Town Columns

Six-year-old Sevanna Sroczenski got up on her first try.

I love September. The swimming is good, the weather sunny, the garden bountiful, great starry night skies, and getting back into the off-season groove. Pam Goff said the Chilmark Church is thankful to Lia Kahler for raising a substantial portion of the funds needed for the steeple and cross repair, and the afternoon and auction all went well. Pizza nights will resume Tuesdays at 6 pm beginning Sept. 30 at the Fellowship Hall behind the church at 9 Menemsha Crossroad. All ages welcome.

Thanks go out to Nancy Aronie, who organized a lovely reading of poems for Peggy Freydberg. It was an absolute pleasure to participate. And looking forward to sharing her wonderful work with the larger world!

Sandra Balfe of Wrentham was visiting her aunt and uncle, Tom and Helen Black, in Edgartown when she found the flyer for the first Surf Night on M.V. She wrote me, “It was a dream come true. I have visited Squibnocket often and loved watching the surfers, never thinking I would have the chance to try the sport. It was amazing that the surf community came out to help celebrate the ocean with regular folks and it was all free!” Sandra says she “was totally thrilled to stand up three times.” She loved being cheered on by the entire beach, and sends a big “thank you to all of the instructors!” She hopes this becomes an annual event, because she is hooked.

Thomas Bena thanks Ari Lurie for teaming up with MVFF to create the first Surf Night on M.V. And a huge shout-out to all of the instructors who spent four hours in the water passing on the surf stoke! Craig Spa Tharpe, Katahdin Fitzgerald, Mollie Doyle, Daniel, Paul, Ben Martin, Jamie Green, Ari Lurie, Calder Martin, and to the amazing staff, Brian Ditchfield, Cassie Dana, Hilary Dreyer, Chris Mara, Anthony Esposito, and to Max Simon and all of the volunteers. And then there is Morning Glory Farm, Whippoorwill Farm, and Alex Karalekas for the food and the fish and the music. And thank you to Elaine Barse/Green Room, the Boneyard, and 6k6 for the free boards!! And finally, thank you to the Dock Dance Band for nailing it — if you haven’t heard them yet, check out one of their weekly shows in Edgartown.

My favorite part of the weekend was the amazing Iron Pour at Featherstone, organized by native Islander artist Kate Madeiros (MVRHS ’07). What an incredible community feat she pulled off. Keep an eye on this wonderful artist.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Chilmark resident Beach (Beatrice Phillips) Bennett, beloved wife of Bill Bennett and unstoppably great mother of Bella Bennett, who passed away peacefully on Sept. 17. A celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury from 2 pm to 5 pm. Feel free to bring a dessert to share.

Drop by the ACE MV Course Sampling Fair, Wednesday, Oct. 1 at MVRHS from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Meet the teachers, register for classes (36 different classes being offered), and sample delicious food prepared by ACE cooking instructors. I will once again be teaching a Hand and Foot Fitness class for five weeks. For more info, call Diane Abbot at 508-693-9222 or visit

There’s a nice nip in the air, though the skies have consistently been that crisp, cloudless fall blue. I’m starting to see pumpkins and mums make their way to front stoops, and the kids have already begun discussing their Halloween costumes.

On many kids’ minds this past weekend, though, was catching the Big One, as they gathered on the dock in Oak Bluffs for the annual Kids’ Derby Day event. I spied the DeRoche girls, the Townes girls, and a couple of Murrays — all smiles, reeling ’em in. Camden Townes now holds the distinction of catching the first ever pufferfish at the kids’ derby. Watch out, weigh-in — the next generation of anglers is getting its practice in.

Nick Prescott has requested that I share with you all an issue quite dear to his heart. Awareness is key, so without further ado, he would like everyone to know, pancakes are back on the menu at Dock Street Coffee Shop. The timing couldn’t be better, as those early-morning diners fresh from the weigh-in seek sustenance. I maintain that it is totally OK that Dock Street pancakes are unavailable for those few months in the summer, as we are provided an abundance of charitable pancake-consumption opportunities, but I’m happy to see those delicious golden disks back all the same.

