Oak Bluffs

By Megan Alley - August 17, 2006

We hold our breath as we wait for tomorrow, hoping the weather will hold for the annual Oak Bluffs Firemen's Civic Association fireworks display in Ocean Park. If you viewers are disappointed when the weather doesn't cooperate or they have to be postponed think how all those people who put in so much time and work into this project must feel. It is not just a one-day event for them. This also means summer is ending for many with everyone trying to cram so many events into one short week before heading back to their schools or work.

Let's get serious for a moment, folks. Last Friday I was witness to two events that could have ended in tragedy. While walking across the street between Giordano's and the Flying Horses, I heard a car horn being honked impatiently. A woman was trying to proceed up Circuit Ave. but there were several cars in front of her blocking her passage. Behind her was a man in a large van impatiently honking his horn. She turned to make a gesture of "helplessness" to him and then as the car in front of her moved at the same time, she also started to proceed not realizing that in the meantime, in the midst of this confusion and all of the impatient honking, a man was crossing in front of her on the crosswalk. She slammed on her brakes and the man had to jump onto the fender of her car to escape being run over. Please, let's be patient. Most people do not deliberately block cars from moving along, but traffic is extremely heavy and you have to use common sense and courteously.

The second event was when I was on my way into a grocery store and noticed in the car next to me two small dogs on the car seats. The passenger window was opened only about two inches, and granted the driver's side window could have been opened but the back windows were not. Naively, I thought the owner must have just run into the store for a minute to grab a couple of items, but I did deliberately check my watch and decide if they were still there when I came out something would have to be done because remember, although Friday was not humid it was a hot day and this car was parked in the sun in a macadam parking lot. I came out of the store 20 minutes later and the car was still there but by now the dogs were on the floor of the car and panting. I went back into the store and after the clerk paged the make and registration number of the car and no one showed up at the desk they called the police. I waited outside by the car and now a total of almost 35 minutes had passed. So I went back into the store and the clerk said the police were on their way. When I went back to the parking lot the car was gone. I hope the puppies were okay, but can someone tell me why anyone would leave any living creature in a closed up car under those conditions?

The evening basketball games at Niantic Park have been a delight to watch. The teams are closely matched and move speedily along and have excellent players. There are so many people coming to watch the games, that the bleachers and parking areas are filled. It has become as popular as it was in the early sixties when the courts were first built by volunteers and park personnel under the supervision of the late Dan McCarthy. It is providing entertainment and a healthy pastime for our youth and adults alike.

Jeremy Alley-Tarter, my 10-year-old grandson from Oak Bluffs, ran in the Chilmark Road Race last Saturday. His time was 24.9 and he came in 225 out of 1,500 runners and fourth in his age group.

Oak Bluffs residents are welcome to attend the Oak Bluffs Town Picnic this Friday, August 18, from 12 noon until 1. It will be held on the south side of Ocean Park. Bring your lunch and beverage, visit with old friends or new and just relax for an hour. The rain date is the next day, Saturday.

We send birthday smiles from Shelby and Hunter Ponte to Dad Kenny Ponte who turned 33 on August 7 and is loved very much by his children and to Danielle Sedlier who turned 17 on August 10. She celebrated by traveling to Boston with her step-dad Fred Hall, mom Helene and sister Jillian and her best friend Jen Ward who was born on the same exact day. They stayed at a hotel in Cambridge overlooking the Charles and then at the Banknorth Garden (formally The Boston Garden), they attended a concert to see Mariah Carey. Birthday smiles also to my son Dion Alley on August 19, and Ginnie Hall on August 23.

On Thursday, August 24, at 6:30 pm there will be an evening of poetry reading and refreshments at the Oak Bluffs Public Library. Jennifer Smith Turner will read from her poetry book: Perennial Secrets, Poetry & Prose and share part of her new manuscript: Lost and Found.

Also on that same date at 1 pm, the Oak Bluffs Public Library will hold a reading of the book "The Little Engine That Could" to take part in an exciting nationwide program called Read for the Record. For more information, register at the campaign's web site (www.readfortherecord.org)

The library could use the help of adult volunteers to shelve children's books. The only requirements are that you have good eyes and can bend well. Please contact Irene in the children's room if you are interested. Irene also wants to thank everyone who donated those clean empty bottles for their firefly project. Many thanks also to Chilmark Spring Water for their donation of many unused bottles with no labels.

Seamond Ponsart Roberts and her husband David sent a thank you e-mail to all the helping folk back here in the East. Seamond's father was one of the lighthouse keepers at the West Chop Light. Seamond and David are residents of New Orleans and they wanted to remind us that August 29 is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. They send thanks to each and everyone of you for all of your help, prayers and love that you extended to all the victims of this disastrous storm. She closed with these words from her "Little Book of Sayings."

"Small deeds of goodness in the aftermath of trouble can blanket the world with renewed hearts and minds."

Enjoy your week and send your news along to me please.