Authors Posts by Molly Purves

Molly Purves

Molly Purves

The glory of September continued to unfold this week with exquisite weather and fewer crowds. I went to Philbin on Sunday and it was wonderful. I even went into the water. There are still good beach days to be had and kayaks and paddleboards to take. Plus this year the beach plums are growing like mad — people are saying this is the best batch they’ve seen in years. Time to make jam or just take a walk and pick a couple and eat them on your way.

Goodbye Giulia, we will miss seeing you every week at the library. This past Saturday was Giulia’s last day at the Aquinnah Library, and there was a very sweet sendoff with lots of treats. Giulia will continue working at Community Services, and she has also started a new job at the Hebrew Center. I know she will do well at both.

This Saturday at the library you can make a tie-dye shirt, tablecloth, pillowcase, or whatever you would like; you just need to bring the item in and the dye and the instructions will be there. Dyeing starts at noon. Next Saturday Nancy Caldwell will hold a one-day workshop at the library titled Negotiating and Creating Agreement. The workshop will be based on role-play and case studies, enabling participants to establish their own style of negotiating. The workshop is free but limited to 12 people, and sign-up at the library is required. Call the library at 508-645-2314, or just stop in.

Joan LeLacheur is having an Open Studio at 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah this Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. There will be more new and traditional jewelry designs of wampum beads and moon snail and conch shell.  For more information you can contact Joanie at or 508-645-9954.

Phil Weinstein is teaching a class on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace at the Katherine Cornell Theatre in conjunction with the Vineyard Haven library throughout the fall. It is at 7 pm over six Wednesdays. The first was this past Wednesday, but not to worry, there are five more, the next one being Oct. 1, then Oct. 15 and 29, Nov. 12 and Dec. 3. Reading War and Peace is a great fall project; even if you’ve already read it, it’s worth rereading. I know it’s long, but I can tell you from experience that it’s a great read — very engaging, funny, and wise. It is not a difficult read; it takes stamina as it’s long, but it is worth the time. Phil is such a great teacher I’m sure he will have some wonderful insights into the novel.

Happy birthday to Jeffrey Madison, who celebrates on Wednesday Sept. 24. Welcome home to Adrianna Ignacio, who came back last Thursday. She has a long way to go in her recovery, but I saw the pictures of her on Facebook and I have to say I’m not sure how she did this, but she did manage to look glamorous in a halo cast.

I had the pleasure of attending Ruby Iantosca’s birthday party this past Saturday, and the highlight of the party, aside from seeing Ruby look so happy, was Arlen and Lexie Roth performing together. Arlen is such an amazing guitarist and he and his band are so tight, they play together and off one another so well. Were I a singer I would want to sound like Lexie Roth, soulful and bright with such a love for music and a great sense of the story of the song. She is confident but not showy. How lucky are we to have such talent in our town?

Summer resident Eve Lake, daughter of Morgan Hodson and Bill Lake, was married at the Allen Farm this past Saturday. She and her groom, Curtis, have known each other for 11 years and have followed each other around the globe to Africa, and various schools — Emory (her), Yale (him), and the place of their meeting, Bowdoin. He is a lawyer and she is a doctor of internal medicine in residency. They reside in Seattle. The wedding was quite lovely and the rain held off until everyone was safe inside the tent.

Oh, how I love September in Aquinnah. The weather has been superb and the water is still warm. Over the weekend I kayaked over to Picnic Point on the pond with my husband and a friend and it was so heavenly. It felt like the Caribbean. Or what I imagine the Caribbean would be like since I’ve never actually been. You get the picture — it was lovely and I felt like I was “away” and not at home and that was even lovelier, a little two-hour vacation in our backyard.

This Saturday, Sept. 13, will be Giulia’s last day on staff at the library. There will be an informal, festive celebration throughout the day to send her off. There will be refreshments served, and if you are inclined to bake or cook something to contribute to the party, please do. I know I will miss Giulia’s sweet way with all the town kids and her kindness. I wish her the best of luck in all her endeavors.

