Aquinnah: Not venturing down-Island


The influx of people to the Island continued in force this week. I ran into a friend this Saturday at Cronig’s (what were we thinking? It was a madhouse); she and her family were on the boat on Friday night, and it was standing room only. Barbie Bassett said that the Stop and Shop lot in Vineyard Haven was full by 7:30 am on Saturday. I may need to start my “no down-Island unless absolutely necessary” rule a month early this summer. And yet I really do enjoy seeing the people who only come here in the summer, from the Aquinnah summer residents to the people I know from other parts of my life who visit for a time every summer. I really treasure those times and relationships. My son has a friend who comes here every summer (he arrived this past week), and it is so fun to see them together every year. So welcome, one and all. Just remember there’s a lot of people here, and we all must wait our turn. And please don’t pass bikers on blind turns.

The Philbin Beach parking permit schedule for this week is as follows: On Thursday and Friday, permits will be sold at Town Hall from 9:30 to 11:30 am and 2 to 3 pm. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, they will be sold at Philbin Beach from 10:15 am to 3:30 pm unless it rains, in which case they will be sold at Town Hall from noon to 2 pm. On Tuesday and Wednesday, permits will be sold at Town Hall from 9:30 to 11:30 am and 2 to 3 pm. New this year at Philbin is the walk-on pass; it is something that the town is experimenting with. If you want to walk or bike onto Philbin you (or someone in your party) must have the walk-on pass. If you are dropping people off and you have your Philbin permit in your car, you can pull into the parking lot and drop your guests off, and they will not need a walk-on pass.

There will be an artist talk at the Sargent Gallery this week, “The Yard at Sargent Gallery: The Influence of Thomas Hart Benton on Dance.” Anthony Benton Gude
will speak on Friday, July 7, from 6 to 8 pm. The Sargent Gallery is open from 11 am to 6 pm Thursday to Sunday and by appointment. Call 508-645-2776.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. The ACC is in the Edwin Devries Vanderhoop Homestead, a 19th farmhouse on the Aquinnah Circle. The home contains much original furniture and household items from several generations of the family. Incorporated throughout the house, exhibits include “Wampanoag Whaling,” “Wampanoag Keepers of the Gay Head Lighthouse,” Gay Head clay and pottery, and the mid-19th century beginnings of tourism to the Cliffs, Lighthouse, and various Wampanoag-owned and -operated restaurants and inns in the area. There is a new addition to the whaling exhibit: a captain’s logbook from the 1840s loaned to the ACC for this season by an Aquinnah tribal member. Also new this year is “The Maine Ingredient,” an exhibit featuring carved and painted root clubs from the Penobscot people; and images of Passaquoddy artist Tomah Joseph’s birch bark artwork from the 19th century. For more information on current programs and exhibits, contact the ACC at 508-645-7900 or

Summer is in full swing at the library! Signing up for summer reading continues: You can get coupons for books read, like a free ice cream from Dreamcatchers (sorry grownups, the summer reading program is for kids only). Story Time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am. On Thursday, July 6, at 5 pm, the Summer Speaker Series starts with Jane Dreeben discussing her book, “The Urge to Create: 50 Vineyard Portraits.” The lecture will be held at the Old Town Hall, and refreshments will be served. On Saturday, July 8, from 11 am to 3 pm is the Kids Craft: Sewing Mini-Pillows. Kids will have a chance to stuff and sew a small pillow. On Tuesday, July 11, at 5 pm, there will be “Music on the Deck.” The teens from Alex’s Place will be performing original music from 5 to 6 pm.

The Outermost Inn is open for dinner every night except Monday. The Chilmark Tavern is open seven nights a week, and the Aquinnah Shop is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. They are sometimes closed in the evening for a private event, so it is good to call ahead if you are hoping for dinner: The number is 508-645-3867. Juli Vanderhoop is holding pizza night on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 pm at the bakery. $15 per person, and please bring some toppings to share.

Theresa and Paul Manning came to Chilmark Tavern with Paul’s son, Chris, who is visiting. Chris is on a short leave from the Navy. He is happy to be home with his family, and they are delighted to have him. Skyler Cameron is turning 19 on July 11. Happy birthday, Cameron, now that you’ve graduated from high school and are that much closer to being an adult, it’s time to figure out what you’re doing with the rest the of your life. Just kidding! There’s plenty of time, I mean look at most of the people here on the Vineyard; we are obviously still figuring it out.