Thanks to principal Diane Gandy's Bell Tower and my Squid Row correspondent Katie Carroll, I'm pretty up-to-date on happenings among our youngest set. First, the April babies: welcome to Finnegan MacLeod born to Hope and Chris and to Wesley Wlodyka, whose parents are Lev and Jen, and to Ella Moran, daughter of Maya and Adam. Wesley and Finnegan are first babies, and Ella joins an older sister, Lily.
If you have any questions about whales, direct them to the kindergarteners and first graders who are immersed in whale lore. They have taken field trips to Edgartown for a tour of whaling captain's houses, which some of them sketched, and to the Martha's Vineyard Museum for a look at all the whaling artifacts and photos Lynne Whiting has on display. They plan a trip tomorrow to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Quick quiz: Which is the biggest mammal on earth? And which whale can eat half of a harpooning boat in one bite? Answers next week.
Grades two and three did colorful posters on living local for the energy show at the Ag Hall. The preschoolers are learning early about living local as they watch their peas coming up in the garden along with the pansies, planted under the guidance of Laurisa Rich. Things have changed since Mary brought a lamb to school, "which was against the rules." Everyone was charmed when preschooler Everett Healy, who, with the help of his dad, Allen, brought a lamb to school for a visit earlier this month.
Karen Downing will coordinate the Outing Program for 2008-2009. Plans are already underway for the Shenandoah trip next September.
The library will offer a comics workshop by author and graphic novelist Paul Karasik for teenagers age 12 to 18 this Wednesday, April 16, from 4 to 5 pm. No experience is necessary. Mr. Karasik, whose adaptation of Paul Auster's novel City of Glass was named one of the 100 best comics of the century by Comics Journal, has had cartoons published in The New Yorker and Nickelodeon. The library is also sponsoring a comics contest with cash prizes; deadline for submissions is June 2. Mr. Karasik will judge the entries. For more information, please call the library at 508-645-3360.
The Friends of the library need volunteers, especially those experienced in weightlifting, next Tuesday, May 22 at 1:30 to help set up tables for the Memorial weekend book sale. They need the muscular types to carry boxes of books up from the basement. The sale begins Wednesday, May 23, and will continue until Saturday June 2. Prices for the first week are $1 for hardcover books, books on tape and videos, and 25 cents for paperbacks. During the second week prices will be cut in half, and by Saturday, June 2, anything left is all yours, free! There is a signup slip at the circulation desk.
The season for the arts has started. Gloria Burkin will show new paintings, large and small, at the library starting this Saturday through the end of May. She uses oils "sometimes thick, sometimes thin over a golden underpainting to reflect the Island light." Her works include views of Lucy Vincent Beach, Squibnocket, the Keith farm and Chilmark Pond, among others, and are all inspired, she says, by the natural beauty of the land and the sea. A reception will be held on Saturday, May 26, from 3 to 5 pm. Everyone is welcome.
The Menemsha Café is open weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm and was packed one day last week at lunchtime.
Some birthdays celebrated recently include Brooks Carroll, who turned four on April 16. The family celebrated with cousins and grandparents. There was also a birthday dinner with Julie and Bella Thorpe at Sharky's, followed by "oh boy, the Game Room!"
Long-time Menemsha summer resident Irwin Askow celebrated his 92nd birthday in Chicago last month, and also had his driver's license renewed. We congratulate him on both counts. His daughter, former librarian Cathy Thompson, and his son, Dan, took him out for dinner to a steakhouse.
Katie and Marshall Carroll and their children, Bradley and Brooks, took advantage of spring break to visit Colorado where they explored many aspects of the Rocky Mountains, from caves to springs. Marshall and Brooks rode the alpine slide that was perched high on the side of Iron Mountain. They are enthusiastic about the "amazing" beauty they found all over. They enjoyed beautiful weather until snow fell on their last day, temporarily closing the Vail Pass, the only route back to Denver, their departure point. Katie reports: "When it reopened, we started through, Marshall white-knuckled at the steering wheel." Trucks had to put on chains before they were allowed to go through. "I don't think we got much over 15 mph and even that was scary with the steep grades." Exciting finale to an exciting trip.
Locally run support groups on the Vineyard are proliferating as the population grows. They all seem to have very high approval ratings, and we're lucky to have them. As they are not affiliated with large national non-profits, it's up to us to support them. The Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group will hold its third annual Evening Under the Stars III, at the Mediterranean Restaurant in Vineyard Haven serving hot and cold appetizers, hors d'oeuvres and drinks from 6 to 9 pm next Thursday, May 17. Mike Benjamin will provide the music. Tickets are $100 and are available at the door. All proceeds stay on the Island to help cancer victims and their families. Any questions, please call Jane Carroll at 508-696-9849.
The Community Solar Greenhouse (COMSOG) will hold its annual Mother's Day seedling sale starting on Saturday, May 12, and continuing until May 28. Hours are 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.