Aquinnah: Spring has sprung


Spring is in full swing up-Island. While the trees are still bare, the pinkletinks are chirping like mad, daffodils are sprouting up, and businesses are preparing to open. On the Cliffs will be open by May 1, and the Aquinnah Shop is usually open by Mother’s Day. It’s just a matter of time before the Cliffs are jumping again, and honestly, I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to getting ice cream from Cliffhangers, the catch of the day at the Aquinnah Shop, and whatever special Juli has at the Orange Peel Bakery Café.

There has been a resignation on the board of assessors, which leaves an open slot. The town is seeking a volunteer to serve the remainder of the term. If at the end of the term the volunteer would like to stay on the BOA, they may be elected or request reappointment. Any interested parties should send a letter of interest and/or a résumé to Adam Wilson, town administrator, at

At the library, this week story time will be on Thursday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am. On Thursday the 20th, from 2 to 5 pm, there will be seed planting for the whole family. The library will provide seeds, both flowers and vegetable, seed soil, and biodegradable egg cartons to plant in. Seeds will remain available for the remainder of April and May. The book group meets today at 5:30 pm; “The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, will be discussed.

This is the last week of Pathways. Soon it will go back to being Chilmark Tavern, but this week there is some great stuff you can see. On Thursday, there will be a screening of “Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship and the New Blue Economy.” This screening will be complete with a Q and A, and details of how you can help the health of our oceans. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Pathways Arts Grand Finale will be Saturday, April 22, from 6:30 to 9 pm. This will be a night of music, poetry, song, stories and video arts, along with cake and champagne. The evening will feature the work of Matt Stamas, new electronica; Natalie Lurie, solo harpist; Dean Rosenthal and Sian Williams, – original poetry and piano; Mark Lovewell, a story, a poem, a sea chantey; Christina Montoya, video of her dance immersion project in Cuba, with Q and A; and Barnyard Saints, Episode 4 of their video blog. It sounds like an epic lineup, and a great way to end the season.

This Saturday is the 25th annual Earth Day Beach Cleanup, sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society. There will be cleanup crews at all the major beaches on the Island, with everything you need to help. In Aquinnah they will be stationed at Lobsterville, Philbin, and the Tribal Beaches. The cleanup starts at 10 am, and there will be a celebratory party afterward at the Harbor View Hotel.

Passover just ended on Tuesday. I hope everyone who celebrates it had many wonderful nights with their families. Easter was this past Sunday, and the egg hunt at the Duck Inn was amazing as always. I’m really not sure how Elise LeBovit pulls this off every year. It’s quite a production. I know she has help with the egg decorating and hiding, but still it’s a lot of work. Elise wanted to give thanks to Adam from Island Foods for providing half the eggs, the Arts Lottery Council for support, and the families who come year after year to decorate, including good friends Claudia and her son, Hudson, who create the bronze, silver, and gold eggs in honor of Richard Lee. It turns out Elise loves what I love about the event: It’s a chance to follow the growth of the children and families of the community who have made the hunt part of their lives. She wanted to extend a special welcome to Nonie Madison and Dan Sauer’s new baby girls, Zuzu and Jaliyah. Thanks also to those who helped with cleanup, including Lauren Giglio and her sister, Jeannie, and Jeremiah and Lucy.

We Stand Together and the Aquinnah Police Dept. are sponsoring an event, “Coffee with a Cop.” Come to the Aquinnah Town Hall on Tuesday, April 25 at 5 pm to discuss local policing issues with Chief Belain.

I always think of this as the first real event of the spring in Aquinnah. There were so many people there I hadn’t seen all winter. Amera Ignacio and Todd Vanderhoop were there, with their new baby boy, Reed. Of course they brought along the older boys, Ivan and Lyle, but I barely saw them as they were running around with the other kids, gathering eggs and toys. It was hard to keep track of all the kids that were there, as none of them stood still that long. The Smith kids were there, as were Heidi Vanderhoop’s boys, Erick and Louis. Faith Vanderhoop and her son, Golden, were there, and he is now so tall and such a little man I barely recognized him. I got to talk to Christina Montoya, who spent part of the winter in Cuba making a film about Cuban dance, which will be shown at Pathways this Saturday.

Happy birthday to Clovis Smith, who will turn 6 on Saturday. Riley Ignacio turned 15 last Thursday, and Erick Moore turned 7. Is it just me, or are all the kids in Aquinnah growing up so fast?