Aquinnah: celebrating the harvest and bounty of the Island

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This is the time of year when you really feel the blessings of living here. There are festivals celebrating the harvest and bounty of the Island, warm weather and water (I went swimming just the other day), a little more free time, and the elusive beauty of the Island as the summer wanes and the fall has not yet taken hold. I am not reading any predictions of what the winter is going to bring us this year, I am just enjoying this golden time.

Just because it’s gotten colder does not mean that the Aquinnah Cultural Center has closed! It is still open, and on Saturday, Sept. 26, you can come and see a traditional weaving demonstration during museum hours, 11 am to 4 pm. Fingerweaving artist and Mashpee Wampanoag Marlene Lopez will demonstrate the making of wool sashes by hand, usually worn as part of one’s regalia today, for both ceremonial and social occasions. How cool is that? Free with admission. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday. There are also exhibits up about whaling, Gay Head clay pottery, and the Lighthouse. For more information on programs, events, and exhibits please call 508-645-7900 or email aquinnahcc@gmail.com. Regular admission prices are $5 adults, $3 seniors and children 12 and under.

Next time you are at the Aquinnah library, please give a welcome to our new library director, Olivia Larsen. A native Islander, Olivia has worked at both the Chilmark and West Tisbury libraries, and we are delighted to have her in Aquinnah. At the library this Saturday, from 11 am to 3 pm, in celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, you can make a fire-breathing dragon. I’m assuming it’s not going to be a life-size one, but some kind of miniature dragon. There really isn’t space in Aquinnah for a bunch of life-size fire-breathing dragons, and considering our fire department is all volunteer, it could turn ugly quickly.

Wednesday, Sept. 30, is the last session of the workshop on Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” sponsored by the Vineyard Haven library. The workshop will be held at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven at 7 pm. In November, Phil will hold a workshop on “The Brothers Karamazov” by Dostoevsky.

The Chilmark Preschool is holding their annual family portrait fundraiser. You can schedule a photo session for your whole family or just your kids with photographer Anthony Esposito. You have your choice of two locations, Polly Hill Arboretum or Katama Airfield. The sessions are: Oct. 17, 18, 24, and 25. You can contact Sarah Waldman if you are interested at 781-799-9941 or sarah.fm.waldman@gmail.com.

The fall festivals are starting up! Next weekend, Oct. 2 and 3 will be the Living Local Harvest Festival at the Ag Hall, and Columbus Day weekend will be the Chocolate Festival at Featherstone.

Seasonal Aquinnah residents Doug and Susan Kline will be attending the wedding of their son Dylan to Beth Lucas in Roanoke, Va., this Saturday. Dylan proposed to Beth on the path behind the Outermost Inn that ends at the Lighthouse, so they will be bringing some of the Vineyard with them wherever they are. I wish them wonderful weather for their wedding and a long, happy life together.

Happy birthday to Jeffrey Madison who celebrates today, and Spa who celebrates on Saturday. I wish both these epic Aquinnah characters much joy in the coming year.