Valerie SonnenthalGetting home after my 6-day MELT Method Teacher Training in New York City, my husband drove us straight from the airport to the Chilmark General Store where I ran into Grace Culley Adamson enjoying a few moments of peace sitting on the porch while her son, River, 10 months old, sat below her contented. This is River’s first summer on the Vineyard, and I am sure his grandparents Dr. Greg and Donna Culley are thrilled to have Grace and River home for a month. Grace and her family are moving from Washington, D.C., to Burlington, Vermont, where she will begin medical school in the fall. Is this 38-year-old mother crazy? I think not, and we wish her much success!

Jennifer LoRusso says Chilmark General Store is “so grateful to have all of them back for the season!” Welcome back Carl (pizza maker), Zrinka (counter server), Jesse (counter server), Francois (dish washer), Natalia Cucu (sandwich maker), Madison (cashier), Noah (stock person), Duane (line cook), Champagne (line cook), and David (pizza cook).

At last week’s Tuesday circle time, outgoing chair of the Chilmark School PTO Katie Carroll was honored for her nine years of service with flowers, a basket of cards and by Susan Siegel Goldsmith, who gave a short speech thanking Katie and acknowledging that she would have big shoes to fill in taking over her role. The PTO plans to purchase a bench with Katie’s name on it for the school grounds. I hear it was a very moving experience and Katie was very touched.

This is my first summer registering kids, my niece and nephew, for the CCC summer program. All the ladies working were CCC kids once upon a time, registration went smoothly, and everyone couldn’t have been kinder. I look forward to a summer of making new roots for myself and extended family in what seems to be the heart of Chilmark in the summer. And if you want to know CCC’s history check out the DVD Barefoot in Beetlebung from our town library; you’ll be glad you did.

The MVFF Dinner and A Movie on Wednesday nights at the CCC have started. Come and relax on the lawn or sit at a picnic table, listen to live music, and enjoy dinner prepared by Marvin Jones and Deon Thomas available at 7 p,m, followed by an 8 pm screening of “Divide in Concord,” a documentary about banning single-serve plastic water bottles. Enjoy meeting director Kris Kaczor and film subjects Jean Hill, Jim Crosby, Jill Appel, and Janet Rothrock. For more info, go to

Pasture Road Softball Season got off to a great start and even made the Boston Globe thanks to reporter Mark Shanahan and photographer Peter Simon. So if you want to know the names I didn’t drop, check Commissioner Bill Edison tells me he caught Paul Iantosca filling in holes behind home plate and has promoted Paul to Head Groundskeeper. Come start your 4th of July holiday off with a game of softball at Flanders Field and join in for this special 9 am game. All are welcome and bagpiper Tony Peak is expected to play before the game starts!

Have a safe and Happy July 4th!

Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie Sonnenthal here.

Tony Peak of Vineyard Haven played "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" on his bagpipes, to open the Chilmark softball season at Flanders Field on Pasture Road. Softball games are open to all, and are played at the field at Pastor Road, off Taborhouse, every Sunday between June 22 and Labor Day, starting at about 8 am. — Photo by Ed Grazda

Valerie SonnenthalFlanders Field Softball Season opened, serenaded by Tony Peak, in his kilt, playing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” Bill Edison sang his own verse and tells me it was “the most players ever at opening day,” and is thrilled to see new faces joining in. Three homes runs were hit over Pasture Road. And we hope Lexie Roth’s ankle is feeling much better.

Last month at Roberta Kirn’s SING, there was one new face, Megan Kershaw. Originally from Centerville, Megan moved to Chilmark in April and works full-time at Beetlebung Farm. Although she had visited Martha’s Vineyard throughout her life she is thrilled to now live here year-round. Megan has worked on New England farms for the last eight years and also has cooked and crewed on sailboats. Stop by and say hi.

Erin Haggerty and Hal Ryerson on their wedding day in June.
Erin Haggerty and Hal Ryerson on their wedding day in June.

