Aquinnah: Old South Road children’s parade


Tuesday is the Fourth of July, and the Old South Road Children’s Parade will set off at 11 am exactly. Meet at 5 Old South Rd. for face painting and preparade shenanigans at 10 am. Come one, come all to celebrate Independence Day Aquinnah-style, culminating with a treasure hunt on Philbin Beach.

For a reminder that “independence” did not mean independence for black citizens, just white citizens, and that freedom is never free, the Federated Church in Edgartown will hold a reading of Frederick Douglass’s speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro.” The program will be held on Monday, July 3 at noon. The event is free, and sponsored by the Friends of the Edgartown Library and the Federated Church.

At the Aquinnah Public Library this week, Story Time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm. Also on Thursday, June 29, at 5:30 pm is “Islanders Read the Classics”; Nancy Aronie will present “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass at the Old Town Hall. Refreshments will be served. On Saturday, July 1, at 10 am, the kickoff for Summer Reading will be at the Ag Hall. Jungle Jim will perform. There is also a kid’s craft from 11 am to 3 pm at the Aquinnah Public Library. The library will be closed this upcoming Tuesday, the Fourth of July.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. It offers tours of the Vanderhoop Homestead, a 19th century Wampanoag farmhouse containing much of the original furniture and household items from the builder of the home and subsequent generations of the Vanderhoop family. Incorporated throughout the house, the exhibits include “Wampanoag Whaling,” “Gay Head Clay and Pottery,” the “Wampanoag Keepers of the Gay Head Lighthouse,” and 19th and early 20th century tourism to the Cliffs, with the various Wampanoag-owned and -operated inns and restaurants. Call the ACC at 508-645-7900 or email them at for additional information.

Joan LeLacheur is having an open studio this Saturday, July 1, and next Saturday, July 8, from 11 am to 5 pm. She is also open by appointment; contact her at 508-645-9954 or Joanie’s jewelry studio is at 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah.

Theresa and Paul Manning hosted a wonderful 11th birthday party for their son, Noah Manning, this past Saturday at Cliffhanger’s. Grandma June (June Manning) held court and regaled us with stories of some of the characters she has run into while working in the beach-permit office of the town of Chilmark. There were many kids running around, playing games and swooping in to get nourishment from the food tables periodically. The cake stole the show, though, it was an electric guitar cake with red licorice for strings, chocolate wafers for the neck, and silver foil-wrapped chocolates for the knobs. It was made by Jamie Vanderhoop’s niece, Katherine Myrtle. Katherine is working at Cliffhanger’s all summer long, and offered to make the cake when Noah said that he wanted a guitar-shaped cake. It was truly a work of art.

There are more grandbabies of Aquinnah to report. David and Saskia Vanderhoop and Evelyn Vanderhoop welcomed a new grandchild, Faith Elizabeth Vanderhoop, who was born to David and Evelyn’s son, David Elliot and his partner, Carry Cardy, at the beginning of June. They are all doing well, and David and Saskia cannot wait to meet her. Indaia Whitcombe is coming to visit her mother, Alexandra, with her baby girl, Louisa Wilde Whitcombe, who is 7 months old. They arrived on Wednesday from Durham, N.C., and are staying for one week.

The Manning family will welcome home Paul’s son, Christopher Manning, who is in the Navy. Chris is stationed in Lemoore, Calif. He arrives today for his first trip home in almost two years. I have a feeling he is going to be inundated with family love and affection from the moment he arrives. I saw David and Alecia Giles out to dinner on Sunday night with their daughter, Nerissa, and her husband, Dan. Nerissa and Dan were getting a night out without their 8-month-old baby, and they looked very happy and surprisingly well rested. I like seeing our local, year-round population out and enjoying the summer restaurants and activities that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer. It gives me hope that I might be able to have a fun summer amid all the work.

Happy birthday to former Aquinnah resident Siobhan Westcott. I hope she comes back for a visit sometime soon.

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