By Jacqueline Sexton - August 3, 2006

Welcome back to all of our August friends. And a delayed farewell to longtime July residents, Judy Femald and her children and grandchildren, who by this time are back home in Montclair, N. J. Judy and her late husband, David Femald, have spent the month of July in Chilmark since 1964, and the last 19 years have been in the same house in Blacksmith Valley. Judy has participated in many good causes, one of the most interesting being working as an official observer of the presidential elections in Haiti while a member of the board of the International Foundation for Elections Systems. She is also a member of The Caledonian Foundation USA, which supports the arts in Scotland.

The second volume of "Martha's Vineyard Writing," a twice-yearly journal of Island writing, is now at bookstores. The journal includes the work of several Chilmark writers, including Ethel Sherman, Nelson Potter, Linda Zeltzer, Ann Lees, and Judith Neeld, among others.

Please note the date change for Conrad Neuman's talk at the library. He will talk tonight, Thursday, August 3 at 5:30 pm. His talk will be a continuation of last summer's talk about his trip around the world on a teaching ship.

A reminder for those who have just arrived: the deadline for the library's Elisa Brickner poetry contest for young people entering grades six to 12 is next Monday, August 7, 5:30 pm. Poems may be any length, on any subject and any style. One poem per person.

The contest was started several years ago as a memorial by the family of Elisa Brickner, who loved the poetic form and who died in a riding accident at 17 in 1973. A poetry corner in the library was established in 1974 and has been growing ever since.

The contest is open to year-round and seasonal residents and is divided into two categories, those entering junior high, grades six through eight, and high school students entering grades nine through 12. Winners in each category will be awarded a prize of $200; runners up will receive $100. Please call Kristin Maloney at the library, 508-645-3360 for details.

Among the many goings-on at The Yard is a series of dance lessons preceded by potluck supper that will take place on Tuesdays, starting next Tuesday, August 8 and continuing on August 15, 22, and 29. A different teacher will preside each week. If you come for dinner, please bring a potluck dish. Dinner is at 5:30 pm; dancing starts at 6:30 pm. A $10 donation is suggested.

It's road race time, this year on Saturday, August 12. Registration is Friday, August 11, at 5 pm at the Community Center. This marks the 29th year since Hugh Weissman started the popular event - a 3.1 kilometer race down Middle Road

Linda Zeltzer will give an author's talk for children to introduce them to her new book "Code Name KC: A True Account of One Osprey" on Tuesday, August 8 from 10:30 to 11:30 am. The event is sponsored by The Friends of the Chilmark Library and will appeal to children ages six and up. Julian K. Robinson 's photographs illustrate the book.

Perry Garfinkel, former Times Calendar editor, who has roamed the world and written a book, "Buddha or Bust," will talk about his travels and his book at the library next Thursday, August 10, 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Perry writes frequently for The National Geographic, The New York Times, and, now and then, for The Martha's Vineyard Times. The talk is also sponsored by the Friends group.

Geraldine Brooks will discuss her new book, "March," which won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize, at the Community Center next Thursday, August 10, at 8 pm. The book chronicles the life of the absent father, March, in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," during the civil war. The Washington Post calls it "an altogether successful book...."

Vicky Divoll, a fellow at the Naval Academy, who teaches government, will talk about the CIA policy on terrorists at the library on Wednesday, August 9 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

All women who enjoy walking are welcome to join the group that walks every Thursday at 9 am for an hour or two at different walking trails on the Island. Next Thursday, August 10, they will walk the Menemsha Hills Reservation. Call Julie Coleman at 508-645-2261 for more details.

At 5 pm Wednesday, August 9, at the Community Center, Martha's Vineyard Independent Film Festival will offer young viewers "Lost in the Woods," a brother and sister production about a box turtle and a raccoon. The directors will tell the audience after the film how they make films with animal actors. The adult film, "Smiling in a War Zone," which screens at 8 pm is described as "fairytale, performance art and a documentary," and is about a Danish girl who flies a plane over Afghanistan.