Authors Posts by Molly Purves

Molly Purves

Molly Purves

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all. There is much to be grateful for in our little town. I especially appreciate all the families with young children that are making Aquinnah their home. I know there was a time not that long ago when there weren’t a lot of school-age kids here, and now the next generation of Aquinnah folk seems robust with babies — high schoolers and many ages in between. I hope that everyone enjoys the day spent with family and/or friends, and that the dysfunction is kept to a minimum.

The Gay Head Gallery is open 11 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, or you can call Megan for an appointment at 508-645-2776.

If you are looking to get some wampum jewelry for Christmas, you will have three chances this weekend. Both Joan LeLacheur and Kate Taylor are having sales this Friday. Joanie is hosting an open studio at her home studio this Friday, Nov. 27, from 2 to 5 pm. She will be selling her wampum jewelry and mosaic tiles at 42 Old South Road in Aquinnah. You can call Joanie at 508-645-9954 for more information. Kate Taylor is having a wampum bead and shell articles sale at Claudia Jewelry in Edgartown on Friday from 11 am to 4 pm. Lastly, the Up-Island wampum show is still up at the Chilmark library, and there will be a wampum bead and jewelry sale on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 3 to 5 pm.

The Aquinnah library will be closed this Thursday for Thanksgiving. They will be open on Saturday and regular hours next week. Their After School Club meets on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 pm. Kids can use this time to do homework, read, or work on a project. The librarians are always available to assist with homework questions. The next Book Club book is “Water for Elephants,” by Sara Gruen. The Book Club will meet on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 6 pm.

If after Thanksgiving you feel run down, and that perhaps you overdid it, come to the Yoga Barn on Saturday, Nov. 28, for a restorative yoga workshop from 3 to 5:30 pm, taught by Cathy Garfinkle. The cost for the class is $35 (20 percent of proceeds will be donated to Island Food Pantry).

If you live on this Island and are 65 or older, I hope you filled out the survey sent out by the Healthy Aging Task Force. On Monday, Dec. 7, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, there will be a meeting to update the Island community about the survey. A representative from the Heller School of Brandeis University will present preliminary survey data during the morning session. The afternoon will focus on possible strategies to address initial survey findings, and how best to move forward with promoting healthy-aging initiatives on the island. A paid lunch will be offered for $12 to $15. Seating is limited to 100 participants.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 6:30 to 7:30, the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School will host its first annual Family Fun Reading Night. This event is for all Island families with kids preschool age through fourth grade. There will be a book swap, refreshments will be served, and a Portuguese translator will be present. If you have questions or would like to RSVP, contact Deb Dunn at, or call 508-693-9900.

Paula and David Eisenberg are putting a solar roof on their house. It’s the first on the Island to use Dow solar shingles, not panels, and it should generate about 25 percent of their electricity. Pearl Vercruysse, who is spending this school year with a family in Brittany, is having a wonderful time, according to her mother, Lane. Though her parents miss her, they know that she is being well taken care of, and that this year is something she will remember for the rest of her life. Good for them for giving their daughter the freedom to explore the world.

What a strange, long week it was, filled with celebrations of our veterans on Wednesday, and then three terrorist attacks in Baghdad, Beirut, and Paris at the start of the weekend. The people who died in these attacks were not soldiers, but they deserve to be remembered every year. They are added to the list that is long enough but will grow longer, of everyday people killed for no good reason. Sometimes we seem so far away here on Martha’s Vineyard. Even when things like this happen, I still think, “It will never happen here.” Living here, I fear chronic Lyme disease, alcoholism, car accidents, and isolation. Also divorce (Who can afford to live here on their own?), but not terrorism. One of the main reasons I think it will never happen here is that we seem to have created a relatively peaceful space on this Island (petty grievances, longstanding grudges, and the ever-present battle over whose Island is it? notwithstanding). But there is a feeling that that kind of violence is just not possible here. Of course that might just be an illusion, as these things usually are, but it’s one I still believe in. Blessings and more important, justice to all whose families were affected by the terrorist attacks this weekend.

