Authors Posts by Megan Alley

Megan Alley

Megan Alley
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What a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend we were given. The weather was warm and though sometimes overcast, the rains stayed away so the parade in Vineyard Haven went on as planned. You might have wondered where Anna Duarte, better known as “Poppy Girl Annie,” was. After many, many years of selling red paper poppies to benefit the veterans, she reluctantly retired. Let’s thank her for her devotion and service over the years.

The Memorial Day race in Oak Bluffs was very popular and many visitors arrived; some for just the weekend and others for the summer.

Many of my family members were kind enough to come, and they rebuilt the walkways to the house and I was assigned to just admire their work and grill the lunches. I did manage to read half of a new book that I would definitely recommend. The title is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” It tells the story of how inhabitants of Guernsey (an island in the English Channel) survived during the occupation by German troops during World War II. Although a work of fiction, it is true to life and very informative, as well as entertaining.

The Vineyard Nursing Association has signed an offer to purchase agreement for 29 Breakdown Lane in Vineyard Haven. The new property became available at nearly half the cost of purchasing their current building. For information about contributing to the ongoing campaign to purchase a permanent home for VNA, contact Amy Houghton at 508-696-0785 or amy@vineyardnursing.org.

At the Friday Morning Conversations at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center on Friday, June 17, from 10 to 11:30 am, the guest speaker will be author Tom Dresser, author of “The Wampanoag Tribe of Martha’s Vineyard” (see below). Tom’s book is newly available at The Bunch of Grapes bookstore.

A Summer Preview of Arts and Culture on Martha’s Vineyard will be held on June 7 from 2 to 6 pm at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Come and share your summer plans with those who promote arts and culture. This event is sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Culture Collaborative.

On June 22 from 12:30 to 4:30 pm, ServSafe Food Sanitation Training Certification and Recertification classes begin at Adult and Community Education of MV (ACE MV). The class covers all information needed for the ServSafe certificate exam from the National Restaurant Association. Pre-registration is required (online or mail), spots fill quickly. For more information, call ACE MV 508-693-1033, ext. 240.

Islanders interested in a possible Licensed Practical Nursing Program on the Island are invited to attend an informational session in the conference room at Windemere at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 7. If there is enough interest, the 12-month program would start in late fall or early winter. For more information, contact Lorna Andrade at 508-862-1953.

The final event for the One Book, One Island program will be a cheese-making lecture and tasting on Tuesday, June 14, from 10:30 am to 1 pm at the Oak Bluffs Library. Jan Buhrman and Jackee Foster will demonstrate American raw milk cheese-making, trace the history of agriculture and food systems, and compare European cheese making. A tasting will follow. Pre-registration is required by June 11. You may sign-up at the library. Space is limited for this free event.

Other upcoming events at the library are a painting workshop for young artists on Saturday, June 4, from 10:30 am to 12 noon led by Sondra Murphy. Participants may take their artwork home or exhibit it in a show on June 25. The program is free. Then on Saturday, June 11, from 10:30 am to 12 noon, Ms. Murphy will lead a sculpture workshop. Again you may take your artwork home or exhibit it in the June 25 art show. Free for all ages.

Important dates to remember at the Oak Bluffs School are June 3, Strings Concert, at 5:30 pm; June 4, Garden Party; June 6 through June 10, 8th Grade Trip to Philly; and June 7, Fine Arts Night.

Tom Dresser’s new book, “The Wampanoag Tribe of Martha’s Vineyard: Colonization to Recognition,” has just been published and is available at local stores. The book is a history of the Tribe, with interviews and brief biographies of key members. It is a readable story that brings Island history into focus.

The American Legion in Vineyard Haven is once again selling lobster rolls and clam chowder at the Legion Hall every Tuesday, from 4 to 7 pm, starting June 7. You may eat in or take out. There is ample parking, so come and help support your veterans.

We send birthday smiles to Bert Combra on June 4, my sister Ann Hearn on June 5, followed by Hilda Mitchel on the 6th. Rory Moreis parties on June 7, Bob Murphy on the 8th, and Ernestine Kinnecom on June 9.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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And here we are approaching Memorial Day Week-end again. To some, it is an occasion for picnics, big sales at stores, visiting tourists, and the start of what they hope will be a profitable summer season.

But let’s not forget the real reason for this day, which is to remember so many who were willing to give up their lives or interrupt their lives, so that we in America can live the life of freedom we have today.

