Town Columns

Now this week starts with the weather that we think of as first days of school in September. Sunny, dry, and very comfortable. My street is very busy every morning with children headed to school. Many riding bikes, some driven in cars, and most walking with a parent and accompanied by another sibling in a stroller. However, an awful lot of the parents, mothers especially, are so focused on their cell phones that I wonder if they realize they are missing a wonderful opportunity to communicate with their children. Please re-think this and don’t miss these precious moments.

I feel most grateful and cared for  this week by all my neighbors, relatives, and friends. Apparently Saturday, when on my way to 4pm Mass in Vineyard Haven, I took off my lifeline as I was driving out of the driveway. And wouldn’t you know, I accidentally set it off. By the time I got to church, my neighbor Mike told me to be sure to reset my alarm when I got home, and then Fr. Nagle said he had just received a strange email from Susie with the same message. When I checked my cell phone after church it was loaded with messages from my family. Thanks to everyone from the friend who called my daughter at the beach, who called my grandson at the airport, who called an EMT friend and my neighbors Mike and Susie, who went to the house to reassure the responding EMTs and Firemen that I was well and safe in Vineyard Haven. Sorry for all the commotion and thanks so much everyone for your caring responses.

Save the date for the Oak Bluffs celebration of Tivoli Day. It will arrive in Oak Bluffs for the 37th year on Saturday, September 13. It is either the celebration of summer’s end or the beginning of the shoulder season. The fun starts at 10 am, ends at 7 pm, and takes place all along Circuit Avenue, which is closed to traffic for the event.

The 4th Annual Jena Pothier Ring Challenge is also on Saturday the 13th.  To date over $13,000 in funds has been raised.  Show your skills and see who will be the champion at catching the most rings in this annual fundraiser to support the Jena Pothier Flying Horses Scholarship Fund, where 100% of the proceeds benefit MVRHS students.  There are four categories: Mini Junior (up to age 8), Junior (ages 8 to 15), Adult (16 and up). Professional can be any age, you know who you are. Cost is $10 per entry and a table will be set up to register participants all during Tivoli Day. The event starts at 4:30 pm.

So just to keep you extra busy, also on Saturday is the George V. Tankard, Jr., Memorial 5K Road Race, sponsored by the MVNAACP. The race starts at 11 am at the Wesley House, and you may register on Friday from 7 to  9 am or on Saturday from 8 to 10am. This race is a Scholarship Fundraiser.

Even though summer is ending, our Library continues with its many programs. The Ring-A-Ding Story Time takes place every week on Wednesdays at 10:30 am until September 25, when it will be

replaced by Alphabits Story Time. This new program will start October 1, on every Wednesday, and run through February 25, 2015. Children will enjoy songs, stories, and alphabet craft with Ms. Zoe. Program is for ages 1 1/2 to 5 years old. A new letter will be featured each week.

Little Yogis (yoga for children) takes place on Thursdays each week from  4 to 4:45 pm through May 28, 2015, with Ms. Sondra for children age 4 to 11 years.

Hoopfest will be held on Saturday, September 13, at 10:30 am, featuring hula hoop games and fun for kids age 3 and up.

A very special party will take place at the Library on Friday, September 12, from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Please join everyone as they thank Rosemary Hildreth for her 20-plus years of service to the library and wish her well in her retirement.

Come to Featherstone to see the sparks fly at the first annual iron pour on Martha’s Vineyard. On Saturday, September 20, from 10 am to 9 pm, you can celebrate the revival of the industrial arts with the casting of 1500 pounds of molten metal. You can enjoy the day by simply watching or you can create your own piece of cast iron art. Purchase a scratch block $30 or a scratch bowl $50 (limited). Scratch block carving from 10 am to 6 pm, metal pouring from 7 to 9 pm, rain or shine.

Belated huge birthday smiles to Ann Tuccelli, who celebrated her 90th birthday on August 25. Ann now resides at the Glenridge Nursing Home in Malden. For many years she worked, along with her sisters, at the family business on Circuit Ave., Mary’s Linen Store. Birthday Smiles to Emily deBetttencourt on September 12, my daughter Mary Alley on the 13th, Florence BenDavid on the 15th, followed by Rick Kelly on the 16th.Patty Morreis, Kathy Burton, Natasha Huffam and Vani Personi share the 17th. Happy anniversary to Rick and Pat Kelly on the 17th also.

