Town Columns

Molly PurvesThe Fair starts Thursday! Not like you didn’t know that, but I just thought I’d mention it. This week is considered the height of the summer by many, with Illumination Night, the Fair, and the Oak Bluffs fireworks. This is the week when all Island kids melt down due to a summer’s worth of overstimulation and lax bedtimes and all Island parents start counting down the days to the start of school (14). It is also the week we say goodbye to kids going to college for the first time like Chantal Booker (UNH) or returning to college like Ella Mahoney (SVA). And many of our summer friends will be leaving us shortly as well. The Fair always reminds me how short summer is and how precious the last days are.

There are only a couple weeks left of summer programming at the library. Today at 5 pm, at the Old Town Hall, Arnold Zack, noted labor dispute arbitrator and mediator, will speak on the topic: “Will fleeing jobs come home to America?” U.S. factories close, migrant workers join the economy, but world trade ultimately determines where jobs will be. This promises to be a very interesting discussion. This Saturday at 1 pm Barbara Lampson will be building a Potato Launcher. I’m not sure about the logistics of this, but I think anything involving hurling objects through space will delight kids. Next Thursday, West Tisbury columnist Hermine Hull and reporter Brooks Robards will speak about their new book “On Island,” which features the poems of Ms. Robards and the paintings of Ms. Hull. And lastly there will be a Summer Readers Pizza Party on Saturday, August 30, at 12 noon where everyone gets to pick veggies and make pizzas from the library’s container garden. This event will close out a very successful season at the library and celebrate all our fabulous summer readers. The speaker series was immensely popular with Duncan Caldwell’s talk last week attracting 80 people! Duncan’s wife, Nancy, who also gave a talk this summer is working on developing a negotiation workshop to be held at the library this fall.

If you stop by the library and you have in an interest in kids’ play spaces in town, fill out the survey about what to do with the playground we currently have. You can also go to the link here and fill it out:

Visit the Edwin Devries Vanderhoop Homestead, the restored 19th-century farmhouse at the cliffs which houses the Aquinnah Cultural Center. It is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm and you can always get a tour of the homestead when it’s open. There are exhibits up on Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries and a new video program, “Land and Life in Old Gay Head.” For more information, please call 508-645-7900, or email

I know it seems a long way off, but I just received the booklet for ACE-MV’S fall programming and there are lots of great classes including a landscape design class taught by Barbara Lampson. Register online now at, by mail, or in person at the office or at the Course Sampling Fair Wednesday, October 1st at MVRHS from 5 to 6:30 pm, or during the Living Locally Harvest Festival October 4 from 10 am to 3 pm. Check the website for more details.

Adriana Ignacio is at Spaulding Rehabilitation for at least another month and could use some cheering up, please send cards and letters to: Spaulding rehabilitation, Attn.: Adriana Ignacio room 619, 300 1st Ave., Charlestown, MA 02129.

Happy birthday to fellow columnist Linley Dolby who celebrates on Saturday; she shares a birthday with the delightful Noli Taylor and sometime summer resident Trisha Mulligan. Happy Birthday to all.

Megan-AlleyOne of the things I look forward to in the summer are real tomatoes. The gardens are suddenly filling up and overflowing with those fragrant, delicious fruits. No more, at least for a while, of tomatoes that do not smell, taste, or seem like the real thing.  Now we must scramble for different ways to cook and preserve them for future enjoyment. I am starting to realize why it takes me so long to complete routine matters. As I pass the kitchen windows, I am distracted by the birds and their antics at the feeders and before I realize it I have been watching for some time.  Heading to the bedroom, the window flower boxes in those windows are now drawing me closer, first just to admire the flowers and then observing the busy bees as they float from blossom to blossom in search of pollen. Some are already so heavily laden with pollen that as they alight on flowers, the stems bend downward from their weight. How fascinating it is to watch their work until I am jolted into the reality that perhaps it is time for me to imitate them and also be busy as a bee!

Can it possibly be that summer is winding down?  This week has brought us the Grand Illumination, the Agricultural Fair beckons us to West Tisbury, starting today and running until Sunday evening, and of course our Town’s own grand finale, the Fireworks show in Ocean Park Friday night.

