Edgartown: A big week for the Island


Did you take part in Beach Road Weekend this weekend? I’m seeing mostly positive reviews of the concert itself, with a few grumbles thrown in for good measure. Overall it sounds like people had a lot of fun and heard some great music. I didn’t go to any of the concerts, but I did have to spend some time in Vineyard Haven during it; I didn’t encounter any real traffic problems and found parking easily. 

As I said, I didn’t go to the concerts this weekend. I had planned to go see John Fogerty on Saturday night because, well, he’s Fogerty, the embodiment of Creedence Clearwater Revival, one of my faves. But as fate would have it, Amelia was scheduled to dance in Built on Stilts the same night, and Amelia dancing rates higher, in my book, than John Fogerty. If you’ve never been to Built on Stilts, you really should go. It is a multi-night dance and performance festival at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs, under the direction of Abby Bender, and includes performers from all over, with many performers traveling from far away just to be part of this event. Each night consists of a different lineup of performers, so you’ll never catch the same show twice. Amelia danced in “Asylum,” a hip-hop number choreographed and directed by her dance teacher and all-around amazing person, Jessica Rabbit (Francis). The entire night was fun to watch and the talent is impressive. The shows continue on August 15, 17, and 18. Doors open and drumming circle starts at 7:30, and the show starts at 8. In the event the Oak Bluffs Fireworks are postponed to Saturday, that night’s Built on Stilts will start at 5:30.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Rick Mello on August 12, Keily Rigali and Jennifer Rose on August 14, and Rebecca Norris on August 17. 

This is a big week for the Island. I’m guessing that is part of the reason that I’ve received absolutely no news from readers this week. Everyone is too busy. Wednesday, weather permitting, marks our first Illumination Night in our little Campground cottage. We are going through our lanterns, checking our lights, and getting ready to decorate. This year marks 150 years of the Grand Illumination. Events start at 7 this year. I hope to see you there.

Of course, the Ag Fair is this week as well, a favorite event for many. Last year at this time, I was in New Mexico dropping Riley at school and missed the fair, so I’m looking forward to going again this year. I love to see all the craft and work in the hall and see the animals in the barn. I can live without the rides, but enjoy walking around, seeing friends, watching the kids, and having a good time. 

The Oak Bluffs Fireworks are Friday night, the last big hoorah of the summer. This is always a fun event for folks, with a band concert in Ocean Park followed by an always amazing fireworks display.

Saturday morning is a 5K for Camp Jabberwocky, starting at the FARM Institute in Katama. Race starts at 9 am. For details and to register, check out the website at raceentry.com/5k-run-for-jabberwocky/race-information. Much as I’m not a fan of 5K races, I’ve signed up for this one. See you there.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback regarding my sharing thoughts about the Meetinghouse Place development. My father was the first to comment. He asked if I was “getting political now.” I said I was sharing information that was brought to my attention. People need to know what’s going on, and sometimes we miss stuff. If I can remind people about things, I do.

I’m disappointed in the development, as are the majority of people who have been in touch since reading last week’s column. Why do houses need to be so big? I grew up with five of us in a three-bedroom ranch, a castle compared to our previous house apparently, but I was too young to remember that one. I currently live in 650 square feet. It’s small but doable. And cleaning doesn’t take long. But I can’t help but think that all these huge homes are hurting our Island. What about the water supply? The idea that we have more than enough water is ridiculous. No one has more than enough water. And the wastewater plant already struggles to keep up in summer. The roads are jammed with traffic. Is it the end of the world? Maybe not for some. But I for one miss the old days on M.V., when money couldn’t buy happiness. The old ways, the small homes, the Island history, and the environment are all getting pushed out. And I miss it. It isn’t a case of “I’ve got mine and I don’t want you to have yours” or “not in my backyard.” It’s an issue with the disproportionate size of all the new homes going up. But then, as my father said, if they’re bigger there are less of them. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I welcome everyone to the Island. But I wish it could be done without changing what the Island was that attracted so many people here in the first place. Unfortunately, I think that train has already left the station. I hope hindsight in 20 years doesn’t make us regret the things we allowed now. 

That’s all for this week, I reckon. Have a great week. Things should slow down a bit next week. Looking forward to catching up with all my Island friends that I’ve not seen all summer.