I think that August should be called the month of the "bugs." Everywhere I go I am pestered by flying, crawling, or swinging creatures. They ping into my screens at night and drop onto my laundry hanging outside during the day, staying undiscovered until I bring the clothes in to fold. Then I see that they make an immediate trip back outside with a quick shake of the clothing and a brief "goodbye." In the morning I have to dispose of the remains of various moths who have been captured and partially devoured by the spiders that lurk goodness knows where. There is one invisible insect that is speedily turning my sunflower plant, that was kindly planted by the birds in my back porch planter, into a pattern of lacey leaves and chewed bits of blossoms. Even the ocean provided no escape as, for the first time in my life, I was stung by one of those fuzzy red jelly fish while swimming. I can only hope that my patience and flowers will last 'til the fall when, hopefully, they will vanish in the cool weather.
Oak Bluffs residents please remember to vote in the special election on August 8 from 12 noon until 7 pm.
We send birthday smiles to Joann DeBettencourt on Aug. 5, Ben deBettecourt on August 7 and Ken Debettencourt on August 8.
It is with sorrow that I tell you of the death in Altadena, Calif. last week of Jacquie Gillis Fennessey. Jacquie graduated from Tisbury High School in 1953 and was a member of the group of four girls who called themselves the JAMS after the initials of their first names. Jacquie was always joyful and friendly, shone in our senior play and a dear close friend to all of us in that class. She visited back here a few times and her last visit was in 2003 for the 50th class reunion when we all got together once again and it seemed as if we picked up where we left off 50 years ago. A graduate of UCLA, she was married to the late Dr. Bill Fennessey and they had five sons and 13 grandchildren. The consummate volunteer, she served the city of Altadena well. Among other positions, she was Chair for the Town Council, Executive director of the Patron Saints Foundations, and Board Member of the Sheriff's support group of Altadena. In 2003 she was the California 29th Congressional District's Woman of the Year. She will be missed by all of us.
The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs Annual Book Sale will take place on August 4 from 11 am to 5 pm and August 5 from 10 am to 5 pm. They have many exceptionally good used books for sale, a great many children's, marine, and coffee-table books among the usual novels and paperbacks.
If you like flea markets, do not miss the one at Trinity United Methodist on August 12. It will be held in the parish house in the Campground from 9 am until closing. All proceeds will go to the church.
Glenna Barkan of Pondview Drive celebrated a big 80th birthday at a gala party with friends and family on Sunday last. A large tent was put up in her yard, the food was potluck (and delicious), and entertainment was provided by local band Squash Meadow. Present were on-Island daughter Sally and daughter Susan with granddaughter Eliza, who came all the way from Seattle for the big party. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
Jackie and John Wyman of Sengekontacket just returned from Virginia where their grandson, Kyle Wyman, graduated from King George High School with high honors. Kyle will attend the University of Vermont in the fall.
Kate Lolley moved from Boston to Sidney, Mont., in mid- July. She will be working for a year with the Americorps/Vista program in Richland County and will be assessing the health programs for the county health department. Kate is a 2005 graduate of Simmons College in Boston and is the daughter of John and Sarah Lolley of Oak Bluffs.
The second issue of "Martha's Vineyard Writing" is now in the bookstores. Original writing by Oak Bluffs residents in this issue includes work by Brooks Robards, Sally Williams, Charles Blank, Jane Brown, Judith Campbell, and Mary Jane O'Connor-Ropp.
Our Oak Bluffs Senior Center is busier than ever with many choices for activities. There has been a change of dates for the Foxwood trip. It has been re-scheduled for Wed., August 9 so as not to interfere with the special town election. Everything else for this trip stays the same. Golf lessons are now offered Thursdays during August at 10 am in Waban Park, thanks to Jim McLaurin and Gerard Peterson. Exercise classes are still offered on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and bridge instruction continues with Anita Perrson on Tuesday afternoons. On Aug. 7 at 1 pm, Bob Hayden will be the featured speaker discussing his book "Black on Martha's Vineyard."
The weather forecast for the end of this week predicts very high temperatures. Please, if you are aware of anyone who has health problems or is elderly, be sure to check on them to make sure they are coping well with the heat.
Enjoy your week and send your news along to me.