Chilmark: The best new thing

An Eastern box turtle on Peaked Hill. — Valerie Sonnenthal

This week walking on Peaked Hill, I passed a 10-inch box turtle on two different walks, both chalking up the only times to cross paths since walking up there over the past decade. The best new thing in town is the Milokan Cultural Center, created by Rick Bausman at Native Earth Teaching Farm: see the activity schedule at

Suellen Lazarus opened her Thursday Authors Series explaining that no family or friends had preferential ticket treatment, that Amy Schumer approached the CCC on Monday asking if she could offer a show she’s working on as a fundraiser, and on Friday evening she was onstage for the lucky 250 ticket holders. Two hundred tickets were available for present CCC members, those were gone Thursday, and another 50 tickets released Friday morning to anyone on their mailing list, though by sharing that info, many more people were looking for those tickets, which were sold out in two minutes. Perhaps the rumor there will be a second show will come true.

If Alan Dershowitz wants to reach Island listeners, he should contact MVTV, where seating is not an issue:, 508-696-9760.

North Tabor Farm now carries farm-prepared meals including salad, grain bowls, and their toasted sesame dressing. Don’t forget to visit Crouton “and her breadcrumbs.”

I ran into cookbook author Joan Nathan and learned that her late husband, Allan Gerson, photographer and famed international lawyer, has an exhibit of his Martha’s Vineyard photographs, “Perfect Waits,” at the M.V. Playhouse from July 19 to August 13, with an opening reception on Wednesday, July 27, from 5 to 6:30 pm (otherwise the gallery is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 1 to 4 pm). Also, Joan’s son, David Henry Gerson’s documentary, “The Story Won’t Die,” plays at the Grange on Thursday, July 28, at 7 pm. The film highlights young Syrian artists who use their work to protest and process what is currently the largest and longest ongoing displacement of people since World War II. Tickets at

After opening three years ago, the Ruel Gallery, run by painter Colin Ruel and his wife, jeweler Nettie Kent, is throwing an official opening. Stop by Thursday, July 28, from 4 to 7 pm at 31 Basin Road, Menemsha.

The Beach Plum Inn is now open for breakfast from 8 to 10 am, Thursday to Sunday. Reservation only prix-fixe dinner, Friday: Burger Night, Saturday: Taco Night, and Sunday: Caribbean Night, 5 to 9 pm. Use or call 508-645-9454.

This week’s Sunday Flanders Field Softball reports there were bonehead plays of hilarity coupled with brilliant fielding plays — especially by younger players. Hunter Weiss’ standout defensive play showed a magnificent running catch in foul territory. The carefully crafted first-week rules dissolved, except for very sketchy ball and strike calls. In the first game, Peter Haplerin’s team prevailed over the Hans Solmssen/Caleb Caldwell pitching collaborative, 7-4. In the second game, Ed Eger’s team got by Jim Feiner’s team, 5-1. Newcomers include Will Goldman visiting his grandmother, a standout player in both games, and she umpired a few innings too. Jude Spencer, about to start Bard College, played well. Mira Quinton, age 12, played impressively with cool shades and great swing, legged out a few hits, and was joined by her dad in the game. Lily Bernhard, 18, just back from London, played impressively, with her dad in the outfield. Then there was the red-haired young guy on third base who snagged the vicious liner hit by Sig Van Raan, ending a bases-loaded inning. A great Sunday in the fog game, forever summer. Chilmark Softball Games at Flanders Field (on Pasture Road off Tabor House Road), Sundays at 8 am, 12 years or older, and all skill levels welcome.

Join Nancy Aronie for a “Memoir as Medicine” book talk at the Aquinnah library on Thursday, July 28, at 5 pm. Her upcoming Chilmark Writers Workshops still have room. Call or text 508-274-4286 to register.

Chef and cookbook author Catherine Walthers and foraging farmer and author Rebecca Gilbert have teamed up to teach “Preserving an Island Summer Bounty” series on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6 pm at Native Earth Teaching Farm; July 28 is “Quick Pickles,” August 4 is “Growing and Enjoying Edible Flowers.” Preregistration required; space is limited. Sign up and learn more at

The M.V. Author Series continues on Thursday, July 28, when former Attorney General Eric Holder is interviewed by Michelle Norris about his new book, “Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote — A History, a Crisis, a Plan.” This program is sold out, but don’t miss the final two authors. Learn more and buy tickets at

Don’t miss Kara Taylor’s “Guardians of Us” exhibit, open Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

The Simon Gallery is open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm, at 14 Wisteria Road off Tabor House, featuring Peter Simon photography and Ronni Simon Designs.

Check out the Yard programs and classes at Yoga with Mollie Doyle info is at Class passes sold at the door.

Peaked Hill Studio yoga and Sound Journey info is at

The Chilmark library hosts “Travel Among the Stars” with Mark Alan Lovewell to explore the summer night sky, on Wednesday, August 3, at 8:30 pm; unless noted, programs are hybrid, in-person and on Zoom. Email for more information. Kids are welcome to join the summer reading program, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” Afternoon Lego Club meets Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. For further help, call 508-645-3360 or 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 10:30am. 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,