Congratulations to Ben Taylor. The third-grade son of Kerry and Stephen, and big brother to Imogen, broke his arm at the beginning of the summer. Although doctors at Children’s thought he might need to wear a cast well into August, his arm is now bare and free of the hot, itch-producing cast. Good healing, Ben.

Harriette Otteson has returned from two weeks touring Iceland and Greenland. A tour highlight included walking through a rift which split Iceland right down the middle in 1729 leaving one half lying in North America and the other in Europe. Swimming in the 82-degree geothermal lake known as the Blue Lagoon was also quite memorable. Harriette always embarks on the greatest adventures, but it is always nice to have her back on Squid Row enjoying a Fudgsicle.

Judy Banker Mehrling and Perry Mehrling are looking forward to welcoming Perry’s twin sister Catherine along with Luka, Eli, and Isaac to Boulder View, their North Slope home, this week. Catherine and family will be traveling from their home in San Francisco to join Perry in a celebration of their joint birthday on August 14th. Judy’s mother, Lillian Kunian, has been enjoying her yearly visit and celebrating her 93rd birthday.

Coincidentally, Perry will speak at the Aquinnah Town Hall on Tuesday Aug.17, at 5 pm. A professor at Barnard College, Perry will talk of the financial crisis as part of the Aquinnah Library summer lecture series.

Arlan Wise and Jay Ayer are back home in Chilmark after an exciting trip to South Africa and Namibia. Jay spent eight weeks in Johannesburg setting up and sending the satellite transmissions for the World Cup. Arlan went to meet him for the last week. Once Jay’s work was finished, they flew to Cape Town, and after a few days there started a 12-day driving tour up the coast into Namibia. It was an amazing and adventurous trip, driving on dirt roads for hundreds of kilometers every day, dodging ostriches and zebras on the roads.

Rachel Florman and Jonathan Greenberg and their son, Ellis, have arrived from New York to play with Grandma Suzanne Greenberg and Bernie Levy. Susie was spotted strolling the dock, Ellis in tow, with a great big smile on her face. Susie and Bernie were also spotted last week transporting a playhouse on the ferry that I am sure will provide hours of imaginative play for all the grandchildren.

Linden, Finnegan, Hope, and Chris MacLeod are back from their journey to Centerville, New Brunswick, where they visited with a host of MacLeod family members. Nana Jane, Grampy Donnie and what seemed like hundreds of aunts, uncles, and cousins were entertained by Linden and Finn. While there, they spotted a moose, kayaked by a beaver lodge but didn’t catch a glimpse of its residents, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on a campfire, and watched one of Nana’s horses give birth to a foal named Lexi.

On Saturday, Aug. 14, Munawar and Lana Kabashi and their children will be the first family from Darfur, Sudan, to visit Martha’s Vineyard when they attend the second annual Vineyard fundraiser for Mapendo International at the Chilmark home of Gary and Kristina Maynard. After a militia attacked their village in Darfur, they fled their home to Kenya, where they lived hidden and in desperation, fearing for their lives. Mapendo International rescued the Kabashi family and helped to bring them to the U.S.

Also taking place Saturday is Tracy Thorpe’s art-opening reception at the Chilmark Library. Stop by between 3 and 5 to meet our very own Chilmark watercolor artist. Tracy’s technique and attention to detail are remarkable. Her art will be on display through September 3.

The 22nd annual Alex Cohen Memorial Basketball Marathon for charity will take place this Sunday, Aug. 15, from noon to 6 pm at the Community Center. There will be a junior marathon (for kids 6-12) held from 10:30 am to noon at the same venue. Both events will raise money for Vineyard charities. Call the Center for more information, 508-645-9484.

Purdue University geophysicist Andy Freed will talk about the 2010 Haiti Earthquake at the Chilmark Public Library on August 18 at 5:30. Andy, son of library trustee Norman, was a member of the first scientific team on the ground in Haiti after the January 12 earthquake.

According to Chilmark’s softball historian, Dan Greenbaum, it all began in the 1930s at the field behind Herbert Flanders house in Menemsha. The site moved around a bit, but no matter where it was, Sunday softball always drew in local stars like David Flanders, Ozzie Fischer, Wesley Cottle, Lenny Jason, and Albert Fischer. These stars, combined with the summer visitors, made for spirited and fun-loving games. Bill Edison, my sports commentator extraordinaire, reminds us all that at 8 am Sunday mornings, Flanders Field is the place to be.