Chilmark: Maritime books and so much more

Cathy Walthers sits on a bench she made for the community herb garden created by students she and Rebecca Gilbert teach at Native Earth Teaching Farm. — Valerie Sonnenthal

I’m sorry to share that the Menemsha Deli has closed for the summer for medical reasons. Let’s keep our fingers crossed someone else may bring takeout back to Basin Road. Good news is that Tuesday Lobster Roll dinners ($20) at the Chilmark Community Church are available from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, with Vineyard Sound playing at 7 pm. Get takeout to take home or stay and have dinner on the church patio and enjoy the concert. Also, it was great running into the Impossible Dream catamaran crew; check out the amazing work they do at

Sadly, it’s Ginnie Jones’ last summer running Fo’c’s’le Locker (to the right of Copperworks). She’s looking for anyone interested in her inventory — stop by her shop and amazing collection of maritime books and so much more. 

Every Menemsha store and gallery is fully stocked, and don’t forget to stop into Creekville Antiques to go back in time through the great art for sale. Pandora’s Box is practically bursting at the seams with summer wear. Beetlebung has great-looking beach or schlep bags made in Madagascar, besides all their new summer styles and great jewelry for a cause. Copperworks has an extensive assortment of shell and wampum jewelry besides their fantastic copper fish, art, and antiques. Stop at Ben McCormick’s and get Under the Surface with his arresting photographs. The Ruel Gallery has a full array of Nettie Kent’s jewelry, and is showcasing many smaller paintings by Colin Ruel, besides other sizes.

It’s a double Sunday Softball game report; opening day plus this past Sunday’s game reports together. Twenty players showed up for opening day’s doubleheader. The ceremony for the 85th season featured welcome remarks by co-commissioners Sig Van Raan, flanked by Hans Solmssen and Caleb Caldwell. Jim Feiner played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on his trombone as everyone sang along. With designated umpire Keith Heller (on the temporary injured list) calling balls and strikes, the game moved along at a well-played fast clip. Peter Halperin’s team outslugged Hans Solmssen’s team 12-3 in a “mercy” abbreviated game. A second game ensued with another mercy win for Joel Bleier’s team. In the words of the late great John Alley, “a good time was had by all.” Regular players happily received brand-new Chilmark Softball hats, generously contributed by Paul Iantosca.

Hunter Tanner, the official scorekeeper, reported that on Sunday, July 10, two games were played and several newcomers were welcomed to the organized chaos, including a visiting orthopedic surgeon (always useful). Gloves were thrown in at 8 am, followed by the traditional argument about the apportioning of the rosters. In game one, John Freedman’s team bested Joel Bleir’s team as they jumped to a nine-run first inning. Final score: 21-8. In the second game, a newcomer named Andrew pitched against Jason Balaban, whose team won, 10-3. There were great defensive plays by Mark Levine and Elijah Feiner. Besides “the sun being a problem in right field and center field,” traditional topographical and meteorological excuses followed.

Chilmark Softball games at Flanders Field (on Pasture Road off Tabor House Road), Sundays at 8 am. Players must be 12 years or older, and all skill levels are welcome.

Chef and cookbook author Catherine Walthers and foraging farmer and author Rebecca Gilbert have teamed up to teach a “Preserving an Island Summer Bounty” series on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6 pm at Native Earth Teaching Farm. July 14 is “Preserving Herbs”: drying, teas, herb salts; July 21 is “Basic Lacto-Fermentation.” Preregistration required; space is limited. Sign up and learn more at

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury hosts a Berry Festival on Saturday, July 16, from noon to 4 pm. This festival combines their Strawberry and Blueberry Festivals into one Berry Festival, with berry shortcakes and parfaits, as well as home-baked pies, a raffle, and more.

It does not get better than the M.V. Author Series on Thursdays through July. All programs are at 7:30 pm at the Chilmark Community Center, unless noted. Learn more and buy tickets at

Kara Taylor’s Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Do not miss her amazing new mixed-media series created during her winter in South Africa, “Guardians of Us.”

The Chilmark Flea is not to be missed, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.

The Chilmark Community Center offers morning and afternoon programs for ages 6 to 14; they run through August 19. Adult classes are also available. Learn more and sign up at

The Yard offers “East African Dances and Drumming” with Godfrey Muwulya on Saturday, July 16 at 10 am. The ongoing Adult Movement Class with Naomi Haas Goldberg continues to Friday, July 15 (no Wednesday class), at 9:30 am. Learn about other programs and classes at Yoga with Mollie Doyle info is at Class passes sold at the door.

Peaked Hill Studio yoga and Full Moon Sound Journey, Wednesday, July 13, at 7 pm, info at

The Chilmark library hosts James Richardson, author of “Discovering a Lost Vineyard House: The Archaeology and History of the John and Experience Mayhew House Site on Martha’s Vineyard,” for a book talk on Wednesday, July 13, at 5 pm. Register for an “Owl Pellet Dissection” with Felix Neck on Thursday, July 14, at 10:30 am, and learn what owls have eaten, and how scientists can study them to learn more about the owl and the ecosystems in which they live. (Space is limited. Call 508-645-3360 to register.) Pulitzer prizewinning journalists Bob Drogin and Tom Hamburger, best friends for 50 years, “Talk About the Midterm Blues” on Wednesday, July 20, at 5 pm. Unless noted, programs are hybrid, in-person and on Zoom, Email for more information or the link. Join Mark Alan Lovewell on Wednesday, July 20, at 8:30 pm for “The Summer Night Sky: Travel Among the Cosmos.” Kids are welcome to join the summer reading program, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” Afternoon Lego Club meets Wednesdays at 2:30 pm. For further help, call 508-645-3360 or New summer hours: Monday and Friday: 10:30 am to 1 pm, Tuesday and Thursday: 10:30 am to 5 pm, Wednesday: 10:30 am to 6 pm, Saturday: 10:30 am to 3 pm. See

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

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

Have a good week, and happy summer to all.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Valerie Sonnenthal,