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An open memorial service will be held for Marlene Joyce Perry, Wednesday, August 19, at 2 pm, in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Bluffs, where her ashes will be interred in her family plot.

Marlene-PerryMarlene died Nov. 18, 2013, of head trauma sustained in an automobile accident. She was 78.

Marlene was born on Martha’s Vineyard on July 14, 1935, the daughter of Joseph Carlo and Alice Schwemmler Perry.

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps at Quantico, Va., she returned to the Vineyard and established Marlene’s Taxi. It was a popular business, especially with the ladies, as she would go to the door and escort them to and from the taxi. Later she moved to Daytona Beach, Fla., where she was an accountant in the firm of Allen Belus. It was there she became an active member in the MCC Church, and then at Unity.

Marlene Perry became friends with Browne Hollowell in 1991, and they chose to spend their life together in Asheville, N.C. They enjoyed RV travel across the U.S. They loved their cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, the Greek Isles and Turkey, British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the Azores, and Portugal. They made many friends on these adventures. It was Marlene’s devotion and service to MCC-Sacred Journey that activated their move to Hendersonville, N.C. in early 2013.

Marlene is survived by her partner, Browne, nephew Joe Costa and his wife Karen, her Hollow Grass family of Leigh, Rachel, and Clara Starr, Browne’s son Peter and sister Anne and her husband Win Magerkurth. She was also devoted to her niece Carol and great-nieces Debra and Marguerite. She will be missed by her cousins Richard “Buzzy” Blankenship, Anne Perry Coleman, Diana Perry Busby, and Jackie Amaral, as well as loving friends and cousins from all over the United States.

 

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Fans of Island softball pay it forward and spring for three days of training and a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

Juliet Morse fields a ground ball during a fielding and throwing exercise. – Photo by Michael Cummo

In the peak summer months on Martha’s Vineyard, few things are free. Learning the finer points of softball is. Islanders Tim Goodman from Vineyard Haven and Laurie Turney from West Tisbury have provided a no-strings-attached softball clinic free of charge for girls ages 6-16. The two Islanders helped launch the Vineyard Dynamite Softball Clinic, a three-day clinic held at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. More than two dozen girls participated this week, and the number has risen each year.

Elena Conchetti works on her throwing form. — Photo by Michael Cummo
Elena Conchetti works on her throwing form. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The clinic is run by volunteers who include Samantha Burns, commissioner of the Martha’s Vineyard women’s slow-pitch league. Ms. Burns has volunteered for three straight years, and looks forward to next year.

“I coach softball at the high school, and we need a feeder program,” she said. “This year was pretty tough. I love volunteering with the little guys because we love them to be interested in softball and to play in the future. We are trying to reignite interest.”

The clinic focuses on the basic fundamentals of the game, including fielding, pitching, throwing, and catching. Many Islanders have no experience with softball, and some walk on to the high school team having to learn the game from scratch. Dynamite Softball aims to build from the ground up, giving ladies a solid foundation in which they get to learn the game before playing competitively. One of the more popular drills uses wooden boards shaped as gloves to reinforce the idea to use both hands while fielding; the wooden gloves cannot be bent or squeezed, and need two hands to use.

The Dynamite softball participants, both kids and adults, shown at Fenway Park last Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Tim Goodman
The Dynamite softball participants, both kids and adults, shown at Fenway Park last Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Tim Goodman

Following the three-day clinic, Mr. Goodman treated volunteers and participants to a Saturday-afternoon Red Sox game. He rented a bus that drove them directly from the ferry to Fenway Park, and catered the entire day. Plus, the Sox beat the Rays 11-7.

“This clinic is really beneficial for the high school kids down the road,” Samantha Burns said. “These girls deserve every chance to get an athletic college scholarship like the boys.”

For more information, email VineyardDynamiteSoftballClinic@comcast.net.

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Seasons full of summer shacks, summer jobs, dogs and hedgehogs (and Bill Clinton, looking good).

Valentina (center, back) and Mia (left) with the hedgehog, Spike, their dog Bugsy and Oliver, right, with some other friends.

Inside corner to inside corner. I have adult friends to this day who still don’t know how to fold sheets. Turn them inside-out and pinch each corner, bringing them together to meet, dart to dart.

Mia, Valentina and their mom, on the early morning ferry.
Mia, Valentina and their mom, on the early morning ferry.

I learned this in the summer of 1996, when I was 12, although it’s not initially one of the skills you think you’ll pick up on a summer trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Boogie boarding with the big guys, maybe. Sneaking out past curfew, definitely. Perfecting s’more making, for sure. But understanding how a crisp, white, hotel sheet set is folded — not likely.

My mother started bringing us to Martha’s Vineyard in the early 1990s. Having grown up in Framingham in the ’60s and ’70s, she’d had friends who frequented an Island better known for its free love and music concerts than was its conservative counterpart Nantucket. My childlike assumption was always that the Vineyard had a soft spot for the vagabonds, hippies, and working-class folk of New England.

And that’s where we’d fit in.