I had a sit-down with K9 buddy Zoe Walpole the other day, who would hardly lift her head to eat a treat she missed her momma so much. Having wrapped another successful and busy summer season at Katydid, Kate has been taking several much-deserved hops to other islands, Manhattan and Nantucket among them. This weekend, Kate will head to Vermont for some apple picking with Mom and Dad. Hopefully Zoe will be invited along.

Felix Neck welcomes one and all to a free event on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 11 am to 3 pm to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Fern and Feather Day Camp.

The family-friendly celebration will focus on fun, food, music, and memories. Since 1964, the day camp has been teaching children about the wonders of the natural world, and lots of alums, former staff, and folks that just love Felix Neck are expected to attend and share stories. For more information, visit, or call the sanctuary at 508-627-4850 or email at

ACE MV offers a Course Sampling Fair, Wednesday, Oct. 1, at MVRHS from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Head up and meet the teachers, register for classes (36 different classes being offered), and sample delicious food prepared by the cooking instructors. Reminder: There is a late fee if you sign up on the day of the course, so register now. For more info, call Diane Abbot at 508-693-9222. What do you want to learn?

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet for the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, now’s the time. The festival takes place Oct. 16 to 19, offering a variety of events. Now in its seventh year, the festival, hosted by the Edgartown Board of Trade, has quickly grown into a world-class wine and culinary extravaganza, and has become a signature for the town of Edgartown. Praised as one of the “2013 Top 10 Festivals to Taste” by Forbes Travel Guide, it features wine-tasting seminars, premium wines, cooking demonstrations by nationally recognized award-winning chefs and wine personalities, culinary dinners, and the Grand Tasting. MVFWF is uniquely educational in focus, showcasing the Vineyard’s culinary talent. The festival begins with “Fresh Off the Farm,” a dine-around event featuring everything Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday, Oct. 16. Saturday’s Grand Tasting features wines, celebrity chefs, and cooking demos paired with wines. The festival culminates on Sunday at the culinary Grand Sunday Brunch held at the Harbor View Hotel. This year, the MVFWF supports Island Grown Schools and Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s Farmers Program. Visit for a full schedule of events and ticket information.

Birthday wishes go out this week to James Condlin, who celebrates Sept. 25; Walter Morrison, Sept. 26; Nate Briggs and Kathy Ivory, Sept. 27; David Martinello, Oct. 1. Have fun!

The cooler temperatures are creeping in more frequently, but occasionally warmer days fool us into thinking that summer is everlasting as they tease us with unexpected heat. How worrisome to see how dry everything is, as no longer is our view of the landscape one of lush green but brown dying grass and drooping perennials and leaves. We are now wishing for rain that is so badly needed.

Along with the cooler weather comes the annual migration of the spiders, whose path seems to be directly through my house. Never have I seen such a strange variety: small black ones, swinging tiny tan ones, and then the marathoners, who scurry across the floors so swiftly that they vanish out of sight before I can swat them. It makes me wonder if rumor has it that my home is a branch of Ramada Inn for spiders.

Our library wants to remind patrons that starting Oct. 1 through Feb. 25, 2015, the Alphabits Storytime program runs every Wednesday at 10:30 am. There will be songs, stories, and alphabet crafts with Ms. Zoe. This program is for ages 1½ to 5 years old, and there will be a new letter each week.

Congratulations to Tristian Gromoshak, an Oak Bluffs fifth grader. Tristian was awarded honorable mention for his drawing for the 2014 Kids Day T-shirt contest for the annual Bluefish Derby, and was awarded $25 in “fins” (checks from the Derby to spend at Island businesses).

On Sept. 30, Flatbread Co. will host a benefit night for the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

A celebration of the life of Chilmark resident Beatrice “Beach” Phillipps Bennett, beloved wife of Bill Bennett, is Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury from 2 pm to 5 pm. If anyone would like to bring a dessert to share, they would be very welcome to do so.

The ACE MV Course Sampling Fair is Wednesday, Oct. 1, at MVRHS from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Come meet the teachers, register for classes (36 different classes being offered), and sample delicious food prepared by their cooking instructors. Reminder: There is a $10 late fee if you sign up on the day of the course, so register now. For more info, call Diane Abbot at 508-693-9222.

This Friday, Sept. 26, is your last chance for the season to have one of Grace Church’s famous lobster rolls, which are sold from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, along with a cold beverage and chips. Assorted pies and hot dogs are also available. For information or to order in advance, call 508-693-0332.