Once more the American Legion asks for your help in helping to erect the 425 flags for the Avenue of Flags in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. They will start erecting the flags at 7:30 am and need assistance to take them down at 3 pm.

The parade, which will include veterans, military personnel, and Scouts among others, starts at 9:30 am from the Legion hall where it will proceed to the cemetery where there will be a brief ceremony. Then the parade will return to the Legion hall where parade participants are invited to partake of refreshments.

Ryan Lehman, who was an Oak Bluffs policeman for eight years, was honored at the Concord, N.H., statehouse for a Hero Award. The New Hampshire Union Leader nominated seven men who risked their lives to save lives of others. In December Ryan pulled a 20-year-old serviceman from a burning car in Raymond, New Hampshire. He was on duty and in the right place at the right time.

The soldier recovered and is back on duty. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double A professional baseball team based in Manchester, have asked Ryan to throw out the first pitch at their game this Saturday, May 28. Ryan is very surprised at all the attention, and he felt that he was just doing his job.

Ryan’s sister, Lindsay Lehman, and 22 other teammates from the Imma Be The Cure, walked the 39.3-mile Avon Breast Cancer walk starting at UMass Boston. They raised an amazing $67,000 through the many fundraisers they planned. Congratulations, ladies.

We have received a correction and update to information about the Chilmark Flea Market: it will be open from 9 am to 2 pm, Wednesday and Saturdays, from June 29 to September 3.

The Oak Bluffs Senior Center is planning a trip to Foxwoods on June 1. Please contact Rose at the Center for more info on this trip.

Marion Cardoza was treated to a wonderful surprise birthday party on May 12. Marion wants to thank all of the wonderful people who remembered her on her 90th birthday, including those who donated food and gave her gifts. Ray Rochon coordinated the surprise, and Marion sends out a sincere “love you” to all.

To address the need of post-natal support for our rapidly growing number of Island families, a small group of Island moms, together with health, yoga, and childcare practitioners, doctors, M.V. Hospital maternity nurses, and nurse midwives and the M.V. Family Network, have created a free series called Nurturing Our Babies & Ourselves: an educational series to enhance the parenting journey. The series will take place every Thursday in June, from 12 noon to 1 pm, at The Family Center, located at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. All are welcome, including dads and caretakers. For further information, please call 508-693-7900, ext. 288.

Congratulations to Joe Cogliano and his sister, Marguerite, who both graduated from college on May 14. Joe graduated from Morarian College in Bethlehem, Penn., and Marguerite from UMass Amherst. Their mother, Rose Cogliano, is most proud of her two children.

Oak Bluffs Ladder Co. # 551 is holding their first annual fundraising raffle and open house and pancake breakfast at the Nelson W. Amaral Fire station on May 29 from 9 to 11 am. The prize is an Apple iPad 2. Purchase tickets from any of the company members, including Walter Hammond, Thatcher Brown or Anthony, Willy, Alan, Joseph, or Todd deBettencourt or at the breakfast where the drawing will be held. All ticket holders are invited to attend.

On Memorial Day, May 30, from noon to 4 pm, everyone on the Vineyard is invited to the Annual Memorial Day Picnic at the Tashmoo Spring Pumping Station located on State Road in Vineyard Haven. Families and individuals should bring a picnic lunch, and are welcome to enjoy row boating on the pond, children’s games, pony rides for the very young, and watermelon and ice cream cones. Grilling chefs will cook to perfection the hot dogs and hamburgers you bring. VTA buses, on their regular routes, will stop at the Tashmoo Overlook on State Road to drop off and pick up passengers. Please be advised that dogs will not be allowed and the rain date for the picnic is the following Sunday, June 5.

On Saturday, May 28, from 9 to 11 am the Annual Bake Sale sponsored by the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard will be held on Circuit Avenue across from Phillips Hardware Store. You will find homemade cookies, muffins, brownies, breads, and more. Call 508 693-4424 for more info.

The VNA is pleased to accept a $2,800 grant from Our Island Club. Since 2009, Our Island Club owners Jonathan Bernstein and Geoff Rose have made annual contributions to the VNA’s Professional Education Program. Committed to employing the most qualified and highly trained caregivers, the VNA uses this fund to provide continuing education to its staff members.

We send birthday smiles to Viviane Destefani who celebrated on May 21, Jaime Reilly on June 1 and Mia Rebello on June 2.

Enjoy your week.

Peace.

