Chilmark: August tomatoes

Tomato love: a wondrous season; always thank a local farm. —Valerie Sonnenthal

Life’s a peach, at least in August. I admit to having peach envy after seeing my neighbor’s tree laden with ripening peaches, the fullest tree of peaches I’ve seen in years. Perhaps you had a chance to enjoy the Peach Festival in West Tisbury last weekend, or have stopped at North Tisbury Farm Market for the requisite Gold Bud to share with esteemed guests or relish in secret; maybe you too are flush with ripe peaches. All I know is the summer fruit crescendo from berries to local peaches makes me happier than I care to admit, pie or no pie.

I hope everyone had fun at the Chilmark Road Race, supporting friends and family on a thankfully cooler day.

Amy Coffey, the new Ag Fair manager, would love “any folks who have volunteered in the past and would like to again be a part of the fair” to contact her at the Ag Hall at 508-693-9549 or email There’s also sign-up information at the Ag Hall, and online at Good luck to all my neighbors and friends on their entries this year! And I hope everyone has a great time at the 157th annual M.V. Ag Fair.

Julie Kimbell shares that there will be a memorial gathering for her stepdaughter, Lisa Kimball, a longtime Chilmark summer resident, on Saturday, August 18, 11 am at Abel’s Hill Cemetery. Lisa Kimball passed away on Nov. 3, 2017. Please join the family to share stories, and remember a life lived to the fullest and with great joy.

Sig Van Raan reports this week with a good turnout; two games featured the hitting and fielding prowess of Tony Horwitz (a.k.a. the Oy Vey Kid). Mixed into his great play was his usual weekly hilarious “adventure in the field.” Some of us were commenting on how proficient the play had been of late with good fielding, pitching, etc. It was at that point that Chilmark Softball reared its funky head, as miscues, dropped pops, and errant throws appeared, and seeing-eye singles became triples. “This field will break your heart” was one comment heard. Hans Solmssen’s team beat Caleb Caldwell’s team 8-4 in the first game, a seven-inning effort. The second game ended early, as raindrops were felt, and we’d all had enough anyway. The commissioners will be meeting this week to decide on the annual awards: the MVP and the vaunted “Howie Hustle” award. 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.

The Martha’s Vineyard Author Series continues at the CCC at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 16, with Tayari Jones, author of the acclaimed “An American Marriage,” a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club selection. Michael Pollan’s Sunday, August 18, talk is sold out, as is the Wednesday, August 22, Bill Clinton and James Patterson talk. Learn more at Many thanks to Suellen Lazarus, Faith Brown, Dawn Braschi, and all the volunteers who make this festival run smoothly and bring us such an amazing array of speakers.

The last Cinema Circus is in town Wednesday, August 15. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival continues on Wednesday, August 15, with “The Fourth Estate,” followed by a Q and A with the director, Liz Garbus, and New York Times journalist Mark Mazzetti. Join the “Thelma & Louise” screenwriter for dinner on Monday, August 20, followed by a screening of the film at the Beach Plum Inn. The last film of the summer season is “Time for Ilhan Omar” on Wednesday, August 22, followed by a discussion with director Norah Shapiro and the subject of the film. RSVP required for Cinema Circus and all free screenings; please check for films, tickets, and more info. Many thanks to all TMVFF elves, volunteers, and staff who fill our lives with intellectual, delicious, and fun sustenance.

The Chilmark library Wednesdays at 5 pm continues on August 22, when artist and author Phoebe Sheldon speaks about her book “Rufus: A Boy’s Extraordinary Experiences in the Civil War.” It’s Pizza and a Movie for kids and teens on Thursday, August 16, at 12:30 pm. Also the kids and teens Makerspace is happening on Saturday, August 18, at 2 pm. Come to a celebration of the 22nd annual Elisa Brickner Poetry Contest on Saturday, August 18, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and hear winning poems read by the authors. 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. For info or questions, call 508-645-3360 or email

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

Davalois Fearon Dance and the Wondertwins present “Our Experience Being …” at 7 pm on Thursday, August 16, and Saturday, August 18 (adults only). On Saturday, August 18, at 11 am, join the Wondertwins and Davalois Fearon as they dazzle and sparkle in work that is fun for all ages, followed by a dance party for kids and their families. Check out daily yoga and dance classes, and see what else is going on, and get tickets or learn about kids dance camp, at, or call 508-645-9662.

“Chilmark,” written by Catherine Rush, will see its world premiere at the M.V. Playhouse and run from Saturday, August 18, to Saturday, Sept. 8. The play takes place in 19th century Chilmark, where everyone “knows someone who is deaf, and every hearing person speaks with their hands as well as their voices. But as the world heads toward the 20th century, a different way of thinking about deafness brings discord between good neighbors and lifelong friends — and ultimately strengthens their fellowship. A compelling drama about a remarkable community, based on historical events.” Buy tickets online at or call 508-696-6300.

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.