At the Aquinnah library this Thursday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 6 pm, there will be an Adult Coloring Group. This is a free program, and participants may bring their own materials or use materials provided by the library. Adult coloring is a great way to ease stress and get creative, and it’s all the rage right now. Light refreshments will be served. On Saturday, Nov. 21, there will be a craft from 11 to 3 and a Pokémon Party (where kids can trade Pokémon cards) from 12 to 2 pm. Throughout November, the library Thankful Tree will be up. Drop in anytime they’re open to decorate a leaf and share what you’re thankful for. The next Book Group meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 6 pm. Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants” will be discussed; you can pick up a copy at the library.

The Gay Head Gallery is open 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and always by appointment by calling 508-645-2776.

Featherstone is hosting its 13th annual Holiday Gift Show. The Preview Party is this Friday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 pm. Refreshments will be served! There are affordable gifts made by many Island artists. All proceeds benefit Island artists and Featherstone. The Holiday Gift Show will be open every day from 12 to 4 pm from Nov. 21 to Dec. 20. It will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Cathy Garfinkle will be offering a restorative yoga workshop Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm at the Yoga Barn. It is $35, and 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Island Pantry.

The Chilmark School PTO is sponsoring a new book drive for the Red Stocking Fund. They are collecting new books for Island families of elementary school students — picture books or chapter books. You can drop off donations at the Chilmark School and place them in the donation box in the foyer.

Ladies and gentlemen in Aquinnah are doing some very cool things! Last week, Noli Taylor and two Charter School high school teachers, Jonah Maidoff and Louis Hall, led 13 students up to the State House to testify on a farm-to-school bill that they wrote together with our state representative, Tim Madden, last year. This was the bill’s first hearing, with three more to get through before being voted on by the House and Senate. If passed, the bill would declare October Massachusetts Farm-to-School Month, and would encourage three state agencies (the Departments of Education, Agriculture, and Public Health) to work together to spread farm-to-school programs around the state. Go Noli! And how wonderful that the youth on our Island get to see how the government works and how bills get created (and in this case, hopefully, passed) firsthand.

I had the pleasure of attending the Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC) open house this past weekend in its lovely new home on the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services campus. The space was built by Squash Meadow Construction, and is beautiful and light-filled. IWYC was created to develop and provide an Island-wide integrated system of behavioral health care that is comprised of local providers and maintains on-Island treatment options for youth, young adults, and their families. Formed in 2013, it is working hard to bring services for children and teens to the Island. One of the agencies that formed IWYC is the Youth Task Force, which Theresa Manning and Jamie Spears Vanderhoop both play a large part in. To find out more or make a donation, go to

The trees are getting barer and barer by the day. Our lovely time of Indian summer seems to be passing, although the weather is still much milder than I think it should be for this time of year. Even though it has quieted down greatly, the town still feels lively; people are in and out of the library and town hall. Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and there will be an influx of visitors then. Deer hunting season is on; bow hunting will continue until Nov. 28, and on Nov. 30, get your guns ready for shotgun season. So be careful walking in the woods, wear your bright orange, or maybe just don’t walk in the woods right now except on Sundays.

At the library last Saturday, we said goodbye to Morgan Stanley-Kominers, who will be spending more time with her family. Thanks, Morgan, for all your great programming and your sense of fun. We will miss you.

The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School Fall Ball is this Friday, Nov. 13, at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs. Not one but two bands will be performing: Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish from 7 to 9 pm, and the Dock Dance Band from 9:30 to 11 pm. There will be a live auction from 9 to 9:30 pm. There will be a cash bar, and this event is for adults only (which makes it even better).

Have you been to the Chilmark library to see the exhibit about up-Island wampum bead makers and artists? You really should if you haven’t. You will see many people from our town. The exhibit is up every day the library is open, and this Saturday there will be a sale of beads and jewelry from 3 to 5 pm. Great Christmas presents can be had!

The second talk in Phil Weinstein’s Russian seminar about “The Brothers Karamazov” will be this coming Wednesday at the Katharine Cornell Theater from 7 to 9 pm. This event is sponsored by the Vineyard Haven Public Library, and for more information you can contact Betty Burton at 508-696-4211, ext. 16, or email

There is a free annual Health Fair this Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 am to 1 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cafeteria. It will host holistic, traditional and nontraditional health care, dental hygiene and health providers, along with organ-donation screening and data. There will be speakers on two timely issues: At 10 am, Dr. Roni DeLuz, N.D., will speak about “Lyme Disease — How It Affects You,” and at 11 am, Marie Doubleday, LMHC, will speak on “Hidden Issues with Drug Abuse” in the high school library. This event is sponsored by the NAACP. For more information or questions, please call Dr. Lorna Andrade at 508-627-9074. Across the street at the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services campus, there will be an Island Wide Youth Collaborative Open House from 11 am to 3 pm. The collaborative is an alliance of many Island groups and nonprofits to help better serve the youth of Martha’s Vineyard.