Be prepared for parking restrictions, re-routing of traffic and altered bus schedules. But the resulting show of fireworks is worth the temporary inconvenience and is enjoyed by thousands of all ages.

This time of year also brings the exodus of not only our summer guests but also students returning to their studies at off-Island institutions. Among those entering college for their first year are Katherine deBettencourt, the daughter of Michael and Erin deBettencourt, who has chosen to continue her education in Florida where the weather is a bit warmer in the winter than here on the Island. Katherine will also be able to continue playing  golf, a sport which she excelled at as a member of the MVRHS golf team. Mary Alley will take her son and my grandson, Jeremy Alley-Tarter, to  Assumption College in Worcester this week, where he will be busy with his environmental science studies and track activities.

As these students head off Island for future adventures, there are enough activities here to keep our heads spinning.  The Sullivan 5K Run/Walk event for the whole family takes place this Saturday around East Chop.  For info, log

Oak Bluffs School students can access the Oak Bluffs School web site for a list of supplies you will need to start school in September, and more helpful info.

The Oak Bluffs Library will host an author’s visit on Wednesday, August 27 at 4 pm. Author Amelie Loyot will discuss her book, “Vanessa: The Sea Serpent of Martha’s Vineyard.”  This program is for all ages and is a free event.

Although he had an interruption to his vacation to head back to Washington, D.C., for a few days this week, we do hope that President Obama and his family were able to enjoy vacationing on the Island. It didn’t seem to me that down-Island traffic was impacted by his visit much more than it is on an ordinary summer day. But as for up Island, that is probably a different story. Hopefully, for a few hours at least, he found some peace away from stress and criticism.

We send birthday smiles Tony Ratcliff today, Ginny Hall, Leon Holt and Erin deBettencourt share the 3rd, Christine Anthony on the 24th, Ken Rusczyk on the 26th, Erika Bettencourt on the 27th, grandson Chris Alley and the brothers Marchand Andrew and Matthew on the 28th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

The Fisher extended family.

Valerie SonnenthalStill in the August blur and enjoying beach cookouts at sunset, swimming in the rain, the best tomatoes ever courtesy of my neighbor, and an incredible Shabbat dinner, but I am behind on my gardening duties and have been taking care of my son who had all his wisdom teeth removed.

I have fallen in love with Menemsha; every time I go down for a walk with my dogs I feel transported by the strange international mix of visitors and locals. I finally made it into Lambert’s Cove Glass, a walk-in closet of a store, between Beetlebung Coffee House and Scott McDowell’s Copperworks of Martha’s Vineyard. I was lucky to pick up a copy of Nancy Safford’s “Time’s Island: Portraits of the Vineyard,” a 1973 photo book published by MIT Press. The store has an excellent selection of used books for all ages with a focus on the Island, besides the gorgeous hand-blown glassware and furniture with glass hardware made by Alan Cottle. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, 1–6 pm, and will be open through the fall; sorry, no phone working there at the moment.

We stopped at Squibby for a dog walk with our Santa Fe visitors and someone who recognized the dogs came up and said hello. Turns out that Cookie (Margo) Martin, who is renting a house with a nearly identical address to our own (a package mix-up was how we met), is here in Chilmark for three weeks with her family. There are 40 family members, renting six houses, all in Chilmark except one, and all are related to Ernest and Doris Fisher, who started out camping in Gay Head and Chilmark nearly 40 years ago. The family spans from 10 months old to Ernest, 92 years young. We hope that everyone had another great summer stay; how lucky they are to share their summers!

On Saturday afternoon Jay Lagemann’s 2009 sculpture “Family – Presidential Welcome,” was moved into the middle of Beetlebung Corner. I had not seen it before and when driving past at 6 pm, pulled over, got out of my car and snapped a few pictures. Thursday, August 21, join sculptors Jay Lagemann and Duncan Niederlitz at their Open Studio from 5 – 7 pm, at 18 Wequobosque, a 1/2 mile on the left past Beetlebung Corner. For more information: or 508-560-0151.

I hope the Obamas will try Chilmark Tavern or they really are missing out on some of the best food offered on Island. My family will be going back this week with our Santa Fe friends and I can’t wait to try what I missed on our first visit. I spotted a really cool Willys parked at Chilmark General Store this week with Ohio plates. I was not gregarious enough to inquire on the packed porch who the owner was and have not seen it since.