I ran into Erin Haggerty who shared that she and Hal Ryerson married on Saturday, June 7, at his family’s house on Chockers Lane with 215 close friends and family! Erin says, “It was a perfect day. We’re going to spend some time here then go to Spain and Portugal for a July honeymoon then back to NYC in August.” She and Hal met working at the Outermost Inn. Erin is now finishing the graduate journalism program at NYU and Hal will be cooking again in NY in the fall!

Don’t miss BiodiversityWorks biologists Luanne Johnson and Liz Baldwin sharing Life on the Beach – photos, history, information, and identification tips on birds, crabs, insects, and mammals needing beach habitats to survive, and how you can help. Presented free by Friends of the Chilmark Public Library on Wednesday, June 25, at 5 pm, Ages 10 and up. “Fizz Boom Read!” is starting Saturday, June 28, so kids come in and sign up for a summer of great reading!

Community Yoga classes, 7 days a week, begins June 28 at The Yard. Daryl Owens will be teaching Gyrokinesis on Fridays at 7 am. Go to for the schedule. Irene and Bob Hungerford walk their Clydesdales twice a day along Pasture Road. When I pass them coming or going it always makes my day. They recently returned from taking a 4-day draft horse workshop at Fair Winds Farm in Brattleboro, Vt. Look for one or both of their horses being ridden by Tracey Olsen competing in the MV Horse Council Dressage Show on Sunday, June 29, at the Ag Hall.

Join Kara Taylor for her Altar Show at her first Gallery opening of the season, Sunday, June 29, 5–8pm , 24 South Road, 508-332-8171. In case you miss the opening her summer hours are now Tuesdays–Sundays, 12–5 pm.

Marti Fabregat Pous, 11th grade exchange student through AFS, a nonprofit organization, has spent ten months living with Deb Dunn, Jim Feiner, and their son, Elijah. He does not want to go home, but Barcelona and his family beckon. Marti promises he’ll be back and this time bring his own family. Deb Dunn wrote: “Having an exchange student living with us has been fabulous for my 10-year-old son and given him the chance to feel what it’s like to have an older brother. Living in such an isolated, and somewhat homogenous community, Marti has given my son a sense of what life is like in Spain and hopefully instilled in him a lifelong curiosity about other cultures and people. We got really lucky with Marti, a special young man who fit in with our family perfectly.”

Valerie Sonnenthal, our new Chilmark town columnist, is a writer, artist and the publisher of Errata Editions. When she’s not teaching Foot Fitness or Gyrokinesis classes, she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and playing the drums. Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here or call her at 508-645-9692.

Valerie SonnenthalCongratulations to Marianne Goldberg and the entire Pathways Projects Team on three more winter residencies now lined up for Pathways Gathering Space at the Chilmark Tavern! You have made so many Island artists feel welcome and been the germinating inspiration for countless creative projects. Marianne expresses, “Special thanks to Frank and Judy Lorusso, our Chilmark Tavern” guardian angels. Speaking of Chilmark Tavern, my husband, a guest, and I ate dinner there on Friday and were all pleasantly surprised by the creative and delicious offerings. We will be back! And I can continue to hope they may offer a tastings menu — just too many good choices for one meal!

Okay maybe you’ve been dreaming about this, I know I have on occasion — Lobster Rolls To Go from Chilmark Community Church on Menemsha Crossroad start Tuesday, June 17, 4:30–7 pm. Generous lobster rolls, drink and chips for $13 to benefit the Chilmark Church. Best deal ever and so yummy!

I love Willys! And I have spotted a few of them in the last couple of weeks driving around Chilmark. When I stopped last Thursday between rain storms to pick up milk at Mermaid Farm there was a glistening green 1953 Pickup Truck owned by Suzanne and Sergio Modigliani. In fact these Chilmark residents own three; a 1951 Wagon and a 1957 Forward Control FC-170 Jeep. Don’t know if they stop for hitchhikers.

