Oak Bluffs: Our little Island

— Shelby Regan

Margaret Wise Brown, the “laureate of the nursery,” was born on May 23, 1910, in Brooklyn, N.Y. She wrote more than 100 children’s books, under her name and the pseudonym “Golden MacDonald.” She’s most well-known for “Good Night Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny,” but I particularly like this quote from “The Little Island”:

“Nights and days came and passed/ And summer and winter and the sun and the wind and the rain,/ And it was good to be a little island, a part of the world and a world of its own, all surrounded by the bright blue sea.”

She could have been writing about our little Island, but her little island was Vinalhaven, Maine, where she spent summers. 

Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival is this weekend! Brian Ditchfield and crew have settled into their new home base at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury, which is actually where they began in 2001. The weekend is filled with film offerings for everyone at three locations: the Grange Hall, the First Congregational Church, and 12 Music Street (the old W.T. library). There will also be food, music, and fun for kids. Tickets can be purchased ahead online (tmvff.org), or at the box office at the Grange, which will be open each day of the festival. Along with this amazing weekend, the MVFF offers so much to our community, including the summer drive-in movies at the YMCA. Get out and see some films, and support this great organization.

Sandi and Ray Santinello were in town last weekend, opening their house on Ocean Park. Sandi was still recovering from her Mother’s Day/early birthday surprise. Daughters Shaina and Serena flew in from the West Coast, along with granddaughter Skyla Blue and Serena’s hubby Jay, to sneak up on her in the lobby of the Liberty Hotel, where she thought she was meeting two friends for a quiet dinner. Also joining the surprise were Sandi’s sister Diane (up from Florida), her niece Leana and her wife Ally (who flew in from Tennessee), and many friends from Western Massachusetts and M.V. Sandi’s birthday isn’t until June, so she was very unsuspecting of the whole thing. Needless to say, they had a wonderful time!

The Greenhouse opened to the public last weekend, with a huge variety of gorgeous plants. The team there does a great job, the greenhouse is so organized and the plants are so healthy. There are more tomato varieties than ever! Sara Barnes was there, along with volunteer coordinator and ambassador of good cheer Toni Kauffman. They will be open on weekends, and if you become a member for a mere $45 for the year, you can shop at other times also.

IGI is offering “Container Garden Kits,” to be given away at the WT library parking lot, for the next four Fridays at 12 noon. May 20 will be Pea Shoot Trays, May 27 will be a potted cherry tomato and a watering can, June 3 will be Herb Garden containers, and June 10 will be Pepper Containers.

Renee (Surprenant) Nolan took time out from spring-cleaning her home on Nashawena Park to celebrate the news that her daughter Emily Hartford has been named one of the Drama League’s 2022 FutureNow Directing Fellows. Emily is a NYC-based director, performer, filmmaker, and creative partner of Flux Theatre Ensemble. Her first short film, “Type A,” premiered at the Woods Hole Film Festival in 2021. Emily will be introduced this Friday at the prestigious Drama League Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan, and she will then be spending the summer as a director for the summer mainstage and children’s theater of Ithaca College.

Show Your Shop is a promotion for shoppers and shop owners being offered all month by the Martha’s Vineyard Bank. You have until May 31 to participate by sending in a photo of your favorite shop OR purchase. Local businesses can submit a photo of their business or products. All submissions will be entered for a chance to win prizes, like a $250 LIFT gift card. See local.mvbank.com for more detail, or to enter. 

Congratulations to Sarah Thomas for graduating magna cum laude from Emmanuel College! I’m sure mom Judy Thomas is very proud, especially because Sarah’s degree is in elementary education. 

May birthdays continue, with Henry Diodati and Annie Parsons celebrating on the 20th. Hannah Vanderlaske celebrates on the 21st, and happy birthday to Ben Durrell on the 22nd. We send big bunches of balloons to Elijah Cheney, turning 9 on May 25. Jamie Kageleiry also celebrates on the 25th; happy birthday to all!

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