Chilmark: Something other than politics

Pathways directors Keren Tonnesen, left, and Scott Crawford introduce environmental activist Alison Rose Levy, right, who will be bringing her roundtable program about "Navigating the Media Landscape" to other Island venues soon. —Valerie Sonnenthal

Updated Feb. 3, 10:37 am

I can’t even begin to count the many ways we are fortunate to live in this Island community. So many friends have kept a ban on political discussions in the home; I guess there’s enough heat already. The landscape of our lives is shifting daily, and the dark unknown seems to get darker daily. It is exactly the time to reach out and share a meal with a neighbor you may not know well, start a new hobby (check out offerings at Featherstone Center for the Arts,, join a book group, try meditation, yoga, take a walk, know that you are not alone as we collectively have to recalibrate.

Congratulations to longtime Chilmark resident Bill Gamson, who celebrated his 83rd birthday on Jan. 27 and then was bar mitzvahed for the first time on Jan. 28 by rabbis Caryn Broitman and Rachel Cowan, who serves in N.Y.C. and also lives in Menemsha. His grandson Gilad, a senior at Brown, and his granddaughter, who will enter Oberlin in fall ’17, did the parts in Hebrew for him.

I am sad to report that Zee and Bill Gamson will be leaving the Island and moving to Boston, since they could not find an affordable year-round rental in Vineyard Haven.

On Monday morning my husband slowed on Pasture Road to let an emergency vehicle and fire truck with flashing lights by as they headed to what I later learned was a tractor fire at the end of the road, on the building-less property of Brad Thorpe.

Pay attention; it’s rabbit-hunting season every Saturday through the end of February.

At Pathways on Saturday, Feb. 4, it’s the Music Series with Jodie Treloar, Griffin McMahon, and Mike Kerr. Tuesdays the Open Writing/Poetry Series continues, where writers of all forms are invited to share work in progress. Doors open at 6:30, followed by programs and performances from 7 to 9 pm. Wool for Water (or any cause dear to your heart) meets every Monday afternoon from 1:15 to 3 pm for an instructive session of knitting and spinning. No experience necessary, materials provided. All ages welcome. For more info, call 508-645-9098.

Come to the Seed Swap and Germination Testing Workshop, Saturday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 3 pm, at the West Tisbury library. All are welcome to bring open-pollinated or heirloom seed packets or saved seed to swap, share, or donate to the seed cabinet.

Need a laugh in the present political climate? Head to the wonderful and back-by-popular-demand Shakespeare for the Masses at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, one show only, free, 7 pm, Saturday, Feb. 4.

Bring lunch and come hear the Rev. Cathlin Baker on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 11 am at the West Tisbury First Congressional Church speak about “The Journey: Reflections on Faith and My Sabbatical Journey.”

This Sunday, Feb. 5, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm, We Stand Together/Estamos Todos Juntos MV is hosting State Senator Julian Cyr and State Representative Dylan Fernandes for an open community conversation at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, 130 Center Street, Vineyard Haven. Bring your suggestions, questions, concerns, and curiosity.

Stories and Songs at the Chilmark library are offered Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 am. Come in from the cold with your takeout lunch and enjoy it in the library’s meeting room.

All are welcome at Community Suppers on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Chilmark Community Church, free.

The Yard is looking for anyone who is renting a room, one-bedroom studio, apartment, cottage, basement, or shack for May 8 to Sept. 8 for Scott Nelson (their production manager and lighting designer) from N.Y.C., returning for his fifth summer season. He has Island references, proof of income, and ability to pay up front. Please contact Holly Jones at 508-645-9662 or

Have a good week.