“Meditation and Mindfulness: Calming the Mind, Reducing Stress, Optimizing Well-Being” led by Elliott Dacher, M.D., begins its fall session on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Classes are held Wednesday evenings at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Medical Staff Library, 6 pm to 8:15 pm. The eight-week series is co-sponsored by the hospital and the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard. Preregistration is required. Tuition is $150, $130 for YMCA members, $75 for hospital employees. For more information, email Iryna Demedenko at or call 508-957-9476.

Saving the best for last, heads-up for a another delicious Portuguese-American Club fish fry on Oct. 2 from 5 pm to 7 pm. Head to the club and enjoy this always tasty dinner with many tempting sides and numerous desserts.

We send birthday smiles to Susie Wallo on the 26th; Dennis Rose, Lauren Metell, and Keilla Geddis on the 27th; Martin Moreis, Raymond Dahill, and Zachary Mathias on the 28th; and Happy Anniversary wishes to Bernie and Mark Crossland on Oct. 1.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

This past Saturday, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival hosted a free surf film festival at the Chilmark Community Center. The all-day affair included surf lessons at Squibnocket Beach. There were volunteer instructors (including Spa Thorpe) and many eager supporters on the beach who would clap and cheer at the smallest sign of a student’s progress.

Having never surfed before, I decided to try it. I did not get very far in that I never managed to stand on the board. I did manage to get partially upright on it at one point, but mostly I just got bombarded with water and lots of it. My question to all of you avid surfers out there is: At what point does this activity become fun and not just endless pounding by the ocean?

The one serious benefit of the lesson was that for the time that I was attempting to surf there was so many things to think about and so many new sensations that I completely forgot about my fear of sharks, which is always in the back of mind whenever I’m in the water. Which is odd, because I was wearing a wetsuit, which is basically like a Halloween costume of sharks’ favorite food: seals. I can’t say that I caught the surf bug, but I would be willing to try it again, which for me is almost saying that I liked it.

This Saturday the Aquinnah Public Library will host “Negotiating and Creating Agreement: A One-Day Workshop”from 10 am to 3 pm. This workshop is led by the wonderful and talented Nancy Caldwell, and it is limited to 12 participants. You can register by calling the library at 508-645-2314.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is still open. You can visit the Edwin Devries Vanderhoop Homestead, a restored 19th century Wampanoag farmhouse near the Gay Head cliffs. Right now exhibits include  Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries and a new oral-history video program, “Land and Life in Old Gay Head.” The center is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. Call 508-645-7900 or email them at for more information.

Chilmark resident Beatrice (“Beach”) Phillips Bennett, beloved wife of Bill Bennett and unstoppably great mother of Bella Bennett, passed away peacefully on Sept. 17. A celebration of her life will be held this Sunday, Sept. 28 at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury from 2 pm to 5 pm. You are welcome to bring a dessert to share for after the service. I knew Beach a little bit, and she was a lovely woman, and it seems very unfair that she is no longer with us. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

Under the “the off-season is a great time to learn/try something new” heading, there will be an ACE MV Course Sampling Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at MVRHS from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. You can come meet the teachers, register for classes (36 different classes are being offered), and sample refreshments made by some of the cooking instructors. There is a $10 late fee if you sign up on the day of the course, so it behooves you to register now. For more information, call Diane Abbot at 508-693-9222.

A select group of Martha’s Vineyard inns and hotels are offering packages to runners participating in the upcoming Gay Head 10K, “A Race against Time.” The race is being held on Sunday, Oct. 5, starting at 10 am. The following innkeepers are offering discounts:

The Doctors House B&B, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-0859

Hob Knob Inn, Edgartown, 508-627-9510, ext. 39

Totem Pole Inn, Aquinnah, 508-645-2815

Vineyard Harbor Motel, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-3334

In addition to the race, local and visiting cycling enthusiasts will have an opportunity to participate in an organized recreational ride on the Island on Saturday, Oct. 4. Two rides, a 50K and a 100K, are offered. The 50K ride features spectacular views of Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. Riders in the 100K will visit the entire Island, including the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah. There will be organized rest stops along the route, as well as road support. A post-ride pig roast with live music is also scheduled. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard and the Gay Head Lighthouse.  Register at

For more information and to register for the race, visit There is an entry fee of $30, and the field will be limited to 500 runners.  The committee is also welcoming donors to become involved immediately, through various levels of sponsorship. For more information on sponsorships, please contact Beverly Wright, chairman of the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee, at

The National Park Service has named the town of Aquinnah as the recipient of the Gay Head Light Station. The town is now the official steward of the Gay Head Light. This is an important step forward in the race to preserve the Lighthouse. Thank you to everyone working so hard to preserve this historic landmark.

