Aquinnah: Summer Speaker Series

—MV Times

August has settled over us just as hot, humid, and dry as July but with more people. The best escape is the beach, which, although crowded, I find with a carefully placed towel and a good book, I can always find some respite from the crowds. I marvel at the people who make it to Philbin every day and hope that someday I will have a work schedule to create that reality for myself. It has been wonderful to see the Butler family enjoying their time here together, along with Kate and Tim Kausch and their boys Noah and Sammy, who get bigger and braver every summer. Philbin is truly one of the best places on Earth, even when it’s cold and you can’t go in the water, or can’t go in comfortably.

At the Aquinnah Public Library, the Summer Speaker Series will conclude this Thursday at 5 pm with Luanne Johnson speaking on Aquinnah’s wildlife and how you can protect it. Luanne is a wildlife biologist and director of Biodiversity Works, an Island nonprofit focused on promoting biodiversity conservation. This event will take place on the library deck. Email to register. The next meeting of the book group is Tuesday, August 16, at 3 pm on the library deck, to discuss “The Fire Keeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley. Email to register.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival has great programming this week including “Encanto” on Friday and “Black Panther” on Saturday at the drive-in, and at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury: “Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches” on Saturday and Cinema Circus and a documentary about our great ponds on Wednesday. To purchase tickets and for a full schedule go to

Not sure if everyone has heard, but there is a trial starting of a vaccine for Lyme Disease. If you are interested in participating in the trial call 877-565-5112 or go to

Emerson Mahoney got to walk in his official graduation ceremony last weekend at Dartmouth. Emerson graduated in 2020, but due to the pandemic the graduation was virtual, Aquinnah residents may remember the driveby parade and cake party up at the Cliffs. Dartmouth did not forget the disappointment of the students of the early pandemic and worked to rectify a little bit of what was lost. Emerson’s family travelled up to New Hampshire to see him walk in his cap and gown. Billie Diamond was here for most of the summer, and she returned to Florida on Monday as she returns to high school next week. It was great to see Billie, working in Menemsha and hanging on Philbin with friends. Hopefully, she will be back for the holidays. Happy Birthday to Len and Mallory Butler (yes, they share the same birthday) on August 14. Happy Birthday to the delightful Kate Taylor who celebrates the following day on the 15th.

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