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The rains are going to be our guests for this week, if the weather forecasters are to be believed. But on the plus side, all the grass and foliage is looking so nice and green and we do have the rain to thank for that.

Moments of sun in between brighten our day and bring smiles to everyone. So many activities going on that will keep us busy, but I have a problem trying to fit everything in. I think that somehow during these last few years, someone shortened the length of the days so I never seem to be able to complete all the things I have on my daily to-do list in one day. Now, I am beginning to suspect it is because it takes me twice as long to do half as much as I use to do.

Attention all “young-at-heart” Islanders over 55. Here is a good reason to put your glad rags on. Make plans now to hurry on down to the Oak Bluffs Senior Center on Saturday, June 11 from 6 to 9 pm, when the Friends of the OBCOA will be hosting a Seniors’ Prom. There will be “our kind of music” to listen or dance to, light refreshments featuring the proverbial prom punch, and a photo corner to capture your evening’s walk down Memory Lane. Couples and singles are invited. It will be a fancy night out for all. Call Rose at 508-693-4509 to make your reservations. If your name is on her list you will pay $7.50 per person. If not, you will pay $10 at the door.

Visiting for a few weeks is my sister Joyce Wadsworth from Paso Robles, Cal., who came East to attend the graduation of her two grandchildren, Ashley and James Rebello, from UMass. While here Joyce has been the guest of her former high school classmate and friend Cynthia Schilling.

The Friends of the Tisbury Senior Center are holding a soup luncheon on May 21 at noon at the Center. Come check out the delicious homemade soups and enjoy visiting with new and old friends.

The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living will hold its fifth cultural luncheon on Saturday, May 21, from 12 noon to 2 pm at The Grill on Main in Edgartown. The luncheon will honor The Whaling Wives of Martha’s Vineyard. The program speaker is Vineyard-born mystery writer, Cynthia Riggs, whose tenth book, “The Bee Balm Murders,” was released in April of this year. Cynthia’s great-grandmother, Mary Carline Cleaveland, sailed with her husband, Capt. James Cleaveland on a five-year whaling voyage into the Pacific. Mary gave birth to two daughters during this voyage. For tickets, call MVC4L Director Leslie Clapp at 508-939-9440. A musical interlude will be provided by Island musical director, organist, composer Phil Dietterich and vocalist Martha Hudson.

Bob Yapp, long-time Industrial Arts teacher at the Oak Bluffs School is retiring! Please join faculty and friends to honor him and celebrate on Thursday, June 2, from 3:30 to 6 pm at Farm Neck (under the tent). Tickets will be available at the Oak Bluffs School or you may purchase them through inter-office mail. There is a delicious menu planned and weather permitting, those that would like to join in, are invited to follow Mr. Yapp at 3:10 pm as he leads us in one of his famous walks from the school to Farm Neck.

Vendor space is still available at the Down-Island Farmers and Artisans Market at Tisbury Wharf. The market runs on Tuesdays beginning June 28. Applications are available online at www.tisburywharf.com if you click on the Farmers Market poster.

We send birthday smiles to Bob Kinnecom, Keith Crossland, and Jaime and John Pachico on May 20, Annette Moreis on the 21st, Doreen Anderson on May 22, neighbor Kay Manning on the 26th and James Trip and Connie DeFelice on May 26.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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Well the town is “in the pink,” and many other colors, as most of the spring-flowering trees and shrubs are at their peak this time of year. Take a stroll up Circuit Ave. and through many of the streets around the town and everywhere areas of bright colors from the trees or plants will catch your eye. To add to the beauty, many homes and shops are being renovated or painted. How welcoming we will look when the busy summer season arrives.

The Annual Miles of Memories Alzheimer’s Walk is Sunday May 15. The walk leaves Ocean Park at 12 noon and proceeds to the Little Bridge and back. Registration is at 11. Team Bink will be there once again and they invite anyone to join them, or they are welcome to drop a tax-deductible donation off at Bink’s Auto on Winthrop Ave. in Oak Bluffs. Checks can be made out to ASCCI (Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod and the Islands). Please consider walking for this important cause.

ACE MV is once again offering on-Island courses. On Saturday, May 14, from 9:15 am to 2:15 pm there will be an Introduction to Children’s Literature, ENL 120-64, a 3-credit hybrid course at MVRHS. On Wednesday, May 25, from 5 to 9 pm there will be a Food Safety Sanitation Mini-Course with Alice Robinson at MVRHS. You may find info and registration forms for either class at www.acemv.org.