Thursday night at the Aquinnah Library, the book group will meet, and the author of the book will be present as well! Nicole Galland will be on hand to join in the discussion of her latest, “Stepdog.” The meeting starts at 5 pm. Story time is still happening at the library on Thursdays at 3:30 pm and Saturdays at 10:30 am. Also on Thursdays is the After School Club, from 4 to 5 pm.

The West Tisbury Selectmen’s School Task Force will hold its third meeting tonight, Thursday, Nov. 5 at 5:30 pm in the West Tisbury Town Hall. The public is urged to attend. It is the selectmen’s charge to the task force to “conduct a comprehensive review of the advantages and disadvantages of West Tisbury’s continuing participation in the Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD).” The task force is in the process of consulting with the Island’s superintendent of schools as well as others to address “the economic/funding, transportation, and educational issues.” Many Aquinnah parents send their children directly to West Tisbury, so the recommendations and actions that come out of this task force have a direct impact on current and future generations in our town. For further information, contact Susan Silk at 508-696-1835.

It was quite a week in Aquinnah. On Wednesday the Taylor clan and many friends around the island gave a wonderful sendoff to Trudy Taylor at the Chilmark Community Center. The center was piled high with food, much of it dessert, which Trudy loved. Trudy’s daughter Kate emceed and set the perfect tone. Kate said that wherever Trudy lived she had a long list of complaints about that place, then when she left it, it became “Mecca,” the most wonderful place she ever lived. “So now,” said Kate, “we are all living in Mecca.” This being the Taylor clan, there were of course many songs. Kate, her daughter Liz Witham, and Jemima James harmonized together; Isaac Taylor did a fabulous imitation of his grandmother leaving messages on his answering machine and then sang two beautiful songs. If Bob Dylan could sing, he would sound like Isaac Taylor. Trudy’s son Livingston closed out the ceremony with a song, and then many people joined him on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” There were many stories of Trudy’s love of nature, her insatiable curiosity, and her discernment. It was clear that although Trudy was well loved, she could be difficult and did not make it easy for people. One of her friends attributed this to Trudy’s high standards, her wanting people to be their best self, and her refusal to compromise. It was clear from all the stories told that Trudy was a remarkably independent (yet family-oriented and social) and original soul who will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

On Friday, the tribe threw a Halloween party with pizza, snacks, and lots of treats, my favorite being the graveyard chocolate pudding with Milano cookies as gravestones made by Amera Madison. Little zombies, princesses, and baby skunks ran around wreaking havoc and trying to get as much candy into their faces as they could. Also on Friday, the Yard did a haunted dance performance at the old Marine Hospital, which I heard was amazing. Then on Saturday there was a party at the library, along with a Halloween hunt at Sassafras. You had the option of going to the Chilmark Community Center or just heading out around town to trick-or-treat. In all it was quite a weekend of high-pitched screaming, face paint, and too much candy. When I asked my son at 8 pm on Halloween if he wanted to do more trick-or-treating (we had been out for about an hour and a half), he said, “Let’s be done.” And so we were.

Happy birthday to Liz Witham, who celebrates today! And also to Martha Vanderhoop, who is kind enough to share her birthday (Nov. 11) with me. Love to all my fellow Scorpios. Congratulations to Alex Taylor and Mimi Trimmer for running the New York Marathon this past Sunday; better you than me, ladies.

It’s going to be a spooky time this weekend. The Wampanoag Tribe will be hosting a Halloween Party on Friday night (All Hallow’s Eve) from 6 to 9 pm. If you would like to be on the list for trick-or-treating in Aquinnah, please let me know. Alex Taylor usually organizes the trick-or-treating, and she piles all the kids in her minivan and takes them around, but this year she will be in New York City because she is running the marathon on Sunday. Go Alex! Make Aquinnah proud. Mimi Trimmer will also be running. Godspeed, ladies. The Yard is hosting a dance party on Halloween night starting at 7 pm; tickets are $10. Each. Since Halloween is on Saturday, I think the whole weekend will be filled with ghosts, ninjas, and fairies. I’d be careful out there on the lonely roads of Aquinnah; you never know what you might find.

