Town Column : Oak Bluffs
Wherever people gather today, whether at the post office, the market or just on the street, they still are uplifted by the results of our national election. What started out as a faint possibility has matured into a reality and the spirits of so many citizens have soared with the results. It brings a measure of hope and anticipation that now things will start to heal and improve. And of course with the holidays over, the town is starting to rustle with local political news. Rumors will fly as this one and that one is prodded into running for office or supporting someone's favorite candidate. Some things never change.
Ann and John Cummings just returned from a trip to Rhode Island for their first visit with their new grandchild, Sara Ann Mencka, the daughter of Karen Cummings Mencka and her husband, Walter. Sara has a brother, Thomas, and this is the third granddaughter and ninth grandchild for John and Ann. You might remember Karen from her working days at the Farrissey Lemonade stand at State Beach. Congratulations to this family.
We send condolences to the family of Donald Gregory, who passed away last week. Don was a well-known figure about town and throughout Martha's Vineyard as the owner of Sun and Fun rentals. We will miss his welcoming waves and joking manner.
John Michael Gibson II and Ashley Hermann will soon be arriving back on the Vineyard and his mother Brenda Mullins is happily awaiting their arrival. She said the couple has been living in West Palm Beach, Fla., since graduating but they know that with the pending birth of their first child in April, this is the best place to raise their daughter.
A large family party was on the agenda for Leah Nicole deBettencourt, a daughter of Joe and Nicole deBettencourt, and sister to Angela. Leah was one year old on January 31 and celebrated with a family party that included many relatives and family friends.
Many events are taking place at the Oak Bluffs library this month. The library is now carrying the online language-learning software by Mango Languages, which is free of charge to library patrons. Mango Languages is a welcome addition to the library for those wanting to study a foreign language easily and at their own pace.
To celebrate Black History Month, the library has signed up for a free trial of the ProQuest Black Studies Center Website. On Thursday, Feb. 12, come to the Oak Bluffs Library at 6:30 pm and hear Susanna Sturgis discuss her new book "The Mud of the Place." This is a captivating story including an intimate portrayal of life on Martha's Vineyard.
The Oak Bluffs school started their month-long celebration of Black History Month at their Community Meeting on Friday for grades four through eight. They were witness to a moving address by the first vice president of Martha's Vineyard's chapter of the NAACP, Marie B. Allen. She provided them with a short history of the NAACP, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
It's still not too late to buy Food and Fuel raffle tickets to benefit yourselves, a needy person, and the Oak Bluffs Niantic Park Basketball Court Restoration Project. Additional locations to purchase tickets are at the Council on Aging, daRosa's store on Circuit Avenue, and the Highway/Park Barn office on County Road. There are 15 prizes including multiple 100-gallon fuel prizes. The raffle is sponsored by the Oak Bluffs Park and Recreation Department and the drawing is Valentine's Day, February 14. You can't win if you don't play.
The fourth grade presents their annual Playhouse project at the Vineyard Playhouse in Vineyard Haven this week. Students and staff have created three plays, written and acted by fourth-grade students. The total production time is about an hour and a half with intermission, and it will be performed for the school today and tomorrow and the public performances will be at 3 and 7 pm on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Parents of eighth-grade students might want to check with the school office regarding many important dates that are coming up for these students. There will be parent meetings, placement tests, and many other important activities pertaining to their move on to high school.
I was sorry to read in last week's Times of Gail Craig's decision to cease writing the Edgartown column. I will miss her news, but I also know how difficult it can be to search out the happenings in town and balance that obligation with your life. I am supposed to be retired and she has a young family with all of their activities to fit into her life also. Best of luck, Gail, as you move on.
We send birthday smiles to Maureen Anderson who celebrates a milestone birthday on February 5, Marc Rivers, Sally Scott, and Gerry Debettencourt party together on February 7, and Adam Barmakian and Nelson deBettencourt share the 10th. Walter R. Staacy, former owner of Hilliard's Kitchenview Candy, will celebrate his 90th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Enjoy your week and send your news along. Peace.