It’s the time of year where we are all switching gears. Kids are back to school. Traffic has settled down. The Derby is on. It is also the time of year when we can begin to think about allocating some of our time to community efforts. Many thanks need to be extended to Susan Parker who has stepped down in her role as member of the up-Island Regional School District. Her shoes, although they are big ones, need to be filled by a Chilmarker. Please contact the Superintendent’s office with questions, or throw your name in for the job.

Are Susan’s shoes too big to fill? Why not consider filling Alex Preston’s shoes as the representative to the Board of Health at the Refuse District. They meet for only a few hours each month. You need not be an accountant or a banker. Someone who knows how to run a machine and load a truck would be an asset when discussing day-to-day issues. Contact Marina at the Town Hall 508-645-2105.

According to Gabe Ambulos, the 4/5 week at school aboard the Alabama was a great success. Around noon on the first full day they went to Naushon Island and anchored in Tarpaulin Cove. On the second day they ventured to Newport, R.I. After spending the night moored in Newport, they disembarked and toured a boat builder and indulged in ice cream. They set out for Block Island next. Their last night was spent in Cuttyhunk. At the end of the trip they had a line chase where the first mate asks the kids to find the rigging. Coltrane Leport won.

The first annual Yoga Festival was a rousing success with more than 250 people attending classes held at the Beach Plum Inn. Congratulations to Kathy Bega for making it happen. Three generations of Flanders women taking yoga for the very first time was a magnificent sight, with granddaughter Bella right alongside grandmother Fran.

September 20-23 marked the return of the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge, when 15 wounded veterans arrived at the Beach Plum Inn for an intense three-day fishing contest. The idea for the Saltwater Challenge came from Jack Nixon (9) who thought a Vineyard fishing contest would be a fun and healing way to say thank you to those who have sacrificed so much. His parents, Sarah and Bob, agreed, and the Beach Plum Inn American Heroes Saltwater Challenge was born. Last year’s Challenge was such a rewarding experience for all that Jack spent the summer assuring folks that “Yes, we will do it again!” Big hugs of gratitude must be shared with Scott McDowell, Buddy Vanderhoop, Jennifer Clarke, Jonathan Boyd, Chip Vanderhoop, Tom Langman, Craig Keefe, and Charlie Finnerty.

Susan Murphy will head up the Needlework and Fiber Arts Group again starting with the first get together tonight, from 7 to 9 pm, held at the Chilmark Library. The ongoing event is intended for all who knit, quilt, needlepoint, spin, crochet, and sew. Beginners and all levels welcome.

Well-wishes to Buddy Mayhew, who took a tumble a few weeks ago. After some time in the hospital to mend his neck, he is out, riding in the passenger-seat and touring town.

The Oliver family took their first trip off-Island since May and after shoe shopping headed straight for Edaville Railroad. They will return to their 40-percent-off end-of-the-season sale at Menemsha Market.

Molly Glasgow has returned from a week in Vermont’s foliage country where she attended “cheese school.” While she was in the Northern Kingdom, Eric’s parents, Carol and Barry, joined him, Noah and Jakie for Yom Kippur where the highlight was chasing loose pigs.

Sarah Flanders was home from the College of Charleston enjoying a most glorious Vineyard weekend.

Joan Jenkinson travelled to Lancaster, Penn., for a mini vacation. She settled in the middle of Amish country surrounded by rolling fields, cows, buggies, and more.

The other day I had the pleasure of making a new friend — Nelson Smith of Edgartown, brother to Mary Larsen, sought me out in hopes that I might be able to help him in his quest. We had a lovely talk about days gone by and his uncle, Eugene Cleaves Smith, who is the center of the mission. Eugene was born in Oak Bluffs in 1897 and died in 1979. To the best of Nelson’s knowledge, there is not a single picture of this kind and gentle man who dedicated hours and hours each summer in his role as Menemsha lifeguard. He spent summers at a camp nestled along Chilmark Pond at the Allen Farm. Another piece to the puzzle came from Grandma Bette Carroll who recalls Eugene as one of her regulars at the tavern, back in the day. I shout out to Clarissa Allen, Everett Poole, Buddy Mayhew, Harriett Otteson, and any of you that just might have a collection of old photos. Contact me or Nelson at 508-627-8719 if you can help.