Oak Bluffs: Happy summer

— Shelby Regan

“A good coach will make his players see what they can become, rather than what they are.”  –Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame coach

This quote is for Jay Schofield, a beloved Island coach, whom we are wishing a very happy birthday on July 23! 

As Alice Cooper said, “School’s out for summer!” Well, on June 27 at noon, that is. Congratulations and happy summer to all the students, the teachers, and staff! I will always remember that feeling as a child on the first day of summer vacation. The summer seemed to stretch out ahead like a slow, lazy river of endless fun. Now I know it has the same feeling for teachers, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean all fun ahead — since here on M.V., most of us work in some way in the summer too. But summer still has a magical feeling, with its promise of beach days and long sunsets to enjoy. 

Speaking of beach kids, Thorne Arend recently celebrated her 70th birthday with some of her old Pay Beach friends, including Stanley Arend, Bill McCray, Ed Charter, Kerry Scott, Renee Nolan, and Owen Joyner (on the Island visiting from his home in New Orleans). Nick and Connie (Valentzas) Basbanes hosted the festivities at their home on Nashawena Park, and as usual when this gang gets together, a good time was had by all. The cake inscription said it all: “Thorne to be Wild.” 

Now is the season to take advantage of our local produce. The W.T. Farmers Market is in full swing, every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 to 12 on the Ag Hall grounds. Every year when I go for the first time, I am astounded by the gorgeous flowers and great produce our farmers offer. If you can’t get to the market, the market will come to you, with the IGI Mobile Market making the rounds. You can order ahead to pick up your fresh produce and eggs, or check the schedule at igimv.org. IGI also runs an Island-wide composting program. Residential food waste can be dropped off for free at the farm and other locations, to be turned into healthy compost. They will even give you a container to collect your food waste. See details on their website. 

For more local food shopping, there is a list of open Island farmstands on the Ag Society website. Farmstand hopping is one of my favorite summer activities! The variety is always changing, and each farm is unique.

I was up in Aquinnah last week, and stopped into Del Araujo’s new shop, Aquila on the Cliffs. The shop is beautiful and inviting — filled with local artists’ goods and offering delicious Martha’s Vineyard Coffee. It was great to see Del’s smile and catch up, wishing him great success. 

The P.A. Club is offering Happy Hour Wednesdays, with music by Rose Guerin and friends, at 5 pm. Last Wednesday was a lovely evening, so we ordered food from Mo’s Lunch and sat at a picnic table outside the club. Charlene and crew have made the porch and lawn a beautiful oasis to enjoy, and the food from Mo’s is outstanding. The sandwiches are gigantic, and the polenta fries are crazy good.

Also at the P.A. Club, the return of the Marrotta Brothers Band every Wednesday starting June 29. These brothers have played with all our favorite bands (think Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Jackson Browne) and toured worldwide. We are lucky that they do a summer concert residency here, and include some local musicians, like singers Joanne Cassidy and Darby Patterson. You really never know who is going to show up and sit in with them, so don’t miss it! 

The Vineyard Haven Town Band will be playing at Ocean Park on Sunday, June 26, to kick off its summer schedule. The band, in its 154th year, is one of the oldest continuously performing town bands in the country! The schedule alternates Sundays between Ocean Park and Owen Park in Vineyard Haven. The music starts at 7:30; bring your lawn chair and enjoy a musical sunset! 

Our end-of-June birthdays include Patty Philbin on June 25, and she shares that date with Anthony Bourdain and Justice Sonia Sotomayor. On June 26, we celebrate Donna Getty, and June 27 is Pat Ingalls’ day. Happy birthday to Ashley Rebello and Leanne Giordano on the 28th. We wish a sweet birthday lullaby to author Stacy Hall on June 29.  

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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.