Edgartown: Learning something new

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— Shelby Regan

I sat down to write this column on Sunday night, and put it away. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the state of the world, and didn’t want to write from that vantage point. With all the discord and strife, and constant worries about the coronavirus, it can be suffocating. But I woke up this morning feeling a little better. You see, 20 years ago today, I was on the eve of having my first child, my boy Riley. And never has anything been as joyous and magical as having my children. As I was thinking about that fact, I remembered that they are our future. We are doing them a huge disservice in this world, and making quite a mess of things. But I know so many amazing and wonderful young people, and that gives me hope.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Old Sculpin Gallery, you will find a beautiful exhibit of the artwork and photography of the very talented Debra and Warren Gaines.They are not part of in-person artisan shows this year, so this is an opportunity to see and purchase some of their work. Local artists are really being hit hard with the pandemic, because it is difficult to showcase and sell their work. And of course, while the Island is busy, we are definitely having a quieter summer than normal. At any rate, Deb and Warren’s work will be at the Old Sculpin until July 31. And if you can find an original piece that you simply must have, they have prints of other work available as well.

The Virtual Possible Dreams Auction is on July 26 at 5 pm this year. The Possible Dreams event is the largest annual fundraiser for M.V. Community Services, giving people the opportunity to purchase unique on- and off-Island experiences, all the while giving back to their Island community. The auction will be a livestream event hosted by Seth Meyers. Join for the chance to bid on unique dreams, as well as the auction of license plate 1: MV1. Click the event link to register. The link to join the fun is here: mvcommunityservices.org/events/possible-dreams.

Belated happy birthday wishes go out to Joanne Cassidy, who celebrated on July 16. This week’s birthday wishes go out to Elizabeth Dourian on July 19, Susan Shea on July 20, Shannon Morris on July 21, Nicole Barlett, arguably the best school nurse in the world, on July 22, Georgia DeRoche on July 24, and Jacob Cardoza on July 25.

I also want to send special birthday wishes to two very special young men, Jack Murray and my boy, Riley Craig. Jack and Riley turned 20 on July 20 and 21. Jack’s mom, Judy, and I were chatting in disbelief that our oldest kids are 20 years old. Judy and I met in “baby class” as we prepared for their arrivals. Then we were in the hospital together, then pretty much everything else along the way as the boys grew up together. Jack, like all of the Murray clan, is a really great person, and we were so lucky to connect with them all those years ago. As for my boy — well, man really, but in my heart always my boy, I couldn’t love him more or be any more proud of who he has become. I just wish he was closer to home!

Happy anniversary to Peter and Nancy Shemeth, who celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on July 20. That is no small feat. Here’s to many more.

Are you trying to learn anything new during these strange times? I started taking a beginner tap-dancing class last week with Rise Vineyard Performing Arts. They are running “Class in the Grass” dance classes, or in this case on the basketball courts at the Y, so people can be socially distanced while they dance. The dancers are happy to be back moving in person, that’s for sure. This is the first summer in years that Amelia hasn’t been dancing. It’s very surreal. So I guess I thought I’d give it a try. I am absolutely terrible. Clearly, Amelia did not get her dancing ability from her mother. And boy, is it out of my comfort zone to try something new, especially something that I struggle with so much. But you know what? Now is the time. The little blessings of the pandemic are things like more family time, more time at home to relax or get projects done, or to learn new things. If you have any suggestions for classes that are available in person or virtually that you’d like me to share, let me know. I’d be happy to share it here.

Sail Martha’s Vineyard is offering one-on-one private sailing lessons for youth and adults, instead of large classes, as in past summers. Participants must join Sail MV to sign up for and purchase hourly lessons. Full information can be found at sailmv.org.

So I am silly enough to have signed up to be one of the class advisors for this year’s eighth grade class at the Edgartown School. I promised myself and my family I wouldn’t do it again, but when Ken Romero asked me to do it with him, I of course said yes. He’s so amazing, and we are so lucky to have him at our school, that I couldn’t say no. And he’s a riot, so I knew that it would be fun. Anyway, fundraising for our D.C. trip will be a challenge this year, with the pandemic. We missed out on two of our biggest events already, as we couldn’t do our typical Fourth of July fundraiser or the Edgartown Garden Tour. And unfortunately, the trip is probably going to be a lot more expensive next year, if we can even pull off such a trip by then, because of changes we’ll need to make due to the pandemic. If you have any suggestions or would like to sponsor a student in need, please feel free to reach out to me here.

That’s about all for this week. Have a great week. Be kind. Stay safe. I saw the best meme I’ve seen since the beginning of this pandemic the other day. It said “ Quick Reminder: If the roles were reversed, and younger people were more likely to die from COVID-19, our parents and grandparents would do absolutely everything and anything in their power to protect us.”

Wear a mask. It’s not control. It’s compassion.

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