Chilmark: Let’s hope they can save the floors

The Menemsha Market after the fire. — Valerie Sonnenthal

By now most people have learned that the Menemsha Market will not be open this summer, and may already be mourning the loss this season, not only for building owners the Packers, but also for the Oliver family, who’ve been running the store and living above it for the past couple of summers. It was good to learn they made the decision to not open together, and let’s hope they can save the floors. We will all miss the convenience of having the market open this summer, as well as seeing the Oliver family in their summer digs.

The Aronie family enjoyed a trip together to Iceland,; however, Nancy took a spill and broke her wrist, requiring surgery plus six stitches to her head, when they returned to Boston. I hope she’ll heal well.

It may not be getting much warmer yet, but it is getting lighter longer daily, and for now that’s enough for me. I’ve been enjoying beach walks with my dogs and not a soul in sight. February is a bit like entering the dark ages or the heart of hibernation, with many Islanders heading off to warmer shores. Some family holidays, others just returning to places they now have friends, feel at home, can wear a sarong or walk barefoot in the sand. If you happen to be here for February you can sniff out the latest additions to Island life, whether it’s a class at ACE MV, library presentations from Islanders who have returned home from their missions, or a new language, an art or craft you’ve wanted to try at Featherstone, a new yoga, a class at the Y, performances, volunteer opportunities, and so much more.

My condolences to Jane Slater on the death of her brother Conrad Neuman, a Menemsha icon, oceanographer, and poet, and to his wife, children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends. A memorial is being planned for the summer. Donations in his memory can be made to the M.V. Fisherman’s Preservation Trust, P.O. Box 96, Menemsha, MA 02552.

Get out your dancin’ shoes for the Chilmark School PTO’s “Blues Blizzard,” Saturday, Feb. 9, 7 to 11 pm at Chilmark Community Center with Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, live and silent auctions, desserts, beverages, and photo booth fun. Funds will support the Chilmark School Outing Program and PTO. It’s $20 at the door or through any Chilmark School family, $15 for seniors. Adults only.

On Sunday, Feb. 10, join the Vineyard Conservation Society for its Spring Point Winter Walk from 10 am to noon, where you will walk along the cliff and then head back along the beach for a short beach cleanup (gloves and bags provided). Cookies and cider for all. Preregistration required due to limited parking at Putnam Road. For more info see, or register by calling 508-693-9588.

The Chilmark Community Church’s Community Suppers are on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30pm, all ages welcome. 9 Menemsha Crossroads, Chilmark. For further information call 508-645-3100.

Pathways Arts at the Chilmark Tavern hosts Ocean Film Shorts on Friday, Feb. 8. On Saturday, Feb. 9, enjoy “Shades of Love: Songs of Nostalgia, Intrigue and Desire” with Siren Mayhew, Sean McMahon, Laura Walton, Julius Lowe, Chris Seidel, Aaron Lowe, George Davis, Greg Ruszah, and Annye. On Tuesday, Feb. 12, poet Lee McCormack hosts “On Matters of the Heart” with writers Natasha Taylor, Richard Skidmore, and Corinne de Langavant. Come early to sign up to read. On Thursday, Feb. 14, it’s “Sing For Love” with a great lineup of Island musicians including Chilmark’s own Lydia Fischer and Missis Biskis. Stop by from 11 am to 5 pm every day except Wednesday and Sunday to see the exhibition by artists Harry Seymour and Nygel Jones, through Feb. 28. Every Saturday at 3 pm, join Alison Cameron Parry for a weekly All-Ages Qi Gong; for more info write or call 508-397-1743; $15 suggested donation (livestream also available). Doors open at 6:30 pm and events begin at 7 pm, free for all evening programs.

The Yard’s adult dance classes with Jesse Keller Jason are ongoing at the West Tisbury library every Tuesday at 10:30 am through March 26, free.

The Chilmark library hosts an adult Valentine’s Day Craft on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 3 to 4:30 pm, where you can make embossed cards and book page flowers, listen to some tunes, and snack on some chocolates. Irene will host a Valentine’s afterschool craft on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 3 pm. At 4:30 pm on Feb. 13, Angela Sison of Conrado will teach a hand-stitching and mending workshop, where you will learn basic stitches to sew a patch, fix a button, repair a tear. Bring an item to work on plus fabric scraps; tools provided. No experience necessary. Afterschool crafts with Irene continue on Wednesdays at 3 pm. Stories with Rizwan continue Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. Learn more at or 508-645-3360.

Have a great week.