Authors Posts by Megan Alley

Megan Alley

Megan Alley

This poem by William Henry Harrison Murray says it all this season.

Ah friends, dear friends,

As years go on and heads get gray,

How fast the guests do go!

Touch hands, touch hands,

With those that stay.

Strong hands to weak,

Old hands to young, around the

Christmas board touch hands.

The false forget, the foe forgive,

For every guest will go

And every fire burn low

And cabin empty stand.

Forget, forgive,

For who may say that Christmas day

May ever come to host or guest again.

Touch hands!

However you celebrate this season, celebrate together in peace.

January will be a busy month at our Oak Bluffs library. To kick-off Mini Golf weekend, we will show the 1980 classic with Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and a furry gopher on throwback Thursday Movie Night on January 8, at 6 pm. This free event also includes popcorn and trivia.

The third annual Mini Golf Extravaganza will be held on January 9 and 10. On Friday, January 9, from 5 to 8 pm, enjoy food, beverage, and fun and play on the 18-hole indoor course. This event is for those 21 years and up. The cost is $18. On Saturday, January 10, the mini golf runs from 10 am to 1 pm and is for all ages and free — great family fun.

Are you ready for lobster rolls again? Then mark your calendars for Sunday, Jan. 4, from 12 noon until 2 pm, when Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven will once more serve winter lobster rolls. Their prize-winning lobster rolls, with chips and beverage are a bargain at  $17, or you may enjoy hotdogs for $3 and assorted pies for $4 per slice. For info or advance orders, call 508-693-0332.

Congratulations to Ashley and Jared Andrews who became proud parents of a son on Wednesday, December 17. Cooper Christopher Andrews’s arrival also made Lynn Rebello of Oak Bluffs a first-time grandmother. What a great Christmas present.

Christmas services for Good Shepherd Parish will all be held at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven. On Christmas Eve, there will be a 3 pm Children’s Mass followed by a Vigil Mass at 5 pm and the traditional Midnight Mass at 12 am. Christmas day, there will be a 10 am service and then the Portuguese Mass at 11:30 am.

Big changes at the four corners by the Fire Station in Oak Bluffs. The fire station is now surrounded by a safety fence and the demolition of the old station has already begun. It will be interesting to watch the progression of the new station. The original station was constructed in the 1980s. The foundation and finishing touches were put on that steel building mostly by volunteers and — you guessed it — they were  firemen and the cost to the town was around $45,000.

We send birthday smiles to Roger Schilling Jr. on the 26th, Richard Tarter on the 28th, and Ava BenDavid, Anita Combra, and Claudia Metell on December 31.

Enjoy your week.  Peace.

As we get nearer to Christmas, in the midst of the frenetic shopping and many events, take a moment to look around and enjoy the scenery and time with friends and family. It is very difficult this time of year to avoid getting wrapped in the entanglement of so much commercialism. But for a moment at least, focus on the needs of those who do not have even the basics of life — food, shelter, and clothing — and commit yourself to doing a random act of kindness with no thought of reward. Then you will know you have achieved the true Christmas and holiday spirit.

My son Dion, his wife, Debra, and their daughter, Paige Alley, have arrived from their home in Perth, Australia, to spend a two-week visit with our extended family. I promised Paige some snow before they leave at the end of December, so I hope the weather co-operates or I might lose my grandmother status.
The big event at our Oak Bluffs Library this week is the Ugly Sweater Contest on Saturday, December 20, from 12 noon to 3 pm, when you can vote for the worst, or the best, ugly sweater worn by library staff. Your vote enters you into a raffle. Wear your own ugly sweater and be featured on their Facebook page. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

This week is Red Stocking Week at the Oak Bluffs School. All week students bring in donations. Over the years students have collected hundreds of dollars for this fund which helps to make a good Christmas for so many children and their families. Any donation, no matter how small is greatly appreciated.
School will be dismissed for the winter break at 12 noon on Tuesday, December 23, and re-open on Monday, January 5, 2015!

