Oak Bluffs: Amazing grace

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The red skies of morning are beautiful to see, but also bring warnings of storms approaching. Those signs have seemed to prove pretty accurate, as weather predictions go. New England tradition says that winter’s back breaks in mid-February. Hopefully that prediction will also be proved. 

Those who read this column have followed my up-and-down experiences with my Lifeline pendant, which alerts when I press the button or fall, or if power fails. But it reached a new height on Thursday last when I was in Hyannis for a dental procedure. I also took along the GPS attachment that sends info on my location no matter where I am when away from home. When I slipped the pendant off my neck, I accidentally pressed the button, setting off the alarm. I immediately held the button down to cancel the alert. I found out shortly after that the GPS alert was not canceled, so members of the Hyannis Fire Department arrived at the dentist’s office building a bit bewildered, looking for Alpine Avenue. Luckily my daughter met them at the door, and soon everyone was laughing and amazed at how well the system worked. 

Here is a bit of history for Black History Month. Most everyone knows the hymn “Amazing Grace,” written by John Newton. He was a slave trader for many years, but during a fierce storm, during one slave-trading trip, he begged God for forgiveness. He later repented, became a preacher, and wrote the most recognizable hymn of all time. It was sung at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and during 9/11 memorials. If you listen to the words of this hymn carefully, you will see his journey from slave trader to redemption. 

We send sincere condolences to the family and friends of Rob Stafursky. We are so very sorry, and remember Rob from his days at the Oak Bluffs Elementary School. 

The death of former MVRHS English teacher Dan Sharkovitz has sent waves of sorrow throughout the Island and beyond. Dan was a much-loved teacher and mentor for over 38 years. Our sympathies to his family, and his many friends and former students. 

Our schools will be closed on February vacation break starting Monday, Feb. 24, and returning to school on Monday, March 2. 

Free lunch during school vacation week will be served by Good Shepherd Parish volunteers from 12 noon to 1 pm from Tuesday, Feb. 24, through Feb. 29. For more information, please contact Leslie at Good Shepherd Parish at 508-693-6563. 

The Mobile Market is on the road again for its Indoor Winter Markets. This program runs for eight weeks, and sets up inside three easy-to-reach locations. Join them at any of its stops, and don’t forget your bags. They accept cash, credit/debit cards, local checks, SNAP/HIP, and Mobile Market coupons. The schedule is as follows: Wednesdays, Woodside Village, 60 Village Road, Oak Bluffs, Community Room from 3:30 to 4:30 pm; Thursdays Howes House in West Tisbury in the Community Room, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm; and Fridays at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in the front lobby from 2:30 to 4 pm. 

The Y will be running a safe and fun vacation camp while school is out during February vacation break. There will be field trips, programs, and much fun, including arts and crafts, Barn Bowl & Bistro, ice skating, outdoor games, and much more. Your child may go for the entire week, or perhaps just a day or two.There are special discounts for members and for multiple days of attendance. For information regarding costs and registration, please call Tara DInkle, program director, at 508-696-7171 or go to ymcamv.org

Our library will provide a Tech Help drop-in by appointment on Feb. 22, from 10 am to noon. Our technology librarian can (maybe) help with your device. Call Nina at 508-693-9433 to sign up for a 30-minute slot. Please bring any passwords for accounts you need to access. #technology.

Monday Night at the Movies continues at our Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, with the showing of the film “How the West Was Won” on Monday, Feb. 24. Remember during the month of February only, all movies will start at 6 pm, and the cost is $5, cash only, at the door. 

We send birthday smiles to Brenda Lehman on the 21st, Kaitlin Marchand and Rita Jeffers on the 22nd, Melanie Marchand, Kristen, MacLean and Paul Buckley Jr. on the 23rd, and Benjamin Peters and my fellow correspondent from Tisbury, Kay Mayhew, on the 25th. 

Enjoy your week. Peace.