Town Column : Aquinnah
The Strategic Planning Committee meeting at the Aquinnah Public Library was held last Monday and it was quite interesting. A librarian/library consultant named Cheryl Bryan, who had a great mix of humor, common sense, and love of libraries, facilitated the meeting. The first exercise she had all of us do (there were about 30 people in attendance) was to visualize what we would like to see in our community, not just at the library, but in the town as a whole. Some of the ideas were practical: a community center, more programs for kids. Many ideas centered around community gathering spaces: an art gallery, a coffee shop, a farmer's market. Others were fanciful: a swimming pool with a waterfall. We put all these ideas down on paper and then we talked about the library and services and programs that we would like to see there, community gathering, a flexible space, a quiet study area, a place to gather information about the history of the town and its inhabitants, and more. It was wonderful to talk about these things in such a clear, focused way and yet also be allowed to dream. We will meet again on Thursday, June 18, to further solidify the direction in which the library is heading and what needs the community would like it to serve. Anyone in Aquinnah is welcome to come to this meeting.
Faith's Seafood Shack had a pre-grand opening this past Friday to introduce their sushi chef. Chilmark Tavern (in the old Cornerway space) also had a soft opening this weekend. Good luck to both ventures - I can't wait to try to them out.
Cynthia Vanderhoop Akins, cousin to Berta, Adrianna, and Carla, visited the Island this past week after attending her 50th college reunion at Boston University, Sargent. Her college roommate was unable to attend, so Cynthia paid a visit to her in South Strafford, Vermont (where, incidentally, my grandmother lived and I used to spend summers as a kid) prior to the reunion. While on-Island, Cynthia was pleased to attend the Tribal Quarterly. She returned to Utah and will be back here in August.
I am writing this column from the Catskills, where I have spent Memorial Day weekend and I will be driving to Boston and then from there taking a bus to Woods Hole, which leads me to my next idea: Could we have an up-Island ride board or website? For instance, if you wanted to go to New York and needed a ride, you could connect with people who were driving there. But it needn't be just long distance drives. If you went down-Island every Tuesday morning at 9 am you could hook up with other who needed a ride at that time. There could be a gas surcharge, the amount based on the distance traveled. Is there anyone else who thinks this would be useful or who would be willing to set it up? I'm good at the idea part but not so good at the implementation part.
It seems like the traffic on the Island gets worse every year and this could alleviate some congestion. Taking the bus long distances bums me out and so does seeing all of us travel the Island alone in our cars.