Just in time for Halloween, Chilmark Chocolates reopens Thursday at 11:30 am!

At the library there is a craft for grownups this evening. You can stop by at 5 pm and make DIY body products. Remember there is a Halloween party at the library from noon to 2 pm on Saturday.

Sassafras has a new session for kids starting this Saturday. The theme will be fire making and primitive food. It’s every Saturday all day until the beginning of December. You can go online to or call Saskia Vanderhoop at 508-645-2008 for all the information.

The stores at the Cliffs are still open, and it’s not too early to start your Christmas shopping now, while you still have August cash in hand.

Aquinnah resident Phil Weinstein’s lecture series on “The Brothers Karamazov” will start on Nov. 4. The lectures are held at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven; they are held in conjunction with the Vineyard Haven library. Go to for all the details.

There is not a lot happening up-Island right now, but there are some interesting things happening on other parts of the Island that you might enjoy, so I mention them here. The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse is offering a new afterschool program called Theater Kidz beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 27th. This pilot program is a fun, immersive four-week introduction to different aspects of theater, including the basics of acting, design, production and playwriting. The program is open to all Island children, with or without previous theater experience. The course instructors are Playhouse artistic director MJ Bruder Munafo and actor and director Chelsea McCarthy, with other guest instructors. These ladies are both great teachers. If you child is interested, I would contact them now at 508-696-6300, ext. 113, or email with “Theater Kidz” in the subject line and see if there is still space. Grades one to four meet on Tuesdays, and grades five to eight meet on Thursdays.

Community Services has some great programming happening this fall. Tonight there is a free support group for adults who have a loved one with a substance-abuse problem. It meets tonight from 5:30 to 7 pm at Island Counseling Center, MVCS Campus. This group meets every Thursday. For more information, contact Jaime Schwab at 508-693-7900, ext. 375. This Saturday at the Family Center (35 Greenwood Avenue, Vineyard Haven), you can bring in your new baby for Infant Massage with Fae Kontje-Gibbs from 10 to 11:30 am. Preregistration is required; call 508-693-7900, ext. 283.

Join your Island friends for a Pre-Thanksgiving Community Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7th, at First Baptist Church Parish House in Vineyard Haven. The First Baptist is the sister church of the Gay Head Baptist Church. Everyone is welcome to come to the dinner. Tickets are $17 per person, and you can order by calling 508-693-1539 in advance for either the 5 pm or the 6:30 pm seating.

Happy birthday to Buddy Vanderhoop, who celebrates today. A happy birthday also goes out to Arlen Roth, who celebrates on Friday.

We had a cold snap at the start of this week, and people dug out their winter jackets and shivered at the thought of what’s coming: winter. I have been hearing from dedicated ocean swimmers who keep going in for “one last dip” again and again. Did this cold snap finally end the streak? Is the water now officially too cold? It has warmed up again today, and the leaves are continuing their colorful journey toward the ground. Cranberries were gathered from the bogs last week, and it was a harvest to be grateful for (much better than last year’s, by the looks of it). Halloween is next week, and we continue our march toward the long, cold season, but there will be much fun to be had before then.

At the library this week: Come in on Saturday to decorate pumpkins from 11 am to 3 pm. Next Saturday (Halloween, y’all), there will be a costume party at the library from noon to 2 pm. The next book group meeting will be on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 5 pm with special guest Nicole Galland. Her latest book, “Stepdog,” will be the subject.

This coming Tuesday, Oct. 27, and the fourth Tuesday of every month, our new town nurse, Marion Santos, M.S.N., R.N., will be at the Town Hall from 3 to 4 pm for a free blood pressure clinic and to answer general health questions. You may also schedule a home visit. So come over to the town hall and say hello.

Halloween is next weekend, and the tribe is hosting a party on Friday, Oct. 30, from 6 to 9 pm. Of course, this is a costume party, and there will be food as well. It has not yet been decided when trick-or-treating is going to happen either — after the party, or on Halloween night itself. But that should be worked out soon.