I know it’s only September, but this is the first of two times that I will mention the winter holidays in this column. The Chilmark Preschool’s fall fundraiser is portrait sessions with Island photographer (and former longtime Aquinnah resident) Albert O. Fischer. This is the third year that the portrait sessions have been held, and the photos make great holiday cards. The sessions are held at either the Grey Barn & Farm or Menemsha Beach. The dates of the sessions are: Menemsha Beach, Sept. 20 and Oct. 4; Grey Barn & Farm, Sept. 28 and Oct. 18. Contact Sarah Waldman at 781-799-9941 or to reserve your session. Sessions are $75. The profits go to Chilmark Preschool’s enrichment programs.

There is a collection of poems available by Island and off-Island writers about the Gay Head Lighthouse. It is called “Legacy of Light: Poems for the Gay Head Lighthouse,” and Aquinnah resident and talented artist Mitzi Pratt has hand-bound 50 copies. The limited editions are $175. They can be ordered by emailing Mitzi at; there is a softcover version for $20 available as well, but the limited edition would make a lovely Christmas or Hanukkah present. Proceeds from the sale go to the Save the Gay Head Light fund.

Adrianna Ignacio is coming home! She should be released from Spaulding Rehab and home by this weekend. Her recovery will continue for a long time, but at least she will be here with her friends and family and not alone in a hospital. Welcome home Adrianna, we are so glad to have you back.

If you noticed speeding ambulances headed up to Aquinnah a couple of weeks ago, they were for Anne Vanderhoop, who broke her other hip (not the one that broke on Halloween). She is recovering at Spaulding Rehab on the Cape until Sept. 16, and would love to hear from people; please drop her a line:

Anne Vanderhoop

Spaulding Rehabilitation

311 Service Road

East Sandwich, MA 02537

Walter Delaney died on Tuesday, Aug. 26. He moved off the Island in June to be closer to his daughter and her family. Walter was town meeting moderator for 36 years and fire chief for 17 years. He served on many committees and did much service for the town of Aquinnah. His wake was held last Thursday and his memorial service was private. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Nancy, who died last summer. Our hearts go out to his daughter, Gayle M. Delaney, and her husband Andrew Dineen and their son Raymond. Remembrances may be made in Walter’s memory to the Aquinnah Fire Department, 63 State Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535.

Happy birthday to Paul Manning, who celebrated on Sunday, and happy birthday to Anja May, whose birthday is Saturday. Ona Ignacio will be celebrating in style on Tuesday, and Eliska, one of the bartenders at Chilmark Tavern, will be celebrating on Wednesday. Congratulations to Emmett Taylor, who started kindergarten at the Chilmark School last week. Good luck to Nanauwe Vanderhoop, who started at the Walnut Hill School last week. I have a feeling that Nanauwe will do great; it’s her parents that I’m a little worried about, as Nanauwe is boarding at the school and so David and Saskia have an empty nest right now. I know that although they miss her they are awfully proud of her.

Molly PurvesHappy First Day of school everyone! And happy reopening of Chilmark Chocolates as well. Good luck to all the kids of Aquinnah returning to and starting school including:

Noah Manning (third grade), Olive and Violet MacPhail (third grade), Fyn Monahan (sixth grade at a new school), Yossi Monahan (third grade), Rodeo T. Purves-Langer (second grade), Laina Benoit (third grade), Clyde Smith (fourth grade), Claus Smith (first grade), Menasha Laport (sixth grade at a new school), Coltrane Laport (high school!), Pearl Verachrusye (high school), Ben Booker (high school), Riley and Skyler Cameron. I know there are others I missed and I’m sorry, but I hope all kids have a productive and happy return to school and all parents can get to work without scrambling for daycare.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Pow Wow is this weekend. It will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Cliffs. The grand entry parade is Saturday at noon. There will be lots of great food provided by Sly Fox. Most of the Aquinnah Tribal members will be dressed up in traditional regalia and there will be much singing and dancing. This is always a great event to end the summer with, and I look forward to it all season.

