From pre-wedding softball to the Blessing of the Fleet: Busy weekend in Chilmark


More footprints in the sand, more out-of-state plates, more runners and bicyclists sharing our roads, sightseeing buses, freshly painted picnic tables, storefronts, road lines and fishing boats gleaming in late afternoon sunlight and Memorial Day weekenders enjoying the view from Chilmark Store’s front porch, eating out at Menemsha Fish Market, cars spilling out from Chilmark Chocolates drive, nowhere to park in Menemsha on Sunday afternoon, beach-goers planted for the day, others shopping and some getting lost.

When I moved to the Vineyard eight years ago, MVY Radio helped ease my transition; I am thrilled they have returned to our local airwaves, so tune in to 88.7 FM for great music and local news. Welcome back from the virtual world!

On Friday, the Chilmark School students made their way by bus and foot to Dutcher Dock to celebrate “soldjers that have servd our contry,” wrote Rodeo Purves-Langer. “Putting the flowrs in the wotr,” wrote Billie Shepard. “We thank the soldiers for being brave,” wrote Jen and Doug’s 2/3 class. They shared poems written for Memorial Day and released flowers into the ocean.

The CCC playing field came to life Saturday morning with at least 40 people enjoying an all-ages softball game for a weekend of celebration culminating in Sunday’s wedding at The Beach Plum Inn of longtime summer resident, filmmaker Jackson Waite and his new bride, novelist and contributor to Esquire, Lisa Taddeo.

Sunday morning about 100 people, all ages, including six local Coast Guard members turned out for the Blessing of the Fleet led by Chilmark Community Church’s Pastor Seongmoon Ahn at Menemsha Harbor with trumpet accompaniment by Edson Rogers and Carol Loud on the piano. Names of all the fishing boats and their captains were read aloud, hymns sung and prayers shared.

The Chilmark School is hosting a Painting Party fundraiser at the Chilmark Community Center, Friday, May 30, 6–9 pm. Paint Corner Art Bar will provide all the supplies and guide you step-by-step in creating your own masterpiece in two to three hours: make it a friends night out. Snacks provided, but please BYOB. $35 per person. Register at For more info, call Paint Corner Art Bar 617-864-0263 or Susan Stevens, 508-645-2562, ext. 102.

There is still room to join a Women’s Qigong and Self Healing Workshop, Saturday, May 31, 9 am to 4 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. For information and to register, please call Nan Doty, 508-645-3393. Taught by Deborah Davis, author of “Women’s QiGong for Health and Longevity,” an alternative medicine practioner with 30-plus years of experience. Don’t miss this opportunity, ladies!

Join Sam Feldman who is celebrating his 85th birthday on Friday, May 30. Surprise him by attending evening service at the MV Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven. Sam says, “It’s been a privilege to be a resident of Chilmark since 1988.” We appreciate Sam’s time  serving as Fence Viewer for the last four years and he appreciates our lovely stone walls.

The Home Port officially opens for dinner tonight, May 29, at 5 pm. Or enjoy food from their Back Door, now open Thursdays–Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm. We look forward to Josh Aronie’s magic touch in the kitchen and welcome him back to where he got his start as a precocious 12-year-old prep cook.

A big shout of thanks to everyone at Chilmark Chocolates for donating 100 boxes of chocolates for every teacher in Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Your generosity and time helped make Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday, May 20, a scrumptious day to remember.

Valerie Sonnenthal, our new Chilmark town columnist, is a writer, artist and the publisher of Errata Editions. When she’s not teaching Foot Fitness or Gyrokinesis classes, she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and playing the drums. Got Chilmark news? Contact Valerie here or call her at 508-645-9692.