Did someone say Pizza Delivery? Yes, starting on Friday, June 20, you can call The Chilmark Store, 508-645-3739, for a minimum order of two pizzas plus a $5 delivery charge, pizza delivery will be available, 5–8:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays only. Your pizza delivery lady will be none other than singer Juana Camilleri; check her music out at

Chilmark Softball Season opens at Flanders Field on Sunday, June 22, 8:30 am. Come one, come all, all ages welcome to play or watch, four-legged friends welcome on leashes. Box seats available now thru Labor Day! Softball Commissioner Bill Edison says, “One of the great social events of the season.” He confided what he really looks forward to “are the conversations on the sidelines.” Adding, “I can’t wait to hear what Dan Pinck has to say about his trip to Paris to attend the D-Day celebrations,” and to hear John Jacob’s “tall tales from South Africa.”

Then Charles Pinck, Dan’s son, sent this link for the Boston Globe’s article about his dad with a great picture of the seasonal Chilmark resident shaking hands with President Obama in Normandy,

There are still tickets available for the Fundraiser for The Yard on Monday, June 23,at  5:30 pm at Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Enjoy an evening of dance, dining, and delight showcasing the Yard’s finest artists as they perform in this unconventional space followed by a delicious sit-down dinner. Call 508-645-9662 for information.

Congratulations to Brooks Carroll, Noah Glasgow, Menasha Leport, Kiera McCarthy, Finley Monahan, Imogen Taylor, Isabella Thorpe, all the fifth graders at The Chilmark School who will be graduating Wednesday, June 25. We hope your speeches went well and wish you much success as you move on to middle school next September. But first enjoy your summers!

Look for those special finds at The Chilmark Flea Market, open Wednesday, June 25, and every Wednesday & Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm through August 30.

Valerie Sonnenthal, our new Chilmark town columnist, is a writer, artist and the publisher of Errata Editions. When she’s not teaching Foot Fitness or Gyrokinesis classes, she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and playing the drums. Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here or call her at 508-645-9692.

Valerie SonnenthalThis has been a week of cancellations, suffering through a sore throat, rising above an allergy-fogged head, being vigilant daily about grooming dogs for pin-head ticks (a robust army among us), graduation preparations sitting through three hours of extraordinary generosity on Class Night at The Tabernacle — where every kid who applied for a scholarship be it merit or need walked away with community support. My 21-year-old son returned for his brother’s MVRHS ceremony, a ceremony my younger son waivered about joining his class for (but is glad he did).

One of the ladies from my plane ride home was riding a bike on Middle Road and I stopped her to talk and learned about The Barn House and just watched a CD from Chilmark Library’s History Week 2012 about this remarkable house and property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So much to learn about this place I call Home.

The Yard interns arrived in mid-May. For four out of five this is their first time on the Vineyard and all are excited to be here and part of the magic created at The Yard. Sierra Adams, from Philadelphia returns for a full season after graduating from Connecticut College, majoring in Dance. Danielle Doell, a 2014 Ohio University grad from Cleveland, is thrilled to expand her horizons as a Community Programs and General Management Intern. Garrett Kerr has a strong stage management/technical theatre background, training in a conservatory setting at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, and he is excited to immerse himself in all his duties. Ashley Stock from Wisconsin, a first-timer on MV, will finish her 5th year at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a BFA in Design and Technology Theatre and a BA in German. Dylan Turmeque from Glastonbury, Conn., has just completed his BA and MA in Psychology at Wesleyan University, and he is thrilled to combine his love of film and dance as the Media and Communications Intern. Welcome all!

Please bring your young ones to the Chilmark Community Church Children’s Fair, 10 am to 12 noon, Saturday, June 14. Celebrate summer with pony rides, grab bags, games and cupcakes and, new this year, a Bounce House. Free. Also please stop by the Yard and Plant Sale in the Parish Hall behind the church.

Join Marilyn Miller for her “Sense of Place” photography exhibition opening Saturday, June 14, 3–5 pm, at the Chilmark Library or see the show up until July 3rd. Marilyn says her work “celebrates our island from farm to sea and day into night.”

In case you have never heard Jim Thomas’s U.S. Slave Song Project Spirituals Choir, you can do so this Sunday, June 15, at the Chilmark Community Church 9 am service.

Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of visiting Antarctica. Join Terry Appenzellar and John Caldwell as they share their “Views from Antarctica,” a slide show and talk about their recent trip, Wednesday, June 18, 5 pm, sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library.