There is a plan afoot in town to create better Philbin Beach access that would make it possible to get on the beach without schlepping over the large dune. A committee has of course formed and surveyed the options, and come up with a plan whereby a boardwalk could be built from a corner of the parking lot (near the porta-potty) to the end of the sandy path approaching the beach. The startup costs for this plan are $5,000, and include hiring an engineer to develop a plan and permits. If you would like to make a contribution to help fund these startup costs, thereby expediting the process of easier beach access, you can send a check to the Aquinnah Gay Head Community Association, P.O. Box 494, Chilmark, MA 02535.

This Friday, the Minnesingers will have their annual silent and live auction at Atria at 7 pm. The beloved director of the Minnesingers, Jan Wightman, lives in Aquinnah, and she works hard for this talented group all year round. Come on down to Atria and spend some of your hard-earned summer cash on a good cause.

If you receive an envelope in the mail from the Martha’s Vineyard Healthy Aging Task Force and it contains a survey, and you are 65 years or older, DON’T throw it away! Fill it out and return it to the task force. The population of people 65 and up is expected to double in the next 15 years, and the task force is trying to get a sense of what services will be needed here.

Happy birthday to Jenna Petersiel, who celebrates today, and to my husband, Curtis Langer, who celebrates on Saturday.

It’s a wrap! The season is officially over. Every restaurant up-Island has closed until next spring. The Chilmark Store’s last day was Sunday. They marked many of their groceries down and gave out free pizza slices from 2:30 to 3:30 on Sunday; lots of people came by for the pizza and to say goodbye. The Outermost Inn’s last night open was Saturday, and then they had a little party on Sunday. The Chilmark Tavern closed on Sunday night. Berta Welch and her sister Carla came in with Berta’s 3-month-old grandson, Aiden, who is visiting for a week. There were other people at the table as well, but honestly I only had eyes for Aiden, who is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen, with a pelt of silky black hair on his head, thick eyebrows, and a big belly. It’s very hard to resist cuddling him. He looks a lot like his dad, Giles.

The inimitable and strong Trudy Taylor passed away on Saturday. Mother to Alex, Hugh, James, Kate, and Livingston, grandmother to James, Alex, Isaac, Ben, Sally, Aretha, and Liz, and great-grandmother to Paige, Claudia, Olive, Violet, Emmett, Tilly, Bodhi, Fiona (with whom she shared a birthday), and baby Zuri. She would have been 93 on Nov. 7. Rest in peace, Trudy, and love to the entire Taylor clan.

This Saturday at the library, you can make a fall leaf suncatcher; the following Saturday, come in to decorate pumpkins. Craft time is from 11 am to 3 pm.

Halloween is coming up soon. The tribe will be throwing an All Hallows Eve Party on Friday, Oct. 30, from 6 to 9 pm at the Tribal Building. Obviously, I don’t need to tell anyone to come in costume. The Yard will be hosting a dance party on Halloween night at 7 pm; tickets are $10. A time for Aquinnah kids to trick or treat has not yet been established, but I will let people know as soon as I have it.

The Whippoorwill Yacht and Rocket Club model boat race results are in! Owen Di Biaso won the kids’ race. Len Butler and Scott Di Biaso tied for the adult race. The race took place on Sunday at Menemsha Pond. It was very windy, and Len and Scotty were neck and neck for most of the race.

Malory Butler just returned from a week in Aspen where she visited her daughter Jeffie’s family. Poor Jeffie broke her foot while hiking and is laid up for a bit, so her mom came out to help. Get better soon, Jeffie!

The Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival kicks off this Thursday with Fresh off the Farm, at the Ag Hall at 7 pm. Many local chefs will be featured, including Dan Sauer, Jenna Sprafkin, and Robert Lionette. The festival runs through this Sunday, and there are many great events, including some pop-up dinners at the Beach Plum and the Outermost Inn. The Morning Glory Farm Pumpkin Festival is this Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. Come and get pumpkin treats, watch pumpkins get thrown by a trebuchet, and make a jack-o’-lantern, but beware the hay maze. I did it once and had to be led out by an 8-year-old, and I thought I was going to lose my mind it was so hot and dark in the maze. I guess it’s fun for kids, though.

