Oak Bluffs: Spring cleaning

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The town is bustling with yards being cleaned up from winter debris; even the beaches were cleaned last weekend. Buildings are being remodeled, painted, reshingled, and upgraded to a brand-new look. The birds are building new nests, and baby bunnies are arriving by the basketful, and frequently. And the old Farmer’s Almanac offers this yard-cleaning advice from May 1894: Do not neglect to rid your trees of caterpillars as soon as they begin to weave their nests. Take them in the early morning before they go out to breakfast.

To assist in our spring cleaning, there will be an Electronic Disposal Day to benefit M.V. Community Services at its campus on Saturday, May 18, from 9 to 2. Fees range from $2 to $40, and for a complete list of charges, visit their website at mvcommunityservices.org/events/spring-electronics-disposal-day, or call 508-693-7900, ext. 454.

We send sincere condolences to the many family members and friends of 98-year-old Anita Combra, who died this week. She was the last of the group of VIneyard Avenue women who raised their children on that street in the example of it takes a village to raise a child; we shall miss her joy and humor, and Vineyard Avenue will never be the same as it was back in the day.

Our town has been debating the removal of the two plaques honoring Confederate soldiers at the base of the memorial statue, becoming aware of the fact that they actually are offensive. When this was first brought to my attention I, along with many people, did not realize this. Being born here made it easier, perhaps, to not realize many of the old habits, sayings, and beliefs were prejudicial and insulting. Through the years I have become aware of these. I myself believe the plaques should be removed and placed in the M.V. Museum. I would suggest that a new plaque be placed at the base of the statue with words similar to the following: “In the year 2019 the good citizens of Oak Bluffs removed the two plaques honoring Confederate soldiers, placing them in the M.V. Museum, thereby acknowledging the evil of slavery and prejudice in America’s history, and with the wish that we work toward the complete closing of the chasm of injustice.” Along with the plaques that are offensive, I consider the remark that a “bunch of people with a bunch of money” should not be used to persuade us to do what is right.

We remember the late Joan Glodis not only as a friend but a most talented artist. A quilt and craftworks retrospective of Joan’s works will be on display at the Oak Bluffs library from May 1 to 31. The closing reception and celebration of Joan’s life will take place at the library on Saturday, May 25, from 12 to 3 pm.

The Neighborhood Convention for the month of May will be held on Tuesday, May 7, at 11 am at St. Augustine’s Church Hall in Vineyard Haven. The program, “Music with Molly,” will feature Molly Conole and Peter Boak. Please bring your brown bag lunch; beverages and dessert will be provided by the host church. All are welcome, and the Church Hall is equipped with an elevator, making it handicapped-accessible.

The Oak Bluffs PTO meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 7, from 6 to 7 pm. Come and be informed about how our school is working, and learn about areas you could help with.

Thanks to the generous donation of a Steinway baby grand piano by the Dooley family in memory of Thomas Dooley Jr., our library is now able to offer a new music program, “Piano Parlor,” every Thursday from 2 pm to 4 pm. Piano players can sign up to serenade the library for up to 30 minutes each. Stop in to play a few pieces or simply enjoy the performances by talented patrons. Dancing is optional.

The Howes House Writers will reconvene every Tuesday on May 7 from 11:15 to 1:15. All levels welcome. Feel free to bring writing of any genre, and a snack to share. For more information, call 508-693-2896.

The M.V. Family Center of Community Services is offering a program on what your child’s behavior means, “No Senseless Behavior,” on Tuesday, May 14, 5:30 to 7 pm at the West Tisbury School. Please RSVP to Kim D’arcy at mvfamilycenter@gmail.com or call 508-687-9182.

Oak Bluffs’ Tom Dresser announces the publication of another book on Vineyard history. “A Travel History of Martha’s Vineyard: From Canoes and Horses to Steamships and Trolleys” describes how people moved about the Vineyard over the years. The book goes on sale on Monday, May 6.

The Oak Bluffs Senior Center sends birthday smiles for the month of May to their Birthday Club members, including Dorothy Underwood on May 2, Carol Ramsay on May 7, Janet Paquette on May 8, John Svet II on May 11, Bob Falkenburg on May 12, Marvin Jones on May 28, and Lloyd Henke on May 30. Smiles to Skip Campos on May 4th, and Fred Hall Jr. and Todd Alexander on the 5th. We remember Marilyn Rebello on the 7th. Smiles to Lisa Cottrill on the 8th, grandson Marques Rivers and Marguerite Cook on May 10, and Olympia Hall and Preston Michael Averill on the 11th.

Two Oak Bluffs couples will be celebrating wedding anniversaries this month: Kathy and Andy Farrissey on May 6, and Nora and Gary Jardin on the 10th. Congratulations, and best wishes for the year ahead.

Enjoy your week. Peace.