Roberta Gross’s artwork is part of an exhibit at the Louisa Gould Gallery, at 54 Main Street in Vineyard Haven. It is the 7th Annual Abstract Art Exhibit titled Abstract Vision: The colors and forms behind the everyday.  The show contains the work of nine artists, and Roberta curated the exhibit. On Friday, September 5, at 5pm, Roberta will give a curator’s talk at the gallery. The talk is free and refreshments will be served.

Registration is now open for the Gay Head 10K on Sunday, October 5, at 10 am; you can register at All the money raised will go toward the moving and restoration of our beloved lighthouse. A total of $3,000,000 is needed and a little over half of that has been raised already. Let’s bring this on home, people, and raise the other half.

The same weekend of the 10K, the Living Local Harvest Fest will be held on October 4. Lots of good food and demonstrations from local organizations.

The Menemsha Bike Ferry has been running all summer, and while I would love to have a bike path up Island the Bike Ferry does so much to make biking safer up-Island along with giving people a way to avoid all the crazy hills of Chilmark. Thank you, Huey Taylor, for creating it and Buck Reidy for manning it on weekends and all the other guys that have been making runs back and forth all summer.

With school starting we of course say goodbye to some of our summer friends. The Berkes returned to Toronto on Tuesday, Megan and Seth Woods returned to their home in Boston with their children, as did Cam and Paulina Neely. The Menemsha Market has closed its doors for the season. See you next year everyone.

Molly-PurvesBack to school in seven days, Chilmark Chocolates reopens in seven days as well, and Labor Day is of course this Monday. I think I heard the entire Island take a collective breath when the Fair ended. It’s all downhill from here. The summer went fast, kind of; the work felt endless and the play time felt too quick. If you have not been to the Aquinnah Shop for dinner yet this summer, you should go this weekend. After Labor Day they will just be open for breakfast and lunch, weather depending. I went for dinner a couple of times this summer and it was delicious. If they have a bluefish special: get it.

There is a Hootenanny/Sing-Along for families, musicians and anyone else who would like a musical night out, tonight at the Chilmark Community Center, 7–10 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door and light refreshments will be served. Feel free to bring an instrument and join in. This is a benefit for the MV Center for Living.

Tonight marks the last of the Aquinnah Public Library’s wildly popular speaker series. At 5 pm Hermine Hull and Brooks Robards will speak about their new book On Island, which features the poems of Ms. Robards and the paintings of Ms. Hull. The talk will be at the Old Town Hall and refreshments will be served. Come to the Library on Saturday at 12 pm for the Summer Readers Pizza Party. The pizzas will be made from the veggies that have been growing at the library all summer. This is a lovely way to wrap up the season and to say goodbye to summer friends who will be leaving to go back to school.

Joan LeLacheur is having an Open Studio and sale this Saturday, August 30, from 10 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Rd. For details email Joanie at or call 508-645-9954. There will be many wampum bead keepsakes and treasures to wear as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and also tiles.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will be open this week Friday, Saturday and Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm. You can stop by and see exhibits about Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries, a beginning exhibit on the Lighthouse and the Wampanoag people who kept it and a new video program  called Land and Life in Old Gay Head. For more information, please call 508-645-7900 or email

I was very sad to learn of the passing of Dr. Laura Reid on August 18. She was one of the first people I met when I started coming to the Vineyard 14 years ago and she was always very kind to me. There will be a remembrance and celebration of her life this Saturday from 1 to 3 pm at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury.

Molly PurvesThe Fair starts Thursday! Not like you didn’t know that, but I just thought I’d mention it. This week is considered the height of the summer by many, with Illumination Night, the Fair, and the Oak Bluffs fireworks. This is the week when all Island kids melt down due to a summer’s worth of overstimulation and lax bedtimes and all Island parents start counting down the days to the start of school (14). It is also the week we say goodbye to kids going to college for the first time like Chantal Booker (UNH) or returning to college like Ella Mahoney (SVA). And many of our summer friends will be leaving us shortly as well. The Fair always reminds me how short summer is and how precious the last days are.

