Aquinnah: Check in with friends


Since I am not seeing anyone in person right now, news of Aquinnah residents’ activities is scarce. I reached out to some people via Facebook to see how they were faring in this time of Covid-19 quarantine. Beverly Wright, who is currently with her husband, Mac, in West Virginia reports that it’s quiet there right now. They live in “the boonies” and “only see the UPS driver.” This past Saturday, with cabin fever setting in, Mac and Beverly put on their gloves and masks and went to the Wendy’s drive-thru. Beverly couldn’t recall the last time she went to a drive-in, “probably when there were carhops,” she said. They are also making masks for the West Virginia Mask Army; the organization has delivered over 1,500 masks to the medical community. The masks are made from furnace filters supplied by Lowe’s. Beverly wishes that everyone stays well, and she hopes to be able to return to the Island in May.

Speaking of masks (and just about everyone is right now), Kathie Olson and Gabbi Camilleri are making some for our first responders. The first batch went to the Aquinnah police station this past Tuesday. They would like more people to help and Gabbi has instructions if anyone is interested in making masks, email her at She is also posting an instructional video on later this week.  Gabbi is taking orders for face masks ($5 each) but making masks for the first responders is the top priority.

The Aquinnah CERT team is looking for healthy, non-senior volunteers to shop for our neighbors who cannot go to stores to shop for themselves. If you can volunteer to shop for grocery or pharmacy needs, please email

Are you looking for some beautiful ocean jewelry for yourself or for a friend? Joanie LeLacheur has a lot of it on sale. For an appointment, text or call her at 508-939-1691. She will meet you in the great outdoors and stand at least 6 feet away from you while you pick things out.  

Pathways ARTS has moved everything online. This Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 pm Pathways will host a Zoom “Writers and Poets” night. Contact or 508-645-9098 to sign up. Check their website, for updates.

Due to the ongoing need to keep the community safe through social distancing measures, the Vineyard Conservation Society will not be hosting the annual Earth Day Beach Clean-Up. This year VCS is encouraging everyone to independently clean our Island’s beaches — as well as the trails, sidewalks, roads, and anywhere else your outdoor travels take you — during the entire month of April. Any time you go for a walk, bring something you can put trash into and clean up as much as you can. Please share your observations, anecdotes, and photos via email (or post your photos and tag VCS on Facebook or Instagram) and VCS will send you your choice of prizes (while supplies last), including VCS hats, canvas shopping bags, “Walking Trails” or “Edible Wild Plants” books, and more.

Juli Vanderhoop and her son, Emerson Mahoney, are taking this time to learn how to juggle pins. They are also planning their herb garden and working on a huge jigsaw puzzle, which has taken over the dining room table. Emerson is still finishing his classes virtually at Dartmouth (this is his final year) and Juli is running the bakery and the “Orange Peel Bodega.”

Heidi Vanderhoop says that she and her boys are spending time walking and biking every day during and after home school. They also talk to neighbors passing by from their porch. All in all, Heidi says, “it’s been quiet but peaceful.” Ona Ignacio says she and her family haven’t been up to much, “Every now and then Riley has gone to Duarte’s Pond to fish.” Carole Vandal has not had much difficulty staying in but her grandson, Bangii, is “getting cabin fever.” She is grateful that the weather has gotten warmer and everyone can go for walks as that has been keeping them sane and fit. When Carole feels like everyone has been on their laptops too long, she shuts them down and has everyone grab a good book.

Pastor Leo of the Community Baptist Church of Aquinnah is conducting a virtual service Easter Sunday at 10 am. Anyone interested in attending this service (and subsequent Sunday services should the current situation continue) should text their email address to 508-560-4726 and the link to the service will be forwarded to them Sunday morning.

There are two back-to-back double birthdays this week. Happy birthday to Erick Moore, who turns 10, and Riley Ignacio-Cameron, who turns 18 on Monday. And Happy birthday to Louise Petersiel and Lexie Roth, who both celebrate on Tuesday, April 14! Happy Passover and Happy Easter everyone. May peace be with you in this time of renewal.

Lee Fierro, best known to the world as Mrs. Kintner in “Jaws,” and best known to Islanders as a great actress, acting teacher, and long-time leader of Island Theater Workshop, has passed on. Sending much love to her family, and I am taking comfort in how many former students/actors she lives on in.