Chilmark: Sometimes it takes a village

Summer sunset swoon over the Coast Guard Station boathouse in Menemsha; no wonder it has become a sunset village. –Valerie Sonnenthal

Waking up in a fog, most mornings thick as soup, burning off to muggier hot days. One of my favorite things to do is head to Menemsha on a beautiful day, and you’ll find no lines at lunch or early dinner from 4 to 6 pm, your choice of delicious food from the Galley or Home Port, the Bite or Beetlebung Coffee House, Menemsha Fish Market or Larsens. Also, you can call ahead and do takeout if you’re in a hurry.

Sunday-morning play was an extended game despite the fog. Especially appreciated were the younger folks and teenage players among the regulars. Though Sig Van Raan’s lower back strain limited him to making judgment calls on close plays, Commissioner Emeritus Bill Edison was there to consult and have the final say. Sig said, “A number of the softball players, along with friends and neighbors of Bill Edison’s, have been taking turns visiting him at his summer home during his time of grieving the loss of his beloved wife of 66 years, Lydia, who died last month. Folks have been bringing food, pies, the requisite booze, and books to read. Sometimes it takes a village.”

Join Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation staff for a guided walk of Middle Road Sanctuary on Thursday, July 21, from 9 am to noon. Enjoy wooded trails and ridgetop views of Chilmark Pond, Black Point Pond, and Tisbury Great Pond. Bring water. No reservations required. Held rain or shine. Middle Road Sanctuary is located on Middle Road, near the intersection with Tabor House Road. Look for the green and white “Middle Road Sanctuary” sign and turn into the parking area.

Library happenings include storybook characters Elephant and Piggie, created by Mo Willems, who will visit the Chilmark library on Saturday, July 23, during Stories and Songs at 10:30 am. Come enjoy reading, singing, and dancing, plus everyone will get an Elephant and Piggie bookmark and a picture to color! Mixed-media artist Jane Foster Thame of West Tisbury and Sarasota, Fla., will exhibit her latest work at the Chilmark library from July 16 through August 5. There will be a reception at the library on Saturday, July 23, from 3 pm to 5 pm. “I started making masks because it was a way to reach back to my childhood. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a family and neighborhood rich in Caribbean and African-American culture,” Thame says. “When I make my masks, I step out of social convention and reach into the past and present to give meaning to growing up in black America.” Learn about Eelgrass Restoration in Menemsha at Quitsa Pond with Shellfish Constable Isaiah Scheffer on Wednesday, July 27, at 5 pm. Mr. Scheffer will describe the experimental program and present video demonstrations that include very vivid underwater footage.

The All-Island Art Show will be on Monday, August 1, at the MVCMA Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. The show has been operating since 1959, providing a venue for both professional and amateur Island artists to display and sell their works. Artist registration is on the morning of the show beginning at 8:30 am; the show runs from 10 am to 3 pm. For more information, go to

Congratulations to The Yard dancers for bringing work to Jacob’s Pillow last week. There are Pride, Not Prejudice events this week, including a family-friendly matinee of Marvelous Marvin’s Brain Circus on Saturday, July 23, at 11 am, followed by a kid’s dance party. The event is pay-what-you-wish. Check for daily dance classes, and their yoga schedule too.

Stop by Kara Taylor Gallery’s second opening of the season, for “40 Flowers” on Sunday, July 24, from 5 to 8 pm.

Come hear Matthew Desmond, a Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “genius,” speak about his latest book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” on Sunday, July 24, at 7:30 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. He moved into a trailer park and then to a rooming house, and diligently took notes on the lives of people who pay 70 to 80 percent of their incomes for homes that, objectively speaking, are unfit for human habitation. On Thursday, July 28, at 7:30 pm, Richard Russo will discuss his new novel, “Everybody’s Fool,” and be interviewed by Amor Towles. To learn more, or buy tickets for these and other author events, go to

Roberta Kirn’s next Community Sing for all ages is on Tuesday, July 26, at 5 pm at the Yard. Free.

Quartet San Francisco, a nontraditional and eclectic string quartet led by violinist Jeremy Cohen, play a wide range of musical genres from jazz to blues, tango to swing, and funk to pop, on Tuesday, July 26, from 8 to 9:30 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. Tickets are $35, $30 with an Island Card, and students are free. For more info, call 508-696-8055 or

Native Earth Teaching Farm offers a Natural Dye Workshop on Wednesday, July 27, from 11 am to 3 pm: dyeing yarn and silk using materials from field and garden. $100 includes all materials; barter is available. For more info, go to or call 508-645-3304.

Have a great week.