Chilmark: A furry friend at the Backyard Bash

One unusual attendee at the Back Yard Bash was Gimli Glavin's pet ferret, a hit with young and old alike. —Valerie Sonnenthal

August is slipping by; the Obamas arrived in Chilmark in time for vacation and Barack Obama’s birthday, as do so many who have returned year after year. The weather is better, my family has left after their annual nearly-three-week visit, and I’m berry happy.

It’s time for the Chilmark Road Race, Saturday, August 12, at 10:30 am. You can sign up online until 10 pm on Thursday, August 10, and volunteers are always welcome.

Goat yoga goes on at Native Earth Teaching Farm, besides regular yoga at the Yoga Barn, the Chilmark Church, and the CCC. All of our farm stands are brimming with fresh offerings from local grains, cheeses, and yogurts to your morning bacon, eggs, and bright flowers.

If you are down-Island and don’t want to get stuck, the Lagoon Bridge openings can take place in the morning from 8:15 to 8:45, 10:15 to 11, and in the afternoon at 3:15 to 4, 5 to 5:45, and 7:30 to 8 in the evening.

Lia Kahler, mezzo-soprano, and friends offer a concert with a silent auction to benefit Island Clergy Homeless Fund and the Chilmark Community Church Thursday, August 10, from 2 to 6 pm at the Chilmark Church. Cost is $20. Ms. Kahler also plays a musical meditation on Sundays from 5 to 5:30 pm. Vineyard Sound performs on Tuesday evenings from 8 to 9 pm at the Chilmark Community Church through August 22.

Farm. Field. Sea. offers a tour of Grey Barn Farm followed by a cheese tasting and plein air painting workshop led by Traeger di Pietro and Kenneth Vincent from 3 to 6 pm on Thursday, August 10, and again on August 31.

Chilmark artist Wendy Weldon has two Edgartown exhibits: new paintings in her North Water Gallery show opening on Thursday, August 10, from 5 to 7 pm, and at the Edgartown Library showing “Pure Colors,” opening on Friday, August 11, from 5 to 7 pm. Both exhibits are up throughout August.

Join photographer Peter Simon on Thursday, August 10, at 7:30 pm at the Chilmark Community Center to celebrate his new magnum opus coffee table book,”Martha’s Vineyard: To Everything There Is a Season.” Visual presentation of photos, a Q and A, and a book signing at the end.

On Monday, August 14, Nancy Aronie, Fred Barron, Bliss Broyard, Linda Fairstein, Jack Fruchtman, Elizabeth Hawes (a.k.a. Betsy Weinstock), and Adam Mansbach will be taking part in panel discussions at Islanders Write at the Grange Hall. The event features over 30 writers talking about their craft ann is sponsored by the MV Times. Doors open at 8am. It’s free and open to the public. For more details

Join Nancy Noble Gardner at the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank (across from the CCC) on Friday, August 11, from 5 to 6 pm for a reception of her color photography exhibit of sea, shells, and flowers. Show runs through August 25.

Guest Chef David Perrier will prepare a pop-up dinner at the Beach Plum Inn on Sunday, August 13, from 6 to 8:30 pm, followed by an Island Chicken Night on Wednesday, August 16. See for more info and to RSVP.

Singer Kate Taylor and special guest Isaac Taylor will present her annual summer shows at the Aquinnah Town Hall on Monday and Tuesday, August 14 and 15, both at 8 pm; doors open at 7:30 pm. Go to for tickets.

You can still loan photos for the educational exhibit about Chilmark Pond beginning August 19 at the Chilmark Library. Contact exhibit organizer John O’Keefe at The deadline is August 15, and photos will be returned on Sept. 8.

The MVFF “Lucky” screening at 5 pm is followed by dinner and music at 6:30 pm on Monday, August 14. Cinema Circus is back on Wednesday, August 16, at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner and music at 6:30 before the 8 pm screening of “Disturbing the Peace.” Learn more at

Have your blood pressure and heart rate checked on Wednesday, August 16, between 11 am and 1 pm at the Chilmark library. Come hear architect Frederick Noyes speak on “A Transition: Martha’s Vineyard and Mid-Century Modern Architecture” on Thursday, August 11 at 5 pm. Come early for a seat; this is bound to be full. Noyes has been a Vineyard summer resident since 1954. In that year, his father, renowned architect Eliot Noyes, became enchanted with the Vineyard and built the first of four modern summer houses on the Island. Frederick Noyes, a Harvard-trained architect himself, grew up under the influence of his father’s architect and design contemporaries, the so-called “Harvard Five.” Noyes will look back at the Vineyard of the mid-1950s and show how his father’s houses, now classics, reflect the Island’s transition during that time. See “MVAA and Chilmark: Sustaining Heritage and Beauty,” at the Chilmark library through August 18. Lego Free Build is offered every Tuesday through August at noon at the Chilmark Public Library, and Stories and Songs continue on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 am.

Nancy Aronie is offering her last summer Chilmark Writing Workshop from August 14 to 17; sign up at 508-274-4286 or

See Guggenheim Fellow Raphael Xavier’s newest group dance work, “Point of Interest,” on Thursday, August 10, at 8 pm or Saturday, August 12, at 6:30 pm. On Friday, August 11, at 6:30 pm, members of Case Closed perform a new work, “The stage is yours,” combining urban street dance styles including krump, breakdance, urban dance choreography, freestyle, and storytelling. This family-friendly pay-what-you-wish event is followed by a dance party. Roberta Kirn hosts a Community Sing at the Yard on Tuesday, August 15, from 5 to 6 pm, free for all ages. All tickets available online at, or call 508-645-9662. Check the website for morning dance classes and daily yoga classes.

Amernet String Quartet plays on Tuesday, August 15, at 8 pm for the final concert of the season offered by the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society at the CCC. Tickets available at

Sunday was a perfect day for Flanders Field Softball, with the requisite yellow Lab running around the field, and two great games of softball. Sig Van Raan’s team prevailed in the first game over Hans Solmssen’s team in a tight, well-played game. In the second game, Ned Dewees’s team defeated Arlen Roth’s team. Fernando Sáez, director of Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company and erstwhile softball player in Cuba, played in both games and performed a dazzling shortstop position. Lynn Cabot-Puro, the tennis pro, a longtime softball player, is recovering from hip surgery, but showed up as a spectator, and will be sitting out the summer. Jerry Murphy, recovering from knee surgery, continues to show up and cheer, though everyone is hoping he’ll be able to play soon. Only four more Sunday-morning softball games left. Newcomers always welcome, especially enthusiastic younger folks. Join the fun Sunday mornings; games begin by 8 am, players arrive for warmup at 7:30 am.

Have a great week.