Authors Posts by Molly Purves

Molly Purves

Molly Purves

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.

Molly PurvesWhat does it mean when we are getting hurricanes in July? Is this going to be a regular thing? I have to say that I usually ignore weather people because I feel when they make a big deal out of something it usually ends up not being a big deal and when they say that we “may experience some high gusts of wind” we get slammed with rain and a vicious wind that tears boats off their moorings and roofs off of houses. But this past storm was quite something. The wind was very intense on the pond. Luckily in the end all the boats were okay but it was iffy for a while.

The Aquinnah Public Library Speaker series continues on Thursday at 5 pm with Skip Finley and Kathleen McGhee-Anderson reading excerpts from their brand-spanking new book, “A Martha’s Vineyard Love Story.” They will be reading at the Old Town Hall at 5 pm and refreshments will be served.  A portion of proceeds from book sales that evening will be donated to You’ve Got a Friend for Carl Widdiss. If you don’t know Carl is in Arizona getting treatment to boost his immune system which was wrecked by cancer treatment. There is a “go fund me” page on Facebook where you can donate. If you go to my Facebook page or June Manning’s there is a link to it where you can donate and help Carl recover and come back home.

On Saturday, July 12, at the library the first science-based “Fizz Boom” craft will be at 1 pm where kids can make tree frog houses for our local pinkletinks. There will also be a new post beach drop-in story time on Saturdays, 2–3:30 pm. On Thursday, July 17, Thomas Dresser, Jay Schofield, and Herb Foster will be talking about their new book, “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II” at 5 pm at the Old Town Hall.

The summer reading kick-off at the Ag Hall went great this past weekend. Our own Barbara Lampson was there painting faces and she encourages everyone to stop by the Aquinnah Library to pick some basil and Sungold tomatoes from the container garden (but leave enough for the pizza party at the end of August).

The Aquinnah Cultural Center has an exhibit up about Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries. You can stop by any time they are open to see it and also to get a tour of the Vanderhoop Homestead where the Center is housed. Their hours are 11 am–4 pm, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from. Call 508-645-7900 or email for more information.

If you are looking for something to do with your kids this weekend the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival is hosting Cinema Circus this Sunday from 12 noon to 6 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. There will be films for kids, workshops, and of course the circus — and it’s free. There will be food for sale there made by Aquinnah’s own Quitsa Cuisine. So stop by.

The Roseanne Cash benefit for the Lighthouse was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who came out and donated. The Save the Gay Head Light organization now has half of the money needed to complete the move. Everyone said the concert was wonderful with a very warm feel. If you were unable to go to the concert but would like to donate, go to

Thank you to the Goldfield/Mannion family and everyone else who helped host the Fourth of July parade on Saturday. All the kids had a great time, especially during the treasure hunt on Philbin. Can someone host a treasure hunt for grownups? Instead of candy we could hunt for Cronig’s gift certificates, or free drinks or pie at the Aquinnah Shop. Can someone get on that, please?

Molly-PurvesSchool is finally out and summer is officially here. The Island feels full already; even up-Island seems crowded. I don’t want to spend the summer complaining about traffic, but I have seen some things lately that have me concerned and drive me to respond with muttered swear words as I drive. Please, drivers: don’t pass bicyclists, runners, walkers, anyone on blind curved. Just don’t. Wait. Wait until you can see what’s coming at you. It’s much safer. And runners, bicyclists etc.: please pay extra attention if you know you are rounding a blind turn and that you can’t be seen. Everyone put down your phones as you drive. Especially up-Island where the roads are so narrow there is very little margin for error. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I hope we have a safe summer on our roads.

There is a lot happening at the library this week and every week during the summer. The “Aquinnah Public Library Summer Series” starts today when William Waterway will speak about his new book, “The Gay Head Lighthouse,” at 5 pm at the Old Town Hall. This event will include projected images of rare Gay Head Light photographs. The book itself is illustrated with 32 color images and over 40 black-and-white images.

Every Tuesday at 3 pm you can stop in to play “Mad Libs.” If you don’t know what Mad Libs are, you should go and learn: they are a lot of fun. On Thursdays from 3 to 4 pm there will be stories and crafts for younger kids and a drop-in storytime on Saturdays between 2 and 3:30 pm. On rainy days kids can come in for Legos on the rug.