The open house at Windemere last Sunday  was well attended and everyone certainly enjoyed the sparkling lights and delightful company. The first floor entrance was glittering with the lights, decorated trees, and displays. Music was provided by the Ukulele players who sang and played to the delight of everyone. Family and friends were seen throughout every area, escorting residents to view the scenery and enjoy the celebrations. There were even two dogs attending who seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. When speaking with resident Helen Duarte, she wanted me to send Christmas and Holiday greetings to all. Helen had just returned from another stay at Mass. General Hospital and was so pleased to be back at her home at Windemere.

Saturday, December 20, from 1 to 3 pm is the Annual Christmas tea at the First Baptist Church Parish House in Vineyard Haven. There will be a luncheon, baked goods table, crafts and gift items at reasonable prices. Come join in, celebrate the holiday season and enjoy tea, coffee, tea sandwiches, cookies and more.  Tea Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for children. Or you may just stop by to check out the gift tables and baked goods for sale. After leaving the Tea, stop by the newly restored Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse for their open house from 4 to 6 pm.

Once again the P-A Club will be the setting for a very worthwhile event, a fundraiser to help raise money for a scholarship in memory of Beatrice (Beach) Bennett on Saturday, December 20. The event starts at 6 pm and then the buffet will begin with a delicious dinner prepared by the well-known chef Louis Giordano. After the dinner there will be a silent auction with some wonderful items up for bid. The $75 ticket fee will go towards the scholarship which will be administered by the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard.

The Oak Bluffs Fire Department and EMS would like to remind everyone to make sure that your smoke detectors are working and your house is numbered. Call 508-693-5380 with any questions.

We send birthday smiles to Bill Jones on the 21st. Rae Carter, Sandra deBettencourt, Bertie Madeiras, and Marie Fisher share the 22nd, and Caitlyn Francis on Christmas Day.
Enjoy your week, Peace.

Traffic jams on County Road this time of year are not caused by any accidents but by the Christmas lights at the Gatchell residence. Every possible Christmas and holiday theme you can imagine is on display there. There are elves, angels, reindeer, and, of course, the jolly man himself, Santa. Lights are everywhere, looking like colored gumdrops woven throughout the area. The generosity, talent, and hard work of this family in bringing this holiday cheer to all of us is unmatched. Not only that,  but they do not wish any monetary rewards for themselves but only that you bring  a donation for the Island Food Pantry for those who need an extra helping hand during our cruel winter months. Thank you to the Gatchell family for bringing Christmas joy for so many years.

The Tisbury Senior Center is inviting the public to their Annual Holiday Open House Party on  Sunday, December 14,  from 2 to 4 pm. The program will  feature the MVRHS Minnesingers, refreshments, and door prizes. The open house is free and open to the public. For more info, call 508-696-4205.

Among the many worthy organizations seeking support and financial help at this time of year perhaps one that you have not thought about is The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, whose programs give to our Island community year-round — with extraordinary live theater, poetry, film, music, art, special events, and children’s programs. Please consider giving back to the Playhouse if you believe that theater has the power to transform lives. They depend on your generosity and every penny you donate is fully tax-deductible.

Our own Oak Bluffs Library has not only books galore and many other items you may borrow but also wonderful movie nights and parties. One of my most favorite movies will be shown tonight at 6 pm for Throwback Thursday Movie Night when Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan create some Christmas fireworks in Connecticut. Popcorn and movie trivia will add to your enjoyment too.

Perhaps you would like to join in a Painting Party. If so, on Saturday, December 13, at 1 pm you may join Jazen’s Art Studio and paint your own holiday work of art. No experience is necessary. This is for adults and older teens. As space limited, sign up by calling 508-693-9433.

Also on Saturday, at 2 pm, David Atwood, Tara Reynolds, and Sondra Murphy will show their work. There will be  photography, collage, and more. Refreshments will be available and the show remains up through December.