AmeriCorps NCCC members who are working with the Stone Soup Leadership Institute this spring attended an orientation on May 4 at the MVRHS. The Youth Leadership Summit will be held from June 18 to 24. If you would like to nominate a Vineyard youth, please get an application from: www.mvyli.org or email mvyouthleaders@gmail.com

On Thursday, May 19, from 6 to 9 pm, the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group will present their gala fundraiser, “An Evening Under the Stars,” at The Granary Gallery, 636 Old County Road, West Tisbury. This will be the 25th anniversary of the event.

There will be hors d’oeuvres, beverages, desserts, and music by Mike Benjamin. Dress is casual elegance. There is a $100 per-person tax-deductible contribution in advance or at the door. For more information, please call 508-696-9849.

Congratulations to Fred and Helene Hall, who will be celebrating their 12th year of marriage on May 15. Once more, time is speeding along.

Formerly homeless, author Liz Murray has transformed her life of despair into an inspiring journey. On Tuesday, May 17, from 6 to 8 pm at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, the M.V. Women’s Network will host a talk by Liz as she takes us on her inspirational journey from street smarts to classroom triumphs and discusses her book “Breaking Night.” A book signing and dessert reception follows the program.

The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 17, at 1 pm at the Wakeman Center off Lambert’s Cove Road in Tisbury. The title of guest speaker Philip Kyle’s program is “Nature Deficit Disorder.” A hospitality hour with refreshments will follow the program. Advance registration by 5 pm on May 15 is required because seating is limited.

If you enjoyed the exhibit and program at The MV Museum, “Those who Served,” from M.V. during WWII, the Museum is sponsoring readings at the Oak Bluffs Library from this book on Saturday, May 14, at 3 pm. Many Oak Bluffs residents are featured in these readings.

Congratulations to Oak Bluffs School 2nd grade student Jason Miranda who was one of 400 students picked out of 107,000 students nation wide in the Doodle for Google Contest.

You may purchase black Oak Bluffs School tee-shirts with long or short sleeves, in sizes ranging from small children to XXL adult. This is a fundraiser for the class of 2013. Contact the school for more info.

The spring musical at the school is always most entertaining, and this year it will be presented on May 13, 14, & 15.

Birthday Smiles to Olivia Hall who celebrated May 11, special smiles to Marion Cardoza who celebrates a milestone birthday on May 12, Steve Garvin on the 14th Lester White on May 15, and Andrew Farrissey and Heidi Jardin on May 18.

More than 35 years ago, when she was around 12 years old, a young lady came running to my front door with my dog Pepper on the end of a rope. Panting from running, she said “Quick Mrs. Alley, hide Pepper, I just let him out of the dog catcher’s car.” So today I wish special birthday smiles on May 18 to Louise Dahil and again thank her for rescuing my dog.

Enjoy your week.

Peace.

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Happy May, everyone. The flowers are blooming and the sun is shining more than a moment at a time. How beautiful we now look.

The Island elections are mostly over, but the politics go on. I am somewhat disappointed and confused about the controversy surrounding Goodale’s sandpit. Why after over 50 years, it has been decided, by a few, that it is unsafe, and a detriment, and has now been referred to the commission is surprising, to say the least.

I must admit I have mixed feelings about The MV Commission, which has protected many areas of this Island, but it also been the death knell for some projects that possibly could have been negotiated more swiftly and provided the Island with some benefits. It is understandable that a further expansion might bring some questions, but can’t that be resolved with common sense and negotiations among the parties involved, not some drawn-out series of hearings and expense.

The Goodale family has always had an excellent reputation on this Island. The Christmas Tree farm along Edgartown Vineyard Haven Road near the pit was started as a reclamation area of an older pit. What a success it was with Goodale’s donating the profits from the sale of the trees to Felix Neck for many years. In the interest of full disclosure, my father, Gerry Bagley, along with some others, planted those trees, but it was the generosity of the Goodales that kept that project and other projects so successful through the years.

The Oak Bluffs Library Toddler Storytime, designed for ages 1½; to 3, takes place on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:15 am and the Preschool Storytime, for ages 3-5, takes place from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm.

Spring is here and the COMSOG plant sale will be May 7 and 8 and then until May 29 from 9 am to 2 pm each day. Homegrown organic plants, herbs and veggies, heirloom tomatoes, 15 varieties of peppers, hanging baskets, geraniums, petunias, sunflowers, zinnias and gifts for Mom. COMSOG is on New York Ave.

