Aquinnah: Preparing for the Gay Head Lighthouse move


It was quite an Easter weekend in Aquinnah. On Saturday there was an egg hunt and open house at the Aquinnah library. The rain that started the day stopped soon before the event, and the sun even came out. Barbara managed to corral all the kids inside, making them wait so no one would get a head start, then she opened the door and they all poured out, running across the deck and down the stairs to find plastic eggs filled with candy and little toys hidden across the property. After everything was found, the kids either played outside or came inside to nibble on all the treats that people had brought. Theresa Manning made Rice Krispie squares out of Peeps so they were pastel colored, then she topped them with a Peep riding in a car made out of a Twinkie with marshmallow wheels. Definitely the cutest food I saw all weekend.

On Sunday Elise LeBovit of the Duck Inn hosted her egg hunt. There were 800 eggs (yes, I said 800) hidden all over the hills and woods that the inn sits atop. The golden egg was found rather quickly by Seabella Vargas of Chilmark. Later on in the hunt, Callie Giglio found the silver egg. The special eggs were made by Claudia and Hudson Lee. I left a little after 3 pm, and the bronze egg still had either not been found, or the child who found it didn’t realize that he or she could receive a prize for it. The kids made short work of the hunt, picking the hillside clean rather quickly. This hunt gathers many people from Aquinnah, but also people from down-Island. I got caught up with a bunch of down-Island (all right, just West Tisbury) moms whom I hadn’t seen in a while. Everybody seemed so happy to be out, and that spring seemed to finally be here. The theme of the day was butterflies, and Mary Dacey made four beautiful (and delicious) butterfly cakes. Lauren Giglio donated many of the toys that were hidden. Thank you to everyone who dyed eggs, hid them, made food, and showed up to make this a special day for the kids of our town.

Upcoming events at the Aquinnah library include: on this Saturday, April 11, Scrabble day from 12 to 3 pm. Drop-ins are welcome, with prizes for the highest single-word score. Next Saturday, April 18, there will be an Earth Day library landscape cleanup from 12 to 3 pm, and Barbara will be planting the pots on the deck, and will need help with that.

Everyone will have a final opportunity to visit Gay Head Lighthouse in its current location on Saturday, April 11, when lighthouse keepers Richard Skidmore and Joan LeLacheur will open the building from 2 to 5 pm. Admission will be free. After this Saturday the moving process begins! The U.S. Coast Guard will be erecting a temporary beacon on the Gay Head Cliffs overlook on Tuesday, April 7. The metal pole will have an LED light on top that will be illuminated and start flashing during the week of April 13, after the sweeping beacon of the lighthouse goes dark. Officials estimate the temporary beacon will be in use until the end of June.

Because of the moving of the lighthouse and the equipment needed for the move, there will be some changes in traffic patterns at the circle. Starting on or around April 15, through traffic will be allowed in normal patterns from 7 am to 7 pm. There will be times when traffic will be held up by a project flagman when building materials (like the steel crossbeams used to lift the Lighthouse) need to be moved from the Circle Road storage area to the site. These delays will occur infrequently enough so as to not dramatically interfere with the flow of traffic. From 7 pm to 7 am, the gates to the security-fenced area will be closed and locked. From 7 pm on, traffic will be two ways up the left side of the circle. A turn-around area will be designated in front of the upper gate fence, so that traffic can go back down the circle road. From 7 pm to midnight, the VTA will not drop off up by the shops, but will instead utilize the triangle area where State, Circle, and Lighthouse roads meet as a temporary bus stop.

The final Shakespeare for the Masses of the season will be this weekend. We will perform All’s Well that Ends Well on Saturday at 7:30 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse and on Sunday afternoon at a time to be determined. I will be playing Helena. Please come if you haven’t seen it before; as always it’s quick, painless and free.

Ona Ignacio told me that her mom, Adrianna, will be back on-Island at the end of April and that while she is still recovering from her fall last summer, she is doing much better. Adrianna will be back at work at her shop, On the Cliffs, this summer, with her daughters helping out. Happy birthday to Ona’s son Riley Ignacio, who turns 13 on April 13. Now she has two teenagers in the house to deal with! Good luck Ona. Congratulations to Emerson Mahoney, who made high honors in his 11th-grade class, and also to Pearl Vecruysse, who made honors in 10th grade. Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth’s series of short films, Sustainable Vineyard, will have a special Earth Day screening on Wednesday, April 22, at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. A time has not been set yet, but it will be in the evening.