories and songs. Great board games of Scrabble and Chess take place on September 6 from 10 am until 12 noon.

Throwback Thursday Movie Night is on Thursday, September 11, at 5:30 pm. Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, and Grace Kelly join forces in this classic thriller, with Hitchcock trivia, 50s name game, and refreshments.

The school would like to remind parents of all incoming kindergartners that the office needs a copy of every child’s birth certificate and immunization record before they can start first grade. Sweet Dianne Rhoades, sister of Donna, is celebrating her 61st birthday today, Sept. 4. If you see her at Windemere, at the Federated Church of Edgartown, or out and about, please give her a hug and continued wishes for optimal health.  Her friendly smile is contagious.

Birthday smiles to Skylar Christopher Hall on the 6th, Susan Phillips on the 7th, and Ryan Araujo on the 10th.

Enjoy your week.

Peace.

Megan-AlleyAre things any quieter? A bit perhaps. The sounds of helicopters roaring overhead late Sunday evening signaled the departure of the President and his family. They were not the only visitors leaving our Island. Many people who had come here for a short stay, perhaps to see the Illumination night celebration or the fireworks show, and students returning to their schools and also freshmen, excited to start off a new path in life, have also left. But we still have much to see and do, as always.

Just so you won’t get bored, the Trinity United Methodist Church is sponsoring a benefit Jewelry Treasure Hunt sale. There will be jewelry for sale to please everyone’s taste at a variety of prices. The sale will take place on Saturday, August 30, at the Parish House in the Campground. Doors will open for the sale promptly at 10 am, no prior admittance and will last until 3 pm or perhaps a little longer.

Friends of the Edgartown Public Library are sponsoring the second annual Pennywise Path 5K run/walk on Monday, September 1. Register online at  edgartownlibrary.org or at the front desk.

For the first time in memory, starting on Labor Day, September 1, St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven will be the only Catholic Church in Good Shepherd Parish on the Island  open for Masses until Memorial Day 2015. Starting on Saturday, September 6, through October 12 the schedule will be Saturdays 4 pm and Portuguese Mass at 7 pm. Sundays there will be services at 8 am, 9:30 am, and 6 pm.

Then starting Saturday, October 18, until Memorial Day , the Saturday schedule will remain the same but Sunday is changed to 9 am and 5 pm. St. Elizabeth’s and Our Lady Star of the Sea will be shut down for the winter. St. Augustine’s has been insulated and a new heating system installed. It is hoped that this will be a wise economic move.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is opening its latest exhibit on August 29, depicting three generations of artists from one family. Although a little tongue in cheek, Moore and Moore and Moore, the show’s title, declares that the talent just keeps coming. This exhibit reveals the connections and relationships of three artists: landscape painter Nelson Augustus Moore, his great-great grandson Andrew Gordon Moore, a realist painter who lives in Oak Bluffs, and Hannah Moore, Andrew’s daughter. The exhibit will open on August 29 with an Opening Reception in the Museum Galleries, 5–7pm. Admission is free for Museum members and $7 for non-members. Children under 6 are always free. The exhibit will remain on display through October 25.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, Oak Bluffs Police Chief Erik Blake will walk up to 26.2 miles along the historic Boston Marathon route in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai. He will join an expected 8,500 walkers with the goal of raising more than $7.5 million for the Jimmy Fund for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, bringing the event’s 26-year fundraising total to more than $100 million. It raises the most money of any single-day walk in the nation. To register for the walk or to support a walker, or to volunteer, visit JimmyFundWalk.org.

Head to the Oak Bluffs Senior Center to enjoy another Friday Conversations program. On Friday, Sept. 5, 10–11:30 am, our guest speaker will be a new, young literary find: Stanley Kissel, who found his muse at age 75. Stanley, a summer resident of the Vineyard, will discuss his third novel, Murder In Swing Time. He will also discuss his approach to writing, and why he started so late in life. This novel is an old-fashioned murder mystery and private detective yarn that takes place in New York City, post WW II.

Throwback Thursday Movie Night on September 11 is a classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The movie starts at 5:30 pm. There will be Hitchcock Trivia; 50s name games and refreshments.

