Oak Bluffs: Gifts to support nonprofits


And here is May, the month of sun, warmer weather, less rain, flowers starting to bloom, May baskets, and Mother’s Day wishes. “Richer than I you can never be, I had a mother who read to me.” So said Strickland Gillilan, American poet, as per the Old Farmer’s Almanac. In spite of all the changes in place because of the coronavirus, I had a lovely Mother’s Day. With phone calls, text messages, cards and gifts dropped by, and best of all, my children coming by, standing outside at a safe distance, just to say hello. May baskets remind me of a May Day many years ago when someone left me a May basket. I questioned the usual suspects with no results, but after a few days the culprit confessed. It was Dawn Combra, and she said she did it in memory of her sister-in-law Marilyn Rebello, who had told her of the joy she had when hanging these blossom-filled baskets.

So we are back to the print edition of the Times this week. If you did not read it online, I have been keeping occupied by sorting through boxes of mementos, from newspaper articles to greeting cards. Among the treasures I found was the very first column I wrote for The Times in 2003. The news has changed over these past 17 years, as has the way columns are now being written. But one thing that has not changed is my enjoyment of writing the news you send my way, so please continue to do so.

We send sincere condolences to the family of Brenda DeBettencourt Frederick, who passed last week. Brenda was born and brought up in Oak Bluffs, one of eight children in her family, and leaves behind her children, grandchildren, and one sister, Gaynell Downs. Our sympathy to her family for their loss.

Among the many events canceled we will miss the Ag Fair, Illumination Night, the Oak Bluffs Fireworks, a live version of the Possible Dreams Auction, and so many others. Many are fundraisers for important services on our Island, so please consider making a donation to some of these organizations to aid them in continuing their important work.

An email message I received from the board of the Neighborhood Convention includes a message for all: “This month at the Neighborhood Convention, we would have learned from Phil Wallis about the wonders of our new Martha’s Vineyard Museum. This event, however, was yet one more postponed until we’re less vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Yogi Berra, nearly mythical baseball player and famous for his use of words, said, ‘It’s not over until it’s over.’ That’s true of today’s Neighborhood Convention meeting, last month’s, and next month’s. Sometime next season, the first Tuesday of the month will again be a time for us to be together, learn together, and simply enjoy each other. Until then, your board wishes you good health, comfort, and peace.”

While they can’t give live performances now, the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society is working to provide their supporters with music resources online. They are pleased to offer their second in a series. They will need your help more than ever when the time comes to relaunch their educational programs and concert series. In the meantime, enjoy listening to an inspiring gift from Andres Vera, and please, give generously to support our Island. Please go to mvcms.org to view the virtual performance of “Caravan” by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington, with the Quartet San Francisco with Jeremy Cohen, Joseph Christianson, Chad Kaltinger, and Andres Vera.

We would be remiss in not again giving thanks to all those people and organizations who are supporting us in so many ways to continue our lives as safely as possible.

Our Oak Bluffs School library is holding a shop-online book fair, “Jungle Shop Online” through May 23. Books will be shipped to your home address, and there is no shipping charge if your order totals $25 or more. Go to the library home page, and the shopping link is oakbluffsschool.com/library.html. If you need help, contact Ms. Van Auken at lvanauken@mvrps.org.

From emails to healthcare to those who continue to give us essential services at risk of their own lives, we are forever grateful.

Birthday smiles to Andrew Farrissey, Louise Dahil, and Heidi Jardin on May 18, Keith Crossland and Janet and John Pachico on the 20th, and Annette Mores and Viviane Destefani on the 21st.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Megan Alley, meganislandmegan@comcast.net.