The Flanders Field Softball Most Valuable Player was awarded last Sunday to Ed Edgar with much pomp and circumstance. Also the Howie Hustle Award was given to two players this year — Ted Sattler and Caleb Caldwell. Congratulations to all. Games continue Sunday mornings at 8 am through Labor Day.

Martha’s Vineyard Museum Chief Curator Bonnie Stacy is coming to the Chilmark Library to talk about her new book “Martha’s Vineyard,” including fascinating facts, stories, and photographs of the many varied facets of Vineyard life through the 19th century from seafaring families to farm life, to Hollywood filming, on Wednesday, August 27 at 5 pm.

Kay-MayhewThe Island lost one of the really good guys this month. Ed Colligan stood tall among them. Our condolences to his family who have made a wonderfully appropriate choice. You are invited to honor his memory with a donation to the Avenue of Flags Fund. Send your check to the American Legion Post #257, PO Box 257, Vineyard Haven MA 02568. I shall miss his calls reminding me to call for volunteers to help raise those flags. We shall all miss Ed.

Why would a seasoned skipper sail an aging ship near the path of an approaching monster hurricane? Authors Michael Tougias and Douglas Campbell examine Captain Robin Walbridge’s mystique through those who knew him. This is a harrowing tale of shipwreck in Superstorm Sandy, with a breathtaking rescue by US Coast Guard pilots in the midst of a storm. Michael will present the story of his book, “Rescue of the Bounty,” through slides and narrative next Tuesday at 7 pm at the Vineyard Haven Library.

Felicia Cheney, the children’s librarian, says that children make good use of the Lego table in the off season at the Vineyard Haven Library and can always use more Lego pieces. So, if you are looking to give some away, remember our library. Kids age five and up can build with Legos at 4 pm today or play a game with Ms. Felicia.

Felicia offers story time for little ones next Tuesday morning. Stories and songs are a great way to promote literacy with your wee ones.

Welcome to the new dentist in town. Parsia Koleini, a graduate of Boston College where he also got his graduate degrees, has recently joined Sandy Nadelstein at Lagoon Pond Dental. He is a dentist with gentle hands (I can attest to that). He recently completed a residency in cosmetic dentistry, appreciating the wealth and variety of new materials available today. Parsia is a handsome young man, only 31 and not married. He is new to the Island though he visited as a child. He enjoys boating, hiking, and soccer and may be found at Mocha Mott’s enjoying coffee and a book, probably on history. He is doing his best to get to know some Islanders.

Best wishes for a rapid recovery to Gloria Wong. She will welcome your prayers and good wishes.

Remember that the Grace Church lobster rolls are served every Friday all summer, now $17. For orders call 508-693-0332.

Every Tuesday from 4 to 7:30 pm you can eat in air-conditioned comfort or take it out to eat on the beach. There is also chowder and plenty of parking at the American Legion Hall.

Last week brought a number of buyers to Island shops. Oddly most seemed to be from out of state and were aware of the tax-free weekend.

The YMCA invites you to the Martha’s Vineyard’s premier 70.3 triathlon, on September 7. A breathtaking coastal race course with scenic ocean views includes the 56-mile bike route. Participate in the full triathlon alone, or make it a team effort in the relay. Don’t enjoy running? Then the aquabike is for you. There is an open water swim only option as well. The event is limited to 300’ register now at the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard. All proceeds benefit the YMCA.

This Island never fails to amaze me. I had never thought about but never knew there were flocks of egrets here until we saw them roost for the night in a dead tree along side the Tiasquam. Another friend has an eagle who calls her yard home. We still have too many turkeys, but having little girls who love to yell and chase them has helped cut down on the numbers.

Our lovely granddaughters are here this week for Nana Camp and the Fair. They also enjoyed attempting scrimshaw, the hand carving done by whalers in the past. This was at a class held at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. A couple of weeks ago the girls made harpoons there. These drew a lot of attention when they carried them off Island aboard the ferry.

All good wishes for a successful year go to Alistair Rizza as she begins her studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. For her and others starting college the world lies before them.

Congratulations to Anthony and Pam Campagna as they mark 44 years of married bliss on Saturday.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Sherm Goldstein next Monday.

Heard on Main Street: However good or bad a situation, it will change.

