Oak Bluffs: Safety on town streets

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— Shelby Regan

That was a most beautiful, perfect rain on Saturday and Sunday. The grass was almost lifting up arms welcoming the drops as they gently helped ease the drought. Now Monday morning skies still held heavy clouds, looking as if someone had thrown dabs of dark whipped cream into the blue sky, but there is the promise of drier and sunnier weather ahead. The flowers are blooming more colorfully than ever as a result of this welcoming rain.

The lines waiting to get into the Oak Bluffs Post Office extend beyond the entrance to Reliable Market on Kennebec Ave. I do not know how people can tolerate waiting for hours in that hot sun, and many of the people I saw waiting were elderly and on crutches. Many people have told me they have to wait as they get their medications through the mail. Time politics take a second seat to common sense.

Further help from the Oak Bluffs Police and Highway Departments, as they have now installed a roadside Speed Alert device on Alpine, in addition to the speed limit signs they already put in place. Hopefully all the neighbors working with them will see that walking, biking, and driving in this area keeps everyone safe. Everyone please be patient and kind, and reach out to those you can help in these most stressful times. In the meantime, I want to say thank you. You do the town credit.

I received a call from Bob Penney this past week. Bob was a member of the Oak Bluffs High School class of 1941. He was a Navy pilot during World War II, and was a corporate lawyer for 50 years before retiring. Bob will celebrate his 97th birthday on Friday, August 21, so let’s send him a big birthday smile to celebrate his 97 years of a very busy and varied life and appreciation for his service.

Here is an update from the League of Women Voters, with info regarding the many displays they are holding these next few weeks, as it is the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. It has been confirmed that on August 26, from 10 to 11 am, women dressed as early 1900s suffragists will be in the Ocean Park area near the bus stop, holding signs urging everyone to vote. Thanks to Kris Vrooman for giving us this information, and also letting us know that the U.S. women who fought for the right to vote are suffragists, not suffragettes, as that was in England.

Vineyard Independence Partnership (VIP) will present a celebration of Chilmark Chocolates on Saturday, August 22, taking the form of a yard art sale at the former location of the business at 19 State Road, Chilmark. Available items will include collectable Chilmark Chocolates T shirts and mugs, along with individual art made by VIP members such as cards, studio art, and woven materials. Please note that chocolate will not be available for purchase. The sale will take place from 10 am to 1 pm. A rain date of August 29 is planned.

Payment will be accepted in cash, check (made out to Vineyard Independence Partnership), and Venmo. Net proceeds from the sale will benefit the ongoing programming of VIP, a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating community and quality of life for individuals with disabilities on Martha’s Vineyard, along with their family and friends. More information about VIP is viewable at vipmv.org.

Tom and Joyce Dresser were recently off-Island, headed to Mount Desert Island in Maine. On the way up there and socially distancing, they stopped at Joyce’s sister Nancy’s in Kennebunk, and had a nice visit, but also a nice surprise. Nancy went into the hall and came back with a pair of authentic Vineyard Rollers. She’d picked them up at a yard sale for $3, but they were worth their weight in gold to Tom. Back in 1879, Samuel Winslow of Worcester had ventured down to Martha’s Vineyard and built the Vineyard Skating Rink. He also designed and patented a very modern roller skate, and named it the Vineyard Roller. The success of the Vineyard Roller made Winslow a wealthy man, and put Martha’s Vineyard on the map as a haven for roller skating. Who knew? Do I dare confess that back in the day, I did some roller skating in the old Tivoli Building roller skating rink, but only once or twice, because I really disliked it and did not do well on wheels? But it was the social mecca of the Island for teenagers at the time, so that was a plus.

For those unable to attend Tom’s Book Talks, recordings of his recent book talks are available at TidePool BookShop and thomasdresser.com. Autographed books are available at Bunch of Grapes, Phillips Hardware, Amazon, and at thomasdresser.com. His next presentation will be a radio interview on “The Point” on WCAI, on Sept. 2.

We send birthday smiles to Bob Penney on the 21st, Leon Holt and Erin deBettencourt on the 23rd, Christine Anthony on the 24th, Ken Rusczyk on the 26th, and Erika Bettencourt on the 27th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Megan Alley, meganislandmegan@comcast.net.