Sincere condolences to the family of Robbie Manning who was so young and so loved. We are so very sorry.

We send birthday smiles for the month of December to Woodside Village residents Mary Chomitz, David Dube, George Szilassy, Lucy Munafo, Jeanette Bigelow, and Julia Blackman and Aidylberg resident Thomas Rogers. Birthday Smiles to Chuck Lehman all the way to New Hampshire, Jenna Gossen and my great grandson Isaiah Geddis on Dec. 12. Peter Tennant on the 13th, Pat Law and my daughter-in-law Debra Alley on the 14th, and Mike Marchand on the 15th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

You used to be able to tell what season of the year it was by glancing outside. But now at the start of December, I see rhododendrons starting to bloom, forsythia‘s yellow petals on bushes and even a few hydrangeas bravely nodding their flowers. What is happening to our world? Now I have to keep looking at the calendar and wondering is it really December or just a cool spell in April. The beautiful holiday and Christmas decorations bring me back to fast-approaching Christmas, however. The stores, the harbor, the tree in Sunset Lake sparkle with lights and dress up the town in splendor. How fortunate we are to live in a town where everyone cares so much that they work diligently to keep beauty everywhere you look.

It seems as if quite a few organizations have planned holiday events on Saturday, December 6.

The Friends of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging will host another Holiday Bazaar this weekend, on Saturday, December 6, from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be several private vendors, holiday greens and décor tables, three fabulous baskets to be raffled (wine, baking, and New Year’s Eve), a jewelry jumble table, some scrumptious holiday baked goods, a Christmas Tree to make a donation the Red Stocking Fund and Holiday Music to keep all shoppers in the Spirit of the Season. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate will be served.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury’s Annual Christmas Faire will be on Saturday, December 6, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to pick up festive holiday decorations and gifts for friends or your family. Everything is hand-crafted. You will be able to purchase custom decorated wreaths, holiday centerpieces, jewelry, and gift items. Homemade baked goodies for gifts or entertaining will also be available. Come early for the best selection of terrific holiday décor and gifts that are perfect stocking stuffers. Coffee and hot chocolate will be there for early birds, and there will be a raffle of an incredible Christmas gift basket. All proceeds from this fundraiser will help offset operating expenses of the church. For more information call 508-693-2842.

The annual holiday party at the Oak Bluffs Library will be on Saturday, December 6, from 12:30 to 3 pm. The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs are the proud sponsors of this event.

Help the Oak Bluffs Fire/EMS give Island children a Merry Christmas. Also on Saturday they are stuffing an ambulance with unwrapped toys and giving them to the Red Stocking Fund. The ambulance will be parked in front of Giordano’s Restaurant from 10 am to 4 pm with Santa greeting everyone and thanking all who donate a toy to this worthwhile venture.

Congratulations to Caitlyn Clark, daughter of Carol Christopher of Oak Bluffs, who was one of 32 of Flagler College’s top students who were inducted into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society on November 18. Joe Viah, Assistant Professor of Psychology and sponsor of the Alpha Chi Flagler chapter said  “These students are the top ten percent of their class with GPAs of at least 3.7.”  Great job, Caitlyn.

Pause for a moment to remember those who lost their lives on Pearl Harbor Day on December 7. We remember those who were lost in that infamous start of World War II.

We send birthday smiles to James Moreis Hakenson on December 6, Mary MacDonald, Lynn Rebello, Francis Bernard, and Rose Cogliano on the 7th. Vamp Campbell on the 8th, Tyler Araujo on the 9th, and Tony Maseda and Patrick Parker on the 10th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Thanksgiving is this week already when it seems like we just ended summer. Once again the town and Island are crowded with students, families and others headed back here to the place they love as they do every year. Some families will be welcoming new members while others may still be feeling the loss of a member. But as we gather together, our memories of the happy times and hopes for the future will fill our hearts and bring contentment. Lets not forget those who might need a bit of a lift and in your sharing of Thanksgiving, you both will be blessed.

