Oak Bluffs: Beauty all around

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— Shelby Regan

I find I am starting my days differently these past months. I used to turn on the television to watch the news, and read the Boston Globe from cover to cover during breakfast. But I no longer subscribe to a daily paper and unless a new catastrophe has occurred overnight, the television does not even get turned on.

Instead, first thing in the morning I ask Alexis to play Louis Armstrong’s version of “It’s a Wonderful World” to start my day with joy instead of troubles. Then I might request “Pachelbel Canon,” John Lennon’s “Imagine” or ”Air on a G-String,” Ed Sheehan’s “Perfect,” songs by Bette Midler or perhaps some country music. My taste in music varies to different genres, but they all make my life more beautiful as do the ethnic varieties of my family and friends and everyone who makes up our beautiful world.

Even our small world of the Island provides so much beauty of every kind as was driven home to me last week when I went out to do errands for about two hours. I was met by a couple in their yard admiring a family of wild turkeys which included a cock, hen, and three babies wandering in their yard. A little further down the street were dogs walking with their masters but most surprising were three geese waddling along the grass on the shoulder of the road, obviously on a mission of some sort. I don’t know if three geese equal a gaggle, but I loved seeing them. Then on my way back either a hawk or an immature eagle flew across the front of my car and roosted on a shrub on the side of the road. When I arrived home it was to be greeted by the scolding catbirds as they were impatiently waiting for the cardinals to finish at the feeder, along with goldfinch, woodpeckers and so many others.

I think the flower gardens are most lovely this time of year and hold many happy memories for me. The different varieties of daylilies were given to me by the late Priscilla Sylvia when we built our home 23 years ago. She was a good friend and is missed but not forgotten, with all the plants she gave me reminding me of her. The purple thistle plants were a gift from my father and the hostas which have multiplied incredibly over the years, were given to us by Kerry Alley, my husband’s brother, and his wife Pat. The bees and butterflies sipping at all the different flowers bring me my own beautiful world.

Kudos to Russ MacDonald for adding important information to the recent article

in the Vineyard Gazette regarding the 50-year history of the Niantic Park basketball program. Russ named many of the people responsible for the hard work of establishing the program at the time from Chief Williamson, Dan MacCarthy, the Oak Bluffs Park Commissioners, and electrician Jim Gibson. These people along with many other volunteers, including members of the Oak Bluffs Fire Department and the voters of the town of Oak Bluffs who approved the money for the program during times of economic hardship made the starting of this program possible. I remember the long hours so many volunteers worked on the construction of the court. The legacy of the program has continued through the years by the excellent coaching staff and supervisors. Thanks to all for your hard work for the town and its youth.

Tom Dresser, never one to be idle, is enjoying his home and family but has announced that his latest publication is called “Schlepping Around.” It’s a self-published tour guide for the Vineyard visitor curious about sights and hikes, history and mystery, and the lay of the land and includes photographs, hikes, and sights to see. It’s available for $15 at Edgartown Books, Bunch of Grapes, the Campground Museum, and the Corner Store, and of course on  thomasdresser.com.

In conjunction with this book Tom joined BuiltStory.com, a phone app, and designed five self-taking tours: African American sites, a Campground walking tour, a Railroad tour, a World War II tour, and a walking Ghost tour of Edgartown. Each BuiltStory.com tour includes 15 sites, with text, photo, and video. Tours cost $10 each and are good for a month.

Our Oak Bluffs library is open for limited browsing Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 6 pm, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

If you need assistance with placing books on holds, please email oakb_mail@clamsnet.org or call them at 508-693-9433. For information on hold pickups at OBPL, visit the Contactless Hold Pickup online resource.

The Book Crate program at the Oak Bluffs library is a monthly subscription book box for young adults in grades 7 to 12. There are limited supplies and sign up starts on the first of each month. The boxes are available on the third Friday of each month. You may sign up at shorturl.at/qzMS1. This month’s box is available on July 16 from 10 am to 4 pm.

We send birthday smiles to Sophie Combra and Olivia Butler on July 16, Russell Rogers and Summer Ann Clements on the 17th, Suzann Metell and Michael Daniel on the 18th, Lynn Webster on July 19th, and Charlene Alley on the 22nd.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

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