Enjoy your week.  Peace

We now see the warm days giving way to cool nights. It’s almost time to start snuggling under blankets and pulling a couple of sweaters out of winter storage. I was glad to see last week’s spate of high temperatures and abundant sun, because so many of our neighbors who bust their tails all summer in the service industry were finally able to get out to the beach and get their toes sandy.

I had news from the Rossi family this week that Alex and his now fiancée, Cassie Roberts, got engaged on the Island on Aug. 30. Mike Creato took the two up for a biplane ride on a beautiful day, early in the evening. When they landed, Alex got down on one knee and proposed. Some of Alex’s family and friends were there to celebrate with champagne and cake. The two currently live in Jersey City, N.J. Good luck with your plans, and here’s to years of happiness!

We had a visit from New Orleans this past weekend from Al Kirkendal and Teresa Martin. Much as we do when in New Orleans, these two focused much of their visit on appreciating the local culinary offerings. In other words, we ate our way from one end of Edgartown to the other. Oysters, lobsters, swordfish, quahogs — no creature of the sea was safe. And man, was it delightful. You two are welcome back anytime, as long as I can once again tag along for all your meals.

Lauren Elias celebrated the big 3-0 this past Monday, and what a great day it was. It started with a relaxing day at Norton Point with husband Alex, K9 buddy Brackish, and a ton of friends, and it wrapped in Oak Bluffs with a delicious meal at the Red Cat. Lauren and Alex, who tied the knot in a small ceremony in St. John this past spring, will celebrate their wedding with a big ol’ party at the Elias house in Western Mass. this coming weekend. Here’s to many celebrations to come.

We ran into the Port Hunter crew out on the beach on Monday. These guys are definitely among the folks I mentioned earlier, who I was thrilled to see getting a little taste of summer now that they are not laboring away in the kitchen, behind the bar, or on the dining room floor. I was talking to Alyssa Starzyk, who, in addition to tending bar at the Port Hunter, manages In the Pink. This particular beach day was Alyssa’s third of the season (the other two were also within the past week), as well as the first day she hadn’t stepped into the store since May! Glad to see you all getting the chance to wind down.

Amanda Cohen will once again be hosting an autumn yoga retreat at the Chappaquiddick Community Center, Saturday, Oct. 11, from 9:30 am to 12 noon. This extended practice offers the opportunity to be in your body, to play, stretch, move, awaken your spine, and deeply relax. The retreat will focus on pranayama (breathing) and asana (mindful movement). Amanda’s teaching invites deep relaxation while strengthening and energizing the whole body. Her long experience at teaching multilevel classes allows every posture to meet each person wherever they are in their practice. Amanda teaches with clarity and gentle humor, welcoming the whole person to be present for deep rest and rejuvenation. All levels are welcome. Please bring a blanket and water. For more Information or to register, call Amanda at 508-274-9570, or email her at mettayogamv@gmail.com.

Birthday wishes go out this week to Bill Jacob, who celebrates on Sept. 13; to the lovely Sydney Mullen, Sept. 15; Bonnie Kingsbury, Sept. 16; and Penny Vanderhoop and Darren Belisle, Sept. 17.

Belated wishes go out to Captain Porky, who celebrated a big one Aug. 31. I had misread the report and thought his birthday was September — oops. Hope it was a good one!

Molly PurvesHappy First Day of school everyone! And happy reopening of Chilmark Chocolates as well. Good luck to all the kids of Aquinnah returning to and starting school including:

Noah Manning (third grade), Olive and Violet MacPhail (third grade), Fyn Monahan (sixth grade at a new school), Yossi Monahan (third grade), Rodeo T. Purves-Langer (second grade), Laina Benoit (third grade), Clyde Smith (fourth grade), Claus Smith (first grade), Menasha Laport (sixth grade at a new school), Coltrane Laport (high school!), Pearl Verachrusye (high school), Ben Booker (high school), Riley and Skyler Cameron. I know there are others I missed and I’m sorry, but I hope all kids have a productive and happy return to school and all parents can get to work without scrambling for daycare.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Pow Wow is this weekend. It will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Cliffs. The grand entry parade is Saturday at noon. There will be lots of great food provided by Sly Fox. Most of the Aquinnah Tribal members will be dressed up in traditional regalia and there will be much singing and dancing. This is always a great event to end the summer with, and I look forward to it all season.