There are only a couple weeks left of summer programming at the library. Today at 5 pm, at the Old Town Hall, Arnold Zack, noted labor dispute arbitrator and mediator, will speak on the topic: “Will fleeing jobs come home to America?” U.S. factories close, migrant workers join the economy, but world trade ultimately determines where jobs will be. This promises to be a very interesting discussion. This Saturday at 1 pm Barbara Lampson will be building a Potato Launcher. I’m not sure about the logistics of this, but I think anything involving hurling objects through space will delight kids. Next Thursday, West Tisbury columnist Hermine Hull and reporter Brooks Robards will speak about their new book “On Island,” which features the poems of Ms. Robards and the paintings of Ms. Hull. And lastly there will be a Summer Readers Pizza Party on Saturday, August 30, at 12 noon where everyone gets to pick veggies and make pizzas from the library’s container garden. This event will close out a very successful season at the library and celebrate all our fabulous summer readers. The speaker series was immensely popular with Duncan Caldwell’s talk last week attracting 80 people! Duncan’s wife, Nancy, who also gave a talk this summer is working on developing a negotiation workshop to be held at the library this fall.

If you stop by the library and you have in an interest in kids’ play spaces in town, fill out the survey about what to do with the playground we currently have. You can also go to the link here and fill it out:

Visit the Edwin Devries Vanderhoop Homestead, the restored 19th-century farmhouse at the cliffs which houses the Aquinnah Cultural Center. It is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm and you can always get a tour of the homestead when it’s open. There are exhibits up on Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries and a new video program, “Land and Life in Old Gay Head.” For more information, please call 508-645-7900, or email

I know it seems a long way off, but I just received the booklet for ACE-MV’S fall programming and there are lots of great classes including a landscape design class taught by Barbara Lampson. Register online now at, by mail, or in person at the office or at the Course Sampling Fair Wednesday, October 1st at MVRHS from 5 to 6:30 pm, or during the Living Locally Harvest Festival October 4 from 10 am to 3 pm. Check the website for more details.

Adriana Ignacio is at Spaulding Rehabilitation for at least another month and could use some cheering up, please send cards and letters to: Spaulding rehabilitation, Attn.: Adriana Ignacio room 619, 300 1st Ave., Charlestown, MA 02129.

Happy birthday to fellow columnist Linley Dolby who celebrates on Saturday; she shares a birthday with the delightful Noli Taylor and sometime summer resident Trisha Mulligan. Happy Birthday to all.

Molly PurvesWhat an amazing beach weekend it was! Philbin was exquisite, albeit a little seaweed-y. I finally got to take a little time off this weekend and enjoy our glorious beaches — part of why we all live here, right? It was much-needed and I enjoyed every second of it, especially seeing other friends who I know have been working very hard this summer take a little time off as well. I feel almost human again.

Duncan Caldwell will speak tonight at 5 pm the Old Town Hall as part of the Summer Speaker Series. His talk is titled, “Prehistoric Rock Art near Paris: Glories, new discoveries and controversies.” Refreshments will be served.

This Saturday at the Library, the Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library will hold an open house from 12 noon to 2 pm; refreshments will be served. You can stop in and learn what the Friends do for the library and how you can help (hint: you can make a donation).

The ice cream social at the library was a lot of fun this weekend. Kids flocked to the porch to shake up a bag of ice cream with Barbara and her staff of helpers (her nephew and other family). I’m always amazed by how good the ice cream is and how simple it is to make it.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will be open Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm up at the Cliffs. You can come in and get a tour of the homestead and see their exhibits on 17th and 18th Century Wampanoag life.

