Town Column : Oak Bluffs
The summer rushes to a close on Labor Day this Monday and next week at this time, Island schools will open for the first day of classes. That ritual brings back special memories to me that are associated with the first day of school.
The first is of school shoes. Remember those days when we reluctantly put on those new school shoes? Every summer my older sister and I would spend most of August at my grandmother's house in Charlestown, N.H. Sure as the sun always comes up in the morning, a couple of days before we were to leave to return home to the Island, she would take us to Wrights General Store where they sold everything from dill pickles in a barrel to individual cookies in small glass fronted bins and of course, shoes. There were only about three choices in styles and there we would be fitted for those sturdy, leather shoes, always brown with laces. It not only marked the beginning of school but also the end of our carefree summer days of running everywhere barefooted.
The second memory that still remains with me is the smell of the newly varnished wooden floors in the school as we walked through the doors on that first day. For a few days at least, those floors shone. The varnish, along with most wooden floors in schools, has long since disappeared, but whenever I am in an area that has been newly re-finished and that smell of varnish lingers, visions of those long ago first days of school visit my mind. So please be aware that easily distracted students will be walking, running, skipping, and riding their bikes to and from school today, so drive carefully.
A loss to so many but especially to us here on the Vineyard was the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. A controversial figure at times, we remember him for his finer moments in his support of those who had no voice in so many areas of their lives and his ongoing fight for universal health care for everyone. Sincerest condolences to his family and many friends.
Just a reminder: the Grant Funding Workshop, "How to Approach a Foundation," will be held on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 6 until 7:45 pm at our library.
Want to have a delicious supper and not have to cook it? Come to the American Legion Hall in Vineyard Haven on September 5 and enjoy a great spaghetti dinner. The dinner is from 5 to 7 pm at the bargain price of only $10 for adults and $5 for children. All proceeds will benefit the Legion Building Fund.
Cycle Martha's Vineyard takes place on Saturday, Oct. 17. It is a recreational ride on the Island. There are 100K and 50K routes. The 100K route circuits the Island and the event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Martha's Vineyard with proceeds to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Martha's Vineyard and other Rotary charities. The registration fee is $90 by September 7; $100 by October 16; and $125 on the day of the ride. The registration entitles the rider to aid stations and assistance along the course as well as a tee-shirt and post-ride barbecue. The start/finish point is the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Oak Bluffs.
Save a couple of dates for two fall trips planned by the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging. The first trip is planned for October 21 to the House of Seven Gables, which includes a tour of the building and lunch at the restaurant. From there the group will proceed to The Sandwich Museum and then on to the Christmas Tree Shops. The $46 includes all entrance fees and the cost of the bus transportation. You will need to bring money for lunch, shopping, and your boat ticket. On November 17, the destination is The Plimoth Plantation, where you will be treated to a full Thanksgiving Dinner with the pilgrims and a tour of the Plantation. The trip costs $79, which covers the cost of dinner, the tour, and bus transportation. You only have to buy your boat ticket and you will be on your way to a fun time.
Oak Bluffs Council on Aging will host the ASALAH meeting Thursday, Sept. 10, from 2 to 4 pm. For more information, please call Rose at the Council On Aging.
We send birthday smiles on September 6 to Skylar Christopher Hall, followed by Holley Hawkes and Susan Phillips on the next day, and Ryan Araujo on September 10.
Enjoy your week and send your news along. Peace.