We are so glad that Bobby-Ann Gibson is home from the hospital in Boston. Good wishes and improved health wishes are sent her way.

Cheryl Sashin would like anyone who is interested in looking to host an inner-city child from New York between the ages of 6 and 12 from July 7 through the 14 to call her at 508-696-6421. You can get more info about the Fresh Air Fund by visiting the website at www.freshairfund.org

tThe MVRHS Minnesingers will present their 2011 Spring Show “The Music of America: Give Our Regards To Broadway” on Saturday, May 7, at 8 pm and Sunday, May 8, at 3 pm. This will be the last show for Oak Bluffs graduating seniors Jenna Lambert, Mitch Lowe, Ashley Gwynn, Grant Meacham, and Dan Reid. The show takes place at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center and tickets are only $10 ($5/students).

The Youth Task Force invites you to a free evening of food and an opportunity to discuss prom safety tips with other parents of MVRHS juniors. This event will take place on May 10 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the M.V. Hebrew Center. Food will be prepared and presented by Tea Lane Caterers.

Happy sixth birthday to Preston Averill on May 11 from his Grampy and Grammy in Arizona. Birthday smiles to Fred Hall Jr. and Todd Alexander on the 5th, Lisa Cottrell on May 8, and Marguerite Cook and my grandson Marques Rivers on May 10. Congratulations to Kathy and Andy Farrissey who will celebrate their wedding anniversary on May 6 and to Nora and Gary Jardin who celebrate their anniversary on May 11.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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The sun is starting to warm up the earth so that plants are awakening and starting to shoot up and actually blossom. How come we always wonder every spring if the warm weather will ever arrive and then every fall wonder if cooler weather will ever start? The variety is nice and everyone seems to get some of what they want.

At the Oak Bluffs Library on Thursday, May 5, from 6 to 7:30 pm there will be a program called Horseshoe Crabs: Beach Trysts and Blue Blood. Often misunderstood and in high demand for bait and the biomedical industry, the horseshoe crab plays an essential role in the natural world. Susie Bowman of Felix Neck and Fred Hotchkiss, Director of the Marine Paleobiological Research Institute, will present a free, fascinating lecture and slide presentation about these ancient marine residents of Martha’s Vineyard.

ACE MV is sponsoring a One Book, One Island event for Kids at the library on Saturday, May 7, from10:30 to 11:30 am. Learn about Slow Food with a special story time. Plant your own seeds. Sponsored by Davies Landscape.

On Tuesday , May 5, — A ServSafe Food Sanitation Training (six classes with exam) and Recertification sponsored by ACE MV will be held from 5 to 9 pm. The ServSafe class (one class and exam) with Alice Robinson will be held at MVRHS. Info and registration are available at www.acemv.org.

On Saturday, May 7, from 2 to 4 pm, Featherstone will host its 2nd Annual Garden Tea Party and Fashion Show. The tea party will feature tea sandwiches prepared by Featherstone board members and friends and tea cake desserts prepared by Cakes by Liz. Floral artist Peggy Zablotny offers her botanical collage for a raffle to benefit Featherstone programs. Judy Cunniffe, chairman of the event, will award prizes for special hats. The tea party is held in conjunction with The Art of Flowers Show, curated by Holly Alaimo, the well-known art connoisseur. The opening reception for the show will be Sunday, May 8 from 4 to 6 pm. For more information, please call Featherstone at 508-693-1850.

Friday, April 29, is Grandparents Day at the Oak Bluffs School Book Fair! Please join your grandchildren for two wonderful kid-lit events. Breakfast at 7:30-8:15 am, then join Kate Feiffer at 2:40 pm for a party to celebrate the launch of her new picture book “My Side of The Car.”

There will be a workshop “Planning for a Graceful Exit” at the West Tisbury Congregational Church on Saturday, May 7, from 10 am to 2 pm in the Parish Hall. It is hoped that it will be useful for many people on the Island, both elders as well as younger people who may be thinking about planning with and for theirparents or even themselves.

We send birthday smiles to Janet Morris on April 28, Aaron Campos on April 29, and Skip Campos on May 4. And Cee Jay Jones refreshed my memory to the fact that he celebrated his 94th birthday on April 22.