Joan LeLacheur will hold an open studio showcasing her amazing jewelry from 3 to 7 pm on Saturday, August 16, at her home, 42 Old South Rd. You can call her at 508-645-9954 for more information. She is also part of Gallery in the Gardens at Vineyard Gardens on August 15, 5–8 pm.

Dana Gaines kayaked around the Island to benefit the Gay Head Lighthouse on Saturday, he did it in under 10 hours and raised $12,000 for the cause. Congratulations, Dana, and thank you for your generosity toward our signature landmark.

Adrianna Ignacio is doing much better after her fall at her home last month. She has been moved to Spaulding Rehabilitation where she will be for a while. If you would like to send her a card or a letter, you can send it to: Spaulding Rehabilitation Attn.: Adriana Ignacio room 619

300 1st Ave. Charlestown, MA 02129

Happy Birthday to Laina Benoit who turned eight on August 12. Happy Birthday also to Kate Taylor who celebrates this Friday along with our library director, Lisa Sherman. Barbie Bassett celebrates on August 20.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival wraps up next week. Programming in the last week includes: “The Wizard of Oz” this Friday at Owen Park in Vineyard Haven on Friday at 8 pm, “Freedom Summer” with special guests, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Gwen Ifil at the Tabernacle on Monday and “Art and Craft” at the Chilmark Community Center on Wednesday. You can go to their website for tickets at or call the office at 508-645-9599.

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

Molly PurvesThis is a big weekend for the Aquinnah Cultural Center (ACC). On Saturday at 5 pm is the 9th Annual Wampanoag Feast and Fundraiser — a benefit dinner to support the ACC’s programs, exhibits, and events. There will be a special guest speaker, Marge Bruchac, from the Abnaki tribe; her talk is titled, “On the Wampum Trail:  Stories Embedded in the Shell.” On Sunday, August 10, there will be a Storytelling Festival from 11 am  to 4:30 pm, “Ancient Words in a New Day,” featuring seven Native American storytellers from the New England area. There will be 17th and 19th century Wampanoag dishes prepared. At 3:30 pm there will be panel discussion on “The Meanings of Story in Native American Cultures.”  The price for this event is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and children under 12.

Along with these special events, the ACC is open every Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday at its normal times, 11 am to 4 pm. You can stop by for a tour of the homestead and to see the exhibit on Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also a new video program, “Land and Life in Old Gay Head.” If you would like more information, please call the ACC at 508-645-7900 or email them at

Upcoming events at the library include:

Tonight at 5 pm Peter Temple of the MV Donors Collaborative and The Healthy Aging Task Force will speak on “Aging in Our Community: The Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Vineyard and Our Aging Population.” In addition to discussing an overview of the Task Force, he will focus specifically on our community’s unique challenges, as well as its benefits.

This Saturday at 1 pm there is a Kids Ice Cream Social! This was a big hit last year and the library is doing it again. Barbara Lampson brings in all the ingredients to make your own ice cream. You do not want to miss this: it was so much fun and the ice cream (all handmade) was delicious as well.

Next Thursday, August 14, at 5 pm, returning guest speaker Duncan Caldwell will give a talk entitled “Some Glories, New Discoveries and Controversies involving the Rock Art of the Parisian Region.” The talk will take us into the richest concentration of rock art near a major city in the world, around 1,400 sites just outside Paris with paintings and engravings spanning tens of thousands of years.

On Saturday, August 16, at 1 pm, kids can build a fairy house next to the Library, with Barbara. The Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library’s Annual Meeting and Open House is also on this day from 12 noon to  2 pm, and all are invited and welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

This Saturday, August 9 (rain date Sunday, August 10), 3–5 pm,  the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee will host a Finish Line Party to celebrate the end of local kayaker Dana Gaines’s 52-mile paddle around the Island to benefit the relocation of the Gay Head Light. There will be music, cash bar with beer and wine, clams and oysters. The event is open to the public. It will be held on the terrace of the Aquinnah Shop.

