Oak Bluffs: Have a restful break next week

Full moon at Inkwell Beach. —Joanne Lambert

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination.”  –Dr. Mae Jemison, first Black woman to travel to space

 We lost a dear friend and true Island spirit this month. John Teves first became known as the “pizza guy” in the ’80s, when he entertained the patrons at Papa’s Pizza on Circuit Ave. with his amazing pizza-dough-tossing skills. Johnny worked at Papa’s alongside a great crew of characters; my husband was one of them. We bought house lots next to each other in Oak Bluffs in 1985, and spent years helping each other finish our houses and landscape our yards. As Esther noted at Johnny’s service, it was a “more carefree time.” Johnny met his beautiful wife Esther at Papa’s, but when he and Esther started their family, he returned to one of his other talents, working as a highly skilled builder. His hands touched many Island houses over the years with his fine craftsmanship. Johnny stayed a true friend to all his many friends, while building his life with Esther and raising their two sons. He was also an artist, and I am blessed to have a beautiful drawing of a boat in a harbor that he gifted us in 1993 upon the birth of our daughter. We’re going to miss J.T. immensely.

School vacation is next week, Feb. 28 – March 4. We wish our teachers a restful break!

The Island usually gets quiet over vacation week; lots of Islanders escape to tropical shores or snowy mountains. Safe travels to all, send the rest of us photos of palm trees or ski slopes. The great thing about living here is that you’re always happy to come home!

Before we get to vacation, the Oak Bluffs School will hold the much-anticipated Middle School Spelling Bee on Feb. 25. We’ll see who will progress to the All-Island Spelling Bee on March 25!

You may have noticed the fundraising going on for the annual student Shenandoah trip. O.B. students in grades 4 through 8 have their week aboard June 27 – July 2. Help support this rite of passage for Island kids!

Lacrosse sign-ups for boys and girls have begun. The travel league starts on March 14, the Island league begins on April 11. This is for kids from Grades 1 up though 8; it’s a fantastic team sport. See sign-up and more info at mvyouthlacrosse.com.

The library will be open over school vacation week, with activities and hangout times. “Wild Animal Scavenger Hunt” for the little ones, “Curbside Crafts” to pick up, “Poetry Workshop” (drop in via Zoom) on March 2 at 4:30. The March Virtual Island Book Club will be reading “Hitchhiking with Larry David,” by Paul Samuel Dolman.

OBCOA (don’t you love acronyms?), also known as our senior center, is continuing great exercise classes on Zoom, with Bill White on Thursdays, Floyd Lifton on Fridays, and Patience Campbell and Marilyn Miller on Mondays. See all the info and Zoom links on the COA’s Newsletter, which you can find by searching the COA on the town website (oakbluffsma.gov). Or just call Rose, she needs to hear your voice: 508-693-4509.

Tell Rose if you want to sign up for the AARP Tax Preparation program, which will be offered soon. If you are a senior in need of fuel assistance, you must — you guessed it — call Rose! Fuel assistance is available for Island residents 60 and over.

We have great teachers at the O.B. School, and one of the greatest is everyone’s favorite math teacher, Eve Heyman. Eve suffered a very sad loss last week in the death of her beloved father, Dr. Joe Heyman. We send Eve and her family our heartfelt condolences.

Happy birthday to Natalie Feliciano on the 25th! We celebrate our Pilates queen, Judy Kranz, on the 28th, along with Sue Jade Fleming and the infamous Meehan twins: Jackie (Millard) and Kurstin (Moore). More birthday candles for Nancie Lucas Meekin and Allison Pearce on March 2, and we also raise our (Cat in the) Hat to Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.