Brooks Carroll hefts the tail of a 225-pound thresher shark that was brought into Menemsha on the Shearwater. — Photo by Katie Carroll

This is, I think, the first time I have ventured off-Island in the summer for more than a few hours since I moved here some 20 years ago. My cousin Jennifer Wheeler and her children Jack and Sam came to visit last week from Dallas. The second half of their trip was taking them to the White Mountains to see aunts, uncles, and more cousins. Marshall reconfigured the schedule at the Texaco (thank you), so the kids and I packed up the car with the cousins and headed north.

It took us eight hours from door to door. We encountered every traffic obstacle the road had to offer. We arrived, said our hellos, laced up our hiking shoes, hopped back in the car and drove the steep and winding Hurricane Mountain Road to Black Cap. Our hiking challenge was not terribly treacherous, and it was one all of my cousins and I would climb as kids. This time not only did we have our moms in tow but also our children. The flies were awful, but the sense of accomplishment was nearly as spectacular as the view.

I am sitting in an Adirondack chair overlooking the Ossipee River, watching my kids and their cousins paddle their way across to a small island. It is but a few hundred feet as the crow flies but to them it likely seems a whole world away. My cousin Steve, visiting from Hawaii, is watching them also, and he points out that it somewhat resembles the “Lord of the Flies.” The boys are enjoying their time without the grown-ups, but soon they will tire, get hungry, and return to life where the adults can provide the needed necessities. Time will shortly return us to our home in Chilmark and most of you would not even know we were away until you read this. Thank you, Marshall, for holding down the fort and giving me a few days of summer. Next time, you will need to join us.

I’d like to shout out to Tommy Zygiel his wife, Sheryl, and daughter, Nellie. Some of you may remember Tommy Z, as he was fondly referred to, from his days as part of the Morgan Stone Landscaping team. Oddly enough, I bumped into them in North Conway, N.H.

Welcome to the Parker family. David, Rebecca, Sophie, Meagan, Phoebe, and Isabel loaded up the car, inside, outside and on the back and made the trek without losing anything along the roadside. Beach, bikes, walks, friends, and family will make their way into the schedule.

Marilyn Feinberg circled through the Texaco and picked up an infant life jacket for her visiting grandchild.

Harrison Green is finally here after spending three and one-half weeks at camp. He arrived home on July 19, one day after his first double-digit birthday. Twin sister Ridgely eagerly awaited his arrival as did little sister Chandler. Big brother Hartwell is still off at camp, but I am sure he will return home with a few sweet words for the tweens. This fantastic band of children are the offspring of Greg and Elise (Hillman) Green.

A memorial service will be held for Peter Teel on Friday, July 29, at 11 am at the Abel’s Hill Cemetery. There will be a luncheon at the Teel family home at the top of Menemsha hill following the service. Dr. Teel died in January.

Happy belated birthday week to the Oliver family. Both Solon (9 years old) and Barrett (7) celebrated. We should all take lessons from Liz and Kevin who really know how to make the most of a birthday. Signs, banners, cakes, pictures, and days full of “what’s around the corner” style adventures. I want to be an Oliver kid.

Please join the Chilmark Town Affairs Council and the Chilmark Community Center’s Funding our Future Campaign Committee for a special evening on Saturday, July 23, from 7 to 10 pm. Desserts, dancing, donations, music, and a one-of-a-kind silent auction will be sure to dazzle and entice you. Tickets are for sale at the Center, at the door or online at or

It seems timely to provide an update on the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival which is coming to Chilmark, as it does every other year, on Sunday, August 7. The festival runs from 11 am to 5 pm and features 25 authors in tents speaking during the course of the day. Authors include both local favorites and others from off-Island. Among the authors that will be speaking are Siddhartha Mukherjee, Amor Towles, Alexandra Styron, Edith Pearlman, Kostya Kennedy, Geraldine Brooks, and Isabel Wilkerson. According to Suellen Lazarus, “It is a stellar line-up and we are very proud to welcome this distinguished group to Chilmark.” Sadly, Ted Danson had to drop out of the book festival due to a scheduling conflict with his work. The event is free, books are available for sale through Edgartown Books, and authors will sign their books following their discussions. For the complete book festival schedule go to