Chilmark: Field of dreams

Community players gather for a last photo at their postseason Chilmark softball game at Flanders Field. See you next year. — Courtesy Sophie Balaban

This week Chilmark and the world lost artist Irving Petlin, 83; someone whose pastel work and paintings have never stopped being relevant. In fact an old friend, photographer Ken Schles, said Petlin had been his first painting teacher at Cooper Union in the late ’70s and early ’80s, “a great mentor.” I was pleasantly surprised to meet him a few years ago at A Gallery, which represents his work on-Island. I wrote a poem about his piercing blue eyes after meeting him. My heartfelt condolences go to his wife Sarah, daughter Alessandra, and son Gabriel.

One of the things that has been remarkable about moving to and living in Chilmark is being connected to my family’s past. My father grew up in Berlin, and last week I had my citizenship restored after waiting two years, closing a circle that has shaped my life. But it was here in Chilmark on Labor Day two years ago I heard from longtime summer resident Marianne Schuelein, who was a cousin of my father’s first wife. When we met in person the following summer, I was able to bring her photos of their wedding day. Strangely there were two other people connected to the same family here. So perhaps as I find myself appreciating home more each time I return, if even just overnight, this is always the home where I was meant to be.

Congratulations to James Curtis and Jason Colin on their Chilmark home being featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Country Home magazine.

Birthday wishes to both Pam Goff and her daughter Heather Goff.

The field of dreams, a.k.a. Flanders Field, came to life for a postseason softball game last Sunday, where Paul Iantosca made a comeback after a year of physical therapy, but brought his masseuse, Kristen Gala, to play just in case. Iantosca played a great first base, diving for the ball with his foot on the base, got a few RBIs with some awesome outfield hitting, and scored a few runs as he hobbled from base to base. Susan Sanford, a new player, made some awesome plays. Both Gala and Sanford play for the MV Women’s Softball League, and Iantosca is hoping to draft them into the Chilmark roster. Sophie Balaban had a great run to first base until Mark Levin decided to butt beads with her. Levin bled and Balaban required an emergency ice pack from the visiting “doctor” Susan Sanford (of Vineyard Complementary Medicine). Paul De Mauro said that his glove was oiled and put away for the season, however he just couldn’t stay away, and played a great second base, but admits he’s ready to start catching fish, not balls, and is a happy Derby participant.

I have now heard back from Menemsha Deli that they will be open until November. Their hours are 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Mondays to Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, and closed on Sundays.The Chilmark Store, open daily 7 am to 3 pm and Saturdays till 5 pm; the Galley is open 11am to 3 pm daily and Saturdays till 8pm; Menemsha Market is open 8 am to 5 pm “or so.” Larsen’s Fish Market remains open daily from 9 am to 7 pm, and Menemsha Fish Market remains open daily from 9 am to 7:30 or 8pm. The Beach Plum Inn continues to serve breakfast daily from 8 to 10:30 am through Oct. 20. The Chilmark Tavern is open Thursdays to Mondays and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, dinner from 5:30 pm. The Home Port is open Thursdays to Mondays, Backdoor from noon to 8 pm, and dining from 5 to 9 pm through Friday, Oct. 5. Chilmark Chocolates is open through Sunday, Sept. 30, 11:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The Chilmark Flea runs Saturdays through Sept. 29, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Native Earth Teaching Farm hosts Lunch at the Farm on Wednesdays at noon. Bring your lunch, then take a stroll around the farm. Preschoolers encouraged but not required. This informal meet-up goes year-round when the weather is good at 94 North Rd.

The Chilmark Library Wednesdays at 5 pm continues on Sept. 12, when Daniel Aaron presents “Astrology: The Art and Science of Vibrant Thriving.” Aaron teaches at Omega and Esalen Institutes, and is the founder of Radiantly Alive center in Bali. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, join Max Skjöldebrand talking about his latest book, “A Tale of Two Theaters.” From April to June 2015, Skjöldebrand photographed the restoration of the Capawock and Strand Theaters as they were brought back to life by the nonprofit Martha’s Vineyard Theater Foundation. The book presents an informative narrative alongside images of the inside and outside of the theaters, providing a visual timeline of the project. Skjöldebrand is a British architect and a photographer who first started coming to the Vineyard in 2000 as a seasonal resident, and has lived on Martha’s Vineyard year-round since 2010. Prior to that he lived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and in London. He has been taking photographs for most of his adult life. Open knitting (bring your own supplies and projects) and chess meet-ups, coffee, cookies, and a cozy place to hang out up-Island every Thursday beginning Sept. 13 (knitters take note; no more Tuesdays). Stories with Rizwan continue Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. Learn more at or 508-645-3360.

Have a great week.