Valerie Sonnenthal, our new Chilmark town columnist, is a writer, artist and the publisher of Errata Editions. When she’s not teaching Foot Fitness or Gyrokinesis classes, she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and playing the drums. Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here or call her at 508-645-9692.

Fan Olgilvie, seated right, and Sarah Greene, standing, listen as Rose Styron (center) talks with Catherine Cusset during a break in Graham Fawcett's afternoon lecture at Sarah Glazer's Peaked Hill home. — Valerie Sonnenthal

Yes, it is really June and weekends are swelling with visitors and activities in Chilmark. I just returned Sunday from getting my certification as a Gyrokinesis teacher and was very excited an hour later to join my neighbor on Peaked Hill, writer Sarah Glazer, for the culmination of the one-week Poets of New England Tour she arranged with renowned teacher, author, translator and BBC broadcaster Graham Fawcett. Graham gave two talks on Sunday filled with a plethora of history, anecdote and poetry. Vineyard poets and writers in attendance included Fan Ogilvie, Gail Tipton, William Waterway, Nancy Weaver, and Rose Styron. Be sure to check Graham’s website,, to be inspired. And thanks, Sarah, for sharing a remarkable feast by Jan Buhrman.

Gail Tipton was one of the lucky 27 ladies who attended the Women’s Qigong Workshop held at the CCC and told me Nan Doty plans to bring Deborah Davis back to share her self-healing techniques. I’ll keep you posted.

If you happen to be getting gas or stopping by the Menemsha Texaco station, be sure to welcome back Katy Smith, now returning for her seventh summer. She just finished her freshman year at Simmons College where she plans to major in biology.

Dance classes at The Yard have begun, offered on Mondays to Fridays by Yard staff and visiting artists. Go to for a complete schedule of classes, workshops, and performances, or call 508-645-9662 for information.

If you still need an extra-special graduation gift that reflects the beauty of our ocean go no further than Joan LeLacheur’s wampum jewelry Open Studio, Saturday, June 7, 10 am to 5 pm, 42 Old South Road, Aquinnah or contact her directly at 508-645-9954 or

Congratulations to all the graduating Chilmark Seniors at MVRHS: Samantha Bunker, Jessica Campbell, Mariah Campbell, Bradley Carroll, William Hurwitz, Thorpe Karabees, Sawyer Klebs, Alistair Morgan, and James Roddy. We wish you safe and amazing life journeys as you venture forth.

Please join my husband, documentary photographer Edward Grazda, at his A Gallery opening of Landscapes of the Four Corners on Saturday, June 7, 5–7 pm, 8 Uncas Ave. in Oak Bluffs.

Chilmark documentary filmmakers Marjory and Robert Potts will offer a Q&A after presenting their one-hour documentary, “You May Call Her Madam Secretary,” Sunday, June 8, 7:30 pm at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven ($5 suggested donation). The film is about Frances Perkins, FDR’s Labor Secretary and before that a leader of industrial reform in New York state. Did you know her work became the basis for much of the New Deal — especially the Social Security Act? Come and learn about this remarkable woman.

I began singing with Roberta Kirn five years ago to help heal my heart, and now she is in our backyard. Come and sing with Roberta on Tuesday, June 10, 5–6 pm, at The Yard. No experience necessary. Donation requested.

In case you have not yet heard local authors Tom Dresser, Herb Foster, and Jay Schofield discuss their new book, “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II,” Friends of the Chilmark Library are sponsoring their book talk on Wednesday, June 11, at 5 pm. Please call 508-645-3360 for more information.

Valerie SonnenthalMore footprints in the sand, more out-of-state plates, more runners and bicyclists sharing our roads, sightseeing buses, freshly painted picnic tables, storefronts, road lines and fishing boats gleaming in late afternoon sunlight and Memorial Day weekenders enjoying the view from Chilmark Store’s front porch, eating out at Menemsha Fish Market, cars spilling out from Chilmark Chocolates drive, nowhere to park in Menemsha on Sunday afternoon, beach-goers planted for the day, others shopping and some getting lost.

When I moved to the Vineyard eight years ago, MVY Radio helped ease my transition; I am thrilled they have returned to our local airwaves, so tune in to 88.7 FM for great music and local news. Welcome back from the virtual world!

