Aquinnah: Community options for summer

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There will be a Juneteenth celebration at the Aquinnah Circle this Friday, June 19, from 7 pm to sunset. There will be speakers, music, and songs organized by Sassafras and the M.V. Vegan Society. Juneteenth is a celebration held in recognition of the federal declaration of freedom to all enslaved people in Texas. Union Gen. Gordon Granger read the federal orders in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. Note that the date is 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which became official on Jan. 1, 1863. Apparently, Texas never got the memo, and so slaves there were under the belief that they were still enslaved, and their oppressors did nothing to disabuse them of that notion. There is of course, more to the story, so I encourage you to look it up and read about it, and talk to people who celebrate it.

There will be another Juneteenth celebration happening down-Island. The Racial Justice March for Equality is scheduled for Friday, June 19, from 1 to 5 pm. Starting at Veteran’s Park in V.H., march to Ocean Park in O.B.; there will be speeches at Ocean Park at 3:30 pm. The organizers of this march would like to remind everyone to please wear a mask.

More businesses are opening up in town; the library opened for contactless pickup on Tuesday, call 508-645-2314 or email rparker@clamsnet.org for materials. The Outermost Inn opens this Thursday; it will have some outdoor dining options, please call the inn at 508-645-3511 for information and reservations. Joan LeLacheur is having a sale of her ocean jewelry at her studio on 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah on Saturday, June 20, from 11 am to 5 pm and by appointment. Call or text Joanie at 508-939-1691.

The town meeting will be held on June 23 at 1 pm in front of the Fire Station. Elections will be held the next day, June 24, at the Aquinnah Town Hall, with polls open from 12 to 4 pm. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing if you attend either event.

Emerson Mahoney graduated from Dartmouth College this past Sunday. His mother, Juli, with help from his father, Michael, hosted an outdoor cookout in his honor on Saturday. Then on Sunday, there was a drive-through celebration at the Cliffs, with people in cars doing a loop around the Circle and then gathering on the lawn for cake and champagne. Both events were wonderful, and I wish Emerson much good fortune and happiness.

I was reminded by Barbara Wallen that food insecurity on the Island is still very real, even with some people returning to work, and that I should mention it here. For a comprehensive list of food resources on-Island, go to mvcommunityservices.org and click on the coronavirus update page, scroll down, and click on the food resources tab. That will bring you to a list of all food distributions on the Island. Food Baskets M.V. will be distributing food this Saturday from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at 55 School St. And school ending this week brings challenges to families that struggle to afford food for their children. There is now a Massachusetts Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (P-EBT Program) created for families once the schools close. There is information on how to apply for the card on the food resources page. The libraries have been amazing over the past few summers in hosting lunches during the day for people. I’m not sure who is going to fill that need this year, as the libraries are open for contactless pickup only right now. I will look into it and report back.

Happy birthday, Faith Smalley, who celebrates on Saturday!

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves, mlpurves@yahoo.com.