Linley-DolbyThings are beginning to wrap up around here. There is that nip in the air that reminds us September is right around the corner, and with the annual Illumination, Fair, Fireworks trifecta on the docket for this weekend, we watch the curtains close on another busy summer season. Of course, I remind you all each year, the Friday highlight in Edgartown this weekend is ample parking and restaurant space as the Island dukes it out in Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury for prime Fair and Fireworks real estate.

Dave and I will be up in Boston, celebrating our 11-year wedding anniversary with concert tickets and a Red Sox game. Hard to believe it’s been 11 years since we met in the middle of Green Hollow to exchange our vows — it feels like both a millisecond and a lifetime ago. Happy anniversary, Weagle. Here’s to many more!

In K9-Edgartonian news, this week, newcomer Manny Morgan had his first of many Chappy playdates with Cody Bryan. Manny, a beagle/bulldog mix, is quickly becoming a fixture among the Edgartown butt-sniffing set, as Elvis Abbott and neighbor Hannah show him the ropes. He’s a pretty mellow dude, so he’s catching on quick. Welcome to the fold, furry guy.

Tom and Laura O’Grady made their annual Vineyard visit from Connecticut this past week, with children Thomas, Charlie, and Cate in tow. The kids got in some beach fun, while the grownups highlighted the visit with a sunset dinner at Outermost Inn, celebrating Laura’s birthday.

It has been fun hearing people’s stories of presidential sightings and interactions, including protocol introductions from Secret Service personnel and meetings with the big man himself. Among those lucky enough to have had the opportunity was Mikey Rottman, whose kitchen at Farm Neck has had a revolving door of celebrity visits lately. In addition to the Commander in Chief, Mikey has had photo ops with President Clinton as well as Bill Murray this past week. Coincidentally, Mikey celebrated his 35th birthday on August 19. Not a bad birthday week, Chef.

If you haven’t made it to Felix Neck for one of their guided kayak tours, you still have time. Join a Felix Neck naturalist on an exciting kayak adventure on Sengekontacket Pond. Paddle by Sarson’s Island to see nesting shorebirds. Watch American oystercatchers, cormorants, and shorebirds feed and frolic. Explore the salt marsh and search for pond wildlife. All trips focus on the natural history of saltwater communities found on Martha’s Vineyard. Check it out on a Saturday, 9:30 to 11:30 am until September 15 or  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:30 am  until August 28. Another option is the self-guided Kayak Quest, in which you can enjoy Sengekontacket Pond at your own pace. The rhyming Quest clues will help you uncover the story of the pond’s people, places, and wildlife. Your Quest ends after you find the hidden Quest box. Kayaks, paddles, life jackets, and Quest materials are all included. Quests are yours for the partaking Monday through Friday until September 26. Call to reserve a boat. For more info, call 508-627-4850.

The Annual Evening of Music on the Lagoon will be held at Jim and Pam Butterick’s house at 359 Barnes Rd., Oak Bluffs on August 31 at 6 pm. Enjoy wine and appetizers at sunset on the Lagoon on the last Sunday of summer, and listen to the fabulous pianist Adele Dreyer play Rhapsody in Blue, to be joined afterwards by musician extraordinaire Peter Boak for duets. Donations of any amount will be accepted for the Federated Church Organ/Music Fund and/or Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. Please be generous. For questions email

Birthday wishes go out this week to Brion McGroarty, who celebrates August 20; Laura Townes, Katie Fahey, Matt Frederick, and Lynn Ditchfield, August 21; Doug Heil, August 22; and Matt Sanville, August 24. Enjoy!

Hermine-HullThe 153rd Agricultural Fair begins Thursday, August 21, always the highlight of the summer. The fairgrounds will be filled with exhibits and people, some familiar and some new this year. Welcome to the four-day event that brings everyone to West Tisbury.

Mike and I had a friend over for dinner last night, an otherwise urbane New Yorker, who surprised us by his childlike enthusiasm for all the things he loves about living on the Island in the summer. “I love the Fair, I love Illumination Night, I love the fireworks.” This is the week it all happens, the culmination of planning and anticipation. Enjoy it all.