Chilmark school children and staff throw flowers from the dock in Menemsha in remembrance of soldiers who have fought to keep us safe.
Chilmark school children and staff throw flowers from the dock in Menemsha in remembrance of soldiers who have fought to keep us safe.

On Friday, the Chilmark School students made their way by bus and foot to Dutcher Dock to celebrate “soldjers that have servd our contry,” wrote Rodeo Purves-Langer. “Putting the flowrs in the wotr,” wrote Billie Shepard. “We thank the soldiers for being brave,” wrote Jen and Doug’s 2/3 class. They shared poems written for Memorial Day and released flowers into the ocean.

The CCC playing field came to life Saturday morning with at least 40 people enjoying an all-ages softball game for a weekend of celebration culminating in Sunday’s wedding at The Beach Plum Inn of longtime summer resident, filmmaker Jackson Waite and his new bride, novelist and contributor to Esquire, Lisa Taddeo.

Sunday morning about 100 people, all ages, including six local Coast Guard members turned out for the Blessing of the Fleet led by Chilmark Community Church’s Pastor Seongmoon Ahn at Menemsha Harbor with trumpet accompaniment by Edson Rogers and Carol Loud on the piano. Names of all the fishing boats and their captains were read aloud, hymns sung and prayers shared.

The Chilmark School is hosting a Painting Party fundraiser at the Chilmark Community Center, Friday, May 30, 6–9 pm. Paint Corner Art Bar will provide all the supplies and guide you step-by-step in creating your own masterpiece in two to three hours: make it a friends night out. Snacks provided, but please BYOB. $35 per person. Register at For more info, call Paint Corner Art Bar 617-864-0263 or Susan Stevens, 508-645-2562, ext. 102.

There is still room to join a Women’s Qigong and Self Healing Workshop, Saturday, May 31, 9 am to 4 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. For information and to register, please call Nan Doty, 508-645-3393. Taught by Deborah Davis, author of “Women’s QiGong for Health and Longevity,” an alternative medicine practioner with 30-plus years of experience. Don’t miss this opportunity, ladies!

Join Sam Feldman who is celebrating his 85th birthday on Friday, May 30. Surprise him by attending evening service at the MV Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven. Sam says, “It’s been a privilege to be a resident of Chilmark since 1988.” We appreciate Sam’s time  serving as Fence Viewer for the last four years and he appreciates our lovely stone walls.

The Home Port officially opens for dinner tonight, May 29, at 5 pm. Or enjoy food from their Back Door, now open Thursdays–Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm. We look forward to Josh Aronie’s magic touch in the kitchen and welcome him back to where he got his start as a precocious 12-year-old prep cook.

A big shout of thanks to everyone at Chilmark Chocolates for donating 100 boxes of chocolates for every teacher in Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Your generosity and time helped make Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday, May 20, a scrumptious day to remember.

Valerie Sonnenthal, our new Chilmark town columnist, is a writer, artist and the publisher of Errata Editions. When she’s not teaching Foot Fitness or Gyrokinesis classes, she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and playing the drums. Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here or call her at 508-645-9692.

The waves of shock and loss reverberating around the Island at the loss of Educomp owner and West Tisbury Moderator Pat Gregory are now felt daily. My heart goes out to his immediate family and everyone whose life he touched.

When lights shine again through the trees at night signaling the return of neighbors opening their homes, when leaves unfurl obscuring coveted off-season views, when you can head to lunch at The Bite or pick up fresh fish or takeout again at Larsen’s Fish Market, you know summer is coming.

My dogs got their puppy cuts, i.e. shaved down for the summer, not a style-driven decision, but necessary once a year to help prevent tick bites and having uninvited ticks in our home. A new collar you can leave on your dog for eight months was recommended, sounded great until I got home and began reading about them. I am pediatric when it comes to chemicals, so I decided it was not a good choice for our household. Tick prevention is part of life anywhere on the Island; please take time and read before making important decisions about exposure to chemicals for yourselves and beloved pets.

