Aquinnah: Make some jam


It’s jam-making time in Aquinnah. There is a late harvest of blackberries around town, and the beach plums and rose hips are ripe. Plus, the summer’s over, so you have time now, right? Grab a basket, pick a road or a beach to walk down, and start gathering. Then get out your heavy pots and sugar, and make some jam. You’ll be glad you did. It’s a very pleasant way to spend the day, and you won’t have to drive down-Island for jam because you will have made your own. Not that I make special trips down-Island just for jam, but I do think that any activity that can alleviate the need for a trip to the grocery store is a good activity.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will be open from 11 am to 2 pm today (Thursday); they are closing early because of a special program they are hosting at the West Tisbury library. At 3 pm they will screen “Tribal Justice,” a film by Anne Makepeace, about two Native judges who incorporate traditional methods of dispute resolution to truly rehabilitate offenders and restore balance to the community. This is a really good film, and I urge you to see it if you missed it at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival in March. On Friday, Sept. 8, the ACC will return to its normal hours of 11 am to 4 pm. Guest artist Ryan Derby from the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe will be on hand. Ryan creates contemporary work in many mediums based on traditional themes using paint, wood, leather, and beads. The “Our Story” exhibit is still at the ACC until Sept. 16. Be sure to stop in and experience it before it leaves for the season.

This Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10, is the Aquinnah Powwow. The ACC will be closed on Saturday, but they will have a booth open at the Powwow. The Powwow begins on Saturday; the grand entry will be at noon, and it is always a great spectacle.

At the Aquinnah library this week, Story Time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am. There will be a Kid’s Craft on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. The Afterschool Club meets on Tuesday at 4 pm.

Pathways Arts will present “A Multi-Arts Evening” this Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Tisbury Waterworks at 400 West Spring Street in Vineyard Haven from 6:30 to 8 pm. Justen Ahren, along with musicians Dana Edelman, Nina Violet, Siren Mayhew, Salvadore McNamara, and videographer Graham Smith reinterpret Mr. Ahren’s poetry, piano compositions, and black-and-white images, as well as perform creations of their own, to tell the story of a man who, after losing his family in war, must flee his home. This is a site-specific work, and space is limited. This event is free to all.

M.V. Mediation is offering a free workshop, Family Property Disputes, at the Edgartown library on Sept. 12 from 6 pm until 8 pm. Disputes among family members involving family property, estates, trusts, and businesses can be challenging. When a patriarch or matriarch gives up control or has died, the adult children are often left with uncertainty or, worse, contrary beliefs about their rightful role. Disputes surface that are usually less about ill will than about conflicting feelings, misunderstandings of intent, conflicting expectations, resistance to change, or unspoken fears. The public is invited to join M.V. Mediation and their panel, John “Jack” Wofford and Martin V. Tomassian Jr., as they discuss these conflicts and how mediation can help.

The Living Local Harvest Festival will be held at the Ag Hall on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be a community supper and contradance at 6 pm. This is a very fun event for kids and adults, with amazing food. If you would like to be a vendor, contact (if you sign up before Sept. 16, you will receive a discount).

Congratulations to all the Aquinnah kids who went back to school this week. There were some milestones: Laina Benoit and Yossi Monahan both started at the West Tisbury School (sixth grade). Yossi’s brother, Fynn, started high school, as did Menasha Laport. Riley Cameron started his second year at high school. Lewis Moore started kindergarten (always a happy day to stop paying for preschool), and his brother, Erick, is in second grade. Ivan Vanderhoop is in first grade along with his cousin, Isaac Vanderhoop. Maysie Vanderhoop is in second grade, and her brother, Brian is in third. Not only did Clyde Smith turn 13 over Labor Day weekend, but he started seventh grade on Tuesday. His brothers, Claus and Clovis, started fourth and first respectively. Rodeo Purves-Langer started his last year at the Chilmark School. Malia Bodnar is so tall I think she’s in fourth grade, but I think she’s actually in third or second. Emmett Taylor is in third grade. Noah Manning started sixth grade, as did Olive and Violet MacPhail. Good luck to all our young students, and I’m sorry I probably missed some.

Happy birthday, Paul Manning, celebrating today. If you see him you should tell him that he can celebrate by going to Chilmark Chocolates, as it reopens today after being closed for what felt like a very long time.