Valerie Sonnenthal sent me a link to fabulous photographs taken by a visitor from England, Charles Saumarez Smith. The gardens, flowers, and produce are gorgeous, all taken on a visit with Bob Skydell at Fiddlehead Farm. Best was the two gentlemen posing in an America Gothic tableau, complete with pitchfork.The link Bob has also announced the publication of his first ever newsletter, The Fiddlehead Farmer, available at the farm stand.

If you take any time off from fair-going, the West Tisbury Library has things happening this week. Jennifer Tseng and Susan Choi will read from their new books this Saturday, August 23, at 4 pm. Jennifer, one of the faces at the Circulation Desk, is an accomplished poet. She is now writing her first novel, “Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness.” The book will be released next June. It tells the story of a librarian “who’s up to no good.” Sounds intriguing.

Susan Choi is the author of four novels. Her first, “The Foreign Student,” won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, “American Woman,”was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. “A Person of Interest” was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her most recent novel, “My Education,”received a 2014 Lammy Award.

The last Monday Night Movie of August begins at 6:30 in the library’s program room. The movie and popcorn are free. A video collaboration by Fanny Howe and Maceo Senna, “Outremer,”is the first film, based on a poem of the same name by Fanny Howe. She will read from her new book of poems, “Second Childhood.”Chapters 1 and 2 of P.S. Beirut by Michael Shamberg is the second documentary.

Honor Moore will read and answer questions about her books on Thursday, August 28, at 5 pm. She is the author of a biography, “The White Blackbird, A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent,”a memoir, “The Bishop’s Daughter,”and three collections of poetry.

Martha Hubbell will teach a Cornhusk Doll workshop for kids aged nine and up at the Library on Wednesday, August 27, 11 to 1.

At 4:30 that afternoon is the Friends of the West Tisbury Library annual meeting. Everyone is welcome to come, learn about the organization, express your opinions and thoughts, and enjoy always-delicious refreshments.

The Library is looking for volunteers for a newly-formed Library Art Committee. Beth Kramer describes it as follows: “The objective of this committee will be to create a diverse collection, of high artistic merit, that will engage the public, complement the Library facility and elevate the library’s contribution to the community.” Contact Beth if you are interested. or 508-693-3366.

There are always people standing in front of the library reading the bricks along our walk. If you would like one, or more, of your own, contact Wendy Nierenberg of the West Tisbury Library Foundation at 508-693-0800 or ask at the library. Bricks are $150 each.

Pam Thors of the Community Preservation Committee wants to invite town residents to a public forum at the Howes House next Wednesday, August 27, 7–8 pm. There is $740,000 available, so come and offer your ideas for projects.

Brooks Robards and I are reading from our book of poems and paintings, “On Island,”at the Aquinnah Town Hall, across from the library, at 5:30 on Thursday, August 28.

I have finally walked on the beach, the first time this summer. I always wonder where the time goes. There were years when Ellen Weiss, Brooks Robards, Mary Beth Norton, Talley and I met every Tuesday morning to walk and look at birds and waves, to talk about our days and our projects, to feel sun and water.

It was a beautiful morning, just the kind of perfect beach day one dreams of in the middle of February. Will we do it again? Maybe after the Fair. Maybe after a group of houseguests leaves or after an appointment off Island. It’s so easy to be busy with other things.

Mary Beth has become an avid bird-watcher. She gave a wonderful lesson about migration as we watched sanderlings peck away at the sand, eating to gain weight for their journey. She explained about osprey, too, the variations in migration of adult or juvenile osprey. There is Rob Bierregaard’s website called OspreyTrax, that tracks osprey and tells their stories, all images made available with GPS devices, sent daily to your inbox. A winter’s occupation.

Molly PurvesWhat an amazing beach weekend it was! Philbin was exquisite, albeit a little seaweed-y. I finally got to take a little time off this weekend and enjoy our glorious beaches — part of why we all live here, right? It was much-needed and I enjoyed every second of it, especially seeing other friends who I know have been working very hard this summer take a little time off as well. I feel almost human again.

Duncan Caldwell will speak tonight at 5 pm the Old Town Hall as part of the Summer Speaker Series. His talk is titled, “Prehistoric Rock Art near Paris: Glories, new discoveries and controversies.” Refreshments will be served.

This Saturday at the Library, the Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library will hold an open house from 12 noon to 2 pm; refreshments will be served. You can stop in and learn what the Friends do for the library and how you can help (hint: you can make a donation).