Roberta Gross’s artwork is part of an exhibit at the Louisa Gould Gallery, at 54 Main Street in Vineyard Haven. It is the 7th Annual Abstract Art Exhibit titled Abstract Vision: The colors and forms behind the everyday.  The show contains the work of nine artists, and Roberta curated the exhibit. On Friday, September 5, at 5pm, Roberta will give a curator’s talk at the gallery. The talk is free and refreshments will be served.

Registration is now open for the Gay Head 10K on Sunday, October 5, at 10 am; you can register at Savethegayheadlight.org. All the money raised will go toward the moving and restoration of our beloved lighthouse. A total of $3,000,000 is needed and a little over half of that has been raised already. Let’s bring this on home, people, and raise the other half.

The same weekend of the 10K, the Living Local Harvest Fest will be held on October 4. Lots of good food and demonstrations from local organizations.

The Menemsha Bike Ferry has been running all summer, and while I would love to have a bike path up Island the Bike Ferry does so much to make biking safer up-Island along with giving people a way to avoid all the crazy hills of Chilmark. Thank you, Huey Taylor, for creating it and Buck Reidy for manning it on weekends and all the other guys that have been making runs back and forth all summer.

With school starting we of course say goodbye to some of our summer friends. The Berkes returned to Toronto on Tuesday, Megan and Seth Woods returned to their home in Boston with their children, as did Cam and Paulina Neely. The Menemsha Market has closed its doors for the season. See you next year everyone.

Valerie SonnenthalI drove to Joan Bowman’s summer rental retreat overlooking Squibnocket after morning rain — wet, glittering in sunlight breaking through majestic clouds. I met Joan my second summer living on the Vineyard through a friend from Rockland County, N.Y. (my former home), and have looked forward to seeing her every summer.

Joan’s second book, Some Kind of Lucky, was published this summer by Vineyard Stories and she did two Island readings and book signings. I lost my own mother 10 years ago and am always inspired by Joan’s honesty, openness and energy. She turned 82 on August 19 and left for Ireland on Labor Day for a 12-day trip organized by her alma mater, Smith College. Joan “loves all the Irish writers” and we hope she is having a wonderful time.

She described one of the first houses she rented, on Quitsa, pointing, “up on that ridge, it was a really funky house, but worked somehow. Beautiful views, and then you would walk down this really steep staircase. It was like something out of a Fellini movie, sort of surreal. Then you’d walk down to the beach.” Joan said of her present house (that she has rented since 2000), as she gestured towards the front door, “People walk in that door and they lose their breath.”  The view over rolling green, Stonewall Pond, and the ocean rendered me speechless with a gaping open mouth the first time I met Joan.

I asked whether Joan has ever sat on the porch at The Chilmark General Store. She laughed, “I have never sat in one of those rocking chairs; it’s funny — why haven’t I done that? Usually I go there on a mission, like oh my God we have no bread, or we need to stop at the ATM for cash.” Though her son-in-law from Pittsburgh and her daughter do the two-mile walk each way regularly when they visit, buy their New York Times, hang out, have some coffee and a morning treat before their trek home.

During her month on Island she is very seldom alone, nightly dinners at home swelling from 6 to nearly 20 at her table between entertaining friends and her extended family visiting from both coasts. Her latest book was put together in the last year versus her first book in 2010, self-published, which “took a long time to write because [I] didn’t have a publisher, didn’t have an editor, there were times when [I] got fed up and didn’t pay any attention to it.” She continues: “What inspired me and forced me to finish it was the death of my son. He read a lot of the book. I had talked to him about things in the book more than my other children. After he died, I couldn’t write, at all. As I started to heal, I realized, about a year after he died, that he would want me to finish this book.”

Her first trip with Smith was in 1997 to the Veneto region in Italy where “Palladio built many many villas for the Venetians to get away from the heat.” Two of her “Rowdy Crew” friends, what they have called themselves since their undergraduate Smith days, passed away last March. Joan continued, “This is such a sensitive time. I never thought about dying until a couple of years ago. All of a sudden there’s a shift. [Now] I think about it quite often. You just wonder — how much longer have I got, and what do I want to do?” Laughing she admits, “Which I can’t answer.”