Happy Birthday to Spa, a man whom I could not imagine Aquinnah without; he celebrates on Friday. Wish him a happy birthday if you see him.

Perfect days continue as we move from summer into fall. I watch for daily changes in the landscape, like the tops of trees beginning to show color where the sun hits them first or asters beginning to bloom. A cloudless blue sky over all. No sign of rain.

I have begun drip-watering my rhododendrons and trees, hoping to prepare them for the oncoming winter. Still picking vegetables and getting ready to plant garlic, but have begun cutting down the perennial gardens. For two cents I would pave my entire yard about now, just to be done with worrying about water and maintenance. I know I will feel excited again by next spring. I guess I will feel excited again by next spring. Always have in the past. But it becomes discouraging to see everything looking awful and no rain predicted yet another week, seemingly never again.

I was shocked to learn that Beach Bennett died on Sept. 17. Too young. Barbara Lampson let me know there will be a celebration of her life at the Ag Hall this Sunday, Sept. 28, from 2 pm to 5 pm. Please bring a dessert to share. I hope the gathering and stories will bring comfort to her family.

Friends are invited to an 11 am mass at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven this Saturday, Sept. 27, to celebrate the life of Edward Colligan. There will be a burial ceremony at Oak Grove Cemetery followed by a potluck at the Ag Hall.

Too many losses of late. May our gathering together bring comfort to the Bennett/Nelson and Colligan families and to one another.

Chuck Hodgkinson invites everyone to the first public forum of the Mill Brook Watershed Management Planning Committee. It will convene at the West Tisbury library on Monday, Sept. 29, at 5:30 pm. The committee will give a brief overview of its formation and its charge, and what it has learned so far. They want to hear what town residents would like to see addressed, to hear our questions and concerns. Knowing Chuck, there will be several meetings and we will all be well-informed.

Tuesday evening, Sept. 30, come to Flatbread Pizza for dinner and benefit the West Tisbury Library Foundation.

And then it will be October.

Birthdays this week are Megan Mendenhall, now a freshman at Smith College, this Monday. Tuesday, Sept. 30, is Julie Kimball’s birthday. Oct. 1 is for Rose Herman and Judith Linn. Wishing a happy day to you all.

A quiet week. Mike and I have both had colds. Fortunately we were entertained for two hours every evening by “The Roosevelts” on PBS. David McCullough was one of the historians who spoke. What a fabulous documentary by Ken Burns. I hope Beth gets it at the library so we can watch it all over again.

Meanwhile, still no rain.

Esther McCracken and her friend Margaret Tatjens of Seattle were guests of Clara Rabbitt this month. Esther’s brother Roger Sylva and his wife Gloria drove to Boston to pick up the guests. It had been 10 years since Esther and her friend had been on the Island. They all attended the wedding of cousin Carole Lee Sylva and Matt Flanders on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Farm Neck, where Esther met some family members. Other days she traveled around the Island visiting with her sisters and brothers and more cousins and their children.

Esther’s sister Donna Tomkins and husband Walter invited Clara and her visitors to their home for dinner several evenings with their children and grandchildren. Donna drove Clara, Esther, and Margaret to Gay Head and Menemsha on their last day here. They stopped for shakes and root beer floats at the Galley and visited cousin Pat Jenkinson on the way home. All had a great time, and the visitors left on the 16th.

The Tisbury Planning Board wants your input. They are creating a framework to guide town decisions in the future. They call it Vision Planning. They invite you to the first workshop, next Tuesday at 7 pm at the Tisbury Senior Center. Or you can go to the next workshop at the library a week from tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 3, at 10 am. It will be repeated at the new fire station on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 10 am. Should we focus on improving the harbor? Or parks? This is your turn to be heard before the plans are made. Then in early November the results of the workshop will be presented, and you can help determine what is most important to you for future planning decisions.