Flatbread Benefit Night: Join us for a fun night at Flatbread Company, on Airport Road, on Tuesday, September 2, between 5 and 9 pm. The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will receive a percentage of the pizza sales for the evening (either eat in or take out). Once again, a silent auction will be featured with exciting, unusual, and distinctive items to bid on. Good humor will prevail as friends try to outbid one another for these great items. Invite your family and friends for this end-of-summer event to support the church and its mission. All ages and sizes are welcome!

On Monday, Sept. 8, 5:30–6:30 pm, there will be a legal clinic presentation at the Tisbury Council on Aging on Pine Tree Rd. The subject of Arthur Bergeron of Mirick O’Connell Law Firm will be “Dealing with Alzheimers: At Home, in Assisted Living, or in a Nursing Home.” He will be joined by representatives of Alzheimers Association and Elder Services of Cape & Islands. Register at the Council 508-696-4205; a light meal will be provided.

The Annual Evening of Music on the Lagoon will be held at Jim and Pam Butterick’s house at 359 Barnes Rd., Oak Bluffs on August. 31 at 6 pm. Come and enjoy wine and appetizers at sunset on the Lagoon on the last Sunday of summer, and listen to the fabulous pianist Adele Dreyer play “Rhapsody in Blue,” to be joined afterwards by musician extraordinaire Peter Boak for duets. Donations of any amount will be accepted for the Federated Church Organ/Music Fund and/or Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. For questions email antispung@aol.com.

We Send Birthday Smiles to Liz Wilson on the 29th, Pam Melrose on the 30th, and Nancy Giordano and Sean Flynn on the 31st. September birthday smiles start with Tony Ferreira on the 1st. Ed BenDavid Sr., Evelyn Christopher, and Valarie O’Donnell share September 2. And let’s give Robert Pacheco the day off from Reliable Market on his birthday, September 3.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Megan-AlleyOne of the things I look forward to in the summer are real tomatoes. The gardens are suddenly filling up and overflowing with those fragrant, delicious fruits. No more, at least for a while, of tomatoes that do not smell, taste, or seem like the real thing.  Now we must scramble for different ways to cook and preserve them for future enjoyment. I am starting to realize why it takes me so long to complete routine matters. As I pass the kitchen windows, I am distracted by the birds and their antics at the feeders and before I realize it I have been watching for some time.  Heading to the bedroom, the window flower boxes in those windows are now drawing me closer, first just to admire the flowers and then observing the busy bees as they float from blossom to blossom in search of pollen. Some are already so heavily laden with pollen that as they alight on flowers, the stems bend downward from their weight. How fascinating it is to watch their work until I am jolted into the reality that perhaps it is time for me to imitate them and also be busy as a bee!

Can it possibly be that summer is winding down?  This week has brought us the Grand Illumination, the Agricultural Fair beckons us to West Tisbury, starting today and running until Sunday evening, and of course our Town’s own grand finale, the Fireworks show in Ocean Park Friday night.

Be prepared for parking restrictions, re-routing of traffic and altered bus schedules. But the resulting show of fireworks is worth the temporary inconvenience and is enjoyed by thousands of all ages.

This time of year also brings the exodus of not only our summer guests but also students returning to their studies at off-Island institutions. Among those entering college for their first year are Katherine deBettencourt, the daughter of Michael and Erin deBettencourt, who has chosen to continue her education in Florida where the weather is a bit warmer in the winter than here on the Island. Katherine will also be able to continue playing  golf, a sport which she excelled at as a member of the MVRHS golf team. Mary Alley will take her son and my grandson, Jeremy Alley-Tarter, to  Assumption College in Worcester this week, where he will be busy with his environmental science studies and track activities.

As these students head off Island for future adventures, there are enough activities here to keep our heads spinning.  The Sullivan 5K Run/Walk event for the whole family takes place this Saturday around East Chop.  For info, log ontomvhospital.com/runwalk.

Oak Bluffs School students can access the Oak Bluffs School web site for a list of supplies you will need to start school in September, and more helpful info.

