Edgartown: Our thoughts turn to Harvey and Irma


I never realized how many friends and family I have living down South until the past couple of weeks. Watching the hurricanes wreak havoc on Houston and the surrounding areas, and then Florida and the islands, made me realize just how many folks I know down there. I sure am appreciating the updates letting us know they are safe as Irma tracks her way through Florida, but it’s also so hard to tune in and see all the horrible destruction. My heart goes out to all who are suffering through these storms.

I don’t know where the time goes, but this past Monday we wished our girl, Kiana Casey, a very special happy birthday as she turned the big 18 years old. It doesn’t even seem possible. Many happy returns of the day, K-Faye. Given the importance of this age, my most important information for you at this point is don’t forget to vote, every chance you get!

Other happy birthday wishes go out to Alana Morris, on Sept. 8, and J.B. Blau and Donna Kenny on Sept. 13.

Island artist June Schoppe presents her first solo Island exhibition at the Chilmark Library, Sept. 9 to 29.The show will represent a retrospective of Schoppe’s work, but will also feature new pieces, with emphasis on the culture and natural heritage of Chilmark and Menemsha. The opening reception of “Chilmark: Constancy and Change” was last Saturday, but you can see the exhibit for the rest of the month. Exhibit hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 10:30 am until 5 pm, Wednesday 10:30 am until 7 pm, and Friday 10:30 am until 1:30 pm. The library is located at 522 South Road, Chilmark. Visit her website at juneschoppe.com or contact her at juneschoppe@gmail.com.

I love the news I’m getting about kids helping with hurricane relief, first for Harvey in Houston, and I’m sure more will soon follow as a result of Irma, Jose, and Katia.

Cheryl Welch shared that she and Lee, a.k.a. Nana and Grampy Welch, are very proud of their three youngest granddaughters. Josie and Bea made many containers of colorful slime and sold them this past weekend in front of Aunt Kellee’s store in North Andover, along with Cousin Keira. The fundraiser netted $200, which they are donating to hurricane relief. Good job, girls!

Edgartown fifth graders Jack Laird and Nicholas Rabeni ran a lemonade stand over the weekend, asking for donations for a cup of lemonade. The boys worked the stand for about four hours on Saturday, and raised $460 for hurricane relief. I have the pleasure of teaching these two young men, and know what great kids they are. This is the sort of news that gives me faith in humanity.

Congratulations to all the athletes who competed in the Vineyard Triathlon this weekend. If I’m reading the overall results correctly, Somerville turned out the top male and female winners, William Hafferty and Susannah Ford, this year. Our own Megan McDonald, first grade teacher at the Edgartown School and running maniac, and her relay team scored themselves a PR, coming in second in the relay. And congratulations to Jen Passafiume for organizing and running another great race!

It’s Derby time! I am not a fisherperson. I sometimes think I’d like to be, but apparently never enough to actually do anything about it. I admire all those crazy folks setting their alarm clocks for the wee small hours of the morning to get out there and try to catch the winner! I wish you all the best of luck.

Saturday, Sept. 14 is Tivoli Day! Don’t forget the Jena’s Ring Challenge, to be held at the Flying Horses. Show your skills and see who will be the champion at catching the most rings at this annual fundraiser to support the Jena Pothier Flying Horses Scholarship Fund. Enter one of the four divisions: mini juniors, up to 8 years old; juniors, 9 to 15; Adult, ages 16-plus, and professionals, any age: You know who you are! There is a $10 entry fee at the door, or preregister at their Tivoli Day table. All entrants receive a commemorative brass ring. See you there.

“Islanders Read the Classics” presents Jack Fruchtman discussing Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.” Whether you have read Paine’s “Common Sense,” or are interested in hearing more about it, they hope you can stop by for this enlightening talk. Like all “Islanders Read the Classics” events, this talk is free and open to the public. It takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 5 pm at the Chilmark library.

The Edgartown Council on Aging has space available for their Anchors annual North End Trip on Friday, Sept. 22. Travelers will purchase their own ferry ticket and depart on the 8:15 boat. Another $40 will cover the round-trip bus, and you will eat on your own, or with a friend, at your choice of restaurants in the North End. You will then come home on the 6:15 boat. Please call soon to reserve your seat and receive the itinerary at 508-627-4368.

I am finishing writing this on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. It is hard for me to believe that it has been 16 years already. It seems like yesterday. I remember how we all came together after that event, total strangers hugging each other, speaking a kind word, supporting each other. We were truly one nation then. We seem so far from that bond now. The news is difficult to watch, with the storms happening and politics creating such immense rifts between people. I’m still hoping that we will all pull together again. Until then, I’m going to keep trying to stay positive and be kind to others. Help those you can. And if possible, support one of the relief efforts for the hurricanes. Doing good always feels good. Have a great week.