The Gay Head Gallery will host an art event this Sunday from 5 to 7 pm. It is titled, “The Abstract Wild: Wilderness Lost?”  Michael Senatore, the vice president of conservation law at Defenders of Wildlife, will be present and the event will benefit Defenders of Wildlife. For more information, you can contact Megan Sargent at 508-645-2776.

Arlen Roth has been hard at work at his Aquinnah home on his new all-acoustic Rolling Stones album, with engineer Alex Salzman, who is visiting from New York. Alex and Arlen previously worked together on an album of Simon and Garfunkel music as well as one featuring the music of Bob Dylan. Alex is also working with Arlen’s daughter, Lexie, who is recording a new album. Eleven tracks of Arlen’s album have already been recorded. I can’t wait to hear it.

The graveside service for Carl Widdis this past weekend was filled with people, rain, and love. Carl’s nephew, Heath, and Carl’s brother, Donald, both spoke of Carl’s generous spirit and his helpful ways. I don’t think there was one person there that Carl had not helped at some point, and, as his brother said, “Some of you are still waiting for the bill.”

Kate Taylor played guitar and sang, Jason Baird performed the ceremony, and the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard gave full military honors to Carl, a U.S. Navy veteran. Toward the end of the service as the rain came down heavier and heavier a clearly grieved Pam Glavin (Carl’s widow) spoke. After the service people gathered at the Aquinnah shop to reminisce. Donations may be made in Carl’s name to the Gay Head Lighthouse Fund, payable to the Town of Aquinnah, 65 State Rd. Aquinnah, MA 02535.

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Award recipients - Bret Stearns, Paul Manning, Ben Retmeir, Tri-Town Ambulance Chief Zeke Wilkins, Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain, Curtis Chandler, Susan Schofield, Jonathan Klaren, Alan Ganapol, Kristina West, Tracey Jones and Don Scranton. The award recipients were honored for saving the life of Chilmark resident, Christopher McCloud, on June 18, 2014. — Photo by Lisa Vanderhoop

Molly-PurvesSuch sad news in Aquinnah this past weekend. Carl Widdis died on Sunday. I will miss seeing him around town, usually with his family, and getting an annual phone call from him telling me of the Hot Rod and Antique Car show every June. My first summer on the Island I drove my car off an embankment on my road. After calling a couple people and trying to get help from a neighbor — all to no avail — my then boyfriend, now husband, said, “Call Carl Widdis.” I did and very shortly Carl showed up and quickly got my car set right. He did it so kindly as well.

My husband and I frequently talk about what a friend of ours calls “the grief tax” here on the Island. The grief tax is the amount of grief you must “pay” when you break something and bring it in to get fixed. For instance you got into a fender bender and you bring your car in to be repaired and the mechanic says something along the lines of, “What happened? You just couldn’t put the phone down and pay attention?” or “You realize what your rear view mirrors are for, don’t you?” Carl never charged me grief tax (more than I can say for my husband) and for that I was very grateful. I felt so embarrassed and silly for driving my car off the road and Carl was so sweet about it. He always had a kind word for people and was quick to laugh. To me he seemed like part of the landscape in Aquinnah. I know he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Much love to his family and friends.

Nancy Caldwell will speak today at the Old Town Hall at 5 pm as part of the Aquinnah Public Library Speaker Series. The topic is, “Negotiating Troubled Waters” between Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open this week Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. Stop by for a house tour and to see the exhibit on Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Wampanoag Tribe’s Heritage Exhibit has opened and is on view daily at the Cliffs. The exhibit was created by the Natural Resources and Tribal Historic Preservation Departments.

The Gay Head Gallery is open daily, 12 noon–5 pm. Up right now is the exhibit, “Keep the Lighthouse in Sight;” a portion of the proceeds of sales will go to the effort to save the Gay Head Light.

