Chilmark: Read beyond the beaten path

It was so hot even the cows migrated to standing in their watering hole at the Allen Farm. — Valerie Sonnenthal

It’s the bounty of summer on all fronts, and hopefully a reprieve from the heat. Swimming is my happy place, and it took having a guest for me to get to one of my favorite ponds. Now I will make sure to carve out that time, it’s such a short season to enjoy our waters.
Field Tomato Tasting at Beetlebung Farm on Thursday, August 11, from 5 to 6 pm. Pepper Tasting on August 25. Sign up at

It’s time for the Chilmark Road Race on Saturday, August 13, with a 10:30 am start time. If you are interested in volunteering for the Chilmark Road Race, write or call 508-560-2622.

It’s the last Nancy Aronie summer Writing From the Heart Workshop, August 15 to 18, from 9 am to noon. Call 508-274-4286 or email to register.

Martha’s Vineyard Bank hosts “The Art of Martha’s Vineyard’s Great Ponds” exhibit at their Chilmark branch, 517 South Road, from August 12 to Sept. 1. Curated by Monina von Opel, the exhibit is from the M.V. Hospital’s Permanent Art Collection. Join Great Ponds artists at the opening reception on August 12 at 5:30 pm, where “Great Ponds” documentary filmmaker Ollie Becker will answer questions.

See “Let’s Dance! 50 years of the Yard!” at the M.V. Museum through October. Brownbody will present Tracing Sacred Steps (TSS), which blends modern dance, figure skating, and Ring Shout on Friday, August 12, at 7 pm at the Performing Arts Center. Buy tickets and check out The Yard programs and classes at

Meditative Morning Family Drumming from 8 to 9 a.m. on Mondays has begun at the Milokan Cultural Center, or join herbalist Rebecca Gilbert on a foraging walk for edible weeds around her luscious farmland at Native Earth Teaching Farm on Thursdays, from 10 to 11 am. Please, no dogs. Check out other music and farm happenings at

This week’s Sunday Flanders Field Softball report came in despite Sig Van Raan being out due to family obligations. Two well-played games with a full complement of players. Hunter Weiss continues his sparkling defense in the outfield with great running catches. An unknown player walked in out of the field and hit two majestic home runs during the first game and then disappeared. Keith Heller promoted himself from umpire to first baseman following a season-long recoup from hip surgery.

The Ketchum family showed up in full force. Jim Ketchum pitched against Jim Feiner in a high scoring first game. So far there has not been a single Keruoac all season (a Keruoac is a home run hit On The Road).

The MV Author Series final author, Amor Towles, in conversation with author Richard Russo about his third novel, “The Lincoln Highway,” is on Sunday, August 17, at the PAC. Get tickets at

The Chilmark library hosts Rick Shweder, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, on Wednesday, August 10, at 5 pm to discuss “The Debate over Religious Exemptions and the Free Exercise of Culture in the USA.” Programs are hybrid, in-person, and on Zoom. Email for more information. Kids can still join the summer reading program, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” Join artist Kate Feiffer who reads from her hit picture book “Henry the Dog with No Tail!” on Thursday, August 11, at 11 am. Afternoon Lego Club meets Wednesdays at 2:30 pm. For further help or assistance 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 MVBLM vigils at the Chilmark Library lawn are on Sundays at 10:30am. Learn more at Keep up with what’s going on with MVBLM 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,