Oak Bluffs: A historic gathering

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The Trumpet Chics from Camden, N.J., perform at the beach. — Joanne Lambert

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.”  –Nelson Mandela

I was thinking of this quote from Nelson Mandela when I attended the multifaith service at the Tabernacle on Sunday morning. A historic gathering of the M.V. Camp Meeting Association, the Union Chapel, and the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury came together to welcome the Rev. Senator Raphael G. Warnock as guest speaker. He brought the house from silent listening to a standing ovation, and back again. As the first African American person elected to the Senate from Georgia, he has a clear perspective about inclusion and accessibility, and his message was one of hope and perseverance. Warnock was sworn into the Senate on Jan. 5, 2021 — a very historic day for the US. On Jan. 6, there was a brutal and deadly assault on our Capitol in Washington, D.C., in an effort to disrupt our democratic election. Senator Warnock’s question to us: Do we choose the America of Jan. 5, 2021, or the America of Jan, 6, 2021? He also made it personal by suggesting that we consider writing a letter to our children about our beliefs and our actions of today.

Featherstone’s very popular “Photographers Salon” has started on Tuesday evenings. Each week a featured artist presents their body of work and discusses their inspiration and creative process. The opening on July 5 featured Elizabeth Convery Luce. Larry Glick will be featured, a professional who began his career as the photographer for the Boston Red Sox, and now shoots sunrises, skylines, and street scenes. These informative and inspiring sessions start at 7 pm, and they are free for the community.

Last Friday evening we were treated to a pop-up concert on the beach by the Trumpet Chics of Camden, N.J. This musical group of inner-city high school students, led by Jamal Dickerson, is focused on achieving dreams through music and service. They were on the Island to perform for an event, and they heard about the Oak Bluffs Polar Bears. They joined the Polar Bears in the water the next morning, and they were inspired to come back in the evening and perform their joyful music. They play horns, they sing, they dance, and they have a fabulous backup band. It was inspiring to meet them, and we wish them great success! 

Get your favorite tie-dye shirt ready — Musical Mondays at Featherstone brings back the Grateful Dread on July 18. The music starts at 6:30; hopefully you got your tickets at featherstoneart.org. And don’t forget to get your tickets for Stan Strickland on July 25! 

MVY Radio “Patio Concerts” started on July 12. At the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama this year, these free concerts are on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm. Sit poolside and hear some new, young performers. The July 19 concert will feature Cristina Vane. 

I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Hannah Moore’s new exhibit, “Reverie,” at the Moore Family Gallery on July 2. It is a stunning exhibit of Hannah’s lyrical and imaginative watercolor and oil paintings of nature and people. The evening of the opening was one of those magical Oak Bluffs summer nights, with the sunset slanting across Harthaven to the Sound, and the birds singing joyfully before bedding down. Hannah’s work will be on display until July 27; stop into the gallery at 11 Martha’s Park Road from 10 am to 6 pm and be amazed. 

This Friday at the Tabernacle, the program “Black Authors of the Vineyard” will be presented from 10 am to noon. Meet and hear from seven local authors who will discuss their books, which will be available for sale also. On Friday evening, the Tabernacle Sunset Concert Series will feature the Brothers Rye. Bring your lawn chair and supper for this free music, from 6 to 7:30 pm.

On Sunday, July 17, it will be the Vineyard Haven Town Band at Ocean Park from 5:30 to 7:30pm. 

July birthdays include some of my favorites! On July 15, we thank the forces that be for the life of Laurel Redington! Laurel touches everyone with her love and joy, never mind her incredible knowledge of music. Helene Albert celebrates the same day, another powerful Oak Bluffs woman. On July 16, we celebrate child whisperer Beth Healy, and the beautiful Sophie Combra. I remember my friend and someone we all miss, Maynard Silva, passed away on July 16, 2008. On July 17, we wish a very happy birthday to Summer Clements! On July 18, my dear uncle, George Morris, shares the day with Nelson Mandela and Suzanne Reagan Pond. On the 19th, happy birthday to Lynn Webster! 

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