Aquinnah: Shops opening for business

—MV Times

Have you been to the Gayhead Store at the Cliffs? It opened this past weekend, and it’s run by the Smalley family. They have done an amazing job of stocking their shelves. They have everything you could need in an “I just can’t drive down-Island” emergency, along with ready-made sandwiches and cold drinks for the beach, some handmade Martha’s Vineyard products, grocery basics, and some higher-end bacon and sausages. They are open seven days a week from 7 am to 7 pm, which means if you play your cards right, you will not have to drive down-Island for supplies at all. Thank you, Jay, and Missy, this is just what we needed.

The Aquinnah Shop is opening for business today, May 26, at noon. They will have counter service, and tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis (no more reservations). Open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 8 pm. Yippee!

The Trustees of the Aquinnah Library are having a party this Thursday, May 26, at 3 pm to say thank you to Heidi Vanderhoop for her years of service as a trustee, and to say welcome to Sophia Welch as she becomes a trustee. The party will be held at the Aquinnah library, and refreshments will be served.

Joan LeLacheur is having an open studio this Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 11 am to 6 pm. She will have her beautiful ocean jewelry on sale at her studio, located at 42 Old South Road in Aquinnah. If you cannot make the open studio, text or call Joanie to schedule an appointment time at 508-939-1691.

The M.V. Film Society’s Environmental Film Festival runs this Thursday, May 26, to Sunday, May 29, at the M.V. Film Center in Vineyard Haven. These are all worthy and fascinating “stories from the front lines of environmentalism.” You can order tickets at

The Chilmark Community Center is beginning its summer season. Starting Monday, May 30, and running through Sept. 5, the tennis courts will only be open to tennis members. This includes participating in adult clinics, private lessons, and court rental. To register follow this link:

Stop by the M.V. Museum to see “Flashes of Brilliance,” an exhibit about the history of Island lighthouses. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the magnificent first-order Fresnel lens, which was installed in the Gay Head Light from 1854 to 1952.

The Gay Head 10K will be happening in-person this year on Sunday, Oct. 2. I know that’s a long way away, but there is “early bird” pricing through the month of June. Registration is open online at

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival was held in its new home at the Grange Hall this past weekend. This was the first in-person festival since 2019, and while the uptick in COVID cases kept some filmgoers away, it was an enormous success. So many thought-provoking and exciting films and performances. Every film began with a land acknowledgment by Juli Vanderhoop, and most films had a Q and A with the director or film subject afterward. The visiting filmmakers were a wonderful bunch of folks, delighted to be sharing their work with our community. I’m looking forward to seeing what the film festival does in the summer.

Happy birthday to our head librarian, Rosa Parker, who celebrates on May 26, to Mr. Marvin Jones, May 28, and to Nancy Benoit, May 29.

I was so sad to hear of the passing of Jill Iscol last week. I met Jill when I worked for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, and she was such a dynamo; so much energy for the things she cared about: her family, her friends, politics, Martha’s Vineyard. I will miss seeing her flash her fabulous smile, and I am so sad I will only see it again in my memories of her. Much love to the Iscol family.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone, and thank you to all families who have lost loved ones in our American wars. Be sure to visit the cemetery in Aquinnah to see the flags placed next to the graves of our veterans.