Joan came to writing in her sixties. She went to Sarah Lawrence because she wanted to write a design column for a local newspaper. And it happened. She did it for one year and got to see her insider tips about design appear every Thursday; then freelancers were let go and her writing evolved and she realized she would not be happy writing about design the rest of her life. So she went back to Sarah Lawrence and studied with Suzanne Hoover who inspired Joan to write her family memoir and apply to their MFA program. There she wrote 80 pages, all of which are in the book.

Joan brought the Paul Taylor 2 Company to the Island this summer. None of the six dancers had ever been here before. She had four staying with her. “The company got a standing ovation at PAC after performing one of his signature pieces — Esplanade — based on pedestrian movement.” Joan’s New Jersey neighbors originally brought her to Paul Taylor performances and then asked her to join the board.

Joan is candid, she tells like it is, and she seems to have enough life behind her that she no longer wastes time. I look forward to learning about Joan’s adventures when she returns to Chilmark next July.

And as far as town happenings it is the last Lobster Roll Tuesday, 4:30 – 7:30 pm at the Chilmark Church. Don’t miss Garrett James and other musical guests at The Yard, Friday, September 5, at 8 pm — for info, call 508-645-9662. And tune in next week to learn about the last softball game of the season.

Randy Walpole's antique car won the Tisbury Car Show this past Sunday. — Photo Courtesy Kate Walpole

Linley-DolbyIt’s hard to believe I just typed the word “September” in this header. The kids are back to school, the Steamship Authority has removed the last of the Connecticut and New York SUVs, and there is a feeling of exhalation Island-wide. Sydney Mullen posted a little flipbook of photos onto social media this week, titled Summer in 19 Seconds, and I couldn’t help but comment, “19 seconds sounds about right.”

It seems like moments ago I was dancing with Lizzy Ward under the tents at The Taste of the Vineyard, or catching up with Bobby Hayman on the Fourth of July parade route. And now we change gears. The big yellow buses begin to outnumber the VTA fleet, tiny children with giant backpacks flock to classrooms….

…And of course, Pam Dolby can talk about nothing but football. The countdown is on for the season opener, and the Edgartown travel team is already making preparations. For the next four — or God willing, five — months, discussions of tailgate food, injury reports, bunk ref calls, and glorious, glorious touchdowns will dominate the family conversation. And from here on out, every conversation begins and ends with, Go Pats!

Congratulations to Randy Walpole, who took home the first place trophy at the Tisbury Firefighters Association’s 8th Annual Car Show, which took place this past weekend on Main Street in V.H. Randy has been working on the restoration of his Nash Metropolitan for several years now. You might see him on sunny days riding around in the classic turquoise-and-white convertible, enjoying the wind in his hair. What a great way to cap off a sweet birthday weekend, as Randy just celebrated his day on August 28.

Chappy had a nice visit from Bridger and Norah Westhelle, who were on Island to celebrate Bridger’s 4th birthday at grandparents Margaret and Jim Mullen’s Chappaquiddick home. While here, they went to the Fair twice — the tractor pull and lumberjack competitions were favorites — enjoyed pancakes at the Edgartown Firehouse, and swam at the ferry beach. While birthday boy Bridger enjoyed being the center of celebrations, Miss Norah, who is one, was doted on by all. Aunt Sydney maintains that this was the best week of the whole summer.

The 30th annual Boys and Girls Club Golf Tournament will take place Saturday, September 6, at Edgartown Golf Club, beginning at 7 am. The tournament format welcomes four-player scramble, single players, partial teams, and full foursomes. Entry donation includes a continental breakfast, greens and cart fees, refreshments, prizes, trophies, raffles, and more. Players must register by phone (508-627-5343) or in person at the club. For more info, contact Peter Lambos at 508-627-3303, or bgclub@vineyard.net.

Women Empowered will honor four outstanding Island women, Saturday, September 6, at 11 am at the Harbor View Hotel. The mission of Women Empowered is to support Islanders in gaining control over their lives by helping them develop the skills to manage money, resolve debt, explore job options, and identify resources. This year’s honorees are Betsy Burmeister, Judy Crawford, Jesse Keller, and Anita Botti. For information and tickets, call 508-696-8880.

Special birthday wishes go out to George Magnuson, who celebrated his 90th on September 4th. Hope you had a great time!

Additional birthday wishes go out to Lyra Paciello, Sara Townes, and Lisa Barbini, who celebrate September 6; Ashley Mundt, September 7; Lauren Maciorowski, September 8; and Graham Murray, September 9. Make it a good one, folks.