This Saturday is the Island-wide kickoff for Summer Reading at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury, starting at 10:30 am. Come by for face painting, music and games. Next Saturday at 1 pm the library will host a Fizz Boom Craft! Where kids can make a tree frog house.

The annual Aquinnah Fourth of July parade is Friday. Come to HP Goldfield and Kristin Mannion’s house at 5 Old South Rd. for face painting and tattoos and other decorations and costume add-ons at 10 am. The parade starts at 11 am and ends with a treasure hunt on Philbin Beach. The parade is always wacky and wonderful and a real highlight of the summer. And you don’t have to go down Island!

Joanie LaLecheur will have an open studio of her wampum jewelry this Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at her studio at 42 Old South Road. If you have never seen Joanie’s work you should stop by.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival started this week and continues next Wednesday with Rory Kennedy’s “Last Days of Vietnam” at the Chilmark Community Center. Ms. Kennedy will be on hand for a Q&A. There will also be dinner served by Marvin Jones and Deon Thomas. Dinner is at 7 pm and the film starts at 8 pm. Tickets available at

Megan Ottens-Sargent kicked off her season at the Gay Head Gallery with an art opening this past Sunday. Right now she has a group show up as well as a special exhibition of silver print photographs selected from Barbara Norfleet’s Portfolio, “The Landscape of the Cold War.” This exhibit of photographs includes beautiful, haunting and sometimes ironic images of government weapons and nuclear research centers in the 1980s.

Amera Ignacio and Todd Vanderhoop’s littlest turned one on Monday. Happy birthday to Lyle who is a big squeezable bunch of love.

Congratulations to all Aquinnah graduates including Menasha and Coltrane LaPort (moving on to sixth and ninth grade respectively), Fyn Monahan who is done with the Chilmark School and moving on to West Tisbury and Dominic Perez who will be starting ninth grade at the high school in mostly all honors classes, and going directly to tenth grade Spanish; his mom, Melanie is very proud. Congratulations on all your hard work and good luck next year. Right now all you have to do is have a great summer.


Molly PurvesMany people this week had ship fever, the ship in question being the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest wooden whaling ship left in the world. For the past week the ship has been docked at the Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven. The Morgan lives in Mystic Seaport and the journey here was her thirty-eighth. Some people went out on their boats as she made her way up the Sound, and they said to see her under sail was a beautiful sight. Many people described their visits to the boat as like “going back in time” or of having a very deep historical and spiritual connection to the Island and its whaling ancestors. As beautiful as the ship is, no one can deny that it must have been a very intimate and at times tedious existence for its crew  — sailing, hunting, killing and processing whales and living side by side for three years at a time. Flip Scipio of Aquinnah summed it up when he told me, “The smell on board must have been awful.”

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open this upcoming week on Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm. You can stop by any time during those hours and see their new exhibits and get a tour of the homestead.

There is still money available to qualified Aquinnah residents for child care subsidies. Applications are available at Town Hall.

While you’re at Town Hall you can pick up your Philbin Beach sticker and your new resident parking pass from Carolyn Feltz, Monday through Saturday mornings until noon.

Joan LeLacheur is having an open studio this Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Road. Beautiful reflections of summer in new designs of wampum, in combination with abalone, moonsnail, and pearls. She will have another one on July 5. You can contact Joanie at 508-645-9954 or

Here is someone who is really committed to the cause — the cause being the relocation of the Gay Head Light. Dana Gaines, 56, will kayak around the entire Island to benefit the restoration and relocation of the Gay Head Lighthouse. Gaines will be raising funds through the website Indiegogo, where contributors can pledge donations to his 52-mile trip to benefit the lighthouse’s move. Gaines has circumnavigated the Island before: in September of 2012 he and two friends actually set the record of eleven hours and four minutes. Now I like kayaking, but that is a long time in a not very big boat. He is of course hoping to beat his record this time around. You can go directly to the Indiegogo website to donate or you can go to as well. The paddle is scheduled for Saturday, August 9, with a possible rain date of Sunday, August 10. Gaines will also be sharing his training through a blog, where he will be posting frequent training updates in preparation for the 52-mile trip, from paddling to cycling and running. Go Dana!

