Chilmark: Smell the wild roses

Artist/activist Gretchen Baer wears her Kate Taylor sweatshirt in a selfie taken on her way home to the Island for the summer. — Courtesy Gretchen Baer

It’s that scentious time of year where you can’t help stopping to smell the wild roses and honeysuckle, and drive with the windows down to inhale every drop. The last week of June is always filled with mild anxiety; it’s the week we have lost too many young people in car accidents over the 17 years I’ve lived here. Upon reading about the most recent car death, I was relieved it was not another Island kid, only to learn both men were Chilmark Tavern staff, and due to the death, the restaurant closed for a couple of days to allow everyone to mourn and regroup. My heart goes out to the friends and family of Micah P. Anderson, 28, of Grand Rapids, Mich. I hope the passenger (airlifted to MGH) can heal both physically and mentally from this tragedy.

Happy birthday to Paul Iontosca, Cybele Benton McCormack, Linda Thompson, Arlan Wise, and any other Chilmarkers celebrating.

Chilmark Softball core players got together on Sunday morning at Flanders Field (on Pasture Road off Tabor House Road) for a practice session and an earnest discussion about rules and regulations. The consensus was to reinstate a balls-and-strikes rule, with a designated umpire, as well as limiting a starting lineup to 11 players. Also decided, in the interest of safety and liability, is a 12-years-or-older age limit for participation. The official season starts Sunday, July 3, with an 8 am start, preceded by the opening day ceremony. All skill levels welcome.

How wonderful for the Modigliani family that Luca Isaiah Bronstein arrives on Island at 3 weeks old. He joins big brother Theo and parents Amelia Modigliani and Ethan Bronstein. They will spend the summer with grandparents Suzanne and Sergio Modigliani. Uncle David Modigliani arrives the end of July.

I loved seeing artist Gretchen Baer in her Kate Taylor hoodie selfie while heading home to be with her mom, artist Jacqueline Baer. Gretchen wrote, I “got two great Kate Taylor comments on the boat. First was someone who loved the sweatshirt but doesn’t know Kate. She asked if it was Matisse. She said “if I Google Kate Taylor, will I find it?” Yes! I said. On the website! Just then a little boy walked by and said, “Nice Kate Taylor sweatshirt!” Check out Kate’s latest gear at

Kudos go out to the entire Pathways Arts team as well as book designer Janet Holladay on their new hardcover, “Pathways Arts: New Works 2020 – 2021.” What sets this book apart is not only the breadth of artists and makers included, but in the Contributors section you can read about the artist’s project/practice and how it came into being during the pandemic. See for more information about the book and ongoing events. (I am one of the 100 contributors.)

A Gallery collaborates with Featherstone Center for the Arts for a contemporary art pop-up group exhibit, July 2 – 30, with paintings, photography, mixed media, and ceramics by 16 artists, including Carol Brown Goldberg. Open daily, noon to 4 pm.

Creekville Antiques’ new hours are Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm (closed Wednesday), and Sunday, noon to 4 pm. Do not miss this gem, great early 20th century Menemsha art, besides the great folks who run it, Doug Seward and Suzie Pacheco. Learn more at

The Chilmark flea is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, and is better than ever. Always worth a visit, and hard to leave without a good find, Island-wise or otherwise.

The Chilmark Community Center morning and afternoon programs for ages 6 to 14 begin on July 4 and run through August 19. Adult classes also available. Learn more and sign up at

The Yard’s artists in residence, the Urban Bush Women, head to Orange Peel Bakery on Friday, July 1, at 6 pm for a free showing of an in-progress work; Haint Blu (known as the color that Southern families paint their front porch roofs to ward off bad spirits) is an ensemble dance-theater work steeped in memory and magic. Learn more and reserve a place at Claire Page’s “Get It Started With Movement” family workshop is Saturday, July 2, from 10 to 11:30 am. Learn more and sign up at Morning Yoga with Mollie Doyle has begun on Saturdays from 8 to 9:30 am. Class passes sold at the door. If you have any questions, you can email Mollie at

The Galley is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm for food, and 9 pm for ice cream. Larsen’s Fish Market is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. Menemsha Fish Market is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, except Wednesdays, open 10 am to 5:30 pm, and Sundays open noon to 7 pm. Menemsha Deli hours are 7:30 am to 4 pm, closed Sundays. The Home Port is open from 4 to 10 pm (no takeout menu yet).

Head to Beetlebung Farm on Wednesday, June 29, from 5 to 6 pm to taste, and compare flavors and characteristics, of the pea varieties they currently grow: ‘Sugar Ann,’ ‘Maxigolt,’ ‘Cascadia,’ and ‘Oregon Giant.’ Taste, talk, learn, and enjoy a glass of wine paired with a small salad highlighting the varieties. $20 per person. Space is limited. Rain or shine. Email to reserve your spot.

The Chilmark library hosts Jim Thomas and the U.S. Slave Song Project Spirituals Choir on Wednesday, June 29 at 5 p.m. Enjoy the performance and Jim’s talk about his new book, “A Guidebook for Young People Studying US Slave Songs.” Email for more information and the link. Join the Chilmark library to kick off the summer reading program, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” Families can register for summer reading, check out new books, play with large bubbles on the patio, enter a raffle, and much more. The program will be on Saturday, July 2, from 11 am to 3 pm. For further help call 508-645-3360, or email See

For July’s Menemsha Hills Storywalk, enjoy “Toupeira Pega o Ceu” (“Mole Catches the Sky”), by Ellen Tarlow and Tomek Bogacki. Written in English and Portuguese. Follow the storywalk boards on the western side of the Harris Loop, ending at Prospect Hill (about 1 mile total hike).

Town beach stickers available for sale online and in-person, see Dump stickers now available at the dump, see

Get free N95 masks and COVID test kits; see to learn more.

In-person MV BLM vigils at the Chilmark ibrary lawn are on Sundays at 10:30 am. Learn more at Keep up with what’s going on with MV BLM, and subscribe to its YouTube channel, at

Island Folk Pottery’s Sculpture Trail is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm; their Pottery Shop hours are Wednesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 5 pm, and Sundays from 2 to 5 pm. Learn more at

Check It’s a Chilmark Thing on Facebook for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week.