How about an early run and walk race on Thanksgiving morning? The Turkey Trot will take place at 8:30 am, beginning and ending outside the Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs. The cost is $10, and those under 12 run for free. Registration will begin at 7:30 am the day of the race and best of all, the proceeds will benefit the Oak Bluffs School Student Activity Fund this year. If you have any questions, call Lisa Reagan at 508-410-0189. Many thanks to Roger Wey for helping the Oak Bluffs School.

And now, even though it seems to have arrived so quickly, we are already into December happenings. The start of the Oak Bluffs Christmas/ Holiday season gets its start on Wednesday, December 4 with the annual tree lighting. As always this happy event takes place in David Healey Square in front of the post office. Along with the tree lighting there will be music, carol singing, refreshments and of course Santa, all though so very busy, will once again find time to help in the celebration.

A benefit for recovering cancer patient Carol Christopher will take place on December 5th at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs. There will be an auction and delicious finger foods. Come and support Carol as she continues on her road to recovery.

And looking ahead, the Annual MVNAACP Christmas Bazaar will be on December 20 at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center, 21 Wamsutta Ave. from 9 am to 3 pm. There will be raffles, a silent auction and vendors tables. Tables are available for $25 but as an early bird special until November 30th, the cost of a table will be  $20. For more information, call Carrie Tankard or the Senior Center.

Please remember the Red Stocking Fund, our Island’s Christmas present to itself. You may make donations or offer to help by shopping for gifts or wrapping them. Please contact Susie Wallo for more info.

We send birthday smiles to Lauren Metell and Keilla Geddis on the 27th. Cayla Morris, Roxann Klein and James Vanderhoop on the 28th, cousin John Alley on the 3rd, and Brittney Jardin, Bill Anderson, Sr., Kate Collens an Carol Testerman, share the 4th.

Enjoy your week. My Thanksgiving wish for everyone is a day with those you love.


Sunday last was perfect for working in the yard in preparation for winter. With the help of my grandchildren, the wood box is filled, as is the kindling basket. Air conditioners are in the attic until needed next summer, and hoses are put away until spring. The window screens are stored in the attic and of course now we have had a brief warm spell and I can’t open the windows without inviting moths and spiders in. But this Monday, as I am writing this column, the wind and thunderstorms are predictors of cold weather approaching. I guess we are ready for whatever comes, unless it is snow and ice, so I must prepare for that too before it arrives.

You will have your pick of many activities for the next few weeks. The Annual Trinity Holiday Fair is Saturday, November 22, in the Parish House in the Campground from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be numerous tables including  grandma’s attic, baked goods, knit Items, jewelry, gift Items, and more. A new feature this year will be hand-personalized glass ornaments. And if you work up an appetite while shopping, you can wander over to the Parish House Café where you will have your choice of hot dogs, clam chowder, meatball subs, desserts, and drinks. Call the Church Office at 508-693-4424 for information about vendor tables.

Our Oak Bluffs Library Book Club will meet on Wednesday, November 26, at 10:30 am. The featured book is The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, a landmark account of the first emergence of Ebola.

At an author’s talk and honey tasting on Thursday, November 20, 6–7 pm.  Michael G. West will discuss his book Buzzed: The Bee Kill Conspiracy.  Monica Miller will host the honey tasting.

Come and wish Children’s Librarian Zoe farewell at her Bye Bye Baby Shower Party on Saturday, November 22, from 1 to 3 pm. There will be baby theme crafts and children are welcome if they come with a parent/guardian.

Upcycled Book Crafts on Saturday, November 29, from 1 to 3 pm will show you how to turn old books into holiday crafts at this hands-on class for adults.

Anna Duarte, who most of us remember as the Poppy Lady on Memorial Day, is back at Windemere for rehab after a stay at Mass. General Hospital. Anna told me that she is so happy to be back home at Windemere and had missed her friends. She was nice enough to share with me that the wonderful music programs there were so enjoyable and that my husband also found pleasure in listening to the music.

