Aquinnah: Pop-up at Orange Peel


OK, everyone, take a collective deep breath: Wednesday is the first day of August. The mere word ignites fear and loathing in the hearts of all Islanders. We will be OK — just go to the beach every day, even if it’s only for a quick walk before or after your three jobs, and go down-Island as little as possible. When things get really rough shut your eyes and say the magic word three times: September. Repeat as needed.

Tonight is the first pop-up dinner at the Orange Peel Bakery. Juli Vanderhoop is partnering with Valerie Rosenberg to present a four-course, locally sourced meal cooked in Juli’s artisan oven. The menu, which includes cioppino and orange-glazed chicken with thyme, looks delicious. There will be live music, and the $75 price includes drinks. There will be two others in August; you can purchase tickets online via the Orange Peel Bakery’s Facebook page.

Please note that the next selectmen’s meeting will be on August 7 at 5 pm; the July 31 meeting was canceled. The campus planning Meeting that was scheduled for July 24 was also canceled, and has not been rescheduled.

The Aquinnah Cultural Council hosted a very successful Native Artisans Festival this past weekend. We are blessed to have so many talented artisans in our town. The work they had on display was so beautiful and rich. Even though many work in the same medium, wampum, each person’s approach is different. Berta Welch’s jewelry is completely different from that of Donald Widdis. There were many younger artisans there as well, including Jeanette Vanderhoop with her jewelry, Jamie Spears Vanderhoop with her photographic cards, and Jennifer Staples with her linoleum block prints. Plus, there were many visiting Mashpee Wampanoags and artisans from other New England tribes. Well done, ACC.

This week the Aquinnah Wampanoag Indian Museum will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. On Friday, July 27, at 4 pm there will be a special guest speaker. Martin Dudek, archaeologist, will speak: “On the Trail of the Ancient: A Mysterious Site Revealed by the Tradition of the Living.” On Saturday, July 28, at 1 pm, native artist Jennifer Staples will demonstrate her contemporary art, based on old family photographs and scenes from Old Gay Head, of making linoleum cuts for cards, tote bags, and other items. She also uses the photos on mugs and cutting boards. Come and see this innovative work based on tradition. On Wednesday, August 1, the museum will show the film “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” at 5 pm at the Old Town Hall. Ron Welburn of UMass Amherst, one of the interviewees in the film, will be there to introduce the movie and host a Q and A session afterward. Tickets are $7 at the door.

The Aquinnah Public Library Speaker Series continues tonight, Thursday July 26, with Richard Johnson, who will talk about ticks and tick-borne illnesses at 5 pm. The series takes place at the Old Town Hall, and refreshments will be served. At the library, story time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm, and on Saturday, July 28, at 2 pm, Paddington Bear will visit! Come and have your picture taken with Paddington, give him a high-five, and listen to some of Paddington’s stories. You can also come and make a craft on Saturday, and on Tuesday, July 31, at 5 pm, there is Music on the Deck.

The Martha’s Vineyard Author Series continues this Sunday with Nafissa Thompson-Spires, who will discuss her book of short stories, “Heads of the Colored People.” Nafissa Thompson-Spires is a fresh new voice in fiction, and her book is getting a lot of attention. She writes about black identity in the so-called postracial era. Thompson-Spires is visiting assistant professor of English and African American studies at the University of Illinois. The series is held at the Chilmark Community Center at 7:30 pm.

A reminder from our chief of police to please put your resident parking permits on your dash when parking in the resident permit parking areas. If you do not have a valid resident parking permit on your dash when parking in the resident permit parking areas, you will be issued a parking ticket. Also, when parking in the Philbin Beach parking lot after 4 pm or when there is no attendant at the lot, you need to hang your Philbin Beach pass from your mirror, or you will be issued a parking ticket. If you have any questions, please call Chief Belain at 508-645-2313 or email him at

There are so many July babies in Aquinnah. This week Joan LeLacheur celebrates today, July 26; Michael Sellitti celebrates on July 28; Hollis Smith on July 29; and Jamie Spears Vanderhoop on July 30. Happy birthday to all!