I received news of this very sweet sounding wedding the other day. Forty-seven year summer resident, Christopher Mead of Erie, Penn.. married his sweetheart of 17 years, Traci Lockwood (also of Erie) on the beach surrounded by Traci’s daughters, Carly and Brianne, and close family in a heart-shaped formation created by sun-drenched rocks. They exchanged vows on Monday, June 16, at 4 pm. Don’t think that just because the wedding was on the beach that it was without technology. They streamed the wedding over the Internet so that parents Sandra Mead and Julie and Al Rekitt could “attend.” The bride walked from the Rainbow house over a dune lead by her daughters and flower girl and niece Sierra Donn. Attending family included the groom’s sister, Karen Mead, brother Eric Mead of San Jose, Calif., nephew Morgan Donn and brother-in-law Randy Donn. Vicky Hanjian of Oak Bluffs officiated. After all those years together it sounds like it was about time to make it official, and it also seems like it was a lovely wedding filled with family.

Former Aquinnah resident Siobhan Westcott celebrates her birthday on Tuesday. Happy Birthday, Siobhan!

Molly PurvesSummer officially starts on Saturday! Maybe now it will stay warm for more than two days in a row and I can take the comforter off my bed. Although we did badly need the rain we got last week. Aquinnah now looks so lush and beautiful, which seems almost shocking when you think back a few weeks ago when there were hardly any trees blooming. We took our first trip to Red Sand Beach and there were many kids romping in the water. People are getting their moorings and their boats in as well, although there are a lot of “regulars” that I don’t see yet at the pond.

There is a Summer Solstice party at the Lighthouse on Friday, 5–8 pm, with food and music. Everyone is welcome to attend.

There will be a summer Solstice potluck party at Sassafras, AKA David and Saskia’s house, this Saturday starting at 7 pm with a fire and music and I assume many people delighted to be finally saying goodbye to this cold spring.

At the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week:

On Friday, June 20, the ACC welcomes special guest speaker Matthew Stackpole of Mystic Seaport Museum, who is traveling with the whaling vessel, Charles W. Morgan. Mr. Stackpole will speak on the restoration of this last whaling vessel and its relation to Gay Head whale men — by donation. On Saturday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 25, you can stop by and see the new exhibits on Wampanoag whaling and the Gay Head Lighthouse. You can also get a tour of the homestead during regular hours which are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 11 am to 4 pm. For more information on exhibits and programs, call 508-645-7900 or email us at

Summer Reading signup starts this Saturday at the Aquinnah Library. The big all-Island Summer Reading kickoff will be at the Ag Hall on July 5. Come and sign your kids up and then they can get prizes for all the books they read over the summer.

The “Dogs for Dads” party at the library was great fun. There was a grill on the deck and hot dogs for anyone who stopped by. We spent a very pleasant hour chatting with Eddie Stahl and his wife, Elissa; their daughter Lucille has gotten so big and she is so delightful. Jim Verycrusse stopped by to deliver a new outdoor sign he made for the library. Thank you, Jim.

Yoga at the Yard will start on June 28. Classes will be Monday through Friday at 7 am, Saturday at 8 am, and Sunday at 9 am. You can go to for all the information. I have heard also that Janette Vanderhoop is going to be teaching yoga over the summer at the Old Town Hall, but I haven’t gotten anything definite yet.

Happy birthday to Adam Wilson, our very organized and hardworking town administrator. Is that his official title? I’m not sure. It could also be Town Hall Gatekeeper or Man Who Knows All about How Aquinnah Runs — either of those would work too. Anyway his birthday is on Monday, so wish him a happy one if you see him.

Got Aquinnah news? Share it with Molly here.

Molly-PurvesIt is already mid-June. I’m not sure how that happened, except that time just seems to keep on keeping on. People already seem a little harried and have that I-wish-there-were-more-hours-in-the-day look. I find that May and June are actually the most intense months here in terms of to-do lists and workload. I find that by July and definitely by August I’m so deep in some kind of sleep-deprived, used-to-being-upright-for-16-hours-at-a-time groove that they actually seem kind of easy to get through, but the starter months before you’re in that space and when you still have your winter pace on? These months can be brutal.

