Aquinnah: Capture the magic

— Kyra Steck

Summer is moving right along; sometimes it feels as if it is moving too fast. But there are moments where you can capture the magic, especially here in Aquinnah. Last week it was Juli Vanderhoop’s birthday, and she decided to hold a potluck on the beach. People were spread about on Lobsterville with blankets and food, kids and adults ran into the water for evening swims. There was an abundance of watermelon and some tasty chicken made by Chrissy Laurie and Carole Vandal. Christina Hook held court in a beach chair, and her daughter, Jennifer made sure that the kids dusted the sand off their hands before taking more food. When it got really dark, we moved to Juli’s for cake eaten around a fire. It felt just planned enough but also loose and spontaneous. The kind of night that can carry you through the rest of the week.

At the library, this Thursday at 5 pm, Nancy Slonim Aronie will discuss her new book, “Memoir as Medicine,” as part of the summer speaker series. If you have never heard Nancy speak or taken her wonderful writing workshop, you should come. She is a delightful, funny, and engaging speaker, and she is an expert on this topic. This event will take place on the library deck; email to register. On Saturday at 1:30 pm, the library will host a community barbeque. This event is free and open to all. Stop by on your way to the beach, get some food, and hang with your neighbors.

I recently found out that Spencer Booker Sr., former selectman and all-around good guy, has suffered a stroke. He is currently in a rehabilitation center on the Cape. Spencer is working on a full recovery, and thank goodness, will be home within the next several weeks. Missy Smalley has created a GoFundMe to help his family cover medical expenses and travel costs. You can donate here:, or drop off a donation at the Gay Head Store. I am always happy when I see Spencer ,and I hope he makes a complete recovery.

The state primary is Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 7 am to 8 pm at the Aquinnah Town Hall. The last day to register to vote for the state primary is Saturday, August 27. In-person early voting begins on Saturday, August 27, and continues through Sept. 2. Voting hours on August 27 are 10 am to 2 pm. Voting hours from August 29 to Sept. 2 are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, from 10 am to 12 pm and 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. All early voting will be held at the Aquinnah Town Hall. The last day to apply for a vote by mail ballot is Monday, August 29, at 5 pm. The last day to apply for an in-person absentee ballot is Friday, September 2, at 5 pm. Early voting application post cards were mailed out last week. Remember, for the state primary, independent and unenrolled voters must choose the party they want on the application to receive a ballot.

The Friends of the West Tisbury Library continue their weekly pop-up book sale on Sundays from 12 to 4, on the porches of the West Tisbury library.

Each Sunday will offer fiction, mystery, cooking/food, biographies, Martha’s Vineyard, and children’s books. In addition, weekly specials will feature specific categories: July 31 is Military and Maritime.

I saw Elise LeBovit at the Chilmark Store the other day, and she told me that someone had taken her duck sign for the inn from the end of her road. I commiserated with her and told her how terrible that is. Who would do such a thing? A teenager on a dare, perhaps? Some drunk person who thought it would be cool? Or just a run-of-the-mill thief? At the end of our conversation I said, “What the [expletive]?” “I know,” she said. “What the duck?!”

Happy birthday to Mike Selitti, who celebrates on July 28, and to Hollis Smith, who celebrates on July 29.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,