For some wonderful entertainment, come see the fabulous and talented students and staff in the Oak Bluffs School production of O.B.eatles.  These school presentations always amaze their audience. Performances are at the school on Friday, November 21st at 7 pm, Saturday, November 22nd at 7 pm and Sunday, November 23rd at 2 pm.

The cost of admission is $5 for Students and $7 Adults. School will be closed for Thanksgiving break on Wednesday, November 26 and re-opening on Monday, December 1.

The Federated Church of Edgartown will hold its Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths on Thursday,  December 4, from 5 to 7 pm, in the Parish House on 45 South Summer Street, Edgartown. Seventy-five originally designed, hand-decorated wreaths, for home and business, will be on display in the Meetinghouse and are for sale at $45, $55, and $65. Admission to the Parish House party is $10, $5 with purchase of a wreath, and 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 Chamber Music Society invites everyone to join them on Saturday evening, November 29, at 7:30 pm, for their annual Thanksgiving Concert at the beautiful Old Whaling Church. This is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a wonderful time for you, your family and friends  to hear the music of Bartok, Brahms, and Schumann performed by  fabulous musicians. Tickets may be purchased at the door on the evening of the concert: $20 for adults and students are free.

Congratulations to Carmen Amadeus. Each year the pastor of every parish in the Diocese nominates a recipient for the Marian Medal which is awarded in recognition for outstanding devotion and service  to a parish. Carmen will be the recipient for Good Shepherd Parish of Martha’s Vineyard. Bishop Edgar daCuna will present the Medal at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River on Sunday, November 23.

We send birthday smiles to Arianna Peters who celebrated on November 9, Susan deBettencourt on the 21st, Gina deBettencourt on the 23rd, Talia Luening and Pam Herman on the 24th, Deb Brown and Priscilla Sylvia on the 25th, and Nora Jardin, Bill Anderson Jr. and Myna Rogers Sylvia on the 26th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Leaves are everywhere — on the trees, the streets, and the yards. The colors are lovely and seem to me brighter than ever this year. But I still have bright purple blossoms on my rhododendrons, and even some yellow blossoms courageously clinging to  the forsythia bushes. It is supposed to be the start of winter, but I think the plants are either confused or in denial. But the forecast is for really cold winter weather starting Thursday, so I guess we will all have to face reality.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is opening a new exhibit on November 13 titled A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama as part of the centennial celebration for the completion of the Panama Canal. The exhibit explores the Vineyard’s connection to the famous project. In conjunction with the exhibition and centennial, the museum welcomes Cape Cod author Chip Bishop to speak about his book The Lion and the Journalist: The Unlikely Friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph Bucklin Bishop, now a New York Times bestseller. The book explores the unique relationship among President Theodore Roosevelt, newspaper editor Joseph Bucklin Bishop, and General George Goethals, chief engineer of the Panama Canal. Bishop will speak on Tuesday, November 18, at 5:30 pm in the museum library.

A weekly event at the Oak Bluffs Library is the Knitting for Charity program, which takes place every Thursday, from 2 to 4 pm. Join in and make hats, mittens, and scarves for the Island Food Pantry to distribute this winter. Yarn will be available and there will be some instruction. The Poetry Workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 18, from 6 to 7 pm. Join Sondra and bring poems to share. For all levels, it will be a creative writing exercise.

Please mark your calendar for a special fundraiser for a special person, Rico Holley. It will be held at the P-A Club in Oak Bluffs  on Friday, December 12, at 5 pm. Rico has been a dedicated EMT and firefighter for Oak Bluffs for 10 years. He was seriously injured from a fall in October and is receiving care at Mass General Hospital. He is facing a long and expensive recovery, so let’s do our best to help him out. I will be giving you updates as I receive them.

