Oak Bluffs: Reliable Market face-lift


The birds are my main source of entertainment these days, as I sit on my porch listening to their songs and watching their antics. Hummingbirds are frequently at their feeder, and there is one that will come and dance in the air in front of me as if he wants me to notice that he has arrived, before he heads for his meal. This morning as I am working at my computer with the office window open to the porch, there are two birds, I will have to look up in my book to identify, checking out the porch ceiling for summer accommodations. They do not look like finches, but are small and slender; one is spattered in red, and his mate mostly gray. I have a sense that I will soon find a nest on top of my porch shade or in one of my hanging plants. Such is summer, perhaps the best part.

Our very reliable Reliable Market has undergone a face-lift. There’s a new sign on the side facing Circuit Avenue, and the parking lot entrance has been painted and polished. And the interior is now very bright and sparkling. Newly painted cabinets and walls, brand-new ceilings and lights give the store a remarkably larger feel. Bob Pacheco shared with me that when the old ceilings were taken down to replace all the old wiring, it brought back memories of when the store first opened in this present location and my husband Dennis Alley, his father George Alley, Francis Bernard, and Abe Fischer wired the building and helped meld two buildings into one. That was way back in the day. Thankfully this mainstay business still features the remarkable good-quality provisions, accommodating workers, and the wonderful Pacheco family managing it. Now that my grandchildren are shopping there, this makes the fifth generation of my family that finds this market the place to head for.

Congratulations and a hearty round of applause to John Nelson as he retires after many years as Oak Bluffs School’s science teacher, and then at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. John arrived as a teacher at the Oak Bluffs School the fall of my second year of working at the school office, and at our first meeting he pitched right in to help fill out the teachers’ information folders with me. He managed his students and classes with a dry sense of humor and a soft manner, and is still remembered by parents and students as their favorite teacher. After all these years of friendship, he still insists on calling me Mrs. Alley, and whenever we happen to meet, usually in Reliable Market, he voices the same farewell, “You know I love you, Mrs. Alley.” And all who know John send the same message back to him.

There are many happy members of the Edgartown Girls’ and Boys’ Club riding new bicycles equipped with baskets, and also wearing new bike safety helmets to keep them safe. Thanks to the generosity of Martha’s Bikes for such a generous donation to the club that has such a wonderful impact on many Island families.

Our Martha’s Vineyard Museum will host its final summer opening party in Edgartown, Friday, June 22, from 5 to 7 pm at the Edgartown campus. There will be free admission, food, and drinks to celebrate the season. Amid all their busy winter of packing and preparing for a fall move to the new campus in Vineyard Haven, the curators are exploring a variety of diverse topics in exhibits open through Labor Day. The summer opening party will take place rain or shine on the campus lawn. The Cook House will reopen for the season, allowing attendees to explore the up- and downstairs of the historic 1740 home.

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse premiere of a new comedy by Gwyn McAllister, “Passionata,” tells the story of Fiona’s aristocratic mother, who forbids her to marry the man she loves, and her childhood friend Tom, who is also in desperate romantic straits. This hilarious new farce with a contemporary twist will be shown from June 23 to July 14.

Schools are closing for the summer break tomorrow, June 22, with a noon dismissal. So once again, please be aware of kids on the loose, riding bikes, walking and running, just having summertime fun, but perhaps a bit forgetful of staying safe.

It’s outdoor movie night at our library tomorrow at 8 pm. Join in for popcorn and a movie on the lawn. BYOB. This movie is “The Goonies.”

Pay homage and learn history by participating in the library’s Historic Cemetery Walk on Saturday, June 23, at 10 am. The walk will be led by author Tom Dresser, and you will learn about local and national figures.

Also on Saturday, the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs book drive will take place from noon to 3 pm. Here is your chance to bring in your book donations that are in good to excellent condition.

We send birthday smiles to Paula O’Connor on June 22, Jay Schofield on the 26th, and Ashley Rebello Andrews and Leanne Giordano on the 28th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.