September’s over, most but not all of the boats are out of the pond, and this coming weekend is the last hurrah of the season. Come to On the Cliffs for their annual half-off sale and party this Saturday at 4 pm. All the stores at the Cliffs will have items for sale, and will be celebrating the end of the season. On the Cliffs will close at the end of the month; Berta and Carla will keep their store open through Thanksgiving, weather permitting. The Outermost Inn’s last night will be this Sunday, as will Chilmark Tavern’s. And alas, the Chilmark Store will be closing for the season too. That one I find a little hard to take: I’m from New York, I don’t like being a half-hour away (by car no less) from my groceries.

Come to the library on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm to make glow-in-the-dark slime. How can you not come and do that? What could be more fun? This Tuesday will be the next meeting of the Book Group, from 5 to 6 pm. The theme this month is creepy stories, so Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” will be discussed.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is still open this week, Thursday through Saturday, from 11 am to 4 pm. You can call them at 508-645-7900 or email for information on all their exhibits. Regular admission is $5 adults, $3 for seniors and children 12 and under.

Joan LeLacheur will hold an Open Studio this Monday, Oct. 12, from 10 am to 5 pm. She will be selling her wampum jewelry and mosaic tiles. There will also be art cards by Susan Shea. Come to 42 Old South Road. You can contact Joanie for more information at or 508-645-9954.

Tuesday is Cranberry Day for the kids of the Wampanoag Tribe. They will be in the bogs harvesting all the cranberries. Here’s hoping for a bumper crop.

Marion Santos, MSN, RN, is our new town nurse; she will be at the Aquinnah Town Hall on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 3 to 4 pm. For a free blood pressure screening and general health questions, come this month on Oct. 27. She can also schedule a home visit.

The Gay Head 10k was this past Sunday, and while the wind was fierce, especially in the last lap around the circle, at least it wasn’t pouring buckets of rain. The overall winners were Rene Da Silva for the men, with a time of 36:45, and Alex Testa for the women, with a time of 44:02. Congratulations to Alex Taylor, who knocked three minutes off her time from last year and came in third in her age group. Congratulations to all the runners, but especially the people from Aquinnah that ran hard for a good cause: They are Michael Sellitti, Walter Ricciardi, Paul Hartel, Chris Belain, husband and wife Spencer and Belinda Booker, and mother and daughter Berta and Sophia Welch. You all rock. Just watching everyone run that last bit with a headwind around the Cliffs was hard — I can’t imagine running the whole thing. I also need to give shout-outs to my co-workers from Chilmark Tavern, Georgia Maroni, who was running the race for the first time, and Eliska Suryckova, who has been running many races this summer.

There’s still time to register for the Gay Head 10K this Sunday, Oct. 4, at 10 am. Registrations will be taken until 9:30 am on race day. One more reason to run? This year’s winners will be awarded free registration for the 2016 race.

Thursday at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown is the ACE MV course sampling fair, from 5 to 7 pm.

At the library: This Saturday from noon to 2 pm, you can stop in and wish Morgan a happy birthday and make no-bake cookie bars; next Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 4 to 5 pm, kids can come in and trade Pokémon cards. On Saturday, Oct. 10, you can make glow-in-the-dark slime. The next book group meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 5 to 6 pm. There will be a discussion of the Dark Romantics: Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The subject will be two short stories, Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” and Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Perfectly macabre for an October evening! Light refreshments will be served. Both short stories are available to pick up at the library.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is still open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 am to 4 pm. This Saturday you can learn about Traditional Dugout Canoe Making. Come see Darius Coombs, Mashpee Wampanoag, demonstrate the traditional skill of making a log boat, using fire as the main tool to shape the vessel. Free with admission. For more information, please contact the center at 508-645-7900 or email them at Admission prices are $5 adults, $3 seniors and children 12 and under.

The Gay Head Gallery is open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm. They are also sometimes open “by chance,” so if you see the open sign, you can stop in, and you can always make an appointment by calling 508-645-2776.

Sassafras will be at the Living Local Harvest Festival this Saturday, Oct. 3. Join their fire and see a presentation on what Nature Mentoring really does, at 11 am. The following Saturday, they are continuing their exploration around the Island, and they will be on Chappy. You can register by going to their website at or by calling 508-645-2008.

