Aquinnah: Time to regroup


Welcome to the last Aquinnah column of 2017. It was quite a year, and now more than ever, I feel like I need the peace and quiet of our Aquinnah winters to regroup from the past 12 months. Happy New Year, one and all.

Last Thursday the library hosted a small holiday party where kids and adults gathered to make wrapping paper, catch up on goings-on, and eat some cookies. Faith Vanderhoop was there with her son, Golden, who is a force to be reckoned with. It was a cheery event, with everyone leaving ink-stained and sugar-buzzed.

Then the big party started across the street at the Town Hall. Santa came roaring in on his fire truck at 6:30 bearing gifts for all the children of Aquinnah. Let me tell you, Santa is a very popular guy among the kids. He was instantly surrounded by young ones, but with some coaxing from parents, everyone sat down and waited as patiently as they could until their name was called and they received their gift. Special thanks to Dejana (the j is silent) Devine, who knew exactly who was at the party, who wasn’t, and who could get gifts to children who were not in attendance. She was most helpful. She is also an excellent cookie decorator.

Once the gifts were dispersed, everyone ate a delicious potluck Christmas dinner. The town hall was fixed up bright and cheery by Nancy Benoit and Lisa Vanderhoop. There were many elves who helped Santa get and wrap the gifts, including Theresa Manning, Jamie Vanderhoop, Margie Spitz, June Manning, Elaine Vanderhoop, and Rodeo Purves-Langer. So many other people helped; Jeff Madison graciously accepted the position of official roast carver after I volunteered him. Amera and Ona Ignacio and Noli Taylor did some post-party cleanup the following day. Thank you to everyone who brought food and contributed to the party. Meg Higgins, who moved to Aquinnah with her family over the summer, attended the party for the first time, and remarked what a lovely time it was.

The West Tisbury library will finish up its week of school vacation activities this weekend. On Friday at 1 pm, there will be a family movie and a teen movie.

There will be a Restorative Yoga class at the Yoga Barn on Saturday, Dec. 30, from 3 to 5:30 pm, taught by Cat Garfinkle. Cat will guide you through a series of gentle and quiet poses. It’s a perfect way to fuel your intentions and gain a fresh perspective for the new year. To reserve your space or for more information, please email Cat at

The Lighthouse Committee will have a meeting on Jan. 3 at 4:30 pm to discuss the option of keeping the lighthouse under the jurisdiction of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, or returning it to the town. The next day the selectmen decide who gets to run the lighthouse (and keep the income) at their meeting on Jan. 4.

ACE MV is offering three graduate-level classes in education starting in January. For class description and enrollment information, go to

There will be a Neighborhood Convention at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 11 am. The Rising Tide Equestrian Program will be there to discuss their work. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Federated Church free lasagna luncheons are coming soon. The first luncheon will be on Sunday, Jan. 7, from 12:30 to 2 pm, at 45 South Summer St., Edgartown, in the Parish House. The luncheons will continue every Sunday through March 25. In the event of snow, if the roads are closed, so is the church. Everyone is welcome to come to any and all of the luncheons. For more information, call 508-627-4421 or email

Happy birthday to Lang Gerhard, who celebrates today. Paul Manning’s son, Chris, is home from California for 10 days. I know all the Mannings are enjoying his company. He was continually surrounded by friends and family at the Christmas party.

Peace out, 2017! And 2018, please bring us some good old peace, love, and understanding (and justice!).