By Gail Craig - August 10, 2006

Though the summer on the Island has been busy all along, it seems like August is the month of the family and friend houseguests. Every one I talk to seems to be opening their homes to their summer influx of visitors. So, if you are hosting friends or family, be sure to get me some news to share!

My brother Bobby and his girls Abby and Gwen had a great week here. My sister Pam, her daughter Evie, and husband Phil joined the gang mid-week. With the spectacular weather they were able to get plenty of beach time and Flying Horse time. Gwen and Evie were each lucky enough to catch the brass ring on one of their Oak Bluffs outings. Bobby and his girls ran the Scoops 5K road race on Saturday as well, with Abby coming in third in her age group. Riley and Amelia are missing them all already. And I might add that Pop showed up at our house for a visit this afternoon, perhaps missing the hubbub that had been taking place in his house all week.

Happy birthday to Tom Sullivan, who celebrated on August 6.

Saturday night was the party night in Edgartown. On the corner of Clevelandtown Road and Pease's Point Way, Barbara and Ursula Prada hosted a summer fiesta. It was a good time, with good people and good food, as is always the case at one of their gatherings. Shirley (Prada) Craig came complete with canvas bags, upon which she had stenciled PRADA in big black letters so all the Prada ladies in attendance could have "real" Prada bags. In honor of the movie "The Devil wears Prada," the bags had a little devil on them and Shirley came equipped with a rather large pitchfork to complete the look. I thought it was very clever, and the gang seemed to get a kick out of it.

Just a bit down the road, the American Legion was the location of a surprise party for Edgartown Police Chief Paul Condlin's 50th birthday party. I heard that it was lots of fun, with music provided "unofficially" by the Love Doctors and everyone had a great time. Happy birthday, Paul.

Susan Brown shared that one of the limbs fell off the Peddlers Tree in her front yard last Tuesday, complete with a thundering "crack!" She said that Stuart Fuller of the highway department was on the job shortly thereafter, cutting up the limb that was blocking the roadway completely over to the other side and onto the bike path. Susan measured the base of the spot on the tree where the limb broke and said that it measure at a monstrous 26 inches! I've always loved that tree, since the days of my childhood when we would rest under it (particularly my mom and I) on one of our Sunday morning bike sojourns to Mr. Willoughby's paper store for penny candy. As I've driven by there for the last few years, I've often wondered whether those limbs would last forever. I now have my answer. I'm glad no one was hurt and I'm jealous of Susan, who now has a large collection of firewood for the coming winter!

Felicia Cheney, director of the Edgartown Library, wanted me to share that the library will be having a book sale on August 19 and they are now accepting donations of books that are in good condition for the sale. You can get a receipt for the value of the donations for a write-off on your taxes, so it's a win-win situation. You can get rid of some of those books that I know are just taking up space on your shelves and get a tax deduction. Also, if you head down to the Warren House at 62 North Water Street on August 19 between 9 am and 1 pm, you can purchase some "new" books and help support the library! Can you get better deals than this anywhere else on Martha's Vineyard? I think not!

There will be a very special event at the Federated Church of Edgartown on South Summer Street on Sunday, August 13. The evening's event will be called "Meet Your Neighbors at the Meetinghouse." The idea for this came from the desire of members of the Federated Church to celebrate the rich history, role, and tradition of the church in Edgartown and on Martha's Vineyard over the years, and the Meetinghouse building in particular; for the church to get to know its neighbors and for them to know us; and to get the message out about their current fundraising efforts to restore the historic Meetinghouse, Parish House, and Mayhew Parsonage. The events begin at 5 pm with a wine reception in the Parish House and a book signing by Arthur Railton, followed by a gourmet meal catered by Jaime Hamlin. Tom Dunlop, currently the Editor of the Martha's Vineyard Magazine and whose family home is just across the street from the Meetinghouse, will then deliver some thoughts and comments about the history of the church and the Meetinghouse. The event will close with dessert and coffee in the Parish House. Patricia Neal will serve as the Honorary Hostess for this evening, while the Honorary Steeple Fund Committee of John Schule, Jerry Fritz, and Peter Boak will be co-hosts. The committee working on this event also includes Sherry and Dan Purdy, Glenn and Mary Jane Carpenter, Warren and Anne Vose, Tom and Dianne Durawa. Tickets and information are available through Mary-Jean Miner at the Federated Church, 508-627-4421.

That's all folks. Have a great week.