Aquinnah has a new public health nurse, Marion Santos, MSN, RN. She is at the Aquinnah Town Hall on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 3 to 4 pm. You can come by for a free blood pressure clinic and to ask general health questions. Home visits are possible too. This year’s all-Island flu clinic, sponsored by the Island Boards of Health, is being held on Oct. 6, from 4 to 7 pm, at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. It will not be a drive-through this year. Everyone over the age of 6 months is welcome.

I have been remiss in mentioning some things in a timely way. The first is a thank you from Fred Littleton of Chilmark, who was sailing on Menemsha Pond on Labor Day weekend when his boat was capsized by a gust of wind. The boat quickly filled with water, and while he was able to get it to the Aquinnah shore of the pond, he still had to bail it out and sail it back to Quitsa. There was no one in sight, and Fred said that three swimmers, two men and a woman, “appeared, almost magically, from the water.” With their help, Fred was able to bail out the boat and get it back home. Fred did not get their names, but wanted to make sure they were thanked. Thank you, good Samaritans!

The second item I have not mentioned is the passing of William Waterway, who died on Sept. 12. William was a true Island character, and his dedication to clean water everywhere, but especially on Martha’s Vineyard, was unmatched. He always had a kind word whenever I saw him, and was always curious about what I was up to. In fact I would say that that word — curious — describes him quite well. He was also a friend to the Gay Head Light, and was very involved in its preservation. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 1 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall. Contributions in William’s memory can be made to: Town of Aquinnah, Memo: Gay Head Lighthouse Fund, 65 State Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535. Rest in peace, William; float on home.

This is the time of year when you really feel the blessings of living here. There are festivals celebrating the harvest and bounty of the Island, warm weather and water (I went swimming just the other day), a little more free time, and the elusive beauty of the Island as the summer wanes and the fall has not yet taken hold. I am not reading any predictions of what the winter is going to bring us this year, I am just enjoying this golden time.

Just because it’s gotten colder does not mean that the Aquinnah Cultural Center has closed! It is still open, and on Saturday, Sept. 26, you can come and see a traditional weaving demonstration during museum hours, 11 am to 4 pm. Fingerweaving artist and Mashpee Wampanoag Marlene Lopez will demonstrate the making of wool sashes by hand, usually worn as part of one’s regalia today, for both ceremonial and social occasions. How cool is that? Free with admission. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday. There are also exhibits up about whaling, Gay Head clay pottery, and the Lighthouse. For more information on programs, events, and exhibits please call 508-645-7900 or email Regular admission prices are $5 adults, $3 seniors and children 12 and under.

Next time you are at the Aquinnah library, please give a welcome to our new library director, Olivia Larsen. A native Islander, Olivia has worked at both the Chilmark and West Tisbury libraries, and we are delighted to have her in Aquinnah. At the library this Saturday, from 11 am to 3 pm, in celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, you can make a fire-breathing dragon. I’m assuming it’s not going to be a life-size one, but some kind of miniature dragon. There really isn’t space in Aquinnah for a bunch of life-size fire-breathing dragons, and considering our fire department is all volunteer, it could turn ugly quickly.

Wednesday, Sept. 30, is the last session of the workshop on Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” sponsored by the Vineyard Haven library. The workshop will be held at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven at 7 pm. In November, Phil will hold a workshop on “The Brothers Karamazov” by Dostoevsky.

The Chilmark Preschool is holding their annual family portrait fundraiser. You can schedule a photo session for your whole family or just your kids with photographer Anthony Esposito. You have your choice of two locations, Polly Hill Arboretum or Katama Airfield. The sessions are: Oct. 17, 18, 24, and 25. You can contact Sarah Waldman if you are interested at 781-799-9941 or

The fall festivals are starting up! Next weekend, Oct. 2 and 3 will be the Living Local Harvest Festival at the Ag Hall, and Columbus Day weekend will be the Chocolate Festival at Featherstone.

Seasonal Aquinnah residents Doug and Susan Kline will be attending the wedding of their son Dylan to Beth Lucas in Roanoke, Va., this Saturday. Dylan proposed to Beth on the path behind the Outermost Inn that ends at the Lighthouse, so they will be bringing some of the Vineyard with them wherever they are. I wish them wonderful weather for their wedding and a long, happy life together.

Happy birthday to Jeffrey Madison who celebrates today, and Spa who celebrates on Saturday. I wish both these epic Aquinnah characters much joy in the coming year.