Tisbury: Islanders Write


Heard on Main Street: It really was well worth waiting for.

The lines were out the door by 7:30 Monday morning as more people gathered, waiting to enter the Grange for another day of this wonderful event. Islanders Write gets more and more popular every year — and for many good reasons. The comments were consistently positive and enthusiastic. The authors, visiting and homegrown alike, seemed just as happy to be involved as all the rest of us.

I went to Justen Ahren’s workshop on “Cultivating a Daily Writing Practice – Play.” There were a lot of us hoping to learn more about discipline in our writing practice. What we learned first was that “play” meant just that. Most of us thought it was going to be directed towards writing a drama. But Justen meant “play” — as what we do as children to learn, and enjoy our time doing just that. This successful author and wonderful teacher runs longer workshops through Noepe Center during the year.

Want shark stamps? You are invited by Richard Paradise and the U.S. Postal Service to a special dedication of the new Shark Forever Stamps, followed by a showing of the movie “Jaws” at the Capawock Theater at 3 pm on Friday, August 18.

Did you know that sharks have been adapting to our world since well before the time of dinosaurs? Sharks have developed light, flexible skeletons of cartilage, teeth replaced without limit, and skin covered by a hydrodynamic surface of tiny tooth-like structures. Their keen senses include one that detects electrical signals given off by prey, and enables navigation by earth’s magnetic field. Their nervous systems are adapted to sense minuscule water movements, from a struggling, far-off fish, for instance. Did you know people threaten sharks more than they do us?

Local author Tom Dresser will tell you about his new book, “Hidden History of Martha’s Vineyard,” on Tuesday, August 22, at 7 pm, at the Vineyard Haven library. He is a remarkably good researcher. This is Vineyard history not often discussed, from the origin of Vineyard names and historic places to shipwrecks, graveyards, and the Underground Railroad. “Read it yourself, before Aunt Emma, visiting from Topeka, tells you how the beetlebung tree really got its name,” suggested Jack Shea in The MV Times. The talk is free, and refreshments are served.

Children are reminded that the Summer Reading Program ends August 31, with prize drawings at the Vineyard Haven library. There is still time for kids to register and earn prizes for the minutes they read this summer. Also offered for kids of all ages is Musical Storytime with Ellen Allard on Tuesday, August 22, at 11 am. Children age 5 and up can join Rick Bausman at 4 pm on Thursday, August 24, for Rhythm of Life Drumming.

Paintings by Elizabeth R. Whelan called “Artists in Art” are on the lower level of our library through August. Two dozen Martha’s Vineyard artists are depicted at various points in their art process, and each painting pulls from that artist’s color palette. All artists interested in showing their work may call 508-696-4210.

At Islanders Write a friend showed me some of the short poetic bits that are now displayed on our Vineyard Transit Authority buses. These are written by local writers, and make the bus trips more enjoyable. Thanks to VTA for sharing these short lovely lines written by our neighbors.

Take note: The AfroDixieRemixes is at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center on Monday, August 21, at 7:30 pm. This listening session presents the de facto anthem of the Confederacy, the song “Dixie,” as you have never heard it before, by way of the many genres of black music with director, producer, and multimedia artist John Sims.

The fair is like a big Island party. Whether you enter plants, arrange flowers, make jam or pies, raise goats or cows, or share your needlework and glorious quilts, we wish you all blue ribbons. My delights are the children’s entries, whether art or squash, and these are second only to the variety of animals shown off by proud owners.

Congratulations to Eric and Susan Lopes, who mark 17 happy years together on Tuesday.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out today to Chris Clark. Wish the best on Saturday to Linda Kurth.

Heard on Main Street: Enjoy our wonderful fair.