Well, thank goodness tropical storm/hurricane Henri did not fall in love with the Island but took his turmoil elsewhere. A few messes of tree limbs, which were easily taken care of, were left here and there. But the erosion of our beaches was more serious. The first hurricane I experienced was in 1938, but as I was only 2 years old at the time, I have no memory of that event. However, wind gusts reached Category 5 strength in Eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Southern Massachusetts west of Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod during the hurricane that struck the Island on Sept. 14, 1944. I still can remember the sound of that high howling wind that lasted through the night and the thump of trees as they were uprooted and landed on the lawn. My sisters and I were bedded down on the living room floor to be kept safe from falling limbs and trees. When we woke in the morning, my father had to clean a path outside of limbs and broken trees in order to reach the hen house, which was covered with fallen trees but thankfully still held a flock of live chickens. This Sunday, August 29, is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which almost destroyed New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Rehabilitation efforts are still ongoing in that area after all these years. So how blessed we were that there was nothing worse.
Due to such a spike in cases of COVID, in a joint emergency meeting, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury boards of health voted unanimously Tuesday to institute a mask mandate for indoor public spaces, citing the rapid spread of the Delta variant. Chilmark followed suit the next day and West Tisbury had previously adopted a mask mandate. So pay attention folks. I had to attend a couple of indoor events last week and the majority of people were not masked. Stay patient, kind, and masked and use common sense, please. “Minds are like parachutes: They only function when open,” said Thomas Robert Dewan, Scottish distiller (1864-1930), from “The Old Farmer’s Almanac.”
The first day back at school is Wednesday, Sept. 8. As that is the only information on the school website, please call the school at 508-693-0951 for more details.
A reminder from our Oak Bluffs Council on Aging director Rose Cogliano that exercise with Bill White at 9 am on Thursday mornings will continue for now in-person at the COA. Masks are required, along with handwashing and sign-in. Please email Rose at email@example.com, or call her at 508-693-4509, ext. 3, to sign up. His class size limit is 13 (plus Bill equals the 14-person maximum for the room). It is intended to still keep remote participation via Zoom as well. Summer exercise sessions with Floyd Lifton are ongoing every Friday at 9 am via Zoom. To join the exercise group by phone, call 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799.
August programs at our Oak Bluffs library continue with most programs being remote. On August 28 from 10 am to 12 noon, the Oral History Recording Studio is where your Oak Bluffs Stories are archived. Here is your chance to tell your story for preservation in the historic record. The library is particularly interested in preserving stories that have never been told before. The staff will help you out with telling your story and the studio is open to all ages with any Oak Bluffs story. Please call 608-693-8433 to sign up for a 30-minute slot.
Grow with Google Partner Digital Series, an introductory level project, will be available for viewing at the library on August 25, from noon to 1 pm. Build a career plan that can help you meet your professional goals. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
On Tuesday, August 31, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, join outdoor yoga class with Hallie Brevetti on the side lawn by the gazebo at the library. On Thursday, Sept. 2, from 10 am to 12 noon, enjoy Fishing with Jonathan for a relaxing morning of fishing while dropping a line off the OB Pier between the harbor and Steamship terminal. Jonathan is happy to instruct and has limited equipment available, or you can bring your own. All ages welcome. This event is off-site and requires pre-registration as space is limited so please call the library to register.
The United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard continues their Clothes to Go program on Saturdays, from 11 am to 1 pm, at the Stone Church in Vineyard Haven, Private half-hour shopping appointments are available and to schedule a visit, go to clothes-to-go.appointlet.com. They are looking for volunteers to help sort clothing. This would be done in small teams of two or three volunteers and the hours are flexible. Please contact Jen Fiore at email@example.com or call 508-693-4424 to volunteer.
An Evening of Hope and Healing: Join Immaculee Ilibagiza, a Rwandan American author and motivational speaker who survived during the Rwandan genocide, for her presentation at the Tabernacle on Saturday, August 28, from 7 to 8:15 pm. She will also sign her book “Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust” after her talk.
We send birthday smiles to Erika Bettencourt on August 27, brothers Andrew and Matt Marchand, Anne Whiting, and grandson Chris Alley on August 28, Liz Wilson and Darius Saain on the 29th, Pam Melrose on August 30, Nancy Giordano and Sean Flynn on the 31st, Tony Ferreira and Anne Davey on Sept. 1, Ed Ben David Sr., Evelyn Christopher, and Valarie O’Connell on the 2nd.
Enjoy your week. Peace.
If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Megan Alley, firstname.lastname@example.org.