Chilmark: Rites of fall

The new exhibition space at Seastone Papers is open on Saturdays and Sundays. — Photo by Valerie Sonnenthal

One of my favorite rites of fall is the resuming of Island hand-papermaker Sandy Bernat’s Mixed Media Journal Group meetings. The first one happened last Sunday at her Seastone Papers studio in West Tisbury. Ellie Bates read a poem she had shared earlier in the day at the Unitarian service she oversaw. Beth Tviet shared her new box pieces made with recent finds from Chicken Alley Thrift Shop. Sandy Bernat shared mysteries of the lowly brayer plus author and artist Lynda Barry’s 2008 book, What It Is, a book which never ceases to inspire. Other artists in attendance included May Baldwin, Jean Hay, Susan Spence, and Carolyn Daniel. It was a wonderful afternoon, but the best for everyone else is Sandy Bernat’s new exhibition space upstairs in her studio, now open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays through the fall. You will find wonderful gifts and treasures. Call Sandy Bernat at 508-693-5786 or email to set up a visit.

Please join The Save The Gay Head Lighthouse Poetry Project for a reading hosted by Richard Skidmore on Saturday, November 1, 4–5:30 pm at Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven. Included are Chilmark poets Nancy Aronie, Mollie Doyle, Susan Puciel, and myself joining other Island poets. Refreshments will be served and Legacy of Light: Poems for the Gay Head Lighthouse will be available for sale.

If you’re looking for conversation where kids can play outside, come to the free Pizza Nights, 6 pm at The Chilmark Church, weekly through November 25.

Ginny Jones’s store, Lambert’s Cove Glass in Menemsha, is still open weekends from noon to 5 pm; she is tucked between Copperworks and Beetlebung Café. She not only carries Alan Cottle’s wonderful hand-blown glasswork and furniture, books for all ages, both new and used, but has some vintage sweaters and Guernsey sweaters. Seeking the unusual? Be sure to make your way to her shop. Also Ginny is happy to search for any books about the Vineyard, maritime titles, food, fiber and environmental books, kids books and mysteries;  contact her at

As the leaves fall, the pumpkins and scarecrows come out of hiding and we know Halloween is upon us. In our own backyard The Chilmark Volunteer Firefighters are once again hosting their Annual Halloween Party at the Chilmark Community Center. There will be haunted decorations, pizza and snacks.  All are invited to participate in the costume parade around the hall!  Doors open at 5:30 pm on Friday, October 31.

On Saturday, November 1, there is an all-day Nature Program “Squirrels and Coyotes,” for ages 6 to 23, from 11 am – 4 pm at Sassafras in Aquinnah. See from more information.

Women’s Pick-up Basketball, a non-competitive free game is looking for more players, Mondays, 6:30–8:30 pm, at The West Tisbury School. Call 508-627-1777 for information.

Ladies, I know I have already said mark your calendars, but just in case — you won’t want to miss the 34th Chilmark Women’s Symposium, held at the CCC. This season’s theme is AHA! Moments. The event is free, but donations are welcome to cover expenses.