We are enjoying a striking number of visitors this fall from Australia. Most have come here for the first time. They like our weather and commented on the sights and sounds of so many American accents. A few busloads of people from our southern states are here as well.

Then more folks are here for the fishing Derby, and their friends and wives are shopping — so all of this activity is good for the Island. Some up-Islanders are only now venturing out to take advantage of the parking now available down-Island.

We have such interesting population shifts. Soon after the snowbirds come home in spring, shops, businesses, and restaurants start to open. Then the tour buses begin to arrive. Summer means the influx of the July summer people, who are soon followed by the much different August crowd. At the end of August we lose an abundance of college kids who quit their summer jobs and head back to school after a few days of summer fun.

Unfortunately, this year it seemed that all these kids, the summer persons who leave after the fair, and all the carnival workers were leaving just as the President and his family and hundreds of Secret Service and newsmen all boarded the ferries the same weekend. This major exodus lasted from that Thursday before the weekend through the following Tuesday.

But then the Island was ours — the beaches, the parking spaces, and all were just waiting for us to enjoy it. As the weather cools, fewer and fewer of us are at the beach, except for fishing, and our local activities get into gear as we end the month of September.

Thirty years ago the whole Island closed down by October 1. Now most shops and restaurants are open through Christmas. Perhaps that slowdown at the first of the year is what drives off the snowbirds who head south, leaving us with the real Island all to ourselves, and the snow and ice.

Tomorrow is the last day of summer lobster rolls at Grace Church.

Next Tuesday, Flatbread Pizza hosts a benefit for the West Tisbury library, starting with takeout at 2 pm. There will be a raffle and a silent auction for wondrous items from an exquisite handmade quilt to roundtrip Cape Air tickets to Boston or a tree from Polly Hill.

Still thinking about ACE MV? The Course Sampling Fair is next Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm at the regional high school. Meet the teachers, register for classes, and sample food prepared by the cooking instructors. You pay a $10 late fee if you sign up the day of the course. For more, call Diane Abbot at 508-693-9222. What do you want to learn?

Congratulations to Laurel Mayhew and Kevin Olson, who celebrate 15 years together tomorrow. Happy anniversary to Joe and Susan Canha, marking 45 years of bliss on Sunday.

Best wishes on Wednesday to Sandy and Sofya Nadelstein after 19 years of happiness.

Belated birthday greetings to Clara Rabbitt, who celebrated her birthday with friends and family on the 13th.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Jeanne Hilton today. On Saturday, wish the best to Ashleen Dorsey and Eric B. Davison. Wish a very happy birthday on Tuesday to Julie Immelt.

Best wishes go out to Deborah Suneson on Wednesday.

Heard on Main Street: One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.

I’m writing this column on my living room sofa under a warm wool blanket with Nelson asleep in a nest by my feet. It was barely 50 degrees when we woke up. The dogs are curled into tight balls on their dog beds.

Although the sky is overcast, there will be no rain today. Everything is dust-dry, the grass brown, leaves shriveled to conserve what little moisture they can. Mike’s truck kicks up dry clouds of dust when he drives in and out during the day. Saturday night’s promised rainfall left barely a coating in the rain gauge. It had sounded so promising. I can’t believe we are not in a drought.

Mike and I met Ethel and Ralph Sherman years ago at SBS, then remember Ethel behind the desk at Dr. Westover’s office. We have loved her jams and perfectly-arranged vegetables at the Farmers’ Market, along with advice, and her way of making me feel like the most welcome sight in the world. I can’t believe she is gone. My condolences to Ralph and their family, and to everyone who feels the world emptier for her loss.

Walter Ashley was another presence in our lives. Mike always enjoyed his visits with Walter and always learned something. The two of them discussing the finer points of chainsaw repair is an image that makes me smile. He helped Mike restore our 1978 Power King tractor one winter. He was the guru, and will be sorely missed by a large number of people. We will be at the Ag Hall this Sunday between 1 and 3 o’clock to join Connie and their many friends and to celebrate Walter’s life. Hope you can make it, too.

Pam Thors sent a reminder from the Community Preservation Committee that proposals for 2015 projects are due tomorrow, Sept. 19. You may file your application for eligibility with Pam at Town Hall, or file electronically You can email any questions to Calling Pam is a little more complicated, as CPC doesn’t have its own phone. Call Executive Secretary Jen Rand at 508-696-0102 and she will help get you to Pam.

