Chilmark: Road race season

Chilmark is ready for the August 11 Road Race. —Valerie Sonnenthal

I’m sending love to the extended family of Rena (Regina) Fischer, who passed away at 103 years old on Sunday, August 5. Her family encompass 14 generations of Islanders. I was lucky to get to spend a morning with her a couple of years ago, looking over photo albums, and listening to stories from a life well lived. My last memory was seeing Chris, her grandson, push her wheelchair down Middle Road across Tabor House and back on North Road for a blanketed early fall sojourn.

At Carol Brown Goldberg’s well-attended opening of her artwork at the Chilmark library, I learned from Claire Ganz that when she grew up on South Road, before the buses, she would only get to see her North Road friends once during the summer, as life centered on where you could easily walk. I was lucky to hear Cecile Richards speak about her memoir, “Make Trouble,” at the CCC, and learn her husband’s family has some Island roots. She was an inspiration, as was her interviewer, Alexandra Styron, whose new book, “Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, and Fixing Everything” is a must for any teenagers you know.

No question it’s August, when we once again welcome the Obama family to Chilmark and the Island.

Head up to the Sargent Gallery to see longtime summer resident Bobbie Norfleet’s photos and all the wonderful affordable artwork in Megan Ottens-Sargent’s home gallery, always worth a stop. Open Thursday to Sunday 11 am to 6 pm, or call 508-645-2776 to schedule a visit, 832 State Rd., Aquinnah. The wonderful work of another longtime summer resident, photographer Mariana Cook, is up at A Gallery along with Julia Mitchell’s and her sister Lucy Mitchell’s work, through August 22. Stop by 10:30 am to 6 pm daily, Tuesday by appointment, 510 State Rd., West Tisbury.

Sig Van Raan reports this week two terrific softball games were played with a mix of younger players and seniors. There was great pitching and defense, and for the fourth consecutive week, quality sportsmanship ruled. Hans Solmssen’s team prevailed over Bruce Eckman’s 5-3 in the first game. Caleb Caldwell’s team defeated Arlen Roth’s team 7-3 in the second game. Everyone is thankful so many younger players have joined the action this summer. Games are open to all ages; head to the field on Pasture Road between 7:30 and 8 am on Sunday to join in the fun.

This is your last chance to buy Chilmark Chocolates until Sept. 7; open Thursday and Friday, August 9 and 10. There are two visible “WTF: What the Fence? Friends of Tradewinds” signs posted along Chilmark roads. I have many fond dog-walking memories from Tradewinds from my years living in Edgartown, and was surprised by signs up-Island.

On Friday, August 10, join wampum artist Joan LeLacheur from 5 to 6 pm at the M.V. Savings Bank for an exhibit of her work, up through August 23.

The Martha’s Vineyard Author Series continues at the CCC at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 9, when Nell Scovell speaks about her memoir, “Just the Funny Parts.” On Thursday, August 16, hear Tayari Jones speak about her acclaimed novel, “An American Marriage.” Go to for details and tickets.

Don’t miss the M.V. Chamber Music Society Fantastic Festival Finale on Tuesday, August 14, at 8 pm at the CCC. For tickets, see

The last Cinema Circus is in town Wednesday, August 15. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival also continues on that Wednesday with “The Fourth Estate,” followed by a Q and A with the director Liz Garbus and New York Times journalist Mark Mazzetti. RSVP required for Cinema Circus and all free screenings; please check for films, tickets, and more info.

The Chilmark library hosts a Dance with the Yard on Tuesday, August 14, at 1 pm for kids and teens. Then Wednesdays at 5 pm continues on August 15 when Carol Brown Goldberg gives an artist talk about her show “Extravagant Eden: Selected Paintings and Works on Paper,” on view at the Chilmark library through August 24. Her talk will feature a slide show and video clips from her movie “Concertina”; also, you can check out her book “Entanglement.” The Chilmark library weekly knitting group meets Tuesdays from 3 to 4:30 pm; bring your own supplies and projects. Every Wednesday in August there is a Lego Free Build from noon to 4 pm. Head for the Makerspace at 2 pm on Saturday, August 11. It’s the last week to enter the annual Elisa Brickner Poetry Contest for students entering junior high, grades 6 – 8, and high school, grades 9 -12; entries through August 11. For info or questions, call 508-645-3360 or email Be sure to sign up for the new newsletter to keep up with the goings-on, or check the Facebook page.

Hear Vineyard Sound on Tuesdays at 7 pm through August 25. Enjoy this a capella group at the Chilmark Community Church. Suggested donation: adults $15, kids $5. 9 Menemsha Crossroads, Chilmark.

Join Roberta Kirn of the Song Exchange Project for her Community Sing at the Yard on Tuesday, August 14; all ages welcome, free.

Davalois Fearon Dance and the Wondertwins present “Our Experience Being …” at 7 pm on Thursday, August 16, and Saturday, August 18 (adults only). Check out daily yoga, and dance classes, see what else is going on, and get tickets or learn about kids’ dance camp at, or call 508-645-9662.

If you, or someone you know, have time to volunteer for our local EMS and fire department, please contact Fire Chief David Norton at 508-645-2550.

Have a great week.