Aquinnah: Summer vacation


School gets out Thursday! Congratulations to all graduates, and every kid for finishing up another year. And here’s to at least a couple of mornings of sleeping in and not having to rush off for a hectic day of school/sports/activities. Maybe, just maybe there can be some days of leisure on the beach and ending at the Cliffs with the sunset and ice cream.

At the library this week: Story Time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm, and Saturday at 10:30 am. Also on Saturday is the Kids Craft time, from 11 am to 3 pm. The Afterschool Club will meet Tuesday at 4 pm, and the Adult Book Group will meet at 5:30 pm to discuss Chris Cleave’s “Little Bee.” On Thursday, June 29, at 5:30 pm, “Islanders Read the Classics” presents Nancy Aronie reading and discussing “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open Wednesday through Saturday at the Vanderhoop Homestead at the Cliffs. Hours are 11 am to 4 pm. Current exhibits include “The Maine Ingredient” and “Wampanoag Whaling.” Call 508-645-7900 with any questions.

The annual Howes House Art Show and Sale will take place on Friday, June 23, from noon to 4 pm and Saturday, June 24, from 9 am until 2 pm. The show features the watercolors and drawings of the members of the Howes House Friday painting group. The Howes House (Up-Island Council on Aging) is in West Tisbury center, across from Alley’s Store. The event is free and open to all.

Just a reminder that the Yard has dance classes Monday through Friday at 9 am and Saturday at 10 am, with a different style taught each day. Yoga at the Yard will start on June 24, classes are Monday through Friday at 7 am, Saturday at 8 am, and Sunday at 9 am. Ruth Childs, who is an accomplished dancer and niece of choreographer and Aquinnah resident Lucinda Childs, will perform three solos of Lucinda’s work next weekend at the Yard. Ruth will perform “Pastime” (1963), “Carnation” (1964), and “Museum Piece” (1965) on Thursday, June 29, at 8 pm and Saturday, July 1 at 6:30 pm. Go to for more information and pricing on these events.

The Fourth of July is less than two weeks away, and while you may be tempted to go to Edgartown for the “Big Parade,” I encourage you to come to the 15th annual Fourth of July Children’s Parade and Treasure Hunt, which is held in Aquinnah. At 10 am on July 4, everyone can start gathering at the Goldfield-Mannion home at 5 Old South Rd. for face painting, gossip, and coffee and doughnuts. Floats will begin to line up at the same time. The parade kicks off at 11 am sharp, with the national anthem played by our own world-famous Arlen Roth. The parade culminates with a treasure hunt on Philbin Beach (this is for the kids only). When you get to Philbin, you can try out the new boardwalk, which makes hiking over the dunes considerably easier. Donations of flags, toys, and treasure are encouraged. Everyone, especially children, is invited. If you have any questions, please contact Tom Murphy at

Welcome back to Eva and Steve Weinstein, who just returned to the Island; their son, Alexander, arrived a little bit after them. Alexander Weinstein is the author of the short story collection “Children of the New World,” which was chosen by the New York Times as one of the best books of 2016. He is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and his fiction has been awarded the Lamar York, Gail Crump, Hamlin Garland, and New Millennium Prizes. He also serves as the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, which brings awardwinning authors and poets to the Vineyard for its Summer Writing Conference every July ( He will be reading from his collection and signing books on Thursday, June 29, at 7 pm at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven. Congratulations, Eva and Steve, I know you must be so proud.
Congratulations to Laina Benoit and Yossi Monahan, who graduated from the Chilmark School last Friday. They are both moving on to the West Tisbury School, where they will start sixth grade in the fall. Both gave wonderful speeches at the commencement, and Yossi sang “Wagon Wheel,” which was dubbed over a slide/video presentation that Rebecca Barca-Tinus had put together. The presentation included photos and videos of all 10 kids who were graduating, dating back to their babyhood. Believe me, if there was a dry eye at the start of the slide show, there was not one by the end. The graduation was very sweet, with the whole school and many parents showing up to mark this rite of passage for the fifth graders.
Happy birthday to Adam Wilson, who is not 60 yet, but is having a birthday this Friday. Fynn Monahan graduated from the West Tisbury School last week, and will be going to high school in the fall. Claus Smith’s Little League baseball team, the Mets, are going to the finals! They will play in the championship game this Saturday in Oak Bluffs. The team also includes other up-Island children, Lathrop Keene, Walter Prescott, Fletcher Zak, and Leo Napior. Good luck, guys, I hope you bring home the trophy.