Edgartown: Making a difference

Pictured left to right are Mabel DeRoche, Dad Joel DeRoche, Georgia DeRoche, and Mom Joanne Cassidy. —Courtesy Gail Gardner

Well, if anyone was wondering if people were coming here this summer, the answer is a definite yes. No, it isn’t the crowds we’ve experienced in recent years, but it’s pretty busy. Busy enough that I’m laying low for the most part. I do the necessary errands to keep life going, but other than that, I try to stay away from people. I’ve never been a big fan of crowds anyway, and I’m kind of a homebody, so I’m not doing things that are drastically different. But now I get to justify being careful. Want to know what else I do? I wear a mask. Why? Because I care about other people and want to protect them in case I’m a COVID-19 carrier. And the new benefit of wearing the mask is that they think it helps protect me too. Please wear your masks. They’re so much more comfortable than the ventilators.

I am saddened by the news that John Moffet passed away this weekend. John was a familiar face in the school lobby for many years, always there to pick up or drop off his girls, Caroline and Maggie. I didn’t know him well, but he was always friendly and kind, and devoted to his family and friends, and his community. He is one of those people who just seems to have always been a part of Edgartown, and it will be weird to not see his smiling face around town anymore. My deepest sympathies to Julie, Caroline, and Maggie. You have a huge support system behind you in this community at large, as well as your circle of friends and family. He will most definitely be missed.

Last week, the JFK Library announced that Georgia DeRoche, a rising seventh grader at the Edgartown School, is one of 19 middle school students in the state to win the JFK Make a Difference Award. Sue Costello, Shelley Einbinder, and others took part in a mini awards ceremony for her last week. Sue shared that Georgia “had a smile on her face from ear to ear and accepted the award in a very modest and sweet way, with the support of her family.”

Sue also shared that “Georgia worked nonstop with a passionate and caring community representative, Jane Chandler, on what started as a kindness poster project that also included a sportsmanship theme. These posters were placed around the school and in the gymnasium. From there, Georgia wanted to do more, and the next phase of the project grew into a recycling gift-wrapping project. This was initiated at the Red Stocking Bazaar this past December, and was a huge success. These ideas took on a life of their own, by a young student who was doing it all out of the goodness of her heart. She wanted to make a difference. With the support of Shelley and some brainstorming with Jane, we decided to nominate her for this award.” It really couldn’t happen to a nicer kid. She really is sweet. She is a peacemaker in the classroom, always doing nice things for people, and is kind and considerate of everyone. Congratulations, Georgia. You are an amazing role model for us all.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Amy (“Mama Ames”) Baldino, who celebrated on June 28, Jessica Hernandez on June 30, and Megan Anderson on July 2.

Happy anniversary wishes go out to Ruth and Gary Nichols. This happy couple celebrated 28 years of wedded bliss on June 27. Cheers!

I got a call this week from one very proud grandmother. Jean Bishop called me to share how proud she is of grandson Will Bishop, who recently became a sergeant with the Edgartown Police Department. Will worked for many years as a traffic officer before becoming a patrolman. Jean says he has worked very hard and has done such a good job, and declared that “there is no prouder grandmother in the world.” Congratulations, Will.

Toot, toot. That’s my own horn being tooted right there. By the time you all read this, I should be just about done with graduate school. Again. This time I’ll wind up with a master’s in educational leadership and management through Fitchburg State. I started the program one year ago, and there were days when I was ready to quit. But I’ve stuck with it. I have one more paper to write, and a couple of small discussion posts, and I’m done. And do you know what’s pretty cool? I don’t have anything on my agenda to take its place. I’m not presently working at Sharky’s, and I don’t have any other coursework in the pipeline yet. I’m seriously considering not taking anything else on, and having some free time. I’m not sure how that will work out for me. I’m not very good at that. But since getting sick and realizing that I am getting older, I’m trying to listen to those who love me most when they suggest that I slow down. My argument is that we are ALL too busy all the time, not just me. But if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that it’s OK to slow down and enjoy our families and friends and the things that matter most.

Here’s to a quiet and calm second half of 2020.

I wish you all a fun weekend ahead. It’s going to be weird not having any major events going on for the Fourth of July. No eighth grade fundraising during the parade. No parade. No fireworks. Who remembers the last time there was no parade? I’m sure it’s happened, but it hasn’t happened often. Please be safe out there. Wear your masks. Keep your distance. Drive safely. And have some fun. Stay safe and be well.

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