The ice cream social at the library was a lot of fun this weekend. Kids flocked to the porch to shake up a bag of ice cream with Barbara and her staff of helpers (her nephew and other family). I’m always amazed by how good the ice cream is and how simple it is to make it.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will be open Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm up at the Cliffs. You can come in and get a tour of the homestead and see their exhibits on 17th and 18th Century Wampanoag life.

Joan LeLacheur will hold an open studio showcasing her amazing jewelry from 3 to 7 pm on Saturday, August 16, at her home, 42 Old South Rd. You can call her at 508-645-9954 for more information. She is also part of Gallery in the Gardens at Vineyard Gardens on August 15, 5–8 pm.

Dana Gaines kayaked around the Island to benefit the Gay Head Lighthouse on Saturday, he did it in under 10 hours and raised $12,000 for the cause. Congratulations, Dana, and thank you for your generosity toward our signature landmark.

Adrianna Ignacio is doing much better after her fall at her home last month. She has been moved to Spaulding Rehabilitation where she will be for a while. If you would like to send her a card or a letter, you can send it to: Spaulding Rehabilitation Attn.: Adriana Ignacio room 619

300 1st Ave. Charlestown, MA 02129

Happy Birthday to Laina Benoit who turned eight on August 12. Happy Birthday also to Kate Taylor who celebrates this Friday along with our library director, Lisa Sherman. Barbie Bassett celebrates on August 20.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival wraps up next week. Programming in the last week includes: “The Wizard of Oz” this Friday at Owen Park in Vineyard Haven on Friday at 8 pm, “Freedom Summer” with special guests, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Gwen Ifil at the Tabernacle on Monday and “Art and Craft” at the Chilmark Community Center on Wednesday. You can go to their website for tickets at or call the office at 508-645-9599.

The Island Theater Workshop will present a benefit performance of Peter Pan on Friday, August 15, at 7:30 pm in the Performing Arts Center at MVRHS.  Directed by Kevin Ryan, the performance will benefit The MV Center for Living and help support the following Center for Living programs and services for Island seniors:  The Supportive Day Program (a social daycare program for elders), The Medical Taxi Program, the Emergency Food Program and the Support Group for families coping with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementia issues. The ticket is $25 for adults and $12 for children.  Call 508-939-9440 for tickets and information.

Kay-MayhewThis Saturday from 12 noon to 4 pm you’ll want to be at the Peach Festival at the Congregational Church in West Tisbury. Enjoy peach treats on the lawn and enter a raffle to win your own peach tree. On offer will be fresh peaches, peach smoothies or shortcake, blueberry peach cobbler, and peach pies. All proceeds support the church. If it rains, the event will be held indoors.

On Sunday, the Vineyard Haven Band Concert is in Owen Park. Music begins at 8 pm so you can enjoy the harbor view with beautiful music.

Tuesday morning, little ones have storytime with Kathy Forrester at the Vineyard Haven Library. This is the last summer storytime with Kathy. On Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm, kids age eight and up are invited to try lantern painting for illumination night. They will paint and take home a lantern. Thursday at 4 pm kids five and up can build with Legos or play a game at the library.

Tuesday evening you can meet Marsha Winsryg and learn about the African Artists Community Project which helps the Mama Bakhita Center for disabled children in Zambia. This will be an overview of the project, accompanied by Rick Bausman, Jane Norton, and Cynthia Bloomquist, all at 7 pm.

Our library continues to offer the most wonderful treats. You can take the upcoming free seminar, “Tolstoy’s Modern Epic: War and Peace,” led by Philip Weinstein of Aquinnah and Swarthmore College.There is an advance reading assignment. Beginning in September, the six-part workshop on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace will meet on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm at the Cornell Theatre. Class dates are September 17, October 1, 15, 29; November 12 and December 3. Reading 200 pages per session (every two weeks, for three months) will take the time necessary to do justice to Tolstoy’s masterpiece.

You must register in advance, online or at the library. To prepare for the first class, read Volume One, Parts One and Two. Professor Weinstein will be using the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of the book. A limited number of copies are on reserve at the library.

