Edgartown: Virtual ‘March to the Sea’


I have to start my column this week with telling you that if you haven’t gone to the Edgartown School’s webpage to view the video of the Virtual March to the Sea, you really should. It is amazing. Seventh and eighth grade ELA teacher Jeff Majkowski rallied the kids to recite their traditional poems via Zoom, and Edgartown selectmen Donaroma, Serpa, and Smadbeck, Police Chief Bruce McNamee, Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer, and town administrator James Hagerty gathered at Memorial Wharf to toss flowers into the harbor, as is the tradition of the Edgartown School students, and James Hagerty offered a touching and powerful speech in honor of our fallen servicemen and women. Darren Belisle, the Edgartown School’s IT expert, who keeps us all afloat and happy, then took all of these videos together and wrapped them up into a truly moving presentation. I cried from beginning to end, and then some. In these difficult days when we at the school could not take part in this, one of our most sacred traditions, this presentation was a beautiful offering. Thank you to all who made it possible.

A very big congratulations wish goes out this week to Colleen and Chip Seadale, who celebrate 37 years of marriage on Thursday, May 28. Even after so many years, Colleen still gets a thrill hearing Chip’s car pull into the garage, and the couple consider themselves so lucky to be able to go through this pandemic, complete with stay-at-home orders, together.

Big birthday wishes also go out to brother and sister Roman and Genevieve Laiacona on May 29. No, they aren’t twins. The two were born 19 years apart, but on the same day. Roman is 27 and Genevieve is 8. Mom Esther Laiacona shared that her half-brother, Stephen, also celebrates on the same day.

It was such a nice email that I received from Esther, sharing the trials and joys of life during the pandemic. She noted that they are happy and healthy and closer, which is something I’ve noticed as well. I talk or FaceTime my siblings most every day, where we all used to be so busy we didn’t have time to catch up but once a week, maybe. Esther also shared that her kids are “Zoomed out.” I think those of us who are working or learning remotely feel the same way. On the bright side, I Zoomed with one of our first grades the other day, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be able to do a lot more interesting things from now on. These kids are experts on tech these days. Wow!

Other birthday wishes this week go out to Emma Baldino, who turned 21 on May 24, my favorite godfather Bob (“Butch”) Kelley on May 26, Liza Dolby on May 27, Melissa Aldeborgh, Chris Joyce, and Steve Pogue on May 28, former Edgartown girl and my childhood bestfriend, Ellie Hamblen, on May 29, and Paul Vertefeuille on May 30. Wishing you all a slightly less interesting year around the sun this time around. Or at least interesting in more fun ways.

Another special birthday wish goes out to Celeste Ewing, who turned 30 on May 25th, with a big surprise birthday parade in her honor. When I asked her mom, Chris Ewing, if she had anything she wanted me to share about Celeste, she said what she felt was most important was “that her kindness has touched many on the Island — at MVRHS, the Y, the Edgartown library, and the equestrian community.” It must be true, because I’ve heard through the grapevine that Celeste, who is also the daughter of Colin Ewing, is a fantastic person. Happy birthday, Celeste.

Did you know you can learn to cook from Jan Buhrman? Jan is offering virtual cooking classes on Friday, May 29, Wednesday, June 3, and Friday, June 5, at 4 pm. The fee is $15 per class, and you can go to her website at kitchenporch.com and check out the information under “other services.”

Join the Amity Island Running Club for a virtual Family Fun Run. During this time of social distancing, they will be hosting virtual runs to help keep your children engaged and moving. Each week will have a different theme. Please check out their Facebook and Instagram sites for more information. Parents can also find information about the virtual Thirsty Thursday runs on social media. Dates posted so far are May 29, and June 5, 12, and 19. But they’re virtual, so I guess time is your choosing. I’ll collect more information about them for next week.

The weekend was fairly quiet. Was it the weather, or was this a hint of what to expect for the summer? I certainly think that the weather put paid, and that we will get busier as summer goes on. It was sort of eerily quiet, though. I did miss the traditional Memorial Day events of the parade on Monday morning and the laying of wreaths in memory of our servicemen and women. I’m told the “Avenue of Flags” at the Tisbury cemetery looked exceptionally beautiful this year. I wish I had gone by to see it. Thank you to all who have served and continue to serve our country.

Have a great week ahead. Stay healthy and safe.

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.