Town Column : Oak Bluffs
This is the week we wait all summer for, as it brings us Grand Illumination Night, The Ag Fair, and the grand finale on Friday of the fireworks off the beach at Ocean Park. To view the fireworks, come to town early. Have a meal or take out from one of the numerous restaurants, and then go to the park with your chair and blankets and wait for the show. Remember that this is a major fundraiser for the Oak Bluffs Firemen's Civic Association.
The members work very hard from spring through summer to raise funds for their very important projects. The money that they raise not only covers the fireworks expenses, but provides food baskets and gift certificates at Thanksgiving and Christmas for those in need, scholarships for high school students, and assistance to firemen and their families when they need some help. So please be generous in your donations. They will be appreciated by so many people.
Our sympathy to the family of Jerry Downs, who recently passed away. He was the son of the late Charles Downs, former superintendent of schools and his wife, Peg. Jerry leaves four brothers, a sister, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Baypath College held a reunion last week at Zephrus in Vineyard Haven. There were only two attendees, but 97-year-old Elizabeth Alley, class of '31, had a great time. Her granddaughter, Kati Alley, and her next-door neighbor, Susan Goddard, accompanied her. They were able to give a great deal of her life history to the person in charge and told her about Ms. Alley setting a record at the school for typing almost 100 words per minute. The school rewarded her achievement with a typewriter.
The children and teens of Oak Bluffs Public Library earned more than 800 "polar points" in the Summer Reading Program. One polar point is earned for every hour a child reads. As a result, the library's 2009 charity benefactor, The Black Dog Kids, donated the money to the World Wildlife Fund to adopt a symbolic polar bear through the Adopt a Species Program. Come to the children's room and see the stuffed polar bear and adoption certificate, as well as the display of books about polar bears and climate change. Congratulations to each child who participated. Your reading has helped the world in addition to yourself.
On Tuesday, August 25, at 3:30 pm, at the Oak Bluffs Library, there will be an oral and visual presentation by long-standing members of the African American community titled, A Sense of Place and Pride: A Celebration of the African American Community in Oak Bluffs. Speakers will include Adelaide Cromwell, Harriet Evans, Jocelyn C. Walton, and others. For more information, call 508-693-9433 or visit oakbluffslibrary.org.
An awards luncheon will be held on Wednesday, August 26, at 12 noon at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center. Two volunteers will be honored with citations from the State Senate and the State House of Representatives.
We send birthday smiles to Tony Ratcliff on August 21, Ginney Hall on August 23, Christine Anthony the next day, and Ken Rusczyk on August 26. This day is shared by retired Fire Chief Nelson W. Amaral.
Enjoy your week and send you news along to me. Peace.