Aquinnah

Two and a half weeks to Labor Day and this week is really the height of the summer. Illumination Night was yesterday, the Fair opens today and the President and his family arrive tomorrow for a vacation. Sometimes I think I might not make it to Labor Day. I look at my calendar and wonder how all that work that I committed to back in the quiet spring will get done? Why did I commit to so much, just because my checking and savings account were near empty, was that a good enough reason to sign my summer away? I have not been to most of the events that I have mentioned in my column nor have I really socialized with any of my friends. And I know I’m not alone in this: when I bump into friends at Cronig’s and such it’s all we talk about. I keep thinking there has got to be a better way. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Upcoming events at the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week include: Cedar Bark Mat Weaving on Friday, August 19, from 11 am to 4 pm. You can watch Elizabeth Perry as she weaves a cedar bark mat, which is one of three types of mat that Wampanoag wove. Learn about the process involved in making these mats, and how they were used in traditional homes.

On Saturday, August 20, there will be house tours from 11 am to 4 pm.

Then on Wednesday, August 24, come for the talk, “Around the World: Aquinnah Whaling in the 19th Century,” at 6 pm given by University of Connecticut professor Nancy Shoemaker, who has been researching and compiling material for a book on Wampanoag whaling and whale men of centuries past. $7 donation. For more information, call 508-645-7900 or email aquinnahcc@gmail.com.

On Tuesday, August 23, at 5 pm the library speaker series continues with “Recollections and Tricks of Memory” by Helen Gorenstein, who will read from her poems in “Portrait of Reading Woman” that retrace her childhood in Boston, the years of her marriage, and long summers spent on Martha’s Vineyard. Through poetry she searches for what is truth and what illusion.

Ms. Gorenstein is a member of U.S. 1 Poets Cooperative in Princeton. Currently she leads a group there in Memoir Writing in Prose and Poetry. There is no charge and refreshments will be served. Contact the library 508-645-2314 or aquilib@vineyard.net.

The next Wednesday, August 24, at 2 pm the Oak Bluffs Library will present a talk that will be of interest to many people from Aquinnah: “Historical Footprints of the Mashpee Wampanoag.” It’s a timeless story of the factual history and fascinating evolution of the Mashpee Wampanoags. The author, Dr. Chester P. Soliz, “Blue Duck,” an elder of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe will discuss the history of his tribe. There will be a question and answer period and book signing after the talk, and light refreshments will be served.

The Gay Head Gallery had its reopening this past Sunday, and it was lovely. It made me wish I had a lot of money and unlimited wall space. There was art from many different Island artists, including Rez Williams, Rose Abramson, and Mitzi Pratt. Lots of people from all over the Island came to welcome Megan Ottens-Sargent back into the gallery business. The gallery is also serving as a center for the Moshup Trail Project and the Vineyard Conservation Society. Megan is devoted to these two organizations that help protect the fragile eco-life of our Island. Once she covers her costs, she will donate her proceeds to both organizations. The gallery’s hours are Thursday through Sunday, 1 pm to 6 pm, and by appointment. You can call Megan at 508-645-2776 to set up an appointment.

Lisa Vanderhoop’s new calendar is out, Vineyard Seadogs 2012, featuring a whole new cast of dogs. You can purchase it at Alley’s, Cronig’s, 7A, and other locations.

The spring well has stopped running because the vent pipe on the backside of the holding tank was broken off accidentally when the State came in to mow State Road. Engineers for the company that was contracted to do the mowing are on the case looking into the damage and assessing how they will fix the pipe and get the water running again.

If you don’t get enough food at the Fair, you can head over to the First Baptist Church at the corner of Spring and William Street in Vineyard Haven on Saturday at 5:30 pm for a chicken barbecue, which includes, chicken, cole slaw, cornbread, potato salad, beans, dessert, and beverage. There are limited tickets at $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Call 508-693-1539 for all the information.

There will be a memorial service for Michelle Laurie on September 10 at the Old Town Hall at 4 pm. If you would like to honor her you can make a donation to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in her name. Her husband Phil has ridden in the Pan Mass Challenge the past two years and Michelle was instrumental in the planning and fundraising for his ride.

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