When I stopped at Santander Bank on Thursday afternoon I made my way through the sculpture garden and inside to find artist (and a welder and builder for the last 30 years) Jon Mayhew hanging work with the help of his mother, Beth. Lucky guy! I loved the variety of media he has mastered, and I encourage you to stop by for wonderful fish paintings, land and seascape photographs, artist pallettes cut into the shape of MV and lovely welded offerings for your garden, all under $400. The show is open during bank hours through May 30; if you can’t make it or miss it, connect with Jon at

I picked up my son at the ferry Friday night, 10:30 pm, about an hour later than I am usually in bed. The night was warm before the wet, moon hidden; I pulled my car up awaiting the luggage cart. The sound of Serbian surrounded me, drowned me; bodies all around me, young people swarming, buzzing in the land of summer plenty. Finally pushing his way through the throng of tall youth was my ruddy tanned tussled-hair son, home after 87 days with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School).

He, or anyone else, can join Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation Guided 1.5 hour Walk (rain or shine) on Saturday, May 24, in Chilmark’s Middle Road Sanctuary to enjoy wooded trails and ridge-top views of Chilmark Pond, Black Point Pond and Tisbury Great Pond. Bring water and appropriate footwear. Meet at the Middle Road Sanctuary Trailhead in the Parking Area, located on Middle Road, 0.2 miles from Tabor House Road intersection. No rsvp necessary.

Chilmark Tavern, in its fifth season, is now open every night from 5:30, except Tuesdays and Wednesdays until late June, then seven nights. The tavern welcomes new chef Jenna Sprafkin, who spent part of her culinary career at the award-winning Primo Restaurant in Rockland, Maine. Her specialties include delectable responsible dishes that showcase locally sourced meats, fish and produce. The new menu has too many must-tries to mention, along with some old favorites, and exciting new items.  Besides, now there are two Jennas in the tavern, so if you have questions or need information, call Jenna at 617-480-1089 or email

North Tabor Farm is selling young plants for your garden. — Photo by Valerie Sonnenthal

It is certainly wonderful to see more Islanders smiling, thanks to the sun continuing to shine. I have begun swimming and am joyously reunited with Ice House Pond, albeit in a wet suit; love the water — just not being cold. On my way home I thought I could catch the end of opening day at the Chilmark General Store, but missed it only to find a couple of mothers minding their young kids toddling and crawling on the front porch. I heard that the porch was full at lunchtime and an opening day crowd enjoyed themselves.

Mermaid Farm is ready to fill milk bottles.
Mermaid Farm is ready to fill milk bottles.

The ideal weather has been great for getting outside and pulling weeds, mulching flower beds, preparing and planting gardens. North Tabor Farm and Mermaid Farm are selling young plants for your garden, so if you did not start seeds in your home or greenhouse you can pick up a variety of lettuces, onions, kales, and some experimental offerings. Also if you have not already tried Mermaid Farm’s Coffee Lassi (made with decaf) you are in for a treat! Definitely our home’s new favorite, or try Blueberry (another new offering) or just stick to Mango Lassi, all great. Thanks, Mermaid Farm: we love having one all-night farmstand!

Don’t forget to enjoy Wendy Weldon’s gorgeous exhibit of monotypes and acrylic paintings on view during library hours at the Chilmark Library.

If you have ever been interested in geneaology you can grow your family tree and learn about your heritage  with Genealogist Al Woolacott, who will demonstrate how to use on May 21 at 5 pm (free) in this program sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. For more information, call 508-645-3360. If you can’t make the program, come in and use a computer to access Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest Online.

Now everyone knows about the Quitsa Strider and the fate of the fishing permits for Jonathan Mayhew. Menemsha will certainly not look the same. I decided to call Jonathan’s brother, Gregory Mayhew, whom I have known the last four years as the father of my son Sawyer’s good friend Galen Mayhew. Gregory bought his boat, Unicorn, in 1984, and it is now 47 years old, an old-timer for a steel rig. Gregory was heading out for New Bedford on Tuesday for fuel and ice explaining that the squid are in, once “the mainstay this time of year.” He was hoping to make some money before fixing his own boat up to sell. He had spent a good deal of time on Monday calling permit offices for fishing, one in Utah, and then speaking with someone in Gloucester about a swordfish permit. Where once he used to harpoon 40 swordfish on an average day and could catch as many as 80 on a good day, now the permit allows him only a catch of three! It takes a day to get to the right waters, a day to fish, and a day to return, so catching only three fish certainly can’t pay the bills. Though Gregory is nearly six years older than his brother, transitioning from a lifetime of fishing — a family heritage — is not easy, but necessary. We wish only the best for all the Mayhews as they forge ahead.

