Chilmark: The first dip of the year

Members of the Barrett family enjoy Menemsha Beach and the ocean before the holiday weekenders arrive. — Valerie Sonnenthal

Asparagus, asparagus, asparagus. One of my favorite vegetables is for sale at North Tabor Farm and other farm stands around the Island. On Tuesday, after getting gas at the Texaco station, I saw Holly Barrett and her son, Bailey Lynaugh, go for their first dip of the year. Watching was Holly’s sister Wendy, seated, and sister-in-law Betsy. The family, who no longer have either parent, longtime seasonal residents Kathy and Bob Barrett of Menemsha Crossing, are enjoying a week together, going through family possessions, and readying the house for summer. Holly and her son Bailey made the drive from their Rochester, N.Y., home, while other family members came from outside Boston. It was a good thing they came early, since parking was hard to come by all Memorial weekend long with the good weather. The lots at the Chilmark General Store and Chilmark Tavern were also full most of the weekend.

I will admit my column was handed in Sunday evening, so I cannot share stories from Peter Simon’s memorial, except for running into photographer and filmmaker Richard Sandler, who brought a framed print of Peter taken on the beach at a clambake in Gay Head in 1977 to give to Ronni Simon. In fact he printed the photo on a Leitz enlarger he got from Peter around 1987, the same year Richard became a photographer. If you wish to make a donation in Peter’s name, please give to the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, M.V. Community Services, or Vineyard House.

I heard from Mike Scott, editor of the Chilmark Village Voice in Chilmark, England, this week. He is preparing a history of Chilmark, Mass., display for their 400th Anniversary “Fayre,” to be held on July 20, 2019, should you find yourself across the great pond. In the meantime, if you have any history to share, feel free to write Mike at

The Kara Taylor Gallery on South Road is open Friday to Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. For more info, see or call 508-332-8171. And stop next door at the Grey Barn farm stand and get some of their awardwinning cheese, raw milk, or meat. Starting in June, look for artisanal breads. For farm visits and events, see

Dance and movement classes have begun at the Yard; new this year are Wednesday classes taught by a visiting artist. This week come for Footwork 101 with Chicago’s Era Footwork Crew from 9 to 11 am; all other weekday dance classes end at 10:30 am. Learn more about classes, upcoming performances, and memberships at

Just a reminder: Chilmark Chocolates will reopen on May 30.

The Chilmark Community Church’s Pizza Nights are on Tuesdays at 6 pm, all ages welcome. On Tuesday, June 4, the Neighborhood Convention will meet at the Chilmark Community Church at 11 am, when the Rev. Armen Hanjian will conduct the worship service, followed by a presentation by members of the Yard. Bring a bag lunch; dessert and beverages will be provided by the hosts. 9 Menemsha Crossroads, Chilmark. For further information, call 508- 645-3100.

The Chilmark Public Library hosts Fan Ogilivie for her continuing Examining First and Last Lines of Poems workshop on Tuesday, June 4, from 3 to 4 pm. Bring a poem or poems to share, no experience necessary. On Wednesday, June 5, at 5 pm, join photographer Ray Ewing for an artist talk about his book project, “The Ancient World in America: How to See the Wonders of the Ancient World Without Leaving the Interstate,” a faux guidebook of roadside attractions that recreate architectural sites of the ancient world. Ray will speak about his inspirations for the project, read a selection from the book, and tell ominously funny stories from the road. Stories and Songs with Rizwan continues on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30am. Afterschool crafts with Irene continues on Wednesdays at 3 pm. Learn more at or 508-645-3360.

Native Earth Teaching Farm is hosting a Native Medicinal Mushroom Workshop on June 1, from 11 am to 2 pm. These mushrooms are used for immune support rather than food, but the techniques used will be applicable to other forest species as well. Volunteers are also needed. The workshop is $25, and includes one inoculated log to take home; additional logs are $10 each. Call 508-645-3304 to volunteer or register.

Head to the Grange Hall for Windemere’s Live and Silent Auction on Saturday, June 1, from 5 to 7 pm. Proceeds help provide residents with the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities inside and outside Windemere. Free admission with light fare, wine, and sweets.

Have a great week.