On Saturday, June 14, the Aquinnah Library will host, “Dogs for Dads” with a hot dog BBQ on the deck from 12 noon to 2 pm.  Hot dogs are free to all who attend (while supplies last). Inside the library there will be a picture frame craft for kids where they can make and decorate a picture frame, and Barbara will take a picture of them and print it out to put in the frame for their dads. On Saturday, June 21, sign-ups for Summer Reading will start at the Library. The Summer Reading theme is “Fizz, Boom, Read!” and in addition to signing kids up for summer reading, the library will offer cookies, lemonade, and a fun science experiment involving bubbles. In relation to the “Fizz, Boom, Read” theme of summer reading the library will host a series of “Fizz, Boom!” crafts on Saturdays. The crafts will be science and/or nature-based and some will contain an experiment.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is opening for the season this Saturday, June 14, at 1 pm. The ACC operates the Edwin Vanderhoop Homestead, a 19th-century Gay Head farmstead, where you can learn about the history and culture of the Wampanoag people. Stay tuned for their weekly special events, but for now you can always drop by and get a tour of the homestead. Hours are: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11am to 4 pm. For more information, please call 508-645-7900 or email at

There will be a Summer Solstice celebration at the Gay Head Lighthouse next Friday, June 20. The only information that I have about it right now is that William Waterway will be on hand signing copies of his new book, “Gay Head Lighthouse -– the First Light on Martha’s Vineyard.”

You can pick up your copy then or get one at the M.V. Museum or Bunch of Grapes. William has done a lot of research on the lighthouse and has packed the book with interesting facts such as: drinking water for all the Gay Head Light keepers — from 1799 to 1958 — had to be hauled from Cooke’s Spring a mile away from the lighthouse, and for a good part of its existence the lighthouse was painted with paint made from the red clay of the cliffs.

David and Saskia Vanderhoop will host a Summer Solstice potluck party at their home on June 21, the first official day of summer. The music, fire and fun start at 7 pm. There are still slots available for the first two weeks of Sassafras camp; Week One is June 30–July 4 and the theme is “Scouting,” Week two is July 7–11 and the theme is “Water.” Saskia is also looking for volunteers to help out with the camp. Call 508-645-2008 for any information on Sassafras.

Nicole Corbo is going to be very busy this summer. Starting on Tuesday, June 17, her morning fitness Stand Up Paddle boarding classes will begin. They will be held every Tuesday and Friday at 7 am. Intro to SUP (as the cool kids call it) and tours will be held every day at 8:30 and 10:30am. She will also be hosting a Teen Girls Paddle Camp July 21–25 between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm. It will include SUP, yoga, team building, hiking, and nutrition lessons. Nicole will be running the camp with her sister, Erin. Nicole will also be offering private modified SUP instruction for individuals with autism and other various exceptionalities. Aside from being a certified SUP and yoga instructor Nicole is also a special education teacher. If you would like to sign up for any of the above, call Nicole at 808-640-6935 or email her at

Walter Delaney got a great send-off as he left his home in Aquinnah for the last time last Tuesday. People gathered at the end of his drive to see him off and the Aquinnah Police and Fire Department escorted him to the town line. Good luck in your new home, Walter.

Happy birthday to summer resident Danny Jensen who celebrates on Monday.

Lastly let’s remember to thank all the dads in Aquinnah (and everywhere) this Sunday. Happy Father’s Day to Jed, Curtis, Peter, Jim N., Jim W., Adam,  Mike, Jay B., Jay S., Jimmy S., Jimmy B., Lang, Lee, Jeffery, Jason, Jerry, Spa, Vern, Bruce I., Ben, Todd, Eddie, Phil, Steve, Bruce E., Shawn, Isaac, Hugh, Paul, Derrill, Jim V., Spencer, Darrin, Jay T., Eric, Walter, Nick, Len, Phil, Francis, Woody, Chip, Buddy, David, Cully and in loving memory of Ricky. Apologies to all dads of Aquinnah that I forgot or just plain don’t know.