The Oak Bluffs Library will host an author’s visit on Wednesday, August 27 at 4 pm. Author Amelie Loyot will discuss her book, “Vanessa: The Sea Serpent of Martha’s Vineyard.”  This program is for all ages and is a free event.

Although he had an interruption to his vacation to head back to Washington, D.C., for a few days this week, we do hope that President Obama and his family were able to enjoy vacationing on the Island. It didn’t seem to me that down-Island traffic was impacted by his visit much more than it is on an ordinary summer day. But as for up Island, that is probably a different story. Hopefully, for a few hours at least, he found some peace away from stress and criticism.

We send birthday smiles Tony Ratcliff today, Ginny Hall, Leon Holt and Erin deBettencourt share the 3rd, Christine Anthony on the 24th, Ken Rusczyk on the 26th, Erika Bettencourt on the 27th, grandson Chris Alley and the brothers Marchand Andrew and Matthew on the 28th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Megan-AlleyWelcome to August, which usually means that our lawns and flowers are starting to look a bit dried up and not so beautiful. But thanks to some timely rain showers, things are still bright and beautiful. Of course, the crowds and therefore traffic lines seem endless. Everyone says drivers and visitors behave badly during August. Perhaps by now we are all exhausted and frustrated by fighting traffic and waiting in long lines and actually trying to be nicer than we really are. That is impossible to do for more than five minutes, so the next time you are ready to explode because of someone’s rude or stupid maneuver, try saying, “Oh my goodness gracious,” and you will find it is impossible to lose your temper.

A Backyard Music Concert — a fun, music event for the whole family — will take place at our own Oak Bluffs Library. On Saturday, August 16, 6–7 pm, the Rye Brothers jug band returns. Bring a blanket, picnic, and friends for a concert on the lawn (indoors if raining). This is a family-friendly band.

Friday Morning Conversations at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center continue to bring in interesting speakers. On Friday, August 15, from 10 to 11:30 am, the guest speaker will be young Philadelphia author Jon McGoran, who will discuss his newest book, “Deadout.” “When Martha’s Vineyard’s bees begin to mysteriously die off and a biotech company plans to release genetically modified bees into the environment, a vacationing Philadelphia detective discovers that the bees aren’t the only things being modified. Things spin violently out of control as he closes in on what they are really up to, and he must race to stop them before their plot succeeds, and spreads to the mainland and the world.”

The Children’s Author storytime  at the Library on Wednesday, August 20, starts 10:30 am. Come and meet author Christie Jones-Ray, and hear about her book,  “Eliza Visits Martha’s Vineyard.”

Last weekend, accompanied by my sister, Ann Hearn, and my daughter, Mary Alley, I went north to Lebanon, N.H., for a Bagley family reunion. What a great time it was; I met cousins I knew from childhood and met many more for the first time. There were close to 80 first cousins, second cousins, spouses of relatives and all were connected to the Bagley family.  Each family had a table displaying photos, letters etc. that gave a history going back for years. I realized that the last time I went away for a vacation was seven years ago, but this one was worth the wait.

The Sullivan 5K Run Walk is on Saturday, August 23. Kids fun run starts at 8:45, walkers at 9 am, and runners start at 9:30 am, For more info log onto mvhospital.com/runwalk.

We remember Jenna  on the 17th and  send birthday smiles to Russ MacDonald on August 18, my son Dion Alley and Becky Rogers on the 19th, and Marilyn Wey on August 20th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Got Oak Bluffs news? Email Megan Alley here.

 

Megan-AlleyI seem to be spending a great deal of time at my kitchen sink lately and it is not because I am in love with washing dishes. It is because in front of the sink window, is my new “squirrel-proof” bird feeder which is actually working: most of the time the squirrels find it too frustrating to figure out. But working well it is, bringing in all species of birds, and even the many cardinals, usually ground feeders, are able to perch happily and feast away. Watching them all sweep in like a rainbow of colors and activity and chirp away, as if relating the latest news in the neighborhood, is peaceful way to begin the day.

People have come up with some wonderful ideas for revitalizing downtown Oak Bluffs, but there was one suggestion that I would discourage. That is the idea of laying cobblestones in some areas. As someone who uses a cane, I can testify how difficult it is to walk along the streets and sidewalks, and the brick areas are especially challenging. Many of our daytrip visitors use canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, and trying to wend their way along a cobblestone surface might prove too challenging.

