Edgartown: Self-guided tours

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— Shelby Regan

My, oh my. It already feels like July or August. The heat. The humidity. The people. The traffic. I don’t remember June being quite this busy in the past. It makes me worry that we might sink when we actually hit the “busy” months. This seems like a good summer for me to lay low. I’m thinking that when I’m not working, I’ll beach it and do errands early in the morning or late in the afternoon/early evening and other than that, stay close to home. The older I get, the more I like peace and quiet.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Amy Baldino on June 28, Jessyca Hernandez on June 30, Megan Anderson and Daryl Owens on July 2, and Paul Conroy and Marissa Lopenzo on July 3.

Congratulations to Maria Mackenty Speight and Paulee Davies, both of whom wrapped up their careers at the Edgartown School with the end of this school year. Maria has been at the school for close to 30 years, teaching so many Edgartown kids, including my own, through the years. She always gave our kids a soft place to land as they left the safety of home and preschool and began their foray into elementary school. And Paulee has been front and center in the front. Both of these wonderful women will be leaving behind some pretty enormous shoes to fill by whoever follows in their footsteps. Maria is heading out to Western Mass., where she and her husband own a farm and if I know Paulee, she will follow the warmth and sunshine! Best of luck to you both. We will miss you.

Island Health Care’s community health workers, public health nurses, and CAPs (Communication Ambassadors Partnership) interpreters are teaming up to provide access and information about the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the Island over the next few months. They will be answering questions, registering folks on the spot, and interviewing people about why they got vaccinated to post on social media. They will be at the Food Pantry on July 3 from 10:30 am until 11:30 am, the West Tisbury Farmers Market on Wednesday, July 7, from 10:30 am until 11:30 am, Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, on July 14 from 11:30 am until 12:30 pm, Main Street, Vineyard Haven, on July 21, from 11:30 am until 12:30 pm, the Edgartown Triangle from 11:30 am until 12:30 pm on July 28.

On Fridays beginning July 2, from 10 am until noon, you can “Play with the Past at the Cooke House Legacy Gardens” at 51 School Street in Edgartown. Pass some time the way Vineyard children did in years gone by — playing in the garden. Try a variety of toys and amusements from centuries ago in the Cooke House Legacy Gardens. Free to all. No pre-registration required. Weather permitting. Visit mvmuseum.org/event/playwiththepast/all/ for more information.

Edgartown Cinemas is open again, so if you’ve been itching to get to the movies during the pandemic, you now have your chance. They’ve got a number of movies on deck and you can get details and tickets by visiting yourneighborhoodtheatre.com.

Tom Dresser is at it again, this time with tours of MV. Enjoy self-guided tours throughout Martha’s Vineyard. Created by acclaimed local author and historian Thomas Dresser, tour takers see, hear, and read from him at each tour stop. The app delivers Dresser’s curated content, while guiding tour takers with walking or driving directions along the routes. Enjoy the Vineyard at your own pace, learn the history that many locals don’t even know, and hear the stories that make the Vineyard so captivating. These tours are not to be missed. To enjoy the tours right now: download the free Built Story app, available for both iOS and Android. Once in the app, just search Thomas Dresser, and away you go. Each tour costs $10 and supports the tour creator. Once purchased, tour takers can start, pause, stop, and retake the tours as many times as you wish for 30 days. Tours available: African American History Tour of Oak Bluffs; the Vineyard’s Railroad History Tour; Ghosts of Edgartown; Wesleyan Grove: A Brief History of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association; and World War II Tour of Martha’s Vineyard. Visit tomdresser.com to preview all tours.

I hate to sound like a stick in the mud or an old “fuddy duddy,” but with the 4th of July comes fireworks. Please remember that along with being illegal and dangerous, they can be very unsettling for pets and veterans. Please consider your neighbors and community before setting off your own fireworks.

While we’re mentioning pets, we can all think of their safety this summer as well. Remember to have fresh water for them all the time. I’m thinking I’ll even put a bowl outside for any doggies walking by. Also keep in mind that the pavement can get very hot for their paws, so it’s a good idea to walk them on grassy areas or at least in shady areas and maybe not in the middle of the day. Maybe keep a fan or A/C running for them when they are home and please, please don’t leave them in cars. Even with the windows open, vehicles can get too hot for our four-legged friends. As I write this, my baby boy dog Foster is lying on the couch by my side, under the breeze from the ceiling fan.

That’s about it as we head into the holiday weekend. Please be careful and stay safe. With so many people around, accidents can happen easily. Pay close attention to loved ones in the water, look in all directions when driving and be particularly aware of big trucks and motorcycles. Both can have trouble reacting quickly in an emergency. Continue to wash your hands and take care. While things have improved with COVID, it is still around and the variants are spreading. Be kind to each other. Have patience. Remember most businesses are shorthanded and you may have to wait longer than usual. And have a wonderful holiday weekend.

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