Chilmark: Summer activities

Orange Peel Bakery owner/baker Juli Vanderhoop sports a piece of Menemsha close to her heart. — Valerie Sonnenthal

Back to summer beach days, sunshine, and family. Chilmark lost one of its brightest lights, Betty Eddy, only eight days after reaching her 100th birthday. Condolences to her extended family members, and to the many people who will miss her stories and antics. I’m so glad I learned about the Chilmark Women’s Symposium when I first lived in Edgartown, and got to listen to Betty open each of the biannual gatherings. At 45 I became the matriarch in my family, and Betty, along with many women on this Island, have filled in that generational connection for me since I moved here in 2005. Read Betty Eddy’s obit at

Another Island woman I admire is Juli Vanderhoop, and enjoy stopping by Orange Peel Bakery when I take early morning Aquinnah beach walks. If I can get a couple of cinnamon snails, I know my husband will be happy too. Did you know she makes bagels? Stop by Orange Peel Bakery, 22 State Road, Aquinnah.

Congratulations to Ingrid Goff-Maidoff on the expanded display of her handmade cards, books, poetry, and more at Bunch of Grapes.

Vote early by mail or apply for an absentee ballot at The deadlines to submit a vote by mail or absentee application for the state primary is Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 5 pm, or for the state election is Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, 5 pm. Submit your signed application to, or by fax to 508-645-2110, or mail to Chilmark Town Clerk, P.O. Box 119, Chilmark, MA 02535. In person, drop in the secure box next to the main door of Chilmark Town Hall, 401 Middle Road. You can check your voter registration at The last day to register to vote for the Sept. 1, 2020, state primary is Saturday, August 22, and for the Nov. 3 state election is Saturday, Oct. 24; go to, or in person at Chilmark Town Hall from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm on August 22 and Oct. 24 only.

J.B. Blau says check Facebook if you want to know when the Home Port will open. Now the Beach Plum Inn is also offering texted-in “Grab & Go” or “Patio” (weather permitting) breakfast orders from 7:30 to 10:30 am; see

Sadly, I am finding more trash, coffee takeout cups, food containers, glass drink jars, etc., on my early morning Squibby dog walks. Please take your trash and dump it in the bins by the entrance. I was alerted to a family walking their puppy Chili (short for Chilmark) at Squibby, only to find when they returned to their vehicle that someone had ripped off the two pink peace signs on their passenger doors. I know we can do better.

Black Lives Matter banners have appeared on South Road, making bold visual reminders of work we all need to engage in.

The Chilmark Community Center offers adult and youth tennis and sailing programs. The best news is the M.V. Book Festival will take place virtually, beginning Thursday, July 30, at 7:30 pm with “The Yellow House” author Sarah Broom in conversation with Thelma Golden, chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Learn more and sign up at

Every Tuesday, Pathways Arts offers Writing & 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. You can hear other Island writers reading from recently completed books and works-in-progress.

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

The Chilmark library and IGI have made “The Pollinators” available through July 24; don’t miss this opportunity to see “the awardwinning cinematic journey around the United States following the migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honeybees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts, and vegetable we all eat.” On Wednesday, July 29, at 4 pm, join Larry Dapsis, entomologist at Cape Cod Extension, for “One Tick Bite Can Change Your Life (Not for the Better).” Review the basic life cycle and ecology of deer, dog, and lone star ticks. A three-point protection plan will be presented: Protect yourself, protect your yard, and protect your pet. 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:

Do you have time to volunteer for our local EMS and fire department? If so, please contact Fire Chief Jeremy Bradshaw at 508-645-2550, or if you want to seek out other organizations who need help, see

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.

Thanks to all the members of our community making a difference. If there’s anyone you particularly want to thank, let me know. Have a good week.

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