Both good entertainment and support for the MV Center for Living, the Island Theater Workshop will present a benefit performance of Peter Pan on Friday, August 15, at 7:30 pm at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center. Directed by Kevin Ryan, the play will benefit several Center for Living programs and services for Island seniors, The Supportive Day Program (a social day care program for elders), The Medical Taxi Program, the Emergency Food Program, and the Support Group for families coping with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementia issues. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $12 for children. Call 508-939-9440 for tickets and information.

The Oak Bluffs Senior Center is hosting an open house on Wednesday, August 13, from 3 to 6 pm, when they are opening the doors for everyone who is 50 or older. There will be great food and beverages, music of the 50s and 60s to take us down Memory Lane, and Door Prizes from Oak Bluffs merchants drawn every 15 minutes. The afternoon is being sponsored by the Friends of the OBCOA.

A movie on the life of Maya Angelou will be shown at the Senior Center on August 14, starting at 1:30 pm. All are welcome.

You still have two more chances to enjoy the Sunday evening band concerts in Ocean Park. So mark the following dates: August 10, August 24. The concert will be in the Tabernacle for Illumination night and on August 24 it’s back to the Park. All concerts start at 8 pm.

Condolences to the family of Jane Maseda who died last week. Jane, who was a cousin of my husband, and her husband, Tony, were part of a small group that used to gather weekly to play cribbage, back in the early 50s. There were six of us in the group, which also included Jane’s brother Charlie Combra and his wife, Barbara. How much fun we did have on those nights. She was the mother of Antoinette and James Maseda and the grandmother of four.  Jane worked many years at the Oak Bluffs Library and will be missed by her many friends as well as family. We are so very sorry.

The Friday Conversation program at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center tomorrow, August 8, features speakers Tom Dresser, Herb Foster, and Jay Schofield who will be speaking about their new book “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II,” which is in a second printing. The program runs from 10 to 11:30 am. The book is filled with interviews of people who were teenagers during the war, accounts of military activities and descriptions of the war effort, including submarine activity offshore. All are welcome. There is no charge and there will be an opportunity for comments and questions. Their book will be available for sale for $20.

On August 12, Tuesdays at Twilight at the West Tisbury Grange Hall will present Spotlight on Youth, a concert showcasing the Vineyard’s best new talent. The concert is sponsored by the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association proudly presents the 19th Annual Gingerbread Cottage Tour  on Wednesday, August 13. This is one of the most anticipated events of the summer season. The tour runs from 10 am to 3 pm with the last ticket being sold at 2 pm. Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit the Tabernacle Restoration Fund. The tour includes visits to the interior of six gingerbread cottages, admission to the Cottage Museum, and delicious refreshments. Tickets are available in advance at mvcma.org or the day of the tour at the Tabernacle.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is holding its annual meeting, which will be highlighted by the 2014 Martha’s Vineyard Medal award ceremony, on Monday, August 11, at 5 pm at the Federated Church in Edgartown. This year’s recipients include Renee Balter who will be introduced by Skip Finley, Dorothy Bangs (posthumously) presented by Denys Wortman, and Richard Paradise introduced by Jennifer Smith Turner. Since 1923 the Martha’s Vineyard Museum has been the “safety deposit box” for the images, stories, objects, and voices of Martha’s Vineyard. The museum introduced the Martha’s Vineyard Medal in 2009, which is awarded annually to leaders in the community in recognition of their outstanding commitment to preserving the history, arts, and culture of Martha’s Vineyard.

Remember Hula Hoops?  I do, though I don’t recall ever being too successful at it. Well our library is holding a Hoop Fest on Wednesday, August 13, at 11 am. Activities include a Hula Hoop party and games outside, weather permitting. It will be canceled if raining. All ages can attend. Then get ready for Illumination night when the Library holds two Illumination craft sessions on Tuesday, August 19, at 10:30 am. Decorate a lantern for Illumination Night. Space is limited to 50, so pre-registration is required. This session is for ages 3 to 8 years. At 4 pm the Illumination Craft for teens will start. Again, space is limited to 15 so pre-registration required. Ages 9 and up are invited to participate.