Congratulations to Peter and Helen Valentas who are celebrating their wedding anniversary today.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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Well, like the saying goes after an election, the people have spoken. They didn’t speak it loudly, but firmly. Now everyone must work together to help make the town function better. No complaining unless you are willing to come up with some hard work or good ideas.

Perhaps the flowers that now are blooming in so many places around the Island don’t just signify the start of a new spring season but of new beginnings everywhere.

School is on vacation this week and we have many visiting families here to celebrate Passover, Easter, or just spring, so be aware of walkers, drivers, bikers, and pedestrians everywhere.

Island United Methodist Churches will be open for individual or guided prayer on Good Friday, April 22, (The Stone Church) 12 noon to 6 pm, Trinity Worship Center (MV Campground, Oak Bluffs) 6 pm to 12 midnight, Chilmark Community Church, open all day.

On Easter Sunday, April 24, the schedule starts with the beach sunrise service across from Ocean Park at 5:30 am; 6:15 am, annual Easter Morning breakfast at Trinity Parish House; and 9:30 am, Community Easter-Egg Hunt at Trinity Parish House. Easter Sunday Worship Service will be held at Trinity Worship Center, Oak Bluffs at 10 am.

Who is the best dancer in your family? Battle it out with Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience for Wii. All ages. Family Wii Time at the Oak Bluffs Library will take place on Thursday, April 21, from 3 to 5 pm.

Our son, Dion, and daughter-in-law Deborah have been visiting from South Carolina this week along with their children, Ben and Paige. We have all kept busy with cook-outs and family get-togethers as the children enjoy “hanging out” with their Island cousins and relatives. They have been wonderful playmates for my yellow lab Molly and love her to pieces, as she does them.

The MV Center for Living urges Vineyarders to participate in Sharkey’s Cantina’s “Dine to Donate” on Tuesday, April 26. Sharkey’s owner, JB Blau, has provided Vineyarders with a painless way to make a charitable donation and enjoy a fun night out while doing so. The Center for Living will receive 15 percent of the food sales from both Sharky’s Cantinas, located on Circuit Ave. in Oak Bluffs and Upper Main St. in Edgartown. Each and every Tuesday a different nonprofit organization is helped through this generous community effort by Sharkey’s.

John Gillis and his wife, Sandy, arrived here after a cross-country trip to reconnect with Tisbury High School classmates, including Paul Conroy and Father Tom Lopes. John was the brother of my close friend and classmate Jacquie, who died a few years ago. On Tuesday, I gathered a few of Jacquie’s friends and classmates together for a small get-together at the house where we shared a meal and spoke of fond memories we had of high school at Tisbury during the Fifties, and John filled us in on Jacquie’s large family. Surprisingly he said he didn’t think there were that many changes on the Island. Guests included Sarah and Mike Shepard, Bill Carroll, Allan Davey, and of course the Gillises.

The Oak Bluffs School Spring Book Fair will run right after Spring Vacation, April 25 to May 6, from 8 am to 4 pm in our library.

Our annual kindergarten orientation will take place on Wednesday, April 27, in the Oak Bluffs School Library from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

For our 8th grade project, help the environment and help us raise funds for our school technology department. Bring us your old electronics: cell phones, cameras, MP3 players/iPods, GPSs and gaming consoles. There will be a box in the office and Ms. Dorr’s room (8th and 7th grade science teacher). The electronics will get recycled or reused, and Oak Bluffs School will get any money raised. Bring in the electronics with any chargers or accessories in a plastic bag.

We send April birthday smiles to those who reside at Aidlyberg and Woodside Village, including Merle Beaulieu, Carl Greer, Anita Cimino, Ralph Silva, Clark Maffit, Mary Nichols, Dorothy Worden, Lorraine O’Callaghan, Margaret Leather, and Charles Mckay.

We send birthday smiles to Gloria Steere on April 23, Peter Martell and 3-year-old Isla Cunniffe on the 24th, Donna Pacheco and Andy Farrissey on the 25th, and 16-year-old Patrick Garrett on the 26th.

Enjoy your week.

Peace.

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A trip to the Oak Bluffs Post Office was always a social event. You could be sure to meet people you knew and some that you didn’t, but it seemed as if everyone had time to greet one another. Then of course during election times you would have to run the gauntlet of the political candidates, who were suddenly your best friends.

Now that adventure has changed for me. After much thought it seemed that it would be easier and better if I had my mail delivered to the box on my street. It meant changing my mailing address to my street address but also required a change in town from Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven. I love not having to worry about a parking place or wondering if I would be able to walk the long distance to get my mail.

