Town Column

Oak Bluffs

By Megan Alley
Click here to contact Megan

Posted August 2, 2007

A routine trip to the Oak Bluffs Landfill this week made me aware of how a little effort can enhance the appearance of the smallest of areas. As I had to get a new dump permit, I approached the small shed that serves as an office and was immediately drawn to the attractiveness of the building. June had taken articles other people had abandoned and used them to decorate both the outside and inside of her office there. A trellis with an artificial flower vine climbing up it decorated the area by the doorway and inside Judy has placed some lovely framed pictures that she had also rescued. She certainly has made the small corner of her workplace a much more pleasant place to work in or visit. It reinforces what Nancy Billings stated last week - that if all the merchants took as good care of the front of their property and were as welcoming to their customers as Richard Combra and Kerry Scott, wouldn't it bring more beauty to the town and make more people smile?

Barbara Hoyle left the Island last week for a vacation in California. There she was planning on visiting a long-time friend from San Francisco, Gretchen Kirk. On August 4 Barbara will join family members at the wedding of her niece, Kimberly Penney, to Michael Schneider.

The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs will be holding their annual Book Sale on Friday, August 4, from 10 am to 4:30 pm and on Saturday, August 5 from 10 until 4 pm. From noontime on Saturday book prices will be 50 percent off or free. The sale will take place in the Library meeting room. There are books of interest for many and the proceeds from the sale help fund the children's programs at the library.

Grandson Jeremy Alley-Tarter did it again. He won the USATF Junior Olympic 1500 meters race in Walnut, Calif., last Sunday for ages 10 to 12. We all had a marvelous time watching the race via Internet web cast and cheered him on. The Nelson deBettencourt Family including their children and grandchildren had their own cheering section at their house for their neighborhood buddy.

The Devil Music Ensemble is performing their original score live to the first/best silent version of "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (1920) starring John Barrymore on Tuesday, August 7, at the Tabernacle in Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs. For more information on times and price of admission you may e-mail Richard Paradise at

Friends of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging are hosting a Giant Flea Market and Bazaar on Saturday, August 11, from 9 am to 2 pm at the Dennis P. Alley Community Park (previously known as Waban Park). The Chilmark Flea Market is closed on that day because of the Chilmark Road Race, so many of those vendors will be there. Call Karen at 693-0165 for details or to sign up for a booth or table space before August 8.

There's a busy week coming up at the Oak Bluffs Library. On August 7 at 6 pm there will be a showing of a new DVD release on the library's big screen. Please join them for this family drama about a farmer who builds a rocket in his barn and dreams of going into space. On August 9 at 5 pm, Dr. Adelaide Cromwell, Professor Emerita of Sociology at Boston University and author will speak on the topic of African American Classics in History and Literature. Then at 7:00 pm there will be an encore performance by Island resident Michael Wooley who will be showing his recent underwater photographs taken on a scuba diving trip to the second largest barrier reef in the world, off the coast of Belize.

I see by a letter to the editor that a landlord around the Dennis Alley Community park finds the display of beach towels thrown over the rails of porches surrounding the park distasteful. How sad that someone should find a tradition of summer something that should be banned. Does anyone else out there besides me remember when towels thrown over the railings, beach sand tracked onto the steps leading to the house and wet bathing suits hung on the lines were a sign that summer was in full swing on Martha's Vineyard? My parents encouraged us to rinse our sandy feet in a bucket of water from the hose before entering the house but we always missed some sand. We liked to "hang around" in our wet suits until the feel of the salt water drying on our backs drove us to rinse each other off with cold water from the hose. Besides, just think of all the energy you save by drying your towels in the sun! Also I have received word from the person the park was named after that he would not be at all offended if anyone wants to hang their beach towels out to dry.

We send birthday smiles to Joann DeBettencourt on August 5, and Ben deBettencourt and Ken DeBettencourt on August 7.

Enjoy your week and send your news along to me.