Oak Bluffs: Brave the cold


Can it really be 2018? We certainly hope so, as most of us are not looking back at 2017 with fond memories. What a year it was, but we survived ridiculous but dangerous politics, revelations of widespread sexual assaults that resulted in career-ending consequences for many powerful leaders in politics, entertainment, and newscasting, to name a few. Deadly natural disasters ranging from floods, blizzards, fires, earthquakes, and droughts occurred throughout our earth. So much precious time was wasted on accusations of so-called false news and responses that included documentation both visual and filmed. And many of us have come face to face with the scourge of opioid addiction that is killing off a generation of our children and the devastation of its impact on families, friends, and the world.

For myself, and the bane of so many others, those persistent calls from telemarketers, who always come up with some new subterfuge to trick us into answering the phone, continue to interrupt our lives. Jennifer from Credit Card services is so involved in my life that she calls me from places all over the country, and according to my caller ID is using the phones of many people and friends on the Island. And then there is the most polite gentlemen with a foreign accent who kindly informs me that I am about to be arrested by the IRS because of back taxes I owe.

Those are a few things that will not be missed, but sadly we lost many people last year, and now we say farewell to Bob Kinnecom, Jeffrey Alley, George Madeiros Sr., Charles Bradley Jr., Bill Correllus, John Boardman, Brenda Mullens, Mabel McCarthy, Richard Mavro, Wade Oliver, Peter Clements Sr., Maggie Bernard, Lisa Strelecki, James Marshall, Carolyn Brown, Barbara Jeffers, Michael Underwood, Celia Tuccelli, Susie Schwoch, Pat Rose, Mike Brown, Eileen Holley, and Leona White.

Our weather continues to be cold and bitter, and even Spike the cat makes a speedy trip back inside after a brief outside visit, racing through the door as if pursued by a posse, to escape this freeze. But our group of friends braved the elements and still dined together to celebrate New Year’s, as we have over the past many years. Our group was smaller than usual, but we all felt quite brave to having dared to leave our warm homes.

Our Martha’s Vineyard Community Services continues its good works. Their Recovery Coach services, in collaboration with Fly Outreach Program, will begin a three-week Yoga for Recovery series. The series will meet weekly on Mondays at the Vineyard House, and on Thursdays the meetings will be held at the Island Images Gallery. The series runs from Jan. 8 through Feb. 1. Classes are open to anyone in the recovery community, with a suggested donation of $5 to $15. The Yoga for Recovery series uses a holistic approach to support healing from addiction and substance use disorder through the practice of yoga and meditation. Call 508-693-7900, ext. 222, for more info.

Our Martha’s Vineyard Museum is going to be closed for a few months while professionals from Museum and Collector Resource will be preparing and packing the collections. Although closed for walk-in hours, researchers interested in visiting the library in person or who have research inquiries can contact research librarian Bow Van Riper at 508-627-4441, ext. 115.

Mark your calendars for Jan. 15 for the MV NAACP annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs from 1 to 4 pm, and for tickets you may call 508-713-3522. As this is the 50th anniversary of the death of the Rev. King, the program will include reflections of events over the past 50 years.

Students have headed back to school both on Island and off, including Kat deBettencourt to Florida, and both Matthew and Katy Marchand back to resume their senior and sophomore years; Maddie Alley returns to Scotland, Jackie Swan is spending a semester at sea, Emily deBettencourt a semester abroad, and Jeremy Alley-Tarter is headed back to Assumption College. What a big world these students now explore.

We send birthday smiles to Adam deBettencourt on Jan. 4, Kate Feiffer and Jules BenDavid on the 5th, Michael Araujo on the 6th, Jerry Baric on the 9th, Brenda Leonard on the 10th, and Richard Combra Jr. and my grandson Sam Alley on the 11th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.