The countdown has begun. The American Heroes and their loved ones from all over the country are set to arrive at the Beach Plum Inn on Sunday for the fifth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge. This year, in addition to wounded warriors in recovery at Walter Reed, the Nixon family is thrilled to include servicemen and women who served in Afghanistan. The group includes several courageous soldiers from Combat Outpost Keating featured in Jake Tapper’s book, “The Outpost.”

From Sunday, September 29, through Friday, October 4, the group will call the Beach Plum home. They will set out Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 am from Squid Row to fish with some of our local charter captains. They will return around 11 am, hopefully with fish on board and big plans to take them to the weigh in. Are you interested in lending a hand? Financial contributions, goods and services, and volunteers to drive, run errands and assist in various roles are needed. If you’d like to know more or if you’d like to help, email Sarah Nixon or Turner Delano at If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, you can do so at

Haven’t seen the Memorial Day Special American Heroes Fishing Challenge? For a $10 contribution, DVDs will be available at the Derby Weigh Station, the Beach Plum and Menemsha Inns.

Sixty years. Count them, one, two, three, four, sixty years ago Carl and Audrey Leaf tied the knot. Happily they celebrated this milestone that not many achieve surrounded by family and friends.

Congratulations to a newly married couple, too. Zoe Pechter and Simon Thompson travelled to Maine to make their union official. A whole convoy of friends ventured north to celebrate their special day with them. I hear their pup Tinker was in the mix at the ceremony and memorable times were had by all. I’m looking forward to the day they move into the home they are building next to me. I’m pretty sure they are going to be sweet neighbors.

Featherstone Center for the Arts presents the the Annual Artists Studio Tour on Saturday, September 28, from 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets are $30, which allows guests to visit 16 artists who will open their studios and showcase their artwork. Our very own artist Wendy Weldon is part of the amazing collection of artist. Tickets may be purchased by calling Featherstone at 508-693-1850.

Dan Leventritt and Jen Wool enjoyed lovely days and nights in late summer with pals who came to visit and entertain them at their home “Blue Barque” down on South Road. It was a bit like a home with a revolving door. Friends Nora and Oscar Jacobsen from Vermont earned big thank yous for teaching Dan and Jen how to crab on Chilmark Pond with bluefish heads from Stanley in Menemsha. Nora and Oscar’s understanding about the difference between female and male crabs kept them in compliance. Not bad for the under-12 set. Vermont/South Dakota artist Lisa Lillibridge landed for a night to teach everyone something about rodeo and textiles. She’s a crafty one. Finally, a touch-and-go by pal Amos Morrill from Antigua and Southern California was especially great since he troubleshooted household issues and took the helm of the Après — with special thanks to Skipper Steve and Pam for donating their afternoon sail to the Possible Dreams auction. Dan and Amos held the helm while Jen made snacks. She says she just doesn’t understand the wind.

An unusual sighting occurred in Menemsha the other day. Isaiah Scheffer found an Argonaut in the pond. Commonly referred to as a Paper Nautilus, this sea creature is related to the octopus. The female sports a fragile paper-like shell to protect her eggs. These amazing pelagic creatures are not typically spotted alive and well sporting their shells.

Tuesday nights are, once again, pizza nights at the Chilmark Church. All are welcome to stop by for a slice, some pleasant chatter and, as always, a round or two of Bananagrams. Contact Julie Flanders 508-645-3723 if you have any questions.