Chilmark: Many shops are still open

Anne Scott McGhee taking a break while painting plein air at one of her favorite locations in Menemsha. — Valerie Sonnenthal

The week before Labor Day saw Portuguese man-of-wars washing up along the north shore. Not only was swimming curtailed, but morning dog walkers kept their pets on short leashes, many deciding it was not worth a possible sting. On a late Thursday afternoon leading into the usually most crowded weekend of summer, there were no lines at the Galley for ice cream or anything else. I always enjoy running into plein air painter Anne Scott McGhee, at work along the channel in Menemsha. If you’re not familiar with her work, see Sunday morning I had to do a double-take when I passed four cars parked at Flanders Field, with softball underway among a multigenerational family group. I was sad to read about a family who left their car open when running to the Menemsha restrooms, only to return and find a brown leather bag missing. Though mostly diapers for their grandchild, the bag included an asthma rescue inhaler, which required this family to go to Edgartown and get it replaced on a holiday weekend when they’re staying in Aquinnah. If anyone sees this bag, please leave it at Menemsha Texaco, no questions asked.

Sadly, it’s that time of year when hours change, not our clocks, just all our stores. This is the last week the Galley is open until 8 pm; beginning Monday, Sept. 14, it’s 11 am to 3 pm; the Chilmark General Store hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; the Menemsha Deli hours are 8:30 am to 3 pm, Tuesday to Saturday; Larsen’s is open 10 am to 5 pm; Menemsha Fish Market is open 10 am to 5 or 5:30 pm. Good news is the Chilmark Tavern plans to remain open for takeout until November (or possibly longer). Order ahead for pickup, and don’t forget your masks!

You can still enjoy shopping in Menemsha at Pandora’s Box, Menemsha Blues, Beetlebung Boutique, Ruel Gallery, M.V. Copperworks, Fo’c’sle Locker, Under the Surface, and the Chandlery.

Good luck to all our remote and in-person learners as our schools reopen Sept. 17 for students with special needs and for all others on Sept. 29. Please see

Still time to sign up for Nancy Aronie ‘s Writing Workshop online, beginning Sept. 15, four Tuesdays from 10 am to noon through Oct. 6. Learn more at

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, the Chilmark library kicks off a virtual Chilmark Music Series with Missis Biskus. Join author Oliver Broudy on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 5 pm, when he will talk about his 2020 book “The Sensitives: The Rise of Environmental Illness and the Search For America’s Last Pure Place.” Email to sign up for the author talks and events. For other info, see, and sign up for the weekly newsletter on the Programs page.

WCAI and the Chilmark library September book club pick is TaraShea Nesbit’s new novel “Beheld”; join the on-air book club discussion on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 9 am. Borrow from, or purchase a copy at either Bunch of Grapes or Edgartown Books.

Pathways continues its Tuesdays Writing and Poetry Series with a weekly Zoom meeting. Sign up to read or join to listen from 7 to 8:30 pm, or chat from 6:30 to 7 pm. Sign up at, call 508-645-9098 or for more info on this series and more, see

The Chilmark Church Sunday 9 am services are outdoors, weather permitting. They will continue to Zoom the service for those who can’t come out. Social distancing and masks are required. All are welcome, and if you can bring your own seating, there’s less to sanitize later.

The Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative (MVNC) has collected a list of critical unmet needs from Island nonprofits, hoping that our community will come together to give time and money so they can continue to be strong and focused on delivering help wherever possible, see

Schedule a free COVID-19 test at 877-336-9855. If you need any help, Chilmark Neighbors offers volunteer assistance. You can find them and anything COVID- or town-related at If you’re on Facebook, see 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,