Edgartown: Summer vacation


So this is the first summer since I began teaching that I haven’t taken courses, been involved in fundraising events, or been driving to dance classes most days of the week. I’ve actually been enjoying some downtime since we got out of school. As a result, I haven’t even been sure of what day of the week it is much of the time. Along with my beloved beach time, I’m taking this opportunity to do some much-needed landscaping and yard work around the house, as well as some of the cleaning and organizing inside the house that sometimes gets pushed so far to the back burner during the school year that it actually falls off the stove! Lesson plans and curriculum design are on the not so distant horizon, though. I hope I find my work ethic soon with all this cleaning.

There is a moonrise kayak tour happening at Felix Neck on July 19 and 20. See Sengekontacket Pond by moonlight. Kayak on the pond with a guide as the sun sets, stars twinkle, and the moon rises. $37 per person for members, $47 for nonmembers. Call 508-627-4850 for times and to register.

On Thursday, July 21, at 5:30 pm, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in collaboration with the J.F.K. Hyannis Museum is welcoming author Andrew Cohen to the Island to present “Two Days in June: J.F.K. and the 48 Hours that Made History” at the Edgartown Federated Church. Island resident, and writer Rose Styron will introduce and moderate the talk. Andrew Cohen is a professor of journalism and communication at Carleton University in Ottawa, as well as a journalist and best-selling author. Rose Styron is a poet, journalist, and human rights activist. She lives full-time on the Island and is a longtime friend of the Kennedy family.

Looking back at John F. Kennedy’s presidency, two issues dominated the country whose effects are still felt today, nuclear arms and civil rights, and Andrew Cohen tackles them both. In “Two Days in June,” he explores two speeches J.F.K. gave in June 1963. Using newly uncovered documentary film from the White House and the Justice Department, recently gathered interviews, and a resurfaced draft speech, Cohen takes the 1,036 days in J.F.K.’s presidency and focuses on two of them. Admission is $15. Patron tickets are available for $35, which include a catered reception and meet and greet with Andrew Cohen and Rose Styron back at the Museum. For patron tickets, call 508-627-4441, ext. 119 or email events@mvmuseum.org.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Scott Ellis, who celebrated on July 8, Whitney Osborn, who had her big day on July 13, and to my cousin, Nancy Corwin Dillon, on July 15.

The Edgartown Fire Department recently celebrated the retirement of Assistant Chief Scott Ellis, Eric Willoughby, Captain Robert Brown, Lieutenant Peter Valenti, Senior Captain Charlie Smith, Lieutenant Jim Crave, and Geoff Kontje. Combined, these fine men provided our town with over 200 years of service! Thank you for your service, and enjoy your retirement. You’ve earned it.

I feel that my column this week would be incomplete if I didn’t mention the upheaval going on in our world lately. My words here in a local paper can’t even begin to do the topic justice. I really don’t even know what to say. There is just so much anger and hatred in the world. But I have hope. Hope that maybe this is a turning point for us all. Hope that we can start to find some middle ground where we can talk and start to rebuild a better future. People seem so polarized these days. So many of us hold our opinions and ideas so strongly, maybe too strongly. It seems like so much of the world takes place in black and white, us against them, I’m right and you’re wrong. I don’t know much. I sure don’t know how to solve it all. But I do know that we need to start communicating. We need to start working together. We need to stop judging and being mad at and afraid of each other. I don’t know how to do it, but I do know that it needs to be done. And I for one am willing to try. This isn’t the world I want to hand over to my children.

I’m going to start local. I’m going to try to see the good in everyone. I’m going to assume that the person cutting me off in traffic made a simple mistake or is preoccupied or late instead of mean or conceited. I’m going to try to be extra nice to everyone I interact with. Maybe it will be silly stuff like buying a cup of coffee for the person in line behind me. Maybe I’ll go get some gift cards for ice cream and give them out. Maybe it will just be to smile and say hello to others. It’s little. It’s easy. Maybe in the grand scheme of things, it’s silly. But it’s a start. And we have to start somewhere. What will you do to make a difference and change our direction? It’s up to us. Share your ideas with me, and I’ll share them with the community.

Be the change you want to see in the world.