This Saturday The Yard will host “Pride, not Prejudice: A Pride Celebration.” This is a “public dancing allowed” event that honors all LGBTQ people and celebrates ten years of marriage equality in Massachusetts, and I know it is going to be so much fun with great DJs. The dance starts at 4 pm and there is a $10 suggested donation.

Dana Gaines will be kayaking around the entire Island on August 9 to raise money for the lighthouse. If you would like to support him go to

The Annual All Island Art Show will be this Monday, August 4, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. Art created by artists from all over the Island will be on view and available for purchase.

The public safety day held by the Aquinnah police and fire departments this past Saturday was a huge success and very fun. There was a raffle, food, and a bouncy house (perhaps the biggest hit among the younger set). Simon Bollin, our fire department chief, led a great and very informative demonstration of how the department uses the “jaws of life” and other equipment to rescue people from a crashed car. There was a pin ceremony honoring all who helped rescue Chris MacLeod when he had his heart attack a month ago. Parked around the front lot of the fire station there were all the vehicles of both departments on display, and kids could sit in them and get a tour of all the equipment. I’m toying with the idea of joining the fire department so I can use the new Jet Ski that they have.

Molly PurvesIs anyone else dealing with extreme levels of mildew in their home right now? We live on the south side of Aquinnah which is usually the drier, less buggy side. While we have not had that many bugs due to the high winds we’ve been getting, I cannot keep up with the mildew removal. I feel like mildew has become the official scent of my life. No matter how much I scrub my closet, the window frames, the baseboards, and any surface really, with Simple Green, I get into bed at night and I still get a whiff of it. I’ve washed all the bedding, but it’s still there. I’ve never had this problem in July. August, yes. July, no.

Phil Weinstein, the Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English at Swarthmore College, will be speaking as part of the Aquinnah Public Library speaker series tonight Thursday, July 24, at 5 pm. The topic is Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s “100 Years of Solitude.”  Phil is an amazing speaker and intellect, as most of you know, and his talks are always wonderful. Another great mind, Nancy Caldwell, will speak on Thursday, July 31 at 5 pm. Her talk is titled, “Negotiating Troubled Waters” between Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. The series is held at the Old Town Hall and refreshments will be served.

There is a lot happening in our little town this Saturday; there is no need to travel down Island looking for excitement. First up is the 8th Annual Native American Artisans’ Festival, from 11 am to 4 pm, held at the Aquinnah circle. Native American artists from the Mashpee Wampanoag, Narragansett, Oneida, Abenaki, and Aquinnah Wampanoag will demonstrate and sell their arts. This is a wonderful opportunity to buy some traditional weavings, beadwork, quillwork, wampum, and more.  Also, make a sailors’ valentine and/or a wampum pendant. The Iron River Singers and Lady Hawk Singers will perform. There will be native foods prepared by Orange Peel Bakery. If you would like more information, call 508-645-7900, or email

Also happening on Saturday, the Aquinnah Police Department is hosting a public safety day from 12 noon to 5 pm. There will be demonstrations of safety equipment and cool gear and hamburgers and hot dogs will be served. At 1 pm the department will present pins to the folks who helped save Chris McLeod when he suffered a heart attack.

And lastly, Ladybug Girl will be at the library at 1 pm for stories and fun. So there is truly something for everyone in town this weekend.

The MV Film Festival’s Summer Film Series continues next week with three films, “Matt Shephard is a Friend of Mine” on Wednesday in Chilmark, “Kidnapped for Christ” on Thursday in Edgartown and “E.T.” outdoors in Vineyard Haven at Owen Park.

Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth are helping to organize the first TEDx talk on Martha’s Vineyard. It will be held on August 19 at the MV Film Center, the theme is “Insanity, Genius and the Creative Process.” They have some great speakers and it looks like it will be a big event.

Lots of birthdays this week: Berta Welch on Friday, Joanie LeLacheur on Saturday, and Hollis Smith on Tuesday. Happy birthday to you all!

