Oak Bluffs: Random Acts of Kindness


Between the obsessive heat and the persistent gypsy moth invasion, last Sunday I decided to escape to the peaceful and relaxing Sunday-night band concert at Ocean Park. After a few minutes of circling the park, I was lucky enough to find a parking place, but was soon astonished to see that the sprinkler system that keeps our park so green was operating in a section of the park. No harm, I thought, but before you could say “What a great view,” suddenly a different section of the system switched on, resulting in some hasty scrambling by many people to the other side of the bandstand. Of course the kids loved to run through the spray, laughing and playing, which was fine, but then a few children decided to manipulate the sprinkler heads to a direction they wanted them to go, sat on them, stomped on them, and pushed them down, with little regard for the possible damage they were doing, and were completely ignored by the adults who were with them. Finally when I could stand it no more, I opened the car door and bellowed, ”Stop playing with the sprinklers.” It worked for a bit, but slowly the same few children crept back and continued their destructive behavior. Please respect other people, and the hard work of so many citizens who work so diligently to take care of such a beautiful park.

Our hearts are saddened by the recent senseless killings in other parts of the country and the world. Let peace spread out from our Island like an ever-widening pool by practicing random acts of kindness whenever you get the chance. It won’t be easy sometimes, but resist the urge to retaliate, and rise to a higher level of action by peacefully responding.

Gloria White-Hammond and Ray Hammond, co-pastors of the Bethel AME Church in Boston, will be guest preachers at the Campgrounds Tabernacle Sunday services on July 24 at 9:30 am. They are both medical doctors as well as pastors, and their sermon is “Legacy: What Matters Most.” That evening at 7:30, they will conduct a special event, “Boston Basics as a 21st Century Legacy: Five, fun, simple and powerful parenting behaviors to enhance learning for all children.” The event will have a free-will offering to support Boston Basics.

Head up-Island on Sunday, July 24, for a Garden Dedication Party, presented by the West Tisbury library and the West Tisbury Library Foundation. The dedication will run from 3 to 5 pm.

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society is holding a series of Monday-evening concerts. The schedule is July 25, August 1, 8, and 15, at 8 pm at the Old Whaling Church, and you will also be able to enjoy a concert on Tuesday evenings, August 2 and 9, at 8 pm at the Chilmark Community Center.

The first annual Oak Bluffs African American Literature and Culture Festival will be hosted by the Oak Bluffs library on August 4, 5, and 6. It will consist of a variety of speakers from both on- and off-Island discussing their work. In addition to writing, visual art, history, music, and dance will be showcased. This summer seemed an especially appropriate time to launch, as Oak Bluffs will be featured in “Pride of Place,” an inaugural exhibit at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Don’t forget to participate in or enjoy the All-Island Art Show, which will again take place on Monday, August 1, at the MVCMA Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. Can you believe that this show has been operating since 1959, providing a venue for both professional and amateur Island artists to display and sell their art? More info may be found at allislandartshow.wordpress.com or at the MVCMA office.

Books, books, books of all kinds may be found at bargain prices at the three-day used book sale at the Oak Bluffs library. Sponsored by the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs, the sale runs from 10 am to 4 pm on Thursday, July 21, and Friday, July 22. Saturday, July 23, the hours are 10 am to 2 pm. There will be used books in all categories for all ages, and also a section of DVDs, CDs, and some audiobooks.

We send birthday smiles to Charlene Alley on July 22, Aiden and Logan Araujo, Pat Rose, and Richard Cage on the 24th, and Paul Robinson on July 26.

Enjoy your week. Peace.