Edgartown: Bare feet and all


I was so excited to see so many flowers in bloom over the weekend. I knew they were starting. We even had a crocus in bloom a couple of weeks ago. But this weekend, they really came out, ready to announce that spring has sprung. We also took a long walk on State Beach on Sunday, bare feet and all, which is really the only way to walk the beach. I know many people who consider March the hardest month of the year, but I always find that March breathes some life back into my wintered-over heart. Sure, there may be snow and there may be cold days. But there are also warmer temperatures, the sun is brighter, and the days become longer. And no matter what, spring is always going to win out over winter. And that is what makes March sweeter than February for me!

It has taken me a couple of weeks to gather my thoughts as the Island community feels the loss of one of our own with the passing of Susan Gamble. She was such a big part of our school community, of the town community, and the Island at large. Words alone cannot express what she meant to this Island, and the lasting effect she will have on so many. From her Among the Flowers family to her Edgartown School family, she touched so many lives, and did so with so much caring and love. No matter what she faced, she did so with grace and a smile. She has left a hole in the heart of our school family. She didn’t only teach the kids in our school. Her will, her kindness, and her positive energy taught us all what is most important in life. I will try to honor her spirit each day.

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services is excited to announce the All Island Veterans Discount Card program. This program is an initiative between Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Veterans Outreach Program, Dukes County Veterans Services, and local Island businesses to recognize and thank the Island’s more than 500 veterans, reservists, and individuals serving on active duty. Under the All Island Veterans Discount Card Program, veterans will be issued an identification card (after verification of veteran status by Dukes County’s director of veterans services, Jo Ann Murphy) that identifies them as a veteran. Participating Island merchants will agree to honor this card by providing these individuals with discounts on purchases or services (a 10 percent discount is recommended), or some other special offer. Individuals will be able to present their identification cards to participating merchants and will receive these discounts on a year-round basis.

“Although this program could never fully acknowledge or thank these individuals for their service and sacrifices made to protect our country, in some small measure it is a way we can demonstrate our appreciation,” said Tom Bennett, associate executive director at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and mental health counselor. Island veterans who are interested in signing up for a card can visit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Administration (Building B) between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm, Monday through Friday, or make an appointment by calling 508-693-2900, ext. 223. Veterans are asked to bring their driver’s license and DD-214 form to verify veteran status. Island business interested in participating in the program can fill out a form at mvcommunityservices.com/veterans/idcard.

Mark your calendars! The Spring Electronics Disposal Day is set for Saturday, May 21,

9 am to 2 pm at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. They do off-Island disposal in an environmentally friendly way. Recycle your personal or business old and tired air conditioners, cell phones, computers, copiers, dehumidifiers, fax machines, microwaves, monitors, laptops, printers, refrigerators, scanners, stereo equipment, televisions, washers and dryers, and scrap metal! Fees are between $2 and $30 per item. There is a 10 percent discount for car loads. All proceeds benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Several belated happy birthdays go out this week, to my childhood friend and riding buddy, Susie Sawyer Schofield, who celebrated on March 13, and to two of the funniest, and most fun, guys I know, Richard Prieto on March 10, and Rich Pease, kindergarten ESP extraordinaire, who celebrated on March 13. Happy birthday wishes also go out to Zach Townes, who has his special day on Saturday, March 19.

Our eighth grade auction was a big success last weekend. When we started fundraising way back last May, the auction was this behemoth looming on the distant horizon. It’s such a huge undertaking. But we pulled it off. Final totals won’t be in for a bit, but we appear to have come close to our fundraising goal, which is great, but I’m happy to report that the feedback we’ve received on the change of venue to the Loft in Oak Bluffs has been great! People seemed to have a lot of fun socializing and dancing the night away to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, while intermittently venturing into the back room to bid on silent auction items. Many thanks go out from the eighth grade to J.B. Blau for the amazing generosity that he showed our class, and continues to show to everyone on this Island, to Johnny Hoy and his merry band for a great night of music and dancing, to J.B.’s staff, who worked so hard all night, and to Trip Barnes for, once again, serving as our auctioneer, keeping the live auction live and full of good humor. I would like to add my personal thanks to my fellow advisor, Darren Belisle, for putting up with me when I start to stress, for taking over the reins when necessary, and for being the perfect frontman for our fundraisers, and to the many parents who helped make the event a success, particularly our core committee members, Judy Murray, Julie Hatt, and Rebecca Norris. We literally could not have done it without these folks.

Have a great week. Remember, no act of kindness is ever wasted.