Aquinnah: ‘West with the Night’

— Kyra Steck

It was a sad week last week. Arnie Reisman, one of the Poet Laureates of Martha’s Vineyard, board member and performer at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, writer, joke maker, fighter for social justice, honorary uncle to many and all-around funny guy died suddenly last Monday. His service was on Friday and while there were lots of funny stories told, there was also profound sadness at his loss. People spoke of his sense of humor and curiosity, but also his kindness and the way he took care of people. His widow, Paula Lyons, said at one point, “I’m going to starve now — he did the cooking!” Nina Harris, whose father, John Harris, went to college with Arnie, spoke of how Arnie and Paula swooped in and took care of her when her father died. The bright spot to the day was to see the wonderful collection of friends that he had created coming together to celebrate him. You will be missed, Arnie!

Don’t forget to run your Gay Head 10K before the end of the month! The race, which helps keep the lighthouse operational, is being run virtually this month. You can run any time before the end of October. Go to for information and sign up.

The next book group at the library will be held on Oct. 21 at 3 pm to discuss Beryl Markham’s “West with the Night.” It will be held on the deck. or via Zoom if there is rain. Email to register. There will be trick or treating at the library on Saturday, Oct. 30, from noon to 3 pm. Put on your costume and get your treats.

On the Cliffs started their end of season 50 percent off extravaganza, it will continue through the end of the month when they close for the season. The Outermost Inn closed for dinner service this past weekend but will open for lunch service on or around Oct. 28.

I have not heard what Aquinnah families are planning for trick or treating this year, but rest assured I will let you know when I do. Last year we did distanced trick or treating — people put tables with bagged treats at the end of their driveways and waved to kids from their porches and that worked quite well. If you have any ideas send them my way.

The Island said goodbye to another iconoclastic Vineyarder, Laurie Miller died after a long illness that he bore with grace and strength, at the start of September. A celebration of his life was held this past weekend. I will always remember Laurie’s twinkling eyes and his jaunty beret. Rest in peace.

We have lost some amazing people this year, so I am pleased to wish a Happy Birthday to Meredith Holdsworth, who celebrates on Oct. 20 and is very much alive. We could use a little good news around here.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,