The music is wonderful. The actors are terrific. The dancing is delightful. But you don’t expect any of that in the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Six contestants, supposedly 12-year-olds, put on a funny, touching, and energetic performance. You can admire these stars tonight, tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday nights at 8 pm. Everyone is talking about the ITW performance at the Cornell Theatre.

Enjoy live music, familiar scenes, and refreshments at the Louisa Gould Gallery opening for the show, Interpreting the Vineyard Landscape. On Saturday from 5 to 7 pm meet John Holladay, Ellen Liman, James Murray, and Sherry Blalock. On Monday, a painting workshop with Anne Grandin begins at the West Chop Club. For more information, go to the Gallery or see marthasvineyardworkshops.com

Speaking of live music — the band concert last Sunday evening was a delight. Mark your calendar now; the last one in Vineyard Haven will be on August 15.

The congregation at the First Baptist Church missed a few members last Sunday. They are part of the American Baptist Church National Ministries Mission. They are working this week with folks in New Orleans to help clean up from Hurricane Katrina. The Island workers are Lisa and Kayla Belcastro, Ashleen Cafarelli, Ann Hearn, Barbara Lopes, Joyce Rickson, and Sharon Spinney. We hope they share some of their stories after they return on Saturday.

The Rotary Club is raising money to support the food pantry, the new hospital, the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, and such. High school students Riley Donegan, Jess Dupon, and Emma HallBilsback will help serve pancakes, juice, milk, coffee, bacon, and sausage for only $8 ($4 for 10 and under) on Sunday. All you can eat from 7 am to 1 pm at The Anchors by Memorial Wharf in Edgartown.

If you missed Herb Ward’s talk, he’s doing it again. The great-grandson of Captain Jackson tells about the brave Island fishermen who risked their lives to save 14 people from a cold and watery death. “From Wreck to Rescue: The Story of Captain Levi Jackson and the Mertie B. Crowley” is at 7 pm on Friday, Aug. 13, at the parish house of the Federated Church in Edgartown. To reserve a seat, call 508-627-4421. Also, call them for tickets to the annual Edgartown house tour on August 10.

Is there someplace in the world where bicyclists don’t have to obey the traffic laws? It sure seems as if that were the case in our town. Cyclists are regularly speeding the wrong way down Main Street all the way into the busiest part of town. How have they avoided injury? For the most part these tourists aren’t careful anyway. Most have no helmets and seem oblivious to the traffic along the way. At least most of them are not on cell phones.

I was pleased to see a cyclist biking on the right side of the road, wearing safety gear, and apparently careful of the rules of the road. But, I was astonished to see he was chatting away on a cell phone as he traveled through the traffic.

Runners gossip as they jog. Drivers are frighteningly unaware of the cars around them as they talk or text away. Does that pretty young woman realize how close she came to being the cause — or the middle of a three-car crash — as she talked on her phone and turned without stopping?

It used to be called the Island Council on Aging. Now it’s the M.V. Center 4 Living. Whatever the name, it’s a good cause. If you need a garage sale, take part in the Summer Bazaar & Fancy Fleas at the High School, a week from Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm. Call Karen at 508-360-5842 before Monday to get a spot.

The West Tisbury Church is the place to cool off this summer. There’s an ice cream festival this Saturday from noon to 4 pm; then next Saturday features peaches, on ice cream, or on short cake, and in smoothies.

Children age 5 and up can enjoy Diane Edgecomb telling earth stories next Thursday at 3:30 pm at the Vineyard Haven Public Library.

Greetings from Philisse Barrows who is loving her new life in the heart of Texas. She has settled near San Antonio, close to her daughter’s family, and is happily getting to know her 7-year-old granddaughter, Anastasia.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out tomorrow to Beverly Brush, Mary Goss, Jesse James Little, and Dr. Peter Laursen.

Beverly takes the cake. She is celebrating her 80th birthday. She is the daughter of David and Frances Brush. Her father was a dentist — Dr. Brush (what a great name for a dentist). Also I have to tell you that Beverly will be enjoying a biplane ride at Katama on Sunday as part of her celebration.

John Edmond Coogan turns six on Saturday. Happy birthday to Bobbie Donovan on Sunday. Goodie Stiller Corriveau will party on Friday the 13th. Her mom wants to join us in sending her birthday greetings. She worked for 18 years at the Bunch of Grapes, so she has many friends in town.

Heard on Main Street: It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.