Make plans now for a trip to Foxwoods Casino on August 26 sponsored by the Oak Bluffs Council On Aging. To sign up and for additional information, call Rose at 508-693-4509, ext. 3.

We send birthday smiles Ben deBettencourt on  the 7th, Ken Debettencourt and Bob Gatchell on the 8th, John rose on the 9th,, followed  by Danielle Sedlier and Sarah Trudel on the 10th, Deb Hammett and my daughter Kati Alley on the 11th, Terry McCarthy and Richard Mello III on the 12th and Nelson Oliver and Shaun dePriest on the 13th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Megan-AlleySummer seems to be whizzing by — unless you are stuck in traffic going anywhere on the Island this year. It seems to me that either drivers are very considerate in letting cars into the lanes from side streets or they are extremely rude and childish, coming so close to the back of your car that all you can see is the windshield or speeding around your car when you are waiting for people to go on a crosswalk and then leaning on the horn so you will notice.  Perhaps they will grow up soon and make it easier for everyone.

Crafts shows and other opportunities for early Christmas shopping take place most every week during the summer, so take advantage of these events to get some different and handmade items for the holidays. The Annual Craft Fair is being held at the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle in the Campground on August 2 from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine. Admission is free and you will find beautifully handcrafted items made by the campground residents for sale.

Have you ever been curious about the inside of some of the beautiful Edgartown houses?  Well, each year five gracious Edgartown families open their beautiful homes so that the public can tour them, for the benefit of the Federated Church in Edgartown. This year’s tour will be on Tuesday, August 12, and will feature a variety of homes from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, located at 75 and 96 S. Water St. and 80, 64, and 96 School St. in Edgartown. An introductory talk by historian Mary Jane Carpenter will be held at the Federated Church Meetinghouse at 1 pm with the tour following, from 2 to 4:30.  And after the tour, tea and refreshments will be provided at the Mayhew Parsonage on S. Water St. Tickets may be purchased at the Meetinghouse, 45 S. Summer St., Edgartown, on the afternoon of the tour.

The price is $35 per person. For information, please call Anne Vose at 508-627-7077.

Moderator Robert Iadicicco has arranged an interesting Friday Morning Conversations program at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center for Friday, August 1, from 10 to 11:30 am. The  guests will be a large group of students in The Woods Hole Partnership Education Program. They have come from all over the country to spend 10 weeks at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to study and work on marine and environmental research projects including at-sea experience. They will describe the program and their work experiences.

Just for fun, participate in the Library Lock-In on Friday, August 1, from 6 pm to 12 midnight. You will get locked in the library after hours and enjoy movies, games, and pizza. Parental permission is required and the program is for ages 12 and up.

Explore Oak Bluffs town vehicles with the Touch–A-Truck  program for all ages at the library Saturday, August 2, at 10:30 am, weather permitting. Cancelled if raining.

Join the Flying Horses Story Walk on Friday, August 8, at 9:30 am. You will walk to the Flying Horses from the library. Stop along the way to ride the carousel. Space limited to 20 children. Pre-registration is required.

On August 5 there will be a Tuesdays at Twilight concert at the West Tisbury Grange Hall featuring Dana Edelman and his Slammin’ Band. The concert is sponsored by the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

August is peach season and on Saturday, August 16, from 12 noon to 4 pm., the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will hold its fifth annual Peach Festival. This is a delicious family and community event. Come and enjoy peach treats on the lawn with neighbors and meet new friends! Enter the raffle for a delightful peach tree! They will be serving fresh peaches, peach smoothies, peaches with ice cream and peach shortcake. Baked goods to go will also be there to enjoy: Blueberry/Peach Cobbler, and Peach Pies. For those who like something tart with their peach treats, minted lemonade will be served. Look for the peach banner and bright balloons on the church fence in the center of West Tisbury.  All proceeds go to the support of the church, its missions and outreach. In the event of inclement weather the event will be held indoors.