Marques and Sarah Rivers welcomed a son on Monday. Ethan Gunnar Rivers was happily greeted by his parents and his older sister, Kayla. His grandparents are Katie Alley, Marc Rivers, and Eleanor Neubert, and his arrival makes four great grandchildren for myself and my husband, Dennis.

We send Birthday smiles for the month of November to Aidylberg residents Joseph Scanlan and Doris Gregory, and to Woodside Village residents Marjorie Toenges, Phyllis Dunn, Nancy Eddy, Paul Schultz, Judith Andrews, Barbara Dugan, Sylvia Rogers, Ilka List and Mary Gazaille. Belated smiles to Lana deBettencourt on November 7, her sister Deanna on the 10th, and their father Manny deBettencourt who will celebrate the big 60 tomorrow. Smiles to Pat Alley and Barbara Humber on the 15th, Nathan Averill on the 18th, and Jake Ponte on the 20th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Well, now we know who the winners are in all those elections. It seems as if the campaigning went on forever — at least the phone calls did. I was bombarded with phone calls from all over the country either extolling the virtues of one candidate or the vices of another. Then at least three times a day I would receive a phone call from someone who said: I have a very brief survey. It turned out briefer than they expected as I quickly hung up. I attempted to just let the answering machine pick up, but once in a while I would succumb to the habit of answering my phone and as soon as I realized it was just more campaigning, I would terminate the call. Time is too precious to be wasted in this manner.

The town of Oak Bluffs is starting to create this year’s Block Grant application and is asking seniors to come up with strategies that can be useful to those creating this year’s grant. The Block Grant would be very lucrative if awarded to our town and they want to know what you think about your neighborhoods, the services provided for people in our town who are our age, your Senior Center and the activities it provides, your accessibility to our downtown, social opportunities available to you in Oak Bluffs, or whatever else is on your mind. Please read the draft report on the town web page and contribute your thoughts and comments to make it a stronger document that reflects all the voices of our community. You   may pass on your ideas on line to

The dentist is coming back to the Oak Bluffs School. Vineyard Smiles will be there on November 7, 20, and 21. You can register online at see your school nurse for a form. When you register, your child will receive a full dental exam, including an oral health screening, cleaning and fluoride treatment, oral hygiene instruction, and as needed they will receive x-rays, sealants and fillings.You need to re-register your child every school  year. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Vineyard Smiles at 508-696-0020, ext. 14. The school annual book fair continues on November 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12. Give the school a call for more info. School will be closed on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11.

Our Library will show a Throwback Thursday movie classic on Thursday, November 13, at 6 pm. The film is Miracle on 34th Street. There will also be a bonus feature at 5:30 pm of Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Popcorn will be served.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has an opening reception for its Nancy Luce exhibit on Friday, November 7, from 5 to 7 pm.

Hilde and Bert Combra will have been married for 50 years on November 21, but they have already done some celebrating of this milestone event. Two weeks ago they participated in the Bishop’s annual Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River which honors couples who are celebrating significant wedding anniversaries. The new Bishop of the Fall River Diocese, Edgar M. daCunha, formerly of Brazil, was the celebrant and 119 couples who were present also renewed their wedding vows. After the Mass the Combras had the priviledge of meeting and speaking with the Bishop and were most impressed by his friendliness and hospitality. After the services, the Combras were joined by their friends Father Gomes and Fr. Ozug, both of whom previously were assigned to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church. The group traveled to Westport where they continued their celebration by dining at White’s Restaurant.

Our Council on Aging wants everyone to know that their program “Matter of Balance” was a great success. They hope to repeat the program in April of 2015, so if you are interested please call Rose at 508-693-4509.  For those who are housebound or eating alone plans for Thanksgiving dinner fare are underway at the center. So if you wish a meal delivered to your home on Thanksgiving, just give Rose a call at the center as soon as you can.  Rose also wishes to thank the Oak Bluffs community for their support and dedication to the Senior Center.