But I do miss conversations in the mall, meeting people I usually only saw on my way to the mail, including the Mayor of Oak Bluffs, AKA Hamburger, inquiring about my health and filling me in on humorous news; and the Moreis sisters, Murial and Annette, who always found time to converse with me. For more than 50 years I have traveled that path almost daily.

My thanks to Postmaster Paul Leonard and his wonderful staff who have been so obliging, professional, and friendly over the years. Your service has been outstanding and I shall miss you all.

Here is a heads-up to remind you about the oldest outdoor venue on the Island, the “Flea” which has evolved into a market like no other. It offers high quality handmade items from Vineyard artists and craftsmen, antiques, imports, and vintage finds. The Flea Market will be open from 9 am to 3 pm. Wednesday and Saturdays, starting June 29 and running until September 3. It’s located in a field on North Road across from the old schoolhouse, three miles from either Menemsha or North Tisbury. Contact the Chilmark Church for further information, 508-645-3100.

The Oak Bluffs School garden and greenhouse team is looking for fans, a thermometer, and a barometer as well as seed donations. Please notify the school if you can help out.

ACE MV is offering professional development courses in early May including Introduction to Children’s Literature through Cape Cod Community College, ServSafe Food Sanitation Training and Re-certification, and a Food Safety mini-course. Online pre-registration is required. For more information, call ACE MV 508-693-1033, ext. 240.

The United Methodist Church announces its Holy Sunday service schedule for April 17. There will be a Palm/Passion Sunday Worship Service at 10 am at the Old Whaling Church. There will be no service at the Trinity Worship Center in Oak Bluffs on Palm Sunday. Refreshments will follow in the Baylies Room. Information: UMC-MV office 508-693-4424.

On Thursday, April 21, a Christian Seder Supper which includes soup, roasted chicken, with root vegetables and dessert will be served at 6 pm in the Baylies Room, Old Whaling Church. Reservations are required with a charge of $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. For reservations, call 508-693-1608 by Sunday April 17.

Vineyarders are invited to nominate a young person (ages 15-18) from Martha’s Vineyard to serve as a delegate to the 2011 Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development which will be held from June 18 to 24. Visit the MVYLI website to find the application at www.mvyli.org.

The 5th graders at the school are doing a fundraiser to raise money for their Shenandoah sailing trip this summer. They are doing a beach/trail cleanup around Oak Bluffs, asking people to pledge a donation per hour that they clean up to a maximum of three hours. It is hoped that the kids can really help offset the cost of the trip with this new type of fundraiser. Call the school for more info.

If you are looking for a new kind of entertainment for an event you are planning, check out a new Oak Bluffs business called MV Bounce House rentals. They can be reached at 508-326-1155.

Congratulations to Alicia Oliveira, who has been accepted as a student at Providence College for the fall of 2011. Alicia is the daughter of Margaret and David Oliveira, and they are very proud of Alicia.

We send birthday smiles to Nicholas BenDavid on April 15, Mark Baird on the 19th, and Shelby Ponte and Cee-J Jones on April 22.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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I think the person in charge of weather knows the rhyme April showers bring May flowers, because rain is in the air and is forecast for the next week at least. Here is hoping that May flowers will follow so it will all be worthwhile.

The MVCenter4Living is holding its fourth cultural luncheon on Saturday, April 9, from 12 noon to 2 pm at The Grill on Main in Edgartown. The April luncheon will honor the Jewish community and will offer a closer look at the influence of the Jewish people and culture on the Vineyard. Speaking on this month’s theme are Vineyard-born residents Ruth Cronig Stiller and her daughter, Gayle. For information and tickets, call director Leslie Clapp at 508-939-9440 or email mvcenter4living@gmail.com.

The Chilmark PreSchool Spring Celebration is happening next weekend, Saturday, April 9, from 10 am to 2 pm. It is a fun-filled, family event for the Island community, offering great food, games, face-painting, crafts, baby chicks for petting, pony rides and more.

Have you been dreaming about backdoor donuts? Well The Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Cafe and Bakery will open for the season Thursday, April 14. First night for backdoor donuts is Friday the 15th, so mail your taxes and grab a warm apple fritter or donut between 7:30 pm and 12:30 am!