Don’t forget to watch out for little ones crossing the street, on and off buses, and waiting at bus stops. The time has come for pink erasers and number two pencils, so keep an eye out for our young learners.

Megan-AlleyWelcome to September with visions of cooler weather and less crowded streets, stores, and beaches. How quickly the summer flew by. Labor Day passed quietly. It is supposed to be a day to honor all workers, but I am sure most employees did not spend the day relaxing but attended to their jobs. Just to put things in proper perspective and so you won’t feel sorry for yourselves, here are some wage figures from the Oak Bluffs town report for 1960. The Police Chief’s wage was $4,200, Fire Chief’s $300, Harbor Master $250 and the Treasurer $1,900. So things have improved a bit since that time.

School opens today and before we know it students will be engrossed in their studies and   extracurricular activities. Please be aware that students will be gathered at the bus stops and riding and walking to the school, so take extra care in driving.

For the second year in a row our Oak Bluffs Library won a blue ribbon at the fair for their book display. Congratulations for your hard work.

Programs upcoming at the library are: the Oak Bluffs Writer’s Group, today from 10 am to 12 noon. The Book Babies group will also meet today, from 10:30 to 11:30 am, and the Little Yogis program is from 4 to 5:45 pm.

Each month we screen a different movie from a new era. Themed games, trivia, and fun —  period clothing optional.

Stuffed Animal Storytime will take place on September 5, 10:30–11:30 am. Bring your favorite pal to storytime for stories and songs. Great board games of Scrabble and Chess take place on September 6 from 10 am until 12 noon.

Throwback Thursday Movie Night is on Thursday, September 11, at 5:30 pm. Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, and Grace Kelly join forces in this classic thriller, with Hitchcock trivia, 50s name game, and refreshments.

The school would like to remind parents of all incoming kindergartners that the office needs a copy of every child’s birth certificate and immunization record before they can start first grade. Sweet Dianne Rhoades, sister of Donna, is celebrating her 61st birthday today, Sept. 4. If you see her at Windemere, at the Federated Church of Edgartown, or out and about, please give her a hug and continued wishes for optimal health.  Her friendly smile is contagious.

Birthday smiles to Skylar Christopher Hall on the 6th, Susan Phillips on the 7th, and Ryan Araujo on the 10th.

Enjoy your week.

Peace.

Kay-MayhewWhen I was young a few dollars was all I had for a carnival — and all I ever needed. This year our granddaughters set priorities for their spending money. The fair had some pricey rides for the children to choose. First the girls selected the ones they really wanted and then established they were not going on any rides separately. That took some off the list. The nine-year-old was too tall for Teacups. Scratch that. Last year the seven-year-old was too short for the Ferris wheel. What an exciting challenge. But both girls claimed they wanted to do the bungee cord most of all. That cost $7, a high price in my eyes. They made some hard choices and even had cash left over to buy a magic trick.

I was impressed with the bungee cord event because the girls had a wonderful time. But even more important was that the workers, all of them, were extremely careful to watch all the kids all the time. If a young one did not have enough bounce, the worker would give him a boost. If the safety harness needed adjustment, that was done immediately. The kids bounced high into the air off a really huge but softly inflated cushion, delighting all ages.

We hope you are enjoying the offerings of the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival which continues through Sunday. Can you believe the new Film Center is only two years old?

Main Street was packed with memories and antique cars on Sunday. There were some real antiques, older than I am, from the 1920s and 1930s. Model A Fords, even a 1931 Chevy panel truck in bright yellow and one from 1940 in orange. Most were those 1950s dream convertibles popular with my teenaged friends in funny colors like aqua, mango orange, pale green. There were Corvettes and Buicks and Mustangs and Barracudas. Did the yellow Camaro belong to our fire chief?

Delightful shiny red convertible dream cars included a 1953 MG and a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger, a ’68 yellow Buick, a ’67 and ’69 Barracuda and a Mustang, a ’77 Camaro, even a 1991 Ferrari in red. You could compare a white ‘55 Jaguar with one from 1977. Names not heard lately were Willys Jeepster, Morris Minor, Ford Falcon, Nash Metropolitan, and Dodge Dart. I did admire the ’55 blue Austin Healey and ’77 white Mercedes Benz convertibles.

