Oak Bluffs: Summer at Featherstone

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— Shelby Regan

Summer arrived rather abruptly on Saturday last, bringing high temperatures and humidity. We had become used to the cold spring thus far and it was a shock to be thrust into summer so quickly, but haven’t we all been complaining about the cold weather and wishing for summer heat? But Sunday brought lower temperatures, no humidity and brief rain showers in the early evening, which washed away much of the pollen leaving green puddles in its wake. The plants bloomed in the heat and the lilacs opened their blossoms fully at last bringing forth memories of Memorial Days past.

Our focus on Memorial Days in the years after World War II was remembering and thanking all who had served our country and remembering the many who had not survived. Memorial Day was parades, children and adults marching, many carrying bunches of lilacs, some of which were tossed into the sea as a message of thanks and love to those now gone and thankfulness that the war was over and there would never be another one, so we thought. But now we have so many service men and women to thank, mourn and let know we will never forget as the list of wars grew through the years, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War’s Desert Storm — so many we thought we would never have to endure. So this Memorial Day, enjoy life with celebrations, picnics, cookouts, and parades but never forget those who gave and still give up so much so that we enjoy those activities, and if you see anyone who served our country in the past or in the present, please thank them for their service.

Oak Bluffs’ new Fire Chief Nelson Wirtz was sworn in Sunday last at the Nelson W. Amaral Fire Station. Attended by friends, family, and Fire Department members, Chief Wirtz and his family were warmly welcomed by all present and he responded with thanks and appreciation to all and is looking forward to serving Oak Bluffs as their new Fire Chief.

It’s Book Fair time at the Oak Bluffs School from May 17 through May 31. The Fair will be on-line. There will be a link on the school library homepage. You may access the library link at oakbluffsschool.com/library.html. Please select your homeroom when ordering, and orders will be shipped to the school and distributed in June.

Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs desires to make art and creativity accessible to all. Scholarship/tuition assistance for adults and children, as well as childrens’ summer camp, is available for all classes at Featherstone. To inquire about scholarships, please contact executive director ​Ann Smith via email at ann@featherstoneart.org on the Featherstone web page. You can also view the many classes and activities offered at this great art center.

The Garden Club of Martha’s Vineyard’s glorious Blooming Art Show will be returning in June, but with a few COVID twists. On Friday, June 18, and going through Sunday, June 20, their celebration of fine art and floral design will be taking place at the Old Mill in West Tisbury. This is the club’s major fundraiser and this year 34 Vineyard artists will exhibit their work. Each work of art will be paired with a floral design that was inspired by that work and created by one or more club members. All artwork will be for sale, with a percentage of the sales going to the club. Due to COVID restrictions, there will not be an opening night event. Instead, the celebration of art and flowers will begin on Friday and will be open to the public through Sunday for viewing. The specific hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm and on Sunday from 10am until 3 pm. There will be a limit of 10 visitors at a time in the Old Mill and of course, masks and social distancing will be required. No pre-registration is necessary and admission, $10, will be taken at the door.

The Tisbury High School Class of 1953 is planning its 68th high school reunion to take place sometime in June. Yes, there was an actual high school in Tisbury many years ago, and I was a member of that class. They would like to reach out to members of the class to see if they are interested in a very small get together. For more info you may phone either myself or Sarah Shepard. Both of our phone numbers are in the book.  Even though our numbers are somewhat diminished, we still would like to gather together.

We send birthday smiles to Cheryl King on May 28, Genevieve Abbot on the 29th,  Charlene Barbosa and Viki Simione on the 31st, Jaime Reilly and Erika Cournoyer on June 1.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

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