If you have always wanted to know more about electric vehicles, you will have your opportunity this Saturday, Sept. 20. Vineyard Power and Cronig’s Market will host the second annual Electric Vehicle Plug-In Day at the down-island Cronig’s parking lot from 9 am to 12:30 pm. You can view, test-drive, and learn about the vehicles (including a motorcycle) and about rebates and tax credits.

Ellen Weiss called this morning to invite me for a beach walk and to take a break from household chores. She is preparing for the arrival of “three ladies from Thousand Island Park – we call it TIP” – a Victorian campground resort established in 1870 on Wellesley Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River near the Canadian border. Ellen spoke there last year about our Camp Meeting Association in Oak Bluffs. She met Trude Fitelson, Julie Mathieu, and Katherine Zimmerman — her guests who will arrive on Tuesday, to study the Oak Bluffs Campground and how it is being preserved. They look forward to spending time with association members and studying the campground. Hopefully, they will have time for a beach walk. They will bring their findings back to TIP as part of its preservation process.

Don’t forget the Saturday-evening performance of Arnold Rabin’s play What do people talk about when they have nothing to say? at the West Tisbury library at 7 pm.

Susan Bellincampi will speak about her new book, Martha’s Vineyard, A Field Guide to Island Nature, at the West Tisbury library on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 5 pm. Susan has been director of Massachusetts Audubon’s Felix Neck Sanctuary since 2006, and writes the weekly All Outdoors column in the Vineyard Gazette.

Vineyard Colors photographers Moira Fitzgerald and Yann Meersseman will be at the library on Thursday, Sept. 25, to speak about their photographs and exhibition currently atop the stacks. The program begins at 5 pm.

Beth Kramer just called to tell me about Richard Knabel and David Stanwood wanting to give the library a vintage rosewood Steinway that David has restored. She said that everyone at Jonathan Revere’s memorial had so enjoyed having musical accompaniment during the celebration of Jonathan’s life that this idea was born. There are frequent musical programs at the library, and a piano would be a wonderful thing to have. If you are interested in contributing to this gift, please call Richard at 508-696-9134.

I am partial to flowers that smell wonderful, and find myself frequently reminiscing about fragrances from my childhood or from special occasions. It has made me indulge in one extravagance the year round; I always have fresh flowers on the table in our living room. The highlight of this summer has been Krishana Collins’s lilies. Every week there seems a new color in her display and every week I carefully choose my bouquet: the most beautiful, the one with the most buds still to open. Their perfume carries throughout our house, and I am filled with happiness and gratitude for this small gift.

The glory of September continued to unfold this week with exquisite weather and fewer crowds. I went to Philbin on Sunday and it was wonderful. I even went into the water. There are still good beach days to be had and kayaks and paddleboards to take. Plus this year the beach plums are growing like mad — people are saying this is the best batch they’ve seen in years. Time to make jam or just take a walk and pick a couple and eat them on your way.

Goodbye Giulia, we will miss seeing you every week at the library. This past Saturday was Giulia’s last day at the Aquinnah Library, and there was a very sweet sendoff with lots of treats. Giulia will continue working at Community Services, and she has also started a new job at the Hebrew Center. I know she will do well at both.

This Saturday at the library you can make a tie-dye shirt, tablecloth, pillowcase, or whatever you would like; you just need to bring the item in and the dye and the instructions will be there. Dyeing starts at noon. Next Saturday Nancy Caldwell will hold a one-day workshop at the library titled Negotiating and Creating Agreement. The workshop will be based on role-play and case studies, enabling participants to establish their own style of negotiating. The workshop is free but limited to 12 people, and sign-up at the library is required. Call the library at 508-645-2314, or just stop in.

Joan LeLacheur is having an Open Studio at 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah this Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. There will be more new and traditional jewelry designs of wampum beads and moon snail and conch shell.  For more information you can contact Joanie at or 508-645-9954.