Valentina's big sister Heather (center) came to visit in 1996.
Valentina’s big sister Heather (center) came to visit in 1996.

My mom would pack us up in the Volvo station wagon — including our family dog Bugsy and our Pygmy hedgehog Spike — and we’d speed our way from Northampton to Woods Hole. She’d never make a reservation for the ferry, instead leaving in the middle of the night, securing a makeshift bedroom for my sister and me in the way, way back while she and my brother handled the driving so we could make the first ferry of the day at 6 am. Because of my mother’s propensity for tardiness — extreme in some cases, which my older siblings can attest to — we’d generally screech into Woods Hole with not a minute to spare, clunking on to the ferry and crossing Nantucket Sound as the sun rose like a portal into another world.

For the first few years we went, we’d camp. Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground was our go-to, and there were the regulars we’d meet there each summer, only to fall completely out of touch the other nine months of the year — perhaps on purpose, or perhaps because our time on the Vineyard was an oasis within the rest of our hectic lives, and “losing touch” was just another way of preserving that mirage.

Valentina and her little sister Mia at the "fruit house" in Edgartown, 1994.
Valentina and her little sister Mia at the “fruit house” in Edgartown, 1994.

By the time I was 12, I had already been babysitting my nieces and nephews and some neighborhood kids back in western Massachusetts, so putting an ad in the MVTimes and hanging up flyers around Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs made perfect sense. That summer, 1996, my mother had rented a tiny two-bedroom ranch on the border of West Tisbury and Edgartown, just across from the bike path. It had an outdoor shower like most Vineyard houses, and a little deck with a clothesline. The woods surrounding it were shrubby and full of those skinny trees that never grow very lush around New England salty seas, and the ground was laden with soft pine needles where Bugsy and Spike would play, unaware of the fact that they were completely different species.

My 19-year-old brother, David, got a job driving with Atlantic Cab, and I got a job babysitting for a wealthy family who had a big white house in Edgartown with black shutters and a picket fence.

My mother found a job at Airport Laundromat, and my little sister Mia, only 10 at the time, had to hang out there until my mom’s shift ended and we could all head to the beach. Mia soon tired of the sheet folding, though, and because of her love for animals, casually wandered over to a veterinary clinic that sat just opposite the laundromat. She landed herself a volunteer position, where she began as an assistant groomer. By the end of the summer, she was washing the Vineyard elite’s pets on her own, and had assisted in neutering one cat and removing a tooth from a greyhound. I was always so proud of us — her taking care of animals and me taking care of children.

My 2-year-old ward had soft blond curls, blue eyes, and rarely made a peep of protest. His parents were lawyers or doctors or bankers from New York City or Boston or Greenwich. I used to smell their towels — fluffy and white. I’d open every cabinet in the kitchen and stare, and the pantry too. I wasn’t jealous; I knew I’d have those Crate & Barrel sea-blue plates one day.

Four days a week I would ride my bike along the bike path to babysit for a few hours, and then ride to the airport where the laundromat for all the hotels was located, and where my mother taught me to fold sheets. I relished the precision of it.

On our days off, we’d go to South Beach or Gay Head, and sometimes, even Lucy Vincent Beach, even though we weren’t Chilmark residents. We hitchhiked a lot, which was the norm on the Island (with Bugsy in tow), which was how we’d get access to Lucy Vincent, where my sister and I had some of our first memorable encounters with the human nude — including an incident my sister remembers involving volleyballs.

From what my memory allows, the fact that we all had jobs didn’t seem to hinder the fact that we were part of the summer crew on the Vineyard. It didn’t feel like we were in another class or relegated to the other side of the tracks, even though there were echelons of rich families who took the same ferry across the same Sound to play on the same beaches. I’m not sure whether my lack of a sense of class was a beneficiary of my mother’s not-so-quiet defiance against the 1 percent or the naiveté of a 12-year-old. Most likely it was a combination.

Our residences over the years were just as varied as our jobs. One year we rented a shack that was next to another shack where the landowner lived. It had a walkie-talkie on the roof that didn’t seem to have much purpose and would make unruly sounds every once in a while, terrifying my little sister and me. In Chilmark one year, we pitched a tent on a raised platform in the backyard of a couple my mother had befriended. They were sculptors or artists of some sort, and had two children — the oldest was Oliver, whom I fell madly in love with and who wouldn’t pay me any attention, choosing his skateboard over looking in my direction. We had to shower outside there, but it didn’t seem to make a difference to anyone that naked bodies were present.

That was the summer all of us volunteered for the Gay Head concert where Carly Simon performed and where Oliver worked as well (and he still wouldn’t talk to me). It was also the summer that Spike won a blue ribbon at the Agricultural Society Fair for most unique animal, and my mother hit on then President Bill Clinton, pre-Monica and clad in tight jeans, cowboy boots, and a jean shirt. My mom sat directly next to First Lady Hillary Clinton during a fiddle contest, leaned over and as if she were chatting with an old girlfriend told her, “Bill’s looking really good.”

