Chilmark: It’s easy to see Black Dog wear

Laura Birbrower only needed her Chappy sweatshirt on the balmy night before Thanksgiving when I met her walking on Bleecker Street. — Valerie Sonnenthal

I was walking my dogs on Bleecker Street in NYC the night before Thanksgiving when I noticed a woman walking down the street wearing a Chappy sweatshirt. It’s easy to see Black Dog wear, and a couple of years ago some may remember me stopping a man wearing a Larsen’s T shirt, but this was the first time I’d seen anyone with Chappy, so I had to stop Laura Birbrower, whose family have been on Chappy near Wasque as summer residents for 35 years. Laura got to spend July Fourth with her family on-Island, and holds M.V. near and dear to her heart. I guess just seeing her made me feel more at home in the dark streets of New York with my elder dog barely keeping a toddle; LVB it ain’t.
I’ve been reading a spate of Island-centric fiction I thought I’d share. Last finished, about a bookstore on Alice Island reached by ferry from Hyannis, was Gabrielle Zevin’s “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.” Prior was more Island-feeling, nonetheless New England small town, in Bill Clegg’s “Did You Ever Have a Family.” “Chances Are” by Richard Russo partially takes place in Chilmark. Then there was Micah Bay Gault’s “Good Night Stranger,” on the fictional Wolf’s Island. Over the summer I enjoyed Nicole Galland’s Island-based “On the Same Page,” and Elin Hilderbrand’s “The Identicals”; mostly M.V. and some Nantucket.
Indrid Goff-Maidoff (the other creative sister, with potter Heather) has all her new poetry, books, notes, and paper work at Night Heron Gallery, at Heather Goff’s work can be found on Etsy; see
Shop Basin Road at Foc’s’le Locker (Dec. 10 on), the Copperworks of Martha’s Vineyard ( and at Under the Surface Gallery ( Gift certificates are available from Menemsha Fish Market and Texaco.
Chilmark Chocolates’ days are winding down; please remember there is a five-pound-per-week limit. Open 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Thursday through Sunday, plus Wednesday, Dec. 11, and Tuesday, Dec. 17, before their final day on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Feel free to call your order in ahead to 508-645-3013.
Chilmark Community Church has hot suppers at 5:30 pm on Tuesdays, serving weekly except for Christmas and New Year’s weeks. All ages welcome to enjoy food, fun, and Bananagrams. Lia Kahler has organized another “Offerings of Music and Light” at the Chilmark Community Church with free programs to “brighten the darker days, including carols, candle lighting, and refreshments.” On Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5 pm enjoy drummer Rick Bausman, pianist Adele Dreyer, storyteller Susan Klein, violinist Susan McGhee, cellist Stephen McGhee, Ed Merck on recorders, soprano Jessica Sanseverino, me with crystal bowls, and native American flute player and singer Carole Vandal. Come early for good seats. Tuesday mornings, join Nan Doty at 8 am for Qigong/tai chi. Thursday Strings from 10 to 11am is a drop-in; bring your guitar, fiddle, bass, banjo, mandolin, or whatever you like to play. Also there’s a weekly Thursday Prayer group at noon.
Celebrate Margaret Emerson’s new artwork at her Chilmark library opening reception on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 pm. The last Drop-In Poetry Workshop of 2019 with Donald Nitchie is Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1 pm. You’ll read two poems, and use those poems as the jumping-off point for two in-class writing assignments. One poem will be Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to My Socks.” The book sale runs Dec. 10 to 28. Be sure to stop by the Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 4:30 to 6pm. Enjoy crafts, refreshments, and music. Stories and Songs with Rizwan continues on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 am. Afterschool crafts with Irene are on Wednesdays at 3 pm. Food for Fines is on at our library, or just bring your unexpired donations to the purple Food Pantry collection bin opposite the circulation desk. Everyone is welcome to read a poem aloud for our Local Poetry Audio Archive. Participate by contacting adult programming coordinator Marlan Sigelman at 508-645-3360 or emailing to make an appointment for recording.
Pathways Arts screens Angela Anderson and Klaus Kleber’s “Inviolable,” a human rights documentary, on Friday, Dec. 6, followed by a Q and A with Angela. The last Collage Workshop with Cheyanne Vandall is on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10:30 am to 12:30pm, “Swinging in the Holidays” with the Convertibles on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 pm. Enjoy jazz music with Rich Giaimo, Becky Williams, Steve Turner, Steve Tully, Mike Alberice, and Ray Falcon. On Tuesday’s Writing & Poetry Series, Dec. 10, hear former criminal investigator Wayne Miller speak about his book “Burn Boston Burn.” All evening programs begin at 7 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm. All events are free, donations welcome. Learn more about presenting and offerings at
Santa’s visit is coming; please submit the names of anyone from newborn through fifth grade who is new to town to Katie Carroll at Thanks always to the Firefighters Association for their continuing traditions and sowing the seeds of community.
The M.V. Museum is accepting donations of unwanted jewelry through Dec. 12 for their Saturday, Dec. 14 Jewelry Jingle at the Anchors, 10 Daggett St., Edgartown. Shop gently used and unwanted jewelry for bargain deals from 9 am to noon.
Have a great week, and enjoy holiday lights.