Well, summer was officially heralded in last week but I think the official start came on Sunday, based on the crowds at the beach! The usual suspects showed up en mass at State Beach - the Hess, Morris, Hammond, and Hill families and friends. Not far from there were John, Crocket, and Carina Cataloni. We ended up a bit farther down the beach than normal, as we were meeting Jamie's cousins John, Kristen, Audrey and Cora Lee Keenan/Goldfield, who had already landed. Further up the beach, we found Kevin, Jacob, Eli, and Ingrid Gundersen, with mom Pia en route with pizza. So we spent our time that day traipsing back and forth on the beach from group to group, socializing, having fun, and getting some exercise. And the kids are all getting to be a great age, somewhat self reliant, able to get along with each other, and allowing the parents some time to sit and relax.
Some belated news comes from Ginny Carbon. I apologize for the delay in sharing it. Ginny wrote in that on June 15, her first granddaughter, Kristen, graduated from the 8th grade, becoming the third generation to do so. To add to the pleasure of the day, Ginny's daughter in law and grandson, Jack, were scheduled to arrive for the summer, with son Danny to follow. Finally, all of these events took place on Ginny's 61st birthday! Ginny shared that she feels very blessed. Congratulations to the graduate, welcome to the rest of the family, and happy birthday Ginny!
Thursday night there will be a chowder supper from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Federated Church meetinghouse on S. Summer St. The suppers will continue weekly and will benefit the Island Food Pantry. The price is $8 and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 508-627-4421.
If you're looking for a new and different theatrical experience, head on over to the Katharine Cornell Theatre this Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night for "Cannibal!" The musical is being staged courtesy of Island Theatre Workshop and is directed by Jonathan Ryan. Curtain time is 8 pm tonight, and 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Due to mature content, the play is not suitable for those under 16 years of age. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 508-627-3166.
Sometimes, it's good to plan ahead. In that vein, the Edgartown Council on Aging will be taking a trip to the Newport Play House on September 26 to enjoy "The Miss Firecracker Contest," a comic volcano telling the story of the town's Miss Hot Tamale trying to get her tarnished reputation back by becoming the star of the Fourth of July parade. The play includes larger than life characters to say the least and should provide much laughter for the audience! A cabaret lunch buffet before the show and transportation is included. For more information or to reserve space, please call the ECOA 508-627-4368.
Happy birthday to members of the Gardner gang. My niece Gwenny celebrated last week on June 20 and my brother (and Gwen's dad) celebrated (and I use that term loosely, I suspect) on Monday, June 25.
On that note, I would like to take up a little bit of space thanking Cindy Andrews for the last three years of excellent care, entertainment, fun, and learning for my kids. Three years ago, when I first dropped off Riley there, I was a little nervous even though the school came with rave reviews. You know how it is - first kid, first real preschool experience, typical jitters.
Anyway, two weeks into the year, I told a friend that I just didn't think it was going to work out. I was pretty sure Cindy didn't like me and was worried I was going to be one of "those" mothers, while I just wasn't comfortable with her, thinking she was maybe not friendly enough. Basically, I just thought that she and I were not going to hit it off. When I think back on that feeling now, I just shake my head and laugh. It would not actually be possible for me to be more wrong about someone or a situation.
Cindy is warm, caring, loving, creative, energetic, and full of joy, even as she struggled with her own loss this winter. And I think that my misreading of the situation three years ago is because Cindy is totally about the kids in her care. The parents, while important, are secondary, which is exactly what a parent would want for their kids. I am so grateful that we have had her and the school in our lives for the last three years and I will miss her and the rest of the crew terribly. I am grateful that Amelia is still there through the summer for camp or I would have been a sobbing mess on Friday.
I was sorry to have missed the Jam for Sam on Sunday night, the fund-raiser for Samantha Cassidy at the Outerland featuring Joanne Cassidy and friends. Jamie was working and I had to take the kids to a band concert in Oak Bluffs so we couldn't attend but Jamie went up to contribute to the cause and reported back that the club was jamming! All the parking lots were filled and the turnout was excellent. All accounts are that the night was a huge success, raising over $10,000 for Sam and her family as they face two years of travels to Boston for treatment for lymphoma. Perhaps even more importantly, I heard that Mike Cassidy and Debbie Grant, Sam's parents, were all smiles and laughter and had a great time, which, after all they've been going through of late, is wonderful to hear. A big thank-you goes out to the owners of The O, who donated the club for the night, and to the staff who worked that night, as they also donated their time. The family was very touched by the outpouring of support from the Island community and wants to thank everyone who helped contribute to the successful night. Hopefully, I will have a more detailed list of names and more information on the event in next week's column.
That's it, folks. Have a great week and be sure to get me your news. Due to the 4th of July holiday, my deadline is tomorrow early afternoon so if you have something to share, please get it in quickly.