The Island could cast that spell on us; it was somehow an equalizing ground for my family. Back home, it was very apparent that our house was smaller than many of my classmates’, that my brother had to start working much earlier than his high school friends, that the electricity would sometimes get shut off. And it’s not that similar realities didn’t exist for us on Martha’s Vineyard, but there was something about the sun and the sea, the tans and the attitudes that let me pretend for a collection of moments that would last between June and August that those pieces of reality didn’t actually matter.

The memories of these summers seem to run like converging streams, crossing and joining, rapid and crazy at some points and smoothly serene at others. The many friends we made and experiences we had often feel like an old TV show I used to watch — not quite real, but all relatable.

I live in Los Angeles now, and I work as a freelance entertainment journalist, so I don’t get many opportunities to go back to the Vineyard. Instead, I think about all the new 12-year-olds making memories, and how I’ll bring my own kids there someday. Hopefully the laundromat is still taking applications.

 

Valentina I. Valentini, a writer living in Los Angeles, spent several summers on Martha’s Vineyard in the 1990s.

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The suspect is an 18-year-old male who attempted to rent a room earlier in the night but was turned away by the desk clerk.

Oak Bluffs Police asked for the public's help to identify this man.

Updated Tuesday, 9:30 am

The Oak Bluffs Police Department has identified a suspect in a breaking and entering at the Surfside Motel as Andrew M. Keleher, 18, of Abington. Mr. Keleher is a recent graduate of Boston College High School, according to police.

Oak Bluffs police Friday posted a surveillance photo and asked for the public’s help as they investigated a breaking and entering at the Surfside Motel that reportedly occurred at approximately 1:35 am, Thursday, July 2.

Detective Jeffrey LaBell said the front desk clerk recognized Mr. Keleher from the close up facial surveillance photo because Keleher attempted to rent a room at the Surfside earlier in the evening, “but was turned away due to his bad behavior.”

Detective LaBell was able to track down Mr. Keleher using the personal information he left at the front desk and matched his license photo to the surveillance photo, “which revealed it was the same person.”

Detective LaBell is scheduled to meet with Mr. Keleher and his lawyer on Wednesday, July 8.

Police said surveillance video showed the male suspect entered the lobby/office area of the motel through a window and took cash from a drawer.

Police said surveillance video captured this image.
Police said surveillance video captured this image.

The suspect was initially described by police as a white male, athletic build, in his late teens or early 20’s and wearing what appeared to be a gray or white Polo brand zip up sweatshirt.

Richard H. Santos, 80, of Vineyard Haven died unexpectedly on June 29, 2015, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Mr. Santos was a Korean War Army veteran, landscaper, carpenter, and automotive detailer. His funeral service will be held at a later date privately. A complete obituary will appear in another edition of this paper. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.

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The SSA has diverted ferries from the Oak Bluffs terminal to Vineyard Haven.

The Steamship Authority has cancelled ferries between Oak Bluffs and Woods Hole due to mechanical issues.

The following trips departing or arriving in Oak Bluffs have been cancelled.

M/V SANKATY 11:00 AM Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs

M/V SANKATY 12:15 PM Oak Bluffs to Woods Hole

Current Conditions may be viewed at http://www.steamshipauthority.com/traveling_today/status

For more information,  call 508-548-3788 or 508-693-0367 or visit steamshipauthority.com.

The freight boat Sankaty has been diverted to Vineyard Haven. — File photo by Nelson Sigelman

The following trips departing from or arriving in Oak Bluffs have been diverted to Vineyard Haven.

M/V SANKATY from Woods Hole 11:00 AM will arrive in Vineyard Haven.

M/V SANKATY to Woods Hole 12:15 PM will depart from Vineyard Haven.

For more information, please call 508.548.3788 or 508.693.0367 or visit steamshipauthority.com

Current Conditions may be viewed at steamshipauthority.com/traveling_today/status.

To the Editor:

Over the past 13 years, I have driven a school bus up and down Indian Hill Road in West Tisbury more than 9,000 times. That’s enough! I plan to retire at the end of the month.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity of driving students to and from school. I’ll miss the children, the families, and the scenic route, but it’s time to move on.

Thomas Dresser

Oak Bluffs

 

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The SSA has diverted ferries from the Oak Bluffs terminal to Vineyard Haven.

Updated 11 am, Wednesday

The Steamship Authority has begun diverting passenger ferries and freight boats from Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven due to weather conditions.

The following trips departing or arriving in Oak Bluffs have been diverted to Vineyard Haven.

M/V MARTHA’S VINEYARD from Woods Hole 9:30 AM

M/V MARTHA’S VINEYARD to Woods Hole 10:45 AM

M/V SANKATY from Woods Hole 11 AM

M/V MARTHA’S VINEYARD to Woods Hole 1:15 PM

M/V MARTHA’S VINEYARD from Woods Hole 12:00 PM

Current Conditions may be viewed at http://www.steamshipauthority.com/traveling_today/status

For more information,  call 508-548-3788 or 508-693-0367 or visit steamshipauthority.com.