One of the things I have been most struck by this spring is how many year-round residents are seeking summer housing. The ages span from twenties to seventies, both sexes and some needing to bring their pets along. If anyone has seasonal or long-term housing to rent please share this information with the MV Chamber of Commerce at People we all care about are out there looking to move a.s.a.p.

Valerie Sonnenthal, our new Chilmark town columnist, is a writer, artist and the publisher of Errata Editions. When she’s not teaching Foot Fitness or Gyrokinesis classes, she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and playing the drums. Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here or call her at508-645-9692.

At the Chilmark Library, see acrylics on canvas and mounted monotypes by Wendy Weldon.

Wendy will be hanging a show of new work, both large and small, and familiar paintings from previous shows at the Chilmark Library from May 3 to May 22.

Got Chilmark News?

Send local news, updates, birthdays and births to: We also welcome essays and are looking for an occasional or regular town columnist.


Guest columnist Nancy Aronie.
Guest columnist Nancy Aronie.

The first time I saw naked people other than in paintings or in the bathroom of my own house was at Lucy Vincent beach. The kids were little, the ocean was blue-green, and the cliffs made me feel as if we were in another country. And we were: Chilmark.

I wasn’t a prude, but sitting there with my bathing suit up to my neck and sweat pants down to my toes, knowing there was no way one item of my clothing was going to be shed, I watched and stared (which I now know you’re not supposed to do). I was never particularly proud of my body and here were all my flaws ready to flash in dayglo neon. When I finally relaxed and took off my turtleneck sweater and my over coat (haha) I saw an older couple, nude, flabby and out of shape walking down to the water’s edge. They were holding hands while they stood and they talked and gestured, and then unselfconsciously they simply dove in. How in the world, I remember thinking, could they be so unembarrassed, so unashamed, so comfortable in their own untaut skin?

Again, honestly, I wasn’t a prude. I was more impressed than abashed. Fast forward about five hours and we adapted to our new surroundings, and started going nude. Took to it like the proverbial ducks to water. The kids never questioned anything everyone else seemed to be doing. Then came an era where for the kids wearing clothing wasn’t optional, it was imperative. They sat as far away from us as possible and wouldn’t even come over for money. That’s how uncomfortable they were. A few years after that they were only too happy to hang with us again in their birthday suits, their friends also in their altogether, coming around and plopping on our blanket playing backgammon, juggling, and reading the latest beach novel.

As time will do, change interrupts ritual and in our lives, change changed our Lucy days. When our son Dan got sick we stopped going to any beaches. There was a decade in there where we just didn’t have the time, the inclination, or the freedom for frolicking.

But now we are back. So far I’ve only gone to Vincent this season in spring with my grandchild and in jackets and hats to fend off the wind and the cold. But my husband and I are so looking forward to being that flabby twosome (not really out of shape but a 70-something shape), holding hands at water’s edge for some new young couple who have just arrived in Chilmark in their full length coats and turtlenecks.

It’ll be fun to see how long it takes them to adapt.

Nancy Slonim Aronie is a commentator for NPR, the author of Writing From the Heart, and the founder of The Chilmark Writing Workshop.

And more

The 33rd Chilmark Women’s Symposium will be held at the Chilmark Community Center on Saturday, April 26, from 9 am to 12 noon. The theme is “Dreams.” There will be speakers, small group discussions and refreshments. The event is free, but donations are welcome to cover expenses. For more information, call Bonnie George at 508-645-3214.

Got Chilmark News?

Send local news, updates, birthdays and births to Jamie Stringfellow at the MVtimes. We also welcome essays such as the one here by Nancy Aronie and are looking for an occasional or regular town columnist.