I had a teenaged boyfriend who built a Model A from parts, and my first car was a British Morris Minor baby blue convertible with red leather seats. Remember getting into the MGs? This show brought back a lot of memories.

Remember that the Tisbury Senior Center has lots for you to do. Try a Music Appreciation class with Charles Blank on Monday at 1:30. He will talk about Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Learn more about this audience favorite and you will never listen to it in the same way again.

Afternoon Tea and Poetry are offered at the Tisbury Senior Center next Thursday afternoon at 1:30. Annette Sandrock and MV Poet Laureate Lee McCormack will read selected poems. A tea will be served as they talk about their experience with the Cleaveland House Poets. Both events are free. The Center would like to know if you plan to come. Call 508-696-4205.

Writers of poetry, prose, and children’s books are welcome at the Tisbury Senior Center for an organizing meeting on September 16 at 10 am. The writers group will begin meeting in October, monthly or as they decide. You will have your writing critiqued and learn how to get published. There is no fee, though membership is limited. Call to register, or just show up.

Get BUZZD, and A Taste of Honey on Tuesday evening at 7 pm at the Vineyard Haven Library. Hear from author Michael G. West and sample honey provided by Monica Miller. This is the story of corporate greed, mercenary killing, and a new agricultural chemical that endangers our Martha’s Vineyard’s ecosystem. The director reminds you that all programs at the library are free and open to the public.

A film at the Hebrew Center on September 7 makes clear some history from WW II. Saved by Deportation, an unknown odyssey of Polish Jews, will be shown at 7 pm.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out tomorrow to Melissa Gold and Janet Stiller. Wish the best on Saturday to Mike Ciancio. Happy birthday to Craig Sias on Tuesday. Wednesday belongs to Deborah Giuffre.

Heard on Main Street: School is open. Watch for little ones who are too excited to look both ways.

Hermine-HullWe had a sprinkling of rain Sunday night, fast and noisy during the night, leaving a mere quarter inch behind. Some relief for which our plants look grateful. It’s still now, with a heavy sky, the hazy, hot, and humid weather of midsummer. We have been spoiled by crisp, cool days when unexpected; now we will have the heat.

Cardinal flower is splendidly blooming along Whiting’s and the Mill Pond. It makes a pretty picture paired with bright chartreuse marsh grasses and dark purple shadows where it sits tucked into the shrubbery. White mallows are blooming now, and shockingly orange and yellow leaves have appeared among still-green woodlands. Aronia and early-turning maples are these first trees to show their autumn colors. Beach plums are ready for picking if you know a secret spot.

Several people have asked about Nelson lately. Coincidentally, I ran into Hal Garneau and Richard Knabel at Cronig’s the other evening. We all had gotten kittens about a year or so ago, all naughty and tearing into our lives. Literally. I’m happy to report that all kittens are now past their first birthdays and settling down to varying degrees. Hal and Dan’s three bad boys are no longer into everything, although they are still energetic, healthy cats who can cause some mischief on occasion. Richard and Jim’s Suzette barely bites at all. Mike and I, and our dogs, have survived Nelson’s first year. He still bites, but not with the vigor he used to show; it feels more gratuitous now: “Oh, this is just what I do. A little love bite.” He is a very handsome orange macho man and I adore him.

Look in this week’s New Yorker magazine for a cartoon by Paul Karasik. It’s a good one.

The Martha’s Vineyard Montessori School announces the hiring of a new Head Classroom Teacher. Her name is Tyrene Johnston. Everyone is excited about her arrival and looking forward to working with her this year. Welcome.

Massachusetts Primary Elections take place on Tuesday, September 9, at the Public Safety Building. Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm. Don’t forget to vote. If you are not yet a registered voter in town, go up to see Town Clerk Tara Whiting during her office hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 am–1:30 pm.

The West Tisbury Library continues to host many programs for all members of the community. Songs and stories for infants to three-year-olds is called Mother Goose on the Loose every Monday morning at 10:30. Older pre-schoolers meet on Thursday mornings at 10:30. The special Island Grown Initiative storytime with Nicole Cabot is next Thursday morning, September 11. It’s all about tomatoes this month. Free all-day craft projects are set up in the Children’s Room every Saturday from 10:30 am–3 pm. Drop in.

Steve Maxner will be giving free guitar lessons at the library beginning September 15 at 5 pm. The program is supported by a grant from the Permanent Endowment For Martha’s Vineyard. Guitars will be provided. There is a $20 fee for materials. You may pre-register at the library.

