May has arrived bringing more flowers, and I think the meaning of May is that we “may” get sun or rain or winds or heat or cold, or perhaps even snow. But to quote the Old Farmer’s Almanac of May 1896: “This is the farmer’s busy month — plowing, planting, hoeing, and killing worms, bugs and the whole tribe of biting insects which threaten to destroy his crops.” I have yet to see many insects so far, and the most destructive creature in my home has been the squirrels who overnight chewed through the wooden top of our bird seed box to gain a free meal.
It was a pleasure to read the article in the MV Times last week about the late Vineyard Haven Police Chief Bill King. I remember him for two reasons. Everyone had to keep one can for rubbish, which the town would collect, and one strictly for garbage. Bill was the one who would come by twice a week to pick up our garbage can to feed his pigs. Also my sister Joyce and I used to deliver the Standard Times newspaper. Bill was the distributor, so as soon as he dropped off our bundle we had to insert a copy of the Cape Cod Times inside the New Bedford Standard Times and go off on our paper route. I must confess that we usually perused the papers before we left and sometimes would be lost in the reading of them and have to get a gentle nudge from our mother to get going.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 9. My mother was much braver than I ever was or could be. She went to college at age 17. After she graduated she worked many difficult jobs as this was in the early 1930s and jobs were scarce. She worked in a pants factory, an institution for mentally disabled children, which in those days was unkindly called a feeble-minded school and as a social worker at Framingham Women’s Prison. After she was married she joined my father on the Island, a place she had never been before and did all the difficult things one had to do to help raise her three daughters. She bravely stood up at the Tisbury town meeting to request funds for a hot lunch school program without blinking an eye. She worked as a town librarian and then was a fourth grade teacher. She was courageous until the early end of her life at age 72 from ALS. Along the way she taught us truth, many skills and love. I am still astonished by her courage and love and think of her every day. There are many different kinds of mothers. There are birth mothers, adoptive mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers or relatives who step in and raise children when their birth mothers cannot, or perhaps you are lucky enough to have two mothers who are married to each other and love you and raise you. Just remember to tell your mother you love her and remember her on this special day. Happy Mothers’ Day.
At last our favorite Linda Jean’s Restaurant opened last week, and on Saturday three of my friends and myself, having all received our two doses of COVID vaccine, were able to go out to lunch. We were greeted by friendly waiters and waitresses who still recognized us after so many months, and the proprietor Mark Hanover stopped by our table to make sure everyone was doing well. It is so nice to have so many people really care about how we are doing in these stressful times.
Ring bells, raise balloons, have a parade on May 12 as the one and only Marion Cardoza celebrates her 100th birthday. Marion is a familiar sight to so many of us in town and is remembered by many people as the school crossing guard who kept them safe on their way to school and returning home. She lives on Norris Avenue with her wife Lillian and manages quite well. Congratulations Marion and Happy Very Special Birthday.
Reliable Market has once again proved how reliable it is, along with its staff. I received a call from Donna Pacheco to tell me that one of their employees had found my credit card in the parking lot and returned it to the store. I was very thankful for their honesty and when I went to the store to retrieve it, I told Bob he should be quite proud of his employee.
I spoke with Rose Cogliano and she said that the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging is
still closed, but please call them with any requests at 508-693-4509 ext 3. Rose would like everyone to know they are missed and she hopes they will be able to re-open soon.
Our Oak Bluffs library is still closed to the public until their workers receive the second dose of vaccine. They are hoping to re-open between mid-to-late May. Until then, if you wish to pick up a book, please go to their website or call 508 693-944 for instructions on procedure.
We send birthday smiles to Lisa Cottrell on May 8, Marguerite Cook and my grandson Marques Rivers on the 10th, Olympia Hall and Preston Michael Averill on May 11, Marion Cardoza and Marybeth Grande Naron on May 12, and Olivia Lew on May 13.
Enjoy your week. Peace.
If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Megan Alley, firstname.lastname@example.org.