Aquinnah: Aquinnah is pretty great


And now it is officially summer. My inbox is jammed with notices of events that sound wonderful and that I would love to attend, and yet, I am already too busy to do so. Or I just would rather go up to the Cliffs and sit on the deck of the Aquinnah Shop, eating a lovely dinner with my neighbors. Because in all honesty, Aquinnah is pretty great, and has everything I need for a good summer: friends, scenic beauty, and Philbin. So it is not that I am “too busy” all summer to go to this event or that event, it’s that I just want to enjoy the beauty of our town and not venture out down-Island.

We have some industrious kids in Aquinnah; the Smith boys are all entering the business world in their own way. The youngest, Clovis, has kittens for sale. Yes, I said kittens. You’re lucky I didn’t enclose a picture, because you would buy one on the spot. If you are interested in a kitten, you can reach Clovis, through his mother, Noni, at 508-939-9272. Claus, who will be entering sixth grade next year, has started a lawnmowing service; if you are in need of his services, call 508-560-1167. Clyde, the eldest, is making cutting boards (that are quite beautiful); they are being sold at the Grey Barn Farm stand. They are the perfect gift for a host or house guest.

Good news! Cliffhangers is opening this Friday, June 28 at 8 am. The Manning family is back in the kitchen, and will be open from now until the end of the summer. I can’t wait to go.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open at the Vanderhoop Homestead, Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm. Tours of the homestead are always available when they are open. They are looking for museum docents; if you are interested, contact Melissa Knowles at 508-645-7900 or There is going to be a lot of great programming there through the season. There will be a wampum demo with Wampanoag tribal member Tracy Leigh Adams on Thursday, July Fourth, from 2 to 3 pm. The Native Artisans Festival will happen at the Circle on Saturday, July 20.

It’s Pride week at the Yard! There will be events at the Yard through the weekend to celebrate LGBTQ pride, including Pride Dance Hall (which will actually take place at Nomans (“formerly Lola’s”) on Island Inn Road in Oak Bluffs, on June 28 at 8 pm. This is a public-dancing-allowed event with DJ Frida Calor and TruDee. So put your dancing shoes on and come on out. Tickets are $10. For a full schedule of events, go to

The Red Cross is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, July 2, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at the P.A. Club. They encourage people to register before they give blood at The Red Cross will be hosting blood drives on the island monthly through December. Just a reminder that it is officially hurricane season and that we should all be prepared; you can go to to learn how to prepare for hurricanes.

This event is down-Island, but it is important so I’m including it here. On Tuesday, July 2, at 12 pm, the sixth annual Reading of the Frederick Douglass 1852 speech will take place at the Federated Church Meetinghouse, at 45 South Summer St. in Edgartown. This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Edgartown Free Public Library and the Federated Church. Douglass presented his speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” on July 5, 1852, to the Rochester Anti-Slavery and Sewing Society. These words still resonate today, 167 years after the speech was originally given. This event is free, and all are welcome. For more information call 508-627-4421, or email

Happy birthday to onetime Aquinnah resident Siobhan Westcott, who will celebrate on July 1. Perhaps she will come for a visit this summer.