Nine Women Artists: Fifteen Years is the exhibition in the library’s Program Room through the month of September. It is my art group. We have been meeting since 1998 for monthly critiques, problem solving, meals, and lots of art talk. We will have a reception at the library next Wednesday, September 10, at 5 pm. On Monday, September 15, we will be on hand to talk about our work, our group, to answer any and all questions. The talk begins at 5:30 pm. The nine of us are: Leslie Baker, Claire Chalfoun, Nancy Furino, Lyn Hinds, Hermine Hull, Ruth Kirchmeier, Jeanne Staples, Liz Taft, and Wendy Weldon. We promise you an interesting and spirited conversation, so please come.

September is a bittersweet month. The Derby begins. It’s not so crowded or busy. The weather is nice. School starts. Summer friends leave just as we begin to have time to spend with them. We reconnect with our year-round friends. Faces around town are more familiar, not strangers. There’s time for a nap (maybe) or to clean up the garden, to go outside and paint. It’s still busy, but closer to fall than to summer. A time to evaluate and to prepare. Time to catch your breath.

Linley-DolbyIt’s time to make a list and get all those last-minute summer things done before it’s too late! I’ve made it to most of my favorite spots, but I still haven’t had ice cream on a bench, been out on a boat, or taken a sunset swim at State Beach. I was supposed to finally hit the flats this week with Kara Shemeth to forage for our own quahog dinner, but the schedule is getting a little out of hand as we approach Labor Day.

Much of the Connecticut contingent said their goodbyes this past weekend, and already the first day of school photos have been popping up on Facebook. I got to catch up with some of these folks as we celebrated my niece Addy’s birthday out at Norton Point on Sunday. Addy got to hang with all her buds, decorating cupcakes, playing in the bay, and brutalizing a defenseless piñata. Her actual birthday is August 27. Hope seven is an awesome year, Kid.

Congrats to Michael Valenti and Emilee Whorton on their recent engagement. Hope you guys have a great time planning the big day, and we wish you a lifetime of happiness together.

We got to catch up with Alex Avakian and Emily Norberg over Fenway franks last weekend as Dave and I took Boston by storm. The two are still out in Waltham, with Emily commuting to her travel planning job, and Alex climbing the ranks in the fish distribution world. They have been doing the weekend warrior thing to M.V. most weeks, striking a great balance of working hard/hardly working.

This week’s Vineyard Conservation Society Almanac was filled with cool upcoming events. First off, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum will host an archaeology ID day, Saturday, August 30, from 9 am to 12 noon, at their Edgartown campus. Bring your archaeological finds from the Vineyard and around the world to the museum where a panel of distinguished archaeologists will help you identify, examine, and discuss them.

Also, the FARM Institute is gearing up for their fall programming, which begins Saturday, September 6. Weekly Saturday programs include Wee Farmers (age 2-5) from 9:30 to 11 am, and for older kids, there’s “Farmer for a Day” from 1 to 3 pm. Little tykes must be accompanied by an adult. For more info, call 508-627-7007.

The M.V. Center for Living will sponsor a benefit Hootenanny Sing-along, Thursday, August 28, from 7 to 10 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. The sing-along and karaoke gathering will be fun for the whole family. Bring your musical instruments and music stands and join in the old-time folk, early rock and roll, and gospel fun. Light refreshments will be offered. For details, call 508-939-9440.

I’ve had word from Ellie Bates that the Friends of the Edgartown Public Library will sponsor the second annual Pennywise Path 5K run/walk on Monday, September 1. Register online at edgartownlibrary.org or at the library’s front desk. Meet at 9 am at the Edgartown School for number pickup. The first 200 registrants will receive a tee-shirt and prizes will be awarded in all categories. Call 508-627-4221 for more details.

Happy, happy birthday wishes go out this week to Randy Walpole, who celebrates August 28; to David Vaughan, August 29; and to Mike Poirier, September 3. Hope you gentlemen have a great time.

Megan-AlleyAre things any quieter? A bit perhaps. The sounds of helicopters roaring overhead late Sunday evening signaled the departure of the President and his family. They were not the only visitors leaving our Island. Many people who had come here for a short stay, perhaps to see the Illumination night celebration or the fireworks show, and students returning to their schools and also freshmen, excited to start off a new path in life, have also left. But we still have much to see and do, as always.