Phil Weinstein is teaching a class on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace at the Katherine Cornell Theatre in conjunction with the Vineyard Haven library throughout the fall. It is at 7 pm over six Wednesdays. The first was this past Wednesday, but not to worry, there are five more, the next one being Oct. 1, then Oct. 15 and 29, Nov. 12 and Dec. 3. Reading War and Peace is a great fall project; even if you’ve already read it, it’s worth rereading. I know it’s long, but I can tell you from experience that it’s a great read — very engaging, funny, and wise. It is not a difficult read; it takes stamina as it’s long, but it is worth the time. Phil is such a great teacher I’m sure he will have some wonderful insights into the novel.

Happy birthday to Jeffrey Madison, who celebrates on Wednesday Sept. 24. Welcome home to Adrianna Ignacio, who came back last Thursday. She has a long way to go in her recovery, but I saw the pictures of her on Facebook and I have to say I’m not sure how she did this, but she did manage to look glamorous in a halo cast.

I had the pleasure of attending Ruby Iantosca’s birthday party this past Saturday, and the highlight of the party, aside from seeing Ruby look so happy, was Arlen and Lexie Roth performing together. Arlen is such an amazing guitarist and he and his band are so tight, they play together and off one another so well. Were I a singer I would want to sound like Lexie Roth, soulful and bright with such a love for music and a great sense of the story of the song. She is confident but not showy. How lucky are we to have such talent in our town?

Summer resident Eve Lake, daughter of Morgan Hodson and Bill Lake, was married at the Allen Farm this past Saturday. She and her groom, Curtis, have known each other for 11 years and have followed each other around the globe to Africa, and various schools — Emory (her), Yale (him), and the place of their meeting, Bowdoin. He is a lawyer and she is a doctor of internal medicine in residency. They reside in Seattle. The wedding was quite lovely and the rain held off until everyone was safe inside the tent.

And they’re off! The rods, the reels, the boxes of tackle, a sandwich in a plastic bag for sustenance, the waders and lures and heads in the game. Someone is going to catch the Big One — might as well be you. That’s right, folks. It’s Derby season.

The opening bell rang out 8 am Sunday morning to signify the start of the 69th Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, and people are psyched. The weigh-in station crew has been keeping busy, having already having processed more than 2,000 pounds of fish. Those of you who have been reading along for a while know how much I love the spectacle of the weigh-in station. With a coffee in the morning or an ice cream cone in the evening, it’s the best place to hang out, catch up with some folks, and watch the filleters at work. So get on down and check it out, if you’re not already out dropping a line. And keep me posted with your Derby stories, please. Good luck, folks!

It’s a special week in the Dolby household, as both of my siblings celebrated their anniversaries. Chris and Liza Dolby marked 13 years on Sept. 14 with a family trip to the Cape, while Shannon and Andy Smith hit the 10-year milestone on Sept. 18, which they enjoyed with their toes in the sand in Nevis.

Local sailboat Aileen was off to Larchmont last week for the 50th Shields National Regatta. In the able hands of her team of five — the brawny Tim Bryan, Scott Morgan, David Culbertson, Jay Henderson, and Bob Hurst

— Aileen placed 15th overall. Now she is back home on Chappy, ready to be hosed off and wrapped in winter blankets for a much-deserved hibernation. Good Night, Aileen.

Hey Amazon shoppers: Did you know you can name Martha’s Vineyard Community Services as your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to this worthy cause? Instead of going to the main Amazon site, shop at, sign in using your regular Amazon account information, and use the search box to find Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Bookmark the site, and when you make future purchases, MVCS will be saved as your charity of choice.

Seniors, you still have time to sign up for a trip to Wegmans, followed by a fashion show and high tea at the Northborough Senior Center. The trip will take place Wednesday, Sept. 24th, leaving on the 8:15 boat out of Vineyard Haven and returning on the 6:15 pm. At the fashion show, you’ll learn how to shop smart and dress with great style on a budget, while you enjoy tea and delicious homemade tea sandwiches and desserts. Call the Anchors to sign up right away: 508-627-4368.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold the 13th annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Edgartown Lighthouse Children’s Memorial on Saturday, Sept. 20 (rain date Sept. 27) at 1 pm. The Museum is steward of the Edgartown, East Chop, and Gay Head Lighthouses and caretaker of the Children’s Memorial.

Twenty-six new stones have been added in the past year, with names of children of all ages and from across the country. The ceremony is an opportunity for families and friends to gather and remember all of the 651 children who are part of the Memorial.

