Edgartown: Reading to a stuffed animal

— Shelby Regan

I’m sitting down to write this on Sunday evening. Ironically, Sunday is supposed to be the “beginning” of the week, but tonight it feels like the end of a very long week. It was the last week of school for the Edgartown eighth grade so there were all sorts of fun celebrations, from Recognition Day to a car parade to graduation on Friday evening at the Tabernacle. Those kids rallied through a super-challenging year and deserved a great send off. The graduation was once again “in person” after last year’s drive-through ceremony, and while it was definitely a little different this year from the traditional celebration, it was a great time, full of humor, pride, and poignant moments. Congratulations to the Edgartown Class of 2021. You have proven that you can do hard things.

I absolutely love a new program at the Edgartown library, Animal Spotlight: Adopt a Stuffed Animal and Read to It. Stop by the library every Tuesday through the summer to pick up a mystery bag with your own stuffed animal to keep and read to. The bag will also include an informational fact sheet and a list of book suggestions. For details, email info@edgartownlibrary.org, or call 508-627-4221.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Jen Passafiume, who celebrated on June 14, Kara Thibodeau on June 14, Gail Poggi on June 16, Halley Smith on June 17, and Sara Poggi on June 19.

The Amity Island Running Club has added another group walk/run to their events calendar each week. Join the Amity Island Running Club every Monday at Bad Martha Brewery for a group run (or walk) where you pick your own pace and distance. Everyone starts together and then everyone hangs out at the brewery afterward. Everyone is welcome. Click the website link amityislandrunningclub.com for more information about the club. And remember, amity means friendship.

School is out! Or will be as of noon on June 17. My father said the other day that it seemed like it went by fast. I’m pretty sure that those of us working and attending school felt every minute of those 180 days. What an experience trying to teach and learn all while trying to keep everyone safe, function with masks on all day, make extra time to wash hands more often and sanitize desks, segregate the homerooms to different areas of the playgrounds to ease any contact tracing that might have been required, all while trying to make learning fun and engaging. I’m pretty sure I can now walk and chew gum, spin plates, and chase my own tail, all at the same time. I look forward to, and am crossing my fingers for, a “normal” year next year and promise to appreciate the relative ease with which we operate under typical circumstances. Welcome summer. Teachers will still be working into next week but then a little rest before starting back with summer school.

The Old Sculpin Gallery is hosting the MVAA Student Scholarship Show,

featuring work by Max Dankert (scholarship recipient), Summer Riordon (scholarship recipient) and Margaret Sykes (alternate recipient). The show runs from 10 am until 5 pm through Friday, June 18.

This Saturday, June 19, marks the first time that Juneteenth is recognized as an official Massachusetts state holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and has been celebrated since the 1800s. However, it was only recently that Governor Baker signed legislation making it an official holiday. Town offices will be closed on Friday, June 18, in observance of the holiday, which falls on a Saturday this year. The Edgartown library, on the other hand, will be closed on Saturday. While most businesses and organizations will remain open on Saturday, let us hope that we can all find a bit of time to reflect on how far we’ve come since those days of slavery, and how far we still need to go.

Are you reluctant to relinquish wearing a mask, now that restrictions have been loosened quite a bit? I am. I find that I am still somewhat uncomfortable giving up my mask wearing in public places, like the store and so forth. While I am fully vaccinated, I just feel like it makes other people feel a bit safer if I continue to wear my mask, and with the different variants and the speed with which mask protocols were loosened, I’d just rather wear it a bit longer. I go without when I’m outside but I just feel a little more relaxed when I still wear it inside a bit. Baby steps for me, I guess.

I think that’s about it for now. Have a wonderful week. Stay safe and take time to smell the beach roses. They smell divine.

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.