Just so you won’t get bored, the Trinity United Methodist Church is sponsoring a benefit Jewelry Treasure Hunt sale. There will be jewelry for sale to please everyone’s taste at a variety of prices. The sale will take place on Saturday, August 30, at the Parish House in the Campground. Doors will open for the sale promptly at 10 am, no prior admittance and will last until 3 pm or perhaps a little longer.

Friends of the Edgartown Public Library are sponsoring the second annual Pennywise Path 5K run/walk on Monday, September 1. Register online at  edgartownlibrary.org or at the front desk.

For the first time in memory, starting on Labor Day, September 1, St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven will be the only Catholic Church in Good Shepherd Parish on the Island  open for Masses until Memorial Day 2015. Starting on Saturday, September 6, through October 12 the schedule will be Saturdays 4 pm and Portuguese Mass at 7 pm. Sundays there will be services at 8 am, 9:30 am, and 6 pm.

Then starting Saturday, October 18, until Memorial Day , the Saturday schedule will remain the same but Sunday is changed to 9 am and 5 pm. St. Elizabeth’s and Our Lady Star of the Sea will be shut down for the winter. St. Augustine’s has been insulated and a new heating system installed. It is hoped that this will be a wise economic move.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is opening its latest exhibit on August 29, depicting three generations of artists from one family. Although a little tongue in cheek, Moore and Moore and Moore, the show’s title, declares that the talent just keeps coming. This exhibit reveals the connections and relationships of three artists: landscape painter Nelson Augustus Moore, his great-great grandson Andrew Gordon Moore, a realist painter who lives in Oak Bluffs, and Hannah Moore, Andrew’s daughter. The exhibit will open on August 29 with an Opening Reception in the Museum Galleries, 5–7pm. Admission is free for Museum members and $7 for non-members. Children under 6 are always free. The exhibit will remain on display through October 25.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, Oak Bluffs Police Chief Erik Blake will walk up to 26.2 miles along the historic Boston Marathon route in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai. He will join an expected 8,500 walkers with the goal of raising more than $7.5 million for the Jimmy Fund for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, bringing the event’s 26-year fundraising total to more than $100 million. It raises the most money of any single-day walk in the nation. To register for the walk or to support a walker, or to volunteer, visit JimmyFundWalk.org.

Head to the Oak Bluffs Senior Center to enjoy another Friday Conversations program. On Friday, Sept. 5, 10–11:30 am, our guest speaker will be a new, young literary find: Stanley Kissel, who found his muse at age 75. Stanley, a summer resident of the Vineyard, will discuss his third novel, Murder In Swing Time. He will also discuss his approach to writing, and why he started so late in life. This novel is an old-fashioned murder mystery and private detective yarn that takes place in New York City, post WW II.

Throwback Thursday Movie Night on September 11 is a classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The movie starts at 5:30 pm. There will be Hitchcock Trivia; 50s name games and refreshments.

Flatbread Benefit Night: Join us for a fun night at Flatbread Company, on Airport Road, on Tuesday, September 2, between 5 and 9 pm. The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will receive a percentage of the pizza sales for the evening (either eat in or take out). Once again, a silent auction will be featured with exciting, unusual, and distinctive items to bid on. Good humor will prevail as friends try to outbid one another for these great items. Invite your family and friends for this end-of-summer event to support the church and its mission. All ages and sizes are welcome!

On Monday, Sept. 8, 5:30–6:30 pm, there will be a legal clinic presentation at the Tisbury Council on Aging on Pine Tree Rd. The subject of Arthur Bergeron of Mirick O’Connell Law Firm will be “Dealing with Alzheimers: At Home, in Assisted Living, or in a Nursing Home.” He will be joined by representatives of Alzheimers Association and Elder Services of Cape & Islands. Register at the Council 508-696-4205; a light meal will be provided.

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. Come and 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. For questions email antispung@aol.com.

We Send Birthday Smiles to Liz Wilson on the 29th, Pam Melrose on the 30th, and Nancy Giordano and Sean Flynn on the 31st. September birthday smiles start with Tony Ferreira on the 1st. Ed BenDavid Sr., Evelyn Christopher, and Valarie O’Donnell share September 2. And let’s give Robert Pacheco the day off from Reliable Market on his birthday, September 3.

Enjoy your week. Peace.