Chilmark: Serendipity at every turn

Surfers enjoying storm surge waves at Squibnocket Beach in Chilmark. — Valerie Sonnenthal

Storm surge, despite no rain, brought out a packed early morning Saturday surfing crowd to Squibby. Looked more like California. Dog walkers were plenty, and even early morning beachgoers staked out their spots all before 8 am. The sole hang glider preparing for takeoff was my neighbor Josh Scott. Surfers continued to enjoy Squibby waves for days.

I want to thank everyone at the West Tisbury Farmers Market for doing such an amazing job. Ordering ahead for market pickup is offered by Allen Farm, Beetlebung Farm, and North Tabor Farm. Find Grey Barn, Mermaid Farm, M.V. Mycological, Chilmark Coffee, Tea Lane Flowers, MV Martha Rose scallops, Milkweed Farm, and Kitchen Porch as well. If I missed anyone from Chilmark, let me know.

Did you notice a spate of stop signs that were transformed by stickers, turning them into “Just Stop Ding Dongs?” I wrote to Dilly at town hall and learned they were trying to get to the bottom of the stop sign tag mystery.

Tea Lane Flowers’ bountiful bouquets are available at their stand when the sign is up on Middle Road. Did you pass Mitch Gordon painting from the back of his pickup on State Road? He says that way he avoids ticks. If you remember Turpentine Gallery, Mitch hopes to reopen next year.

J.B. Blau, multiple restaurant owner on M.V. and boss extraordinaire, has worked out a deal with the Home Port to get some of his Chowder Co. employees back to work, and offer takeout and outdoor deck seating. They expect to be open next week at the latest.

Martina Mastromonaco has coined “COVID Capacity” for signs showing beach closure at the entrance to Lucy Vincent. If you’re on FB, check her page for beach closures, and also check the high tide schedule, which drastically limits capacity.

In college at Brandeis in the early 1970s, I didn’t think to take a Black History course, but as I listen to “How to Be an Antiracist” and other titles, I am angry that world history was mostly limited to white history. Opening our eyes and ears is essential to changing systemic racism. The M.V. Hebrew Center began a Racial Justice Project and Reading Group in 2016; learn more at

I love that Paul Thurlow just happened upon ceramicist Bill O’Callaghan’s magical sculpture trail and shared his photos on FB. Go for a quiet adventure and enjoy Heather Goff and Bill’s new gallery and a magical walk. Learn more about their social distance walks and visits at, or call 508-955-9944.

If you’re not comfortable going to a salon, Angela Prout has started a mobile salon, Coast to Coast Cuts, for haircuts and special event styling at your home, office, or desired outdoor location. They follow strict safety protocols in line with Massachusetts safety standards for hair salons and barber shops. Learn more and contact information at

Every Tuesday, Pathways Arts offers Writing and Poetry Zoom Readings from 7 to 9 pm, opens at 6:30 pm, with a different weekly prompt or theme. To join as a listener or participant, contact Keren Tonnesen at or 508-627-2515. On Tuesday, July 21, Niki Patton wants to know how you are “feeling,” not what you have been doing to cope with the pandemic, but to delve deep and uncover the layers in this writing. You can hear other Island writers reading from recently completed books and works-in-progress.

Jan Buhrman and Kitchen Porch have been busy besides teaching online weekly, doing the Farmers Market, offering dinners to go (and they’ll stock your fridge); they’re back to catering. See

For the latest Island COVID-19 test numbers and to make an appointment, see

The Yard is holding virtual yoga and dance classes, and the YardWork interactive series; see

Peaked Hill Studio is bringing back guest teacher Tucker Shelton from Asheville, N.C., virtually, July 17 to 19 for three Kaiut Yoga Workshops; see Online Kaiut classes are offered five days a week; you are also welcome to take class outside at the studio in Chilmark. Contact the studio for more info.

The Chilmark library is hosting an Online Drop-In Poetry Workshop with Donald Nitchie, Saturday, July 18, from 2 to 3:30 pm. Our library teamed up with IGI to view on your own, July 20 to 24, “The Pollinators,” the awardwinning cinematic journey around the U.S. following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honeybees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts, and vegetable we all eat. We will talk to farmers, scientists, chefs, economists, and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about threats to honeybees and what it means to our food security.” Email to sign up for the film link, and/or get the Zoom invitation. Events for the Youth Summer Reading calendar have been posted at Chilmark library’s Weekly Read-Aloud Stories with Sarah is available through a video link. For info, see and sign up for the weekly newsletter on the Programs page.

If you need any help, Chilmark Neighbors offers volunteer assistance. You can find them and anything COVID-related at this great page our town created:

If you’re on Facebook, check It’s a Chilmark Thing for up-to-date information about our town and Island, as some of what you find here may be dated.

Have a good week.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Valerie Sonnenthal,