Save the Gay Head Lighthouse


This is a big weekend for the Aquinnah Cultural Center (ACC). On Saturday at 5 pm is the 9th Annual Wampanoag Feast and Fundraiser — a benefit dinner to support the ACC’s programs, exhibits, and events. There will be a special guest speaker, Marge Bruchac, from the Abnaki tribe; her talk is titled, “On the Wampum Trail:  Stories Embedded in the Shell.” On Sunday, August 10, there will be a Storytelling Festival from 11 am  to 4:30 pm, “Ancient Words in a New Day,” featuring seven Native American storytellers from the New England area. There will be 17th and 19th century Wampanoag dishes prepared. At 3:30 pm there will be panel discussion on “The Meanings of Story in Native American Cultures.”  The price for this event is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and children under 12.

Along with these special events, the ACC is open every Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday at its normal times, 11 am to 4 pm. You can stop by for a tour of the homestead and to see the exhibit on Wampanoag whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also a new video program, “Land and Life in Old Gay Head.” If you would like more information, please call the ACC at 508-645-7900 or email them at

Upcoming events at the library include:

Tonight at 5 pm Peter Temple of the MV Donors Collaborative and The Healthy Aging Task Force will speak on “Aging in Our Community: The Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Vineyard and Our Aging Population.” In addition to discussing an overview of the Task Force, he will focus specifically on our community’s unique challenges, as well as its benefits.

This Saturday at 1 pm there is a Kids Ice Cream Social! This was a big hit last year and the library is doing it again. Barbara Lampson brings in all the ingredients to make your own ice cream. You do not want to miss this: it was so much fun and the ice cream (all handmade) was delicious as well.

Next Thursday, August 14, at 5 pm, returning guest speaker Duncan Caldwell will give a talk entitled “Some Glories, New Discoveries and Controversies involving the Rock Art of the Parisian Region.” The talk will take us into the richest concentration of rock art near a major city in the world, around 1,400 sites just outside Paris with paintings and engravings spanning tens of thousands of years.

On Saturday, August 16, at 1 pm, kids can build a fairy house next to the Library, with Barbara. The Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library’s Annual Meeting and Open House is also on this day from 12 noon to  2 pm, and all are invited and welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

This Saturday, August 9 (rain date Sunday, August 10), 3–5 pm,  the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee will host a Finish Line Party to celebrate the end of local kayaker Dana Gaines’s 52-mile paddle around the Island to benefit the relocation of the Gay Head Light. There will be music, cash bar with beer and wine, clams and oysters. The event is open to the public. It will be held on the terrace of the Aquinnah Shop.

The Gay Head Gallery will host an art event this Sunday from 5 to 7 pm. It is titled, “The Abstract Wild: Wilderness Lost?”  Michael Senatore, the vice president of conservation law at Defenders of Wildlife, will be present and the event will benefit Defenders of Wildlife. For more information, you can contact Megan Sargent at 508-645-2776.

Arlen Roth has been hard at work at his Aquinnah home on his new all-acoustic Rolling Stones album, with engineer Alex Salzman, who is visiting from New York. Alex and Arlen previously worked together on an album of Simon and Garfunkel music as well as one featuring the music of Bob Dylan. Alex is also working with Arlen’s daughter, Lexie, who is recording a new album. Eleven tracks of Arlen’s album have already been recorded. I can’t wait to hear it.

The graveside service for Carl Widdis this past weekend was filled with people, rain, and love. Carl’s nephew, Heath, and Carl’s brother, Donald, both spoke of Carl’s generous spirit and his helpful ways. I don’t think there was one person there that Carl had not helped at some point, and, as his brother said, “Some of you are still waiting for the bill.”

Kate Taylor played guitar and sang, Jason Baird performed the ceremony, and the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard gave full military honors to Carl, a U.S. Navy veteran. Toward the end of the service as the rain came down heavier and heavier a clearly grieved Pam Glavin (Carl’s widow) spoke. After the service people gathered at the Aquinnah shop to reminisce. Donations may be made in Carl’s name to the Gay Head Lighthouse Fund, payable to the Town of Aquinnah, 65 State Rd. Aquinnah, MA 02535.

Got Aquinnah news? Click here to contact Molly.