Edgartown: Who will get the first swim of the year in?

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Work was busy this past Friday night at Copper Wok. And there are lots of people roaming around the streets of our towns. It’s a sure sign that summer is coming, regardless of what Mother Nature has been telling us. My niece, Abby Gardner, won our annual “Who will get the first swim of the year in?” contest. I used to win with some regularity. But the older I get, the less I like to be cold. That said, there have been several days that I’ve driven by the beach and the color of the water has beckoned. Soon, my old friend, soon.

The Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival will return to the island this summer for two days. On August 3, the authors will speak together in panel discussions on an array of timely issues, including cultural turmoil and creativity, immigration, and equality. On August 4, individual author events will be in tents at the festival site. All events are free, and take place on the grounds of the Chilmark Community Center.

Confirmed speakers include thriller master John Grisham, 2019 Pulitzer prizewinner David Blight (“Frederick Douglass”), 2018 National Book awardwinner Sigrid Nunez (“The Friend”), and 2019 PEN Book of the Year Award winner Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenjah. Not to be missed are Pulitzer prizewinners Tony Horwitz (“Spying on the South”) and Richard Russo, with his eagerly awaited new novel set in Chilmark and released just in time for the festival (“Chances Are …”).

Admiral William McRaven (“Sea Stories”) will share stories of his distinguished career in Special Operations, while CNN’s Jim Acosta (“The Enemy of the People”) will address the complexities of journalism in the current political climate. Providing historical context to today’s challenges will be Tina Cassidy (“Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?”), Richard Gergel (“Unexampled Courage”) and more. Memoirists include famed Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl (“Save Me the Plums”), Dani Shapiro (“Inheritance”), James Beard awardwinner Kwame Onwuachi (“Notes from a Young Black Chef”), Victoria Riskin discussing her parents (“Fay Wray and Robert Riskin”), and Emily Bernard (“Black Is the Body”).

There is a petition being circulated to end the use of balloons at graduation celebrations. Implemented by the Charter School, the petition also includes decorating ideas that can be equally as festive. If you are interested in signing the petition, visit their page at Balloon-Free Graduations.

I survived my baby girl’s junior prom without a single tear. I’m still trying to figure out how she got to be a junior in high school already. But that aside, what a wonderful celebration there was for these kids on Saturday. And what glorious weather they had. Most of the promgoers and their parents, friends, and family gathered at Allen Farm in Chilmark for photos and hugs, sharing stories about all the days between preschool and now. So many of these kids have literally been together all their lives. There was a smattering of that bittersweet, choked-up feeling among us, as this was a milestone first step into the culmination of 12-plus years of schooling for them, and whole lifetimes with them for us. But the celebration was exciting, and the kids looked so handsome and beautiful, and above all, happy. It was a wonderful way to send them on their way to their fun night under a tent with lights and music at the West Chop Club. And thanks to everyone who donated and supported the afterparty at the Barn Bowl & Bistro. Though Amelia didn’t take part in the party, I know how important it is to have a safe and fun place for the kids to go. What a great Island community we have. I’m so grateful.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Channon Capra Bartolini on May 20, Janice Donaroma on May 22, and Emma Baldino on May 24.

May 24 will be the annual March to the Sea to commemorate Memorial Day. This is such a special and magical tradition that everyone in school looks forward to, and it teaches the kids and reminds the adults of how important it is to recognize our armed forces and those who did not return home from battles. I hope the weather grants us a pleasant afternoon to toss flowers into the harbor.

On Tuesday, May 28, the Edgartown eighth grade heads off for its annual trip to Washington, D.C. We can’t thank our community enough for their endless support in our fundraising efforts over the past year. In all, we have to raise about $50,000 each year to pay for the trip and other expenses, and it’s no easy feat. We couldn’t do it without all of you, donating things to auctions, providing venues for events, buying raffle tickets, or bidding on auction items. We will spend the better part of five days touring our nation’s capital. I remember my trip in eighth grade like it was yesterday, and I’m just as excited every time I go as a chaperone. The work getting the class there is backbreaking, but the trip is always fantastic. I might be even more excited than the kids.

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) announces the appointment of Dr. Charles Silberstein as the new medical director of the Island Counseling Center. Dr. Silberstein is board-certified in general, addiction, and geriatric psychiatry.

As medical director, Dr. Silberstein will lead Island Counseling Center’s multidisciplinary team to ensure best practices and compliance with policies and regulations required for a licensed community mental health center. He will also provide limited psychopharmacology for Island Counseling Center patients, and will assist in coordinating an integrated care model for patients with all service providers.

 

That wraps up this week. Have a wonderful long weekend. Please take some time to remember our fallen heroes this weekend. Memorial Day is the start of the summer season here, but it is much more somber and sad for many people. Have a great week.