ACE MV will offer 36 classes this fall. Did you know local sponsors include McIntosh Motors (Auto Maintenance for Women) and the Chilmark Writing Workshop (Writing from the Heart)? There are classes for credits from Fitchburg State University. You can register online now at, or by mail or at the high school. Check out the Course Sampling Fair on October 1 at the high school from 5 to 6:30 pm. More at or call Lynn at 774-310-1131. You can find the catalog in any library.

Next week is the Fair: our fair is the Island party. I hope you will let me know if you see something we should mention in the news. My favorites are the kids’ entries and of course the quilts. Kids put together scenes of wonderful vegetables, artworks, and imaginative creations. Even little kids complete entries that will astonish you. Be sure to see the efforts of the next generation: I guarantee you will be impressed.

The quilts are supposed to be applique or patchwork made by one person and quilted by that same person as well. You have to be impressed with all that needlework done by one person. A quilt top created by one person and quilted by another is a group quilt. That is still an awful lot of work. Years ago all of this was done by hand. Many modern quilts are sewn by machine and are often quilted by machine. The talent to put all this together is remarkable.

Mary Goethals of our town and Tucson, Arizona, joined her older brother, George Goethals of Richmond, Virginia, and Pine Island, New York, on a trip to Panama for the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. Their paternal great grandfather was General George Washington Goethals, who also summered in Vineyard Haven. He was the head engineer and first governor of the canal. Mary and George are the children of the late Barbara B. Nevin of Edgartown.

Are you dying to gamble? Try Foxwoods with Friends of the Oak Bluffs COA on Tuesday, August 26. Bus cost is $30, round trip from Woods Hole. You buy your SSA ticket and take spending money. You leave on the SSA at 7 am and come home on the 6:15 from Woods Hole. Sign up now with Rose at 508-693-4509, ext 3.

Congratulations go out today to Skip and Carol Bailey who mark 20 happy years together.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out tomorrow to Ray Frazio and Braden Kuehne. Leslie Stark parties on Monday as do Larry Levine and Kathy Welch. Jeff Damon Pratt and Alistair Rizza celebrate on Wednesday.

Heard on Main Street: See you at the Fair!

Got Tisbury news? Contact Kay Mayhew here

Valerie SonnenthalSummer movie on Menemsha Beach with Sylvia Earle and Bob Nixon, Backyard Bash on a gorgeous evening enjoyed by families and all ages, Chilmark Road Race with more runners than ever, the First Family nestled into their vacation digs, hearing Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Foundation founder and president Dr. John Aucott speak at an informal gathering, one of my sons returning from a summer semester in Poland and one off camping in New Hampshire, dancing in Built on Stilts, girlfriends from Rockland County, N.Y., visiting — it’s the August blur under the Supermoon and Perseid meteor showers. It’s time to start thinking about the Ag Fair, what to enter, and enjoying the myriad of offerings all over our Island.

The other morning in Menemsha I spotted a woman standing by the creek working on a small canvas, fog making the world of this painter a timeless quiet. It was Karen Cuchel, an artist and teacher born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. She works plein air whether at home (still in Brooklyn) or every summer when she, her husband, writer/teacher Jason Dubow, and their kids visit Chilmark, a family tradition started by his parents over 30 years ago. Also our sons will share a common experience, The Mountain School, a one-semester program for high school juniors — we wish Ari Dubow a great semester.

Kara Taylor’s last gallery opening of the summer season is her NIGHT exhibit Sunday, August 17, from 5 to 8 pm. Come see her newest work; I know she’s been busy painting every day. For more information, 508-332-8171.

Last dinner (7 pm) and a movie (8 pm) in Chilmark is “Art and Craft,” a documentary about Mark Landis who has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in U.S. history, though he donated his work to museums under the ruse of being a philanthropist. Come meet Mark Landis on Wednesday, August 20.  For tickets and information,

The Chilmark Public Library gets serious this week with author/activist Rebecca Gordon, a professor at University of San Francisco, discussing her new book, “Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post 9/11 United States” on Wednesday, August 20, at 5 pm. Catch West Tisbury author John Hough Jr. discussing his new novel “Little Bighorn” on Thursday, August 21, at 5 pm.

