Edgartown: Timing is everything

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— Shelby Regan

By the time you read this, I should be firmly ensconced in D.C. with our fantastic eighth graders and amazing group of chaperones, if I’m not still sidelined by COVID. Yup, I finally got bit by the bug. Timing is everything. Here’s hoping for a negative test the day before we are set to leave. I’m hoping that the fact that my case is mild means that it will clear by then, though I do know that some people test positive for a long time, even after their symptoms abate. Luckily we have some wonderful staff who are stationed as backup chaperones to step in if needed. D.C. or bust! Thank you to our amazing and generous community for getting us there.

Speaking of our community, I was reflecting today on the incredible exposure Islanders have to amazing people, in part because of where we live. Certainly, people here make connections to celebrities and wealthy folks in a way that doesn’t really happen in more remote areas. 

Specifically, I was reading Bob Stone’s obituary, and remembering how much time Riley spent with him when Riley was young. We were always out at the Katama Airport, like in the everyday sort of always out there. And boy, was that kid spoiled by Mike Creato, Paul Santo Pietro, and Bob Stone! He would talk their ears off, and they were so patient and kind to him, and he learned so much. And I, of course, knew that Bob had a varied background in flying and such, but I had no idea until reading his obituary that we really were in the presence of greatness out there. Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Co., the U.S. Space Program in Cape Canaveral, and Aerojet? C’mon. What kid gets full access to that kind of knowledge before they’re 6 years old? But more than anything else, Bob was kind and patient. I’m grateful that we all got to know him back in the day. 

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Paul Vertefeuille on May 30, Bob Brown on May 31, Amanda Bettencourt on June 1, Celine Maney on June 2, Caitlin Beckman and Mary McCarron Dent on June 3, Kate Foster on June 4, and Amy Morgan on June 5. 

We welcomed our baby girl back this weekend, from the far-off magical beaches on the North Shore of Oahu. Her suitcase was heavy, she was tired and worn out, and we were masked up for safety. COVID prevented a real welcome-home snuggle, but it sure was nice to lay eyes upon her. Oahu will miss her for sure.

The League of Women Voters is having its annual meeting, and the community is invited.

It will be at the O.B. library on Saturday, June 11, at 10. The subject will be “Climate Change: State of Our Island Coast” by Cynthia Dittlebrenner, Trustee coast and natural resource director and Shea Fee, Trustee coastal ecologist.

Remember that there will be a celebration of Johnny (“Duzza”) McCarron’s life on Saturday, June 4, from 2 until 5 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury, maybe the only place on the Island big enough to hold everyone who loved Johnny. 

I cannot complete this week’s column without addressing the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last Tuesday. I have no doubt that such atrocities affect all of us. Certainly as a mother and a teacher, I am terrified that such things can happen anywhere. My heart hurts for the parents who didn’t bring their babies home Tuesday afternoon. I have such incredible respect and also immense sadness for the two teachers who died trying to protect their students. With all the lockdown drills and active shooter drills that we go through in school, with our students, we all understand full well how terrifying this must have been for them all. We can do better. We have to do better. The 30th school shooting this year? Really? Why are we not solving this? Why haven’t we learned this one yet? Thoughts and prayers are empty words. They need to be backed up with actions and solutions. We must do better. Please, let this shooting be the last shooting. Let us put politics aside and solve this.