Stones may be purchased by contacting Betsey Mayhew at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at, or by calling 508-627-4441, ext.112. Visit www.mvmuseum.orgfor more information about upcoming programs and exhibits.

M.V. Fashion Week is upon us, and the series of events will kick off

Thursday, Sept. 18 at Lure in the Winnetu, beginning at 6 pm.

Cocktails will be followed by dinner and a fashion show, where you can preview some of the Vineyard’s most current and elegant fashion offerings. A percentage of the fashion show’s proceeds will benefit Angel Flight NE ( For more information on this and other Fashion Week events, visit

Birthday wishes go out this week to Max Sherman, who celebrates Sept. 19; to Dayce Moore and Cammie Naylor, Sept. 21; and to Michael Donaroma, Sept. 23. Enjoy!

Morning greets us with lingering darkness now as the days are shortened.  For some reason my lab Molly is already arising earlier and earlier in spite of my attempts to convince her that 5 am is not 6 am so please go back to sleep for one more hour. The landscape is tired, as if the effort of presenting a beautiful view during the summer has been exhausting and this, along with a lack of rain, results in dying flowers, drooping foliage and leaves on trees changing color and dropping already.

The Oak Bluffs School, already busy welcoming students, is preparing to acquaint parents and guardians with the staff and programs. You are invited to weekly meetings every Wednesday at 8:30 am in the school library. In these meetings, you may ask your questions and voice concerns.

You will also have a chance to visit your child’s classroom and work when the school hosts Back to School Nights beginning at 6 pm on the following dates: Grade 3, Thursday, Sept. 18; Grade 2, Tuesday, Sept. 23; Grade 1, Tuesday, Sept. 30; Kindergarten and Project Headway, Wednesday, Oct. 1; and grades 5 through 8, Wednesday, Oct. 8.

A free Health Fair open to the public will be held on Monday, Sept. 22, from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Tisbury Senior Center in Vineyard Haven. Tests include glaucoma, hearing (call for an appointment), blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. There will also be information on elder care, homecare and more, including refreshments and giveaways. For info, call 508-696-4205.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold the 13th annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Edgartown Lighthouse Children’s Memorial at 1 pm, Saturday, Sept. 20(rain date Sept. 27).

The idea for creating a memorial at the base of the Edgartown Lighthouse belonged to Rick Harrington, who envisioned it as “one more light to leave on” for his late son Ricky. Very quickly the concept grew into a way to memorialize the many children who have died by placing an engraved stone at the base of the lighthouse. In the past year, 26 new stones have been added with names of children of all ages and from across the country. The ceremony is an opportunity for families and friends to gather and remember all of the 651 children who are part of the Memorial.

The Museum is steward of the Edgartown, East Chop, and Gay Head Lighthouses and caretaker of the Children’s Memorial.

Stones may be purchased by contacting Betsy Mayhew at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at or by calling 508-627-4441, ext. 112.

Here is a chance to support Martha’s Vineyard Community Services: If you purchase items through, please consider adding MVCS as your charity of choice. Instead of going to the main Amazon site, shop at and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchases to MVCS. Sign in using your regular Amazon account information and use the search box to find Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Bookmark the site, and when you make future purchases MVCS will be saved as your charity of choice.

In partnership with M.V. Regional High School’s Environmental Club, members of the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative Ocean Sustainability-in-action Project will participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup with a cleanup from 10 am to noon on Sept. 20 of the Tisbury Harbor beach.

Autumnal Equinox Family Yoga will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 10:30 am at our very active library. Celebrate the changing season with family yoga with Ms. Sondra. Stuffed Animal Storytime will take place on Sept. 16 from 10:30 to 11:30 am, and Scrabble and chess will be held on Sept.  20 from 10 to 12 noon.

We send birthday smiles for the month of September to Aidylberg and Woodside residents: William Sullivan, Eileen McLaughlin, Spencer Hilton, Florence BenDavid, and Emma Goldhorn. Smiles to Ronnie Klein on the 19th, Corey and Amber Medeiros on the 20th, Ruth Metell and Ruthie Van Brakle sharing the 21st, Alice June Thompson on the 22nd, Ken Davey, Ann Metell, and Annabelle Metell on the 24th, and Dustin Shaw on the 25th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.