The last session of Author Lecture Series at the Chilmark Community Center offers three masterful memoirists discussing writing their personal stories. Come hear Gail Sheehy, Richard Hoffman, Katie Hafner moderated by Alexandra Styron on Thursday, August 21, 7:30 pm. Tickets available at and the CCC (M-F, 9-12 only). The last Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society concert will be Carol Wincenc on flute, Jay Campbell on cello, Delores Stevens on piano, playing J.S. Bach’s Duo from the “Well Tempered Clavier,” and other works by Gabriella Lena Frank and Jake Heggie.

All Chilmark Community Center programs and classes run through August 15. The Chilmark Flea Market runs through Saturday, August 30. Remember, Chilmark Chocolates is now closed until September 4. You can still take yoga and dance classes through September 7 at The Yard. Lobster Rolls to Go at the Chilmark Church runs Tuesdays from 4:30 to 7 pm through September 9, and yoga at the church with Primo Lombardi on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:15 am runs through August 28.

Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here.

Linley-DolbyWow, we’ve really been having some awesome weather, which is much appreciated after a couple of wet weekends. Well, the ducks certainly enjoyed the wet days, but I am loving this sunshine. Sundays at Norton, backyard pig roasts, sipping cocktails on rocking chairs, ah…This is summer.

On the flip side, even now in the depths of summer, my father continues to garner harassment on his futile search for the snowy owl this past winter. He says he ran into Franny and Eddie Gentle at the barbershop the other day, and they gave him a couple of jabs. Well, Dad, I’ve just received a postcard from your winter nemesis that reads, “The Arctic Circle is beautiful this time of year. Tell Mike I said ‘See you next year. NOT.’” Kind of rude, if you ask me. Them’s fightin’ words.

Congratulations to one of my first ever babysitting charges, who tied the knot this weekend. Lindsay Smith and Matt Garcia exchanged their vows on Saturday, August 9, surrounded by family and friends, at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. A strong contingent of Vineyard folk made the cross-country trip to witness the nuptials. Best wishes to the two of you.

Alex and Maggie Morrison hosted their annual throwdown this past Saturday, complete with roast pig, live music, and an interpretive Celine Dion DJ set presented by Fitzroy. All were sent home with full bellies and smiles from ear to ear. Can’t wait until next year.

The Murrays took Edgartown by storm this summer, sailing, fishing, beaching, playing tennis, and adding new talents to their repertoires. For Hannah, this meant learning to dive, conquering the Beach Club water slide, and learning to fish — she was in fact declared by Captain Ed Jerome the “Queen of the Flukes.” Meanwhile, Zachary worked on his opti navigation, tossed out the first pitch at an MV Sharks game, and found success with rod and reel, catching both a bluefish and his first sand shark. These two will have a lot of stories for show and tell, come September.

Best of luck to blogger Marnely Murray, who has entered a recipe in the Make the Switch Whole Grains Month Contest. This national contest includes 18 chosen bloggers across the US who start with an old recipe made with refined grains, and then transform the dish into one featuring whole grains, all in an effort to encourage people to consume more whole grains. A substantial cash prize is at stake, as well as the opportunity to help people make healthier choices. Check out for more info.

This Week In Pancakes: The Fire Department has you covered on August 24, from 8 am to 12 noon, so mark your pancake calendar, and drop by the station to get your fix. Don’t tell me you don’t have a pancake calendar, because that’s just nonsense.

Kids, grab your parents and head up to Felix Neck for some learning and crafting creature fun time. This program, which offers young naturalists a close-up look at native animals of Martha’s Vineyard, combining a story, craft, and a look at the “creature” of the day, will take place Tuesday and Thursday, August 12 sand 14, from 10 to 11 am. Tuesday, the topic is bugs in general, while Thursday will provide a closer look at our native caterpillars. For children aged three to five with a parent/guardian. Call 508-627-4850 for more info.

A special enormous bunch of balloons go out to birthday boy Bob Carroll this Friday, August 15, as he celebrates his 90th turn about the sun. Don’t tie all 90 balloons to your chair, Mr. Carroll, or you might end up on the moon. Happiest wishes to you!

Also, this week we bestow happiest of birthday wishes upon Lisa Sherman, who celebrates August 15; Braden Moriarty, August 16; Corrigan Mello and Patrice Brewer, August 18; and Mikey Rottman, August 19. Have a blast, guys!

Got Edgartown news? Contact Linley here.