Melanie and Michael Marchand spent a few days down in Florida for  a brief vacation in the warm sun. While there, they met their nephew and niece, Kat and Michael deBettencourt, ,and all four enjoyed spending some time together.

We send birthday smiles to Wendy Rose on the 7th, Mark Landers November 8, Todd deBettencourt and Trulayna Rose share the 10th, Amanda Gonsalves on the 11th, and Katie Davey on the 13th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

So is everyone getting prepared for the ghost, goblins, and trick or treaters on Friday night? Not only are many stores showing Halloween decorations, but it seems as if quite a few homes and yards are also dressed with scary  scenes. And once again the Charter School students have produced some delightful and realistic displays. However, please do not only have some delicious treat ready but also some coins, because this year many students at the Oak Bluffs School will be carrying bright orange collection boxes. Spearheaded by Ms. Robinson’s second-grade class, once again the school will be collecting for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. Thank you to everyone who participates in the worthwhile endeavor.

Alicia Oliveira, from Oak Bluffs and a 2011 graduate of the MVRHS, is a cadet at Providence College with the Army  Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Patriot Battalion. Alicia was chosen as a female participant on a team with seven male cadets to participate in Ranger Challenge held at Fort Dix, N.J., on October 11 and 12. Team members were from various other colleges and each team has to have a female participant. The Ranger Challenge is an opportunity for schools to compete with each other on military tasks in addition to a written examination where cadets test their Army knowledge. There are physical fitness drills and field exercises. Providence College’s Patriot Battalion representing  the Eastern Region finished 2nd in the obstacle course and 10th place of all of 42 teams. Congratulations, Alicia! Your family and town are very proud of your accomplishments.

If you missed previous book talks about the book Music on Martha’s Vineyard, the next one will be held during Friday Morning Conversations at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center on Friday, Oct. 31, 10–11:30 am. The guest speaker will be Tom Dresser, the author. Then on November 6, at 6:30 pm, another event for the book will be held at the Oak Bluffs Library. Liam Weiland will play a few songs to open the event and Tom Dresser will speak about researching and writing the musical history of the Vineyard. Mary Jean Miner and Vintage Voices will sing a few numbers as well. All are welcome and there is no charge. Books will be available for purchase

There will be a weekly event at the Oak Bluffs Library, Knitting for Charity, on Thursdays from 2 to 4 pm. Make hats, mittens, and scarves for the Island Food Pantry to distribute this winter. Yarn will be available and there will be  some instruction.

Meditations of Peace will take place in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Chapel on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 3 pm. There will be peaceful forms of music, prayers, movement, poems and meditation/contemplation. The service is being sponsored by Island clergy, musicians, artists and writers and the interfaith community of Martha’s Vineyard. All are invited to attend. Contact Carolyn Eddy at  508-696-1839.

A Community Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on Saturday, November 8,  at the First Baptist  Church Parish House on William Street, Vineyard Haven. A complete family-style meal will include turkey, gravy, potatoes, green bean casserole, squash, cranberry sauce, beverage and pie, all for $15 per person There is limited seating, soplease call  (508) 693-1539 in advance to reserve your place or to purchase tickets for either the 5 or 6:30 pm seating.

Don’t forget the state election on Tuesday, November 4. Bring your red booklet which provides detailed explanations of each ballot question. It might make it a little clearer on the purpose of the questions, but I found myself agreeing with portions of both sides. After seeing what citizens of many countries have to endure just to register and to vote, we all should be grateful that we have this privilege.

We send birthday smiles to Jackie McGillicuddy  on October 31, Barbara Morgan, Anne  Davey and Adam Rebello on November 1, Ryan Gonsalves on the 2nd, James Moreis Sr. on the 3rd, and Randy BenDavid, Kerry Alley, and Jeanne Moore on the 5th. Happy anniversary wishes to Sandra and Nelson deBettencourt on November 5.

