Chilmark: The art of return and restore

Amy Rice from NYC pulls Wyatt, 10 months old, to and from their early morning Squibby walks. A single mother, it is her first break since March from caring for Wyatt's grandparents in Oklahoma. A generous friend invited her for a month. — Valerie Sonnenthal

After leaving last Wednesday’s Farmers Market and heading up Middle Road, I noticed four pink pigs running ahead of me along the side of the road, but clearly confused as to where home was. I stopped my car, and stopped the first car heading toward Mermaid Farm, and asked if the driver wouldn’t mind stopping and letting Caitlin know there were pigs on the loose. Last year I switched to my husband’s cell plan, from Verizon to T-Mobile. What that meant was I can no longer be reached on much of the Island, cannot dial emergency calls (yes, I can dial emergency numbers), and have enjoyed quieter car rides and made peace with nonconnectivity. I never reached Mermaid Farm by phone, since the answering machine was full, but do hope those pigs did not have to build a house of bricks.

The M.V. Book Festival kicks off online 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. On Sunday, August 2, at 6:30 pm, join Erik Larson, author of “The Splendid and the Vile,” in conversation with author Amor Towles. Master storyteller Larson provides an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz. Learn more and sign up at

On Tuesdays, 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. You can hear other Island writers reading from recently completed books and works-in-progress.

The Chilmark library hosts James Meyer, curator of modern art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., about his latest book “The Art of Return: The Sixties and Contemporary Culture” on Saturday, August 1, at 4 pm. On Wednesday, August 5, at 5 pm join Emma Green-Beach, biologist and executive director of the M.V. Shellfish Group, and learn about the Shellfish Recovery Partnership and how they use raw bar refuse for oyster restoration. 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 Tuesdays is Take & Make, pick up a weekly craft kits from the front porch of the library from 11 am to 4 pm, visit the library’s Facebook page for more information. 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.

Kaiut Yoga can be accessed online or on the deck at Peaked Hill Studio, weather permitting. Learn more at

The Chilmark Community Center offerings can be found at Outdoor practice and yoga is offered through August.

New statewide COVID-19 regulations go into effect August 1. To schedule a free COVID-19 test, call 877-336-9855. If you need any help, Chilmark Neighbors offers volunteer assistance. You can find them and anything COVID- or town-related at

Be a poll worker. The next election is the state primary on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and in-person early voting will be held daily from August 22 to 28. If you are interested, contact the town clerk Jennifer Christy: 508-645-2107,

If you’re on Facebook, check It’s a Chilmark Thing for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week.

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