Appraisal Day with Skinner, Inc. is Friday, August 1, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum Library, 59 School Street, in Edgartown. Appraisers from Skinner, Inc. will evaluate your prized objects in a summer version of this popular off-season event. Items may be consigned for sale by Skinner with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Museum. Reservations required. Call Jessica, 508-627-4441, ext. 117. Appraisal of one item costs $15, or three items for $40.

A reminder to adults that there will be a talk about education in Nepal at our library on Thursday, July 31, at 10:30 am. And I am sure everyone would enjoy the Ice Cream Social and Concert later Thursday, at 3 pm. Along with your ice cream, you can enjoy a Vineyard Sound Concert.

Geek the Library Art Show takes place on Wednesday, August 6, from 3 to 5 pm. There will be photographs by Eli Dagostino for our “Geek the Library” campaign with more than 100 portraits of community members. Refreshments also.

We send birthday smiles to Sofhia McGroarty Sampaio and Garrett Brown on August 1, Nancy Gardella on the 3rd, and Tricia Bergeron on the 4th. Susan Klein and Alison Reynolds share the 5th and Evamae Magee on the 6th.Enjoy your week. Peace.

Megan-AlleyEvery once in a while, someone proposes that the Town name should be changed back to Cottage City. Well, after taking a mini-tour around our Town, I think it should be changed to Cottage City of Flowers.

Flowering shrubs and garden snow lead your way to town by the bulkhead and across the street in front of the Wesley House and further along the banks on that side. Then Farland Square is a center of a beautiful multi-colored flowers. Driving up Circuit Avenue, kudos to another store owner as Fat Ronnie’s now boasts a new look with a most flattering color of new paint. All along the Avenue, including the David Healey Mall, flowers bring joy to everyone. Outside the downtown area, the P-A Club has landscaped the roadside in front of the Club. Shrubs, plantings and flowers now present an attractive site for passersby.

Cathy and Mark Peters are very proud of their granddaughter, Arrianna Peters. Arrianna was one of four freshmen to be chosen to be in the Minnesingers this year. I am sure with her beautiful voice she is an asset  to the group.

Here is a reminder for all Island artists that the annual All Island Art Show will be held on Monday, August 4, at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.

If you would like to take a break from cooking, there will be a homemade chicken dinner at the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven on July 26 at 5:30 pm.  The dinner includes the complete meal with beverage and dessert. Take-out is available and tickets are $12. For more info, call 508-693-1539.

The Island Autism Group is hosting their 8th annual fundraiser on Wednesday, July 30, from 3 to 5 pm, at The Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown. Admission is free, however donations are welcome. There will be a raffle and auction as well as light refreshments served. For further information please contact Marcy Bettencourt 508-693-2106.

On July 29, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center and the West Tisbury Library Foundation will present a showing of “One fast move or I’m gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur” at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. The movie examines Jack Kerouac’s escape from post “On The Road” fame to a cabin on the California coast, where his existential struggles became the basis of another novel, “Big Sur.” There will also be special live readings about Kerouac’s Big Sur by radio personality, author, and filmmaker Arnie Riesman and television and radio personality Paula Lyons. All the proceeds will go toward landscaping and protecting the environment around the new West Tisbury Library and to the MVFS.

Our own Oak Bluffs Library will be hosting a talk about education in Nepal on Thursday, July 31, at 10:30 am. Then, that same day at 3 pm, come and enjoy an ice cream social and Vineyard Sound concert.

Friends and relatives of Patricia Costa are mourning her unexpected death this week.  Patricia was a longtime treasurer for the Town of Oak Bluffs. She was a very public-minded person and in her quiet but firm way, a true leader. After retirement she worked as a substitute teacher at both the Oak Bluffs and Edgartown schools, where she was greatly respected. We remember her as so dependable and who could forget her many trademark fabulous hats? She was a true lady and will be missed by so many people and all those she befriended.

We send birthday smiles to Paul Robinson on the 26th, Travis Bernard, Rachel Barrett Perry, and Denise Alwardt on July 30, and Bernie Crossland on the July 31. And belated birthday wishes to Alison Rose Wilson who turned the big 30 on July 20.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Got Oak Bluffs news? Email Megan Alley here.