Enjoy your week. Peace

If you happened to go by Sailing Camp on Sunday night, you might have thought there was some sort of a disaster because of EMS vehicles and cars in the parking lot. But fear not, it was the OBFD dinner and program to honor recently retired Oak Bluffs fire chiefs and deputies. After a  delicious dinner, prepared by Chef Max Moreis, the ceremony began.  Among those retirees so honored were: Pete Forend, Allan “Buddy” deBettencourt, Bruce O’Donnell, James Moreis, and Tony Ferreira. Officers gave a brief history of each person’s years of service to the town, and their years of devotion totaled well over 125 years. Many hugs all around, humorous remarks and words of appreciation were given to all and it was obvious to everyone that the years of comradery was the core of the closeness of the personnel. There were also a few tugs at the heartstrings of those present and I must admit, I felt a few tugs myself before the evening was over.

Electronic Disposal day is this Saturday, October 25, from 9 am to 2 pm on the campus of MVCS, 111 Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs (across from the high school). Fees range between $2 and $30. There is a 10 percent discount for car loads. This is sponsored by Brunos and all proceeds benefit MVCS.

The Rural Scholars Committee of the Dukes County Health Council is once again sponsoring Rural Scholars from UMASS School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing; the team arrived on October 19 and will stay until  October 30. This year’s project, designed by Martha’s Vineyard Community Service’ CONNECT To End Violence program, will consider Elder Abuse Prevention on the Vineyard, taking a closer look at elder abuse and neglect, prevention strategies, and current services. The scholars will review statistics and literature, and they will interview community members and professionals who interact with and provide services for Island elders. The scholars will present their findings and recommendations at a meeting at the West Tisbury Public Library on Thursday, October 30, 4:30–6 pm.  The public is invited and encouraged to join them.

John Hough Jr. will participate in a Speakeasy series evening on Tuesday, October 28, at State Road Restaurant to benefit the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

The Artist Ball will happen again this year at Dreamland. The hours are 7 to 10 pm on Sunday, October 26. Marla Blakey will be the mistress of ceremonies and the Natural Wonders will provide the great dance music. This event is the culmination of the Fall for the Arts month on the Vineyard. There will be an art installation called Whatever the Outcome created by Craig Miner. Sales of art will benefit the MVCVA’s grant writing for artists and other local non-profit art organizations. For more information, call Holly Alaimo, 508-693-5444.

Just in time for Halloween our library will be the site of a creepy book reading. On Thursday, October 30 from 6 to 7:30 pm, Holly Nadler will read from the 20th anniversary edition of her book Haunted Island.

It’s parent teacher conference time at the Oak Bluffs School. School will be dismissed at 12 noon on those days. Conference dates and times are: October 23, 5–8 pm; October 27, 1–5 pm and October 29, 3–6 pm.

Cancer awareness day at the school is Friday, October 24.  Wear lots of pink and pay $1 to wear a hat. The student council sponsors this event, and all proceeds go to St. Jude’s Hospital for Cancer Research.

Once again Good Shepherd Parish will host its annual Halloween celebration at St. Augustine’s Hall in Vineyard Haven. The party will take place on Friday, Oct. 31, from 4 to 9 pm. All are invited to attend this free event. Prizes and surprises will be awarded for best costumes and themes  There will be snacks and a light supper of hot dogs and soup as well as other refreshments for revelers of all ages. Movies will be shown continuously and games will be available till 9 pm. This celebration provides a safe and warm environment for all trick or treaters and it is supported by many Island businesses. If you would like to assist in any way, your participation would be appreciated. For more information or to volunteer you help, please contact Joe Capobianco at 508-274-1170.

We send birthday smiles to Chris Look III on the 24th, Ann Baird and Addison Blake on the 25th, Ashley DePriest on the 27th, Simone McCarthy on the 28th, Felicia Taylor and Eleanor Tompkins on the 29th, and Sally Leslie Mitchell on the 30th.

Enjoy your week. Peace