Oak Bluffs: Trust the medical professionals

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— Shelby Regan

“It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”  –“Alice in Wonderland,” Lewis Carroll

Making sense of the protocols for the current COVID surge isn’t easy! But there is concrete information available to help if you or someone in your household contracts the virus. Check the hospital website, talk to your own primary care office or school nurse. Trust the medical professionals — and wear those masks!

There will be a book signing for a new Island publication, “The Covid Monologues,” which is a collection of essays written by over 70 island writers, ages 10 to 82. Edited by Jennifer Knight and Moira Convey Silva, it is part of a community arts project to express our shared experience of the past two years. The book is available for $12.95, and all net proceeds will benefit the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. The book signing takes place on Jan. 29 at the West Tisbury library from 1:30 to 3 pm. There will be refreshments, and indoor/outdoor options. If you feel inspired, you can send your own COVID monologue of 650 words or less to connect@covidmonologuesmv.com.

David Crohan is a much-beloved island musician. He started his career as a pianist here as a teenager, playing at Munroe’s and the Rare Duck. He went on to open his own restaurant on Circuit Ave., David’s Island House, which became a hub for fine dining and fabulous music from the late ’70s through the ’80s. He has given back to this community with many benefit concerts, his most famous at the Tabernacle for his birthday every July. David plays his music in Palm Beach now, but during COVID lockdown in 2020, he began an online concert series called “At Home With David Crohan.” Concerts are streamed live on YouTube every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 am, and you can make requests, and even send tips. The concert videos can also be found to enjoy anytime by searching David Crohan on YouTube. Like he did at the Island House, David plays a mix of classical, jazz, Beatles, and Broadway. It’s a great opportunity to see and hear this incredible talent, and it’s a lot of fun.

Reminder: The Oak Bluffs library is open, and though in-person programming has been on hold during January, there are still some interesting and fun activities for every age. “Curbside Crafts” for children continues on Jan. 26, with ingredients to build a birdfeeder, and on Feb.2, make a groundhog puppet. Virtual Vineyard Book Club meeting is Jan. 27 at 7 pm via Zoom, on “The Emperor of Ocean Park.” “State of the Coast: Beaches and Coastal Banks” is a webinar being presented by the Trustees of Reservations on Feb. 2, noon to 1pm. The IGI Mobile Market will be outside the lower entrance on Mondays, from 5 to 6 pm.

The Island Food Pantry held a great event on Sunday, Jan. 23, to help out our furry friends in need. Donations of cat supplies and food were accepted, as well as food and supplies for Sandy Paws, our wonderful dog rescue organization. They even had a “puppy kissing booth”! The Food Pantry, under the management of IGI, has become a dynamic community resource. Settled into its new home at the P.A. Club, the pantry is a lovely space, stocked with a huge variety of healthy food choices, from fresh produce, breads, cheese, eggs, seasonings, canned goods, and snacks to frozen meats, fruits, and dinners. They even provide Island-grown baby food, made and processed by IGI from Island produce that is either gleaned from farms or donated.

I met Sharon Brown, Food Pantry operations manager, last summer. Her energy and passion for this community and food equity is inspiring. The pantry is open on Mondays (2 to 4), Wednesdays (1 to 6) and Saturdays (10 to 1). There are many ways to help — the simplest way is to buy an extra item or two at any grocery store, and put the items in the purple box by the door. Volunteer options include sorting, shelf stocking, farm gleaning, processing, and delivering. For more information, to preorder food, or to volunteer, you can call 508-693-4764 or go to islandfoodpantry.org. The website states the IGI motto: “The seeds we plant today will be harvested by Islanders for generations to come.”

Happy Birthday to Caroline Davey Hannah and Lewis Carroll on Jan. 27. We celebrate Julie Gaffey and Oprah Winfrey on Jan. 29, Mike Giordano and Jarek Peters on the 30th, and Bethany deBettencourt on the 31st. Feliz cumpleaños to Judy Searle on Feb. 1. 

Stay warm, and send me your news!