Robin Robinson's new Bengal kitten, Sochi. — Lisa Vanderhoop

Well, summer certainly is in full swing. I haven’t really seen any of my year-round friends in about a month and I feel like I’m doing too many things and none of them particularly well. I have managed to get to the beach a few times and I took a kayak out on the pond so it’s not all bad, but it feels crazy and every time I look at my to-do list I think, “Huh. I wonder who’s going to do all that?”

Tonight, Thursday, July 17, at 5 pm at the Old Town Hall the Aquinnah Public Library Speaker Series continues with Thomas Dresser, Jay Schofield, and Herb Foster discussing their new book, “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II.” The event is free, books will be available for sale at $20. And refreshments will be served. This is sure to be a fascinating discussion with lots of interesting information.

This Saturday at 1 pm, the Fizz Boom Craft! at the library will be making Oobleck. When it comes to what oobleck actually is — your guess is as good as mine. I’m thinking it’s something gooey and colorful. On Saturday, July 26, at 1 pm Ladybug Girl will visit the library and on Tuesday, July 29, at 2 pm the Spindrift Marionettes will perform a puppet show. Regular programming at the library is as follows: on Tuesdays, 3 to 4:30 pm, come in and play Mad Libs. On Thursdays from 3 to 4 pm, there will be stories and crafts for younger children. On Saturdays from 2 to 3:30 pm, there is a drop-in storytime. And on rainy days when the library is open there will be Legos on the rug.

At the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week, the exhibit on Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries is still up. On Wednesday, July 23, at 6 pm there will be a special presentation: Professor David Silverman of George Washington University will speak on his latest book, “Ninigret, Sachem of the Niantics and Narragansetts: Diplomacy, War, and the Balance of Power in 17th Century New England and Indian Country.” The center is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm; for more information, please call 508-645-7900, or email

Tomorrow, Friday, July 18, from 5 to 8 pm at the Tashmoo Spring Building in Vineyard Haven will be the first annual benefit art show for the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group. Enjoy an evening of art and oysters. Eat some delicious shellfish and see the works of more than 30 artists centered on shellfish and our waters. Fifty percent of all sales will go to the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group to produce oyster, scallop, and quahog seed to stock our ponds and clean our waters. Artists include: Kate Taylor, Wendy Weldon, Thaw Malin, Joan LeLacheur, and many more. The exhibit will be open the next day from 10 am to 6 pm as well.

Joan LeLacheur is having an open studio this Saturday, July 19, from 10 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Rd. There will be new designs in wampum, moonsnail, conch, and pearls. Call Joanie at 508-645-9954 or email her at

Grace Randolph had a little girl, Katama, on June 18. I’ve heard she’s a cute little baby with dimples. Robin Robinson has a new little Bengal kitten named Sochi — speaking of cuteness, it’s always good to have another Aquinnah resident. Lisa Vanderhoop’s new Seadogs calendar is out and available all over the Island. You can also visit her website at or email her at

There is an exhibit up at the Gay Head Gallery right now called “Keep the Lighthouse in Sight” that has artwork inspired by the Gay Head Light. Kathy Newman has some work in it. The gallery is open most days, 11 am to 5 pm, or call 508-645-2776 for an appointment.

There was a flag presentation at the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, June 26, and Aquinnah was well represented there with Adam Wilson bearing our flag. Happy Birthday to select woman Juli Vanderhoop who celebrates this Saturday.

If you are not on Facebook and would like to donate to Carl Widdis’s recovery fund, you can mail a tax deduciable check to: You’ve got a Friend, C/o Carl Widdis. Box 1317, West Tisbury, MA 02575.

Everyone please keep Adriana Ignacio in your thoughts and prayers. She suffered an accident in her home last week and is still recovering in the hospital. I know she will pull through but good recovery energy sent her way can’t hurt. Get well soon, Adriana.

Calling all artists: the annual All Island Art Show will be held on Monday, August 4, at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs; all the information you need to participate is on their website,; there is no entrance fee this year. For information the old-fashioned way, call Harvey Beth at 508-693-0371.