My father was born 142 years ago today. That was an very long time ago — and, yes, he was pretty old when I was born. He lived in exciting times. He was ten when he saw his first electric light at a world’s fair but lived to see Americans go into space. That is really quite amazing.

Tonight at 7 is the first part of the Vineyard Haven Library program on America’s Music held at the Cornell Theatre. The topic is gospel music and blues. Peter Boak will lead the discussion.

Last October’s government shutdown has only slightly affected filing dates for income tax. The Internal Revenue Service says it won’t process tax returns before the end of January. That sounds as if it should be good news. Except the April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place. Then again, the IRS reminds taxpayers that anyone can request an automatic six-month extension. The request is easily done with Form 4868. They say that new year-end tax planning information has been added to IRS.gov as late as this week.

I was thinking how nice it was to have a warm — well, warmer — day in the midst of all the very cold days with snow on the ground. I have just realized how unfortunate it is. The snow begins melting and just as it has a nice cover of water on the ground, the temperature shoots down to very cold. Now we have some serious ice issues facing us. Main Street was a dangerous mess early last Sunday morning. After some sunshine at least the one side of the street was better — but only while the sun was shining. Stay warm. And be careful out there.

Want a summer job or to learn a new skill? The Mansion House is now offering Red Cross Life Saving. Jennifer Fragosa will supervise the PreTest on Sunday, February 2, at 3 pm. You can learn rescue and surveillance skills through videos and hands-on practice. The course teaches how to respond to aquatic emergencies. Register now for training to be a certified lifeguard. The course meets Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings from 6 to 9 pm at the Mansion House pool until March 6. For more, call Jennifer at 508-693-2200.

I did wish a happy birthday to Mev Good — and then I learned he was marking his 90th birthday. That requires extra special good wishes for the year ahead.

Some of the online information about community suppers is not quite correct. So that you know the facts: the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard holds two different Community suppers.

The Oak Bluffs suppers are held at the Parish House of the Trinity Methodist Church, in the Campground, at 6 pm every Saturday. The Edgartown community suppers are held in the Whaling Church every Monday at 5 pm. And all are welcome.

Are you still waiting for the Copper Wok to open? They say they are nearing the end of all the work that had to be done. They plan to offer us good Chinese food, sushi, Pad Thai — all those foods of which we have been deprived on the Island. No opening date yet, but it does look as if the spring will bring us this new restaurant at last.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Susie Thurber who parties tomorrow. Wish the best on Saturday to Paul Watts. Sunday belongs to Jessica Shannon. Candles will be ablaze on the cake for Nancy Tutko Hanschka on Monday. Suzanne Crossland and George Rogers Sr. will celebrate on Tuesday.

Heard on Main Street: Talk slowly — but think quickly.