On Monday, April 11, from 6 to 8 pm Featherstone Center for the Arts Gallery will be featuring Market-Art. This is co-Sponsored by Featherstone Center for the Arts and Vineyard Voice. The four panelists include Nancy Shaw Cramer, owner of Shaw Cramer Gallery, Elizabeth Whelan, artist, businesswoman, and designer of brands and marketing campaigns, Jennifer McCurdy, world-renowned ceramicist and Patrick Phillips, online and video-based art-community builder Register at www.mvwomensnetwork.org.

The Oak Bluffs School spring show is under way! Middle school students have begun rehearsals for “The Beatles Extravaganza.” Once again the show is also open to younger students if they have parental supervision. Show dates are May 13, 14, and 15.

On Saturday, April 16, from 10 am to 12 noon, celebrate Earth Day by helping Oak Bluffs School students and friends clean up Jetty Beach (also known as Marinelli Beach) by the East Chop Beach Club. Then enjoy a barbecue at SBS as a thank-you for your efforts. Sign up at the entrance to the beach that day. There are raffle prizes for kids. Bags will be provided. Bring gloves and beautiful weather! This is the 19th Annual Beach Clean-Up!

The Vineyard Committee on Hunger will host an Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Thursday, April 14, in the cafeteria. Three types of meals will be served: a high-income meal, a middle-income meal, and a low-income meal. The proportions of people in each of the three groups will approximate the income distribution in the world.

Important dates at the school are April 7, 11, and 13 when there is noon dismissal to make time for parent-teacher conferences; April 14, Puberty Night (6 pm) and Parent Bullying Workshop (time to be announced).

We send birthday smiles to: Donald Combra and Richard Giordano on April 9, Tevin Araujo on the 10th, Michael Rebello on April 12, followed by Sarah Neubert on April 13.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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The sun has been shining and it appears to have inspired many people to start to spruce up their yards and houses. We seem to hibernate during the cold winters, somewhat like bears, and don’t venture out much until we feel the warmth.

It has also brought out some of the hidden inhabitants of my house, mainly all sorts and colors of spiders. The latest version are those pale, anemic looking spiders that look as if they have spent the winter inside playing video games and not getting any sunshine. No matter what their appearance, they really are my least favorite “wildlife,” so out the door they go. As March came in like a lion, at the last minute, let’s see if she goes out like a lamb.

It is so nice to start the column off with happy news. The Ponte family has received their miracle. This past Saturday, March 26, they received the call they had long been hoping for. As they were on the steamship heading back to the Island after watching their son Hunter’s hockey game in Barnstable, they received a call from Mass. General Hospital telling them that they had a kidney and pancreas for Kenny.

He had surgery late that night and is recovering beautifully. He will be there for a week or so, then come home to recover. His family is so excited and grateful, especially to the family of the deceased donor, and they wish that they could tell them in person how much this means to all of them.

Hunter blew out his birthday candles the night before on Friday and his wish was for his daddy to get better. Kenny will now be diabetes free for the first-time in 36 years. Now the entire family — Kenny, Erica, Hunter, Shelby, and Jake — send blessings to everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.

In addition to its regular course schedule, Ace MV has several special events planned for the near future, including Art of Cake Decorating on April 7 at MVRHS, and Introduction to General Relativity, also at MVRHS, on April 9 from 1 to 3 pm. For Info and registration for these and many other programs, visit www.acemv.org.

The Oak Bluffs Library presents Coco the Clown & Voice Movement Therapy on April 9 from 10:30 to noon. Join Coco the Clown for a short film and interactive playtime, which benefits children of all ages — and it’s free.

The Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network announces that a grant of $2,500 will be awarded to a local small business person based on Martha’s Vineyard looking to improve, grow, or start a new business. Application and instructions can be found at mvwomensnetwork.org.

On Tuesday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8 pm at MVRHS, MVWN presents a program titled: The Power of Email Marketing and Getting Started with Constant Contact. Register on line at www.mvwomensnetwork.org.

Marsha Winsryg wants you to know that The Shephard Fine Art Space in Oak Bluffs (formerly The Nye Gallery) will feature The Persephone event on Saturday, April 2.

We send birthday smiles to Robin Meader, Betty Rose, and Tyson Araujo on April 1, Richard D. Combra the next day, Heather Holt on April 4, Sandy Ferreira on April 6, David Tchorz and David Hill on the 7th, and to Ben Hall III, my birthday twin, on April 8.

Special birthday smiles to Aidan Christensen who will be turning 3 years old on April 6. His parents say he is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to them.Enjoy your week.Peace.