Oak Bluffs: The crowning touch


I am missing the beautiful hydrangea bushes and other shrubs that used to bring so much beauty to the front of the Martha’s Vineyard Bank’s drive-through building in Oak Bluffs. I don’t know if it was felt that they obstructed the view of cars exiting the drive seeing vehicles coming down the street toward town, but I wish they had tried pruning shrubs down to a shorter height before removing them and leaving everything so bare. It has taken away the fairytale charm of what we used to view, leaving an ordinary building in its place that could be anywhere in the USA. 

Meanwhile, back at my ranch, I am enjoying my own colorful yard and the birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and bees that are in abundance here. The hummingbirds are drinking away at the feeder, while Doodle the cat sprawls on the porch railing carefully watching. He seems content to just watch, or perhaps he is embarrassed over his previously botched attempt to capture one of those swiftly moving birds, which ended with him slipping over the porch rail and falling into the hydrangea bushes. As I walk through the gate at the end of the porch, my path is blocked by bees loaded with pollen they have gathered and searching for more, and as long as I don’t attempt to hijack their pollen, they let me pass without harm. Thanks to my grandson Jeremy, my live-in plant specialist, the driveway garden is now a source of all kinds of plants that are attractive to many insects and birds. The crowning touch is the arrival of the orange monarch butterflies as they further enhance the scene. They have already started to deposit eggs on the orange butterfly weed, and I recently found out that a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope. Perfect description!

My son Dion Alley, his wife Debra and daughter Paige have arrived from their home in Michigan to spend a week at their home on June Avenue. Accompanying them is Debra’s mother, Barbara Pelicaan from Perth, Western Australia, who last visited the Island 12 years ago with her late husband John. I first met Debra’s family when we traveled to Australia for Debra and Dion’s wedding in 2001. Needless to say, Barbara sees many changes here from her last visit.

Featherstone Center for the Arts will be the venue for David McCullough, who will be interviewed by Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz on Sunday, August 11, at 7:30 pm. This event is free and open to the public, but parking is limited so please carpool. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. On Monday, August 12, a day of panel discussions and writing workshops and an open mic begins at 8 am. For a full schedule of events, check islanderswrite.com. Islanders Write is sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

The annual Oak Bluffs Illumination Night at the Tabernacle in the Campgrounds in Oak Bluffs takes place on Wednesday, August 14. Lanterns will be hanging from cottages surrounding the area, and are lit in the actual Tabernacle area usually a little after 8 pm. Join the crowds and observe this annual colorful exhibition. You won’t have to leave the area to find some tasty refreshments, as the cooks and chefs from the United Methodist Church will be cooking up some great eats from 5:30 pm to 9:30pm for Illumination Night. Burgers, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, fries, water, cookies, and brownies will be available at “not-your-typical-Vineyard-prices” … and this year come early and order “to go”! 

On Sunday, August 18, 17 Island residents will run the 2019 Falmouth Road Race on behalf of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS), as part of the Falmouth Road Race’s Numbers for Nonprofits Program. Falmouth’s Numbers for Nonprofit Program reserves race bib numbers for Massachusetts-based charities to use as a fundraising tool. To date, over $10,000,000 has been raised through the program by participating organizations. This is the second year MVCS is participating in the program. The 2019 team raised $20,000 to support the unfunded care provided by staff at MVCS. On Saturday, August 10, Lilly Pulitzer in Edgartown will host a shop-and-share, with a percentage of sales that day going toward the team’s fundraising goal. Community members are encouraged to attend and spread the word. 

Unless you have a great desire to attend Beach Road Weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 9, 10, and 11, or have to go to the SSA, it might be best to avoid the areas that will be impacted by the concert. This includes Causeway Road, Five Corners, Lagoon Pond Road, and the side streets intersecting with those areas, as parking will be forbidden and traffic heavy. I am leery of this event, but then I was positive the roundabout was doomed to failure, and that has worked out splendidly. 

Due to the closing of Lagoon Pond Road for Beach Road Weekend, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Chicken Alley Thrift Shop will host its 16th annual Art and Collectibles Sale on Sunday, August 11, from 1 to 5 pm on the corner of Church and Main streets in Vineyard Haven. The sale will move from its usual location at the shop on Lagoon Pond Road to the area behind Mikado restaurant and Cronig’s Real Estate (76 Main St.). Line placeholder numbers will be handed out starting at 7 am, and the sale will begin promptly at 1 pm. All proceeds from the sale benefit the programs and services of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. 

At our Oak Bluffs Council on Aging, there will be an author’s talk and book signing on August 14 at 7 pm. Jocelyn Coleman Walton will discuss her book, “The Place My Heart Calls Home,” and will gladly answer questions you might have. 

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will present its annual Peach Festival at the church at 1051 State Rd., West Tisbury, on Saturday, August 10, from noon to 4 pm. They will be serving fresh peaches, smoothies, lemonade, peaches with ice cream, and peach shortcake, and Mad Martha’s special peach ice cream. Take home something delicious from the baked goods table, pick up something fabulous from the vintage jewelry table, and relax on the church lawn with lemonade sold by the Sunday school kids. All proceeds of this fundraiser help support this historic church and our Island community.

We send birthday smiles to OBFD/EMS Chief John Rose on August 9, Dannielle Sedlier and Sarah Trudel on the 10th, my daughter Kati Alley and Deb Hammett on the 11th, Terry McCarthy and Richard Melllo III on the 12th, and Nelson Oliver and Shaun DePriest on the 13th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.