I’m sitting down to write this after spending the day floating on air. After all this time, I sort of thought that having an “official” high school graduation was unimportant. I mean, it’s been such a crazy year, and school has been out for over a month. And of course, Amelia actually finished up her classes in January, so she’s been done even longer. As I said to someone earlier this week, it felt like we had closed the door on the school year, but we had to go back in because we forgot something. Turns out I was wrong. I woke up very excited for my girl this morning. I realized how important it was to experience this rite of passage, and today, after 13 years, she finally got the chance, along with her classmates, to walk across the stage, and celebrate their accomplishment. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone at the high school who made tonight happen. I know it wasn’t easy, and I know that everyone went above and beyond. And you all made dreams come true.
We had a wonderful little brunch/lunch earlier in the day, just Amelia and her boyfriend, Miles, and our families. Gone are the days of the big graduation parties, I’m afraid. But our little family gathering was perfect and just enough. Then for round two, we all headed up to the Ag Hall for the socially distanced graduation ceremony. And you know what? It was wonderful. It was different. It was nontraditional for sure. We watched it on a big screen from the back of the truck, but the kids got their closure, and their tributes and honors. It was a beautiful night, and it was just so fun. And it ended with hoots and hollers and horns, the likes of which have never been seen at a traditional ceremony in the Tabernacle. Silver linings. They are there. And they are amazing.
In other celebration news, we’ve got this week’s birthday celebrations. Happy birthday wishes go out to Caleb Enos, who celebrated on July 27, Vera Dello Russo on July 28, and Debbie Jernegan on July 29.
The Amity Island Running Club and Camp Jabberwocky are joining forces this year for a Virtual 5K, complete with a special Amity x Jabberwocky shirt for the first 400 registrants. There will also be special prizes for the highest fundraisers, fastest runners, and most creative outfits. You can follow them on their Facebook pages for challenges for kids and families as well.
Your registration fee is split between Amity and Jabberwocky, and all additional donations received will benefit Camp Jabberwocky, the longest-running summer camp for people with disabilities, and the best summer camp on Martha’s Vineyard, according to MV Magazine. Jabberwocky is free for all participants, so your donations and registrations give campers the most magical summers ever. All you have to do is register to run, and then run, anytime, anyplace between August 13 and August 17. Register here: bit.ly/2WYfNDE.
Tom Dresser has some events planned in honor of his newly published book, “The Rise of Tourism on Martha’s Vineyard.” On Thursday, July 30, from 2 until 3:30 pm, he is hosting a virtual walking tour of Oak Bluffs, with images of historic buildings, narrated by the author, filmed and compiled by Allyson Malik, library director, and courtesy of the Oak Bluffs Public Library. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom access. On Tuesday, August 4, at 4 pm, Dresser will hold a Zoom book talk with images and discussion, courtesy of the Vineyard Haven Public Library. Zoom meeting link is here: zoom.us/j/94726305925. And on Thursday, August 13, at 3 pm, an in-person, socially distanced reading and discussion of “The Rise of Tourism” will be held by the author at the Dr. Fisher House, courtesy of the Vineyard Trust. Tom’s books are always interesting, but this topic is especially interesting to me. I remember the Island when we weren’t quite so dependent on tourism, and I miss those days.
I guess that’s about it for this week. There are still lots of things going on here, even with COVID-19. Check out the Things to Do section of the Times to see what’s happening, both virtually and in person.
Have a great week. Stay well. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. And if you are 18, register to vote.
If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, email@example.com.