Happy last full week of August and the first week of (hopefully) seeing the Island quiet down a little bit. Last week was wild. Illumination Night was packed on Wednesday night, with a bigger crowd than I’ve seen since buying my little cottage a few years ago. My front porch was packed with family and friends and I wish I had a nickel for every phone our pictures ended up on. My house did look quite cute, I must say, and we were all laughing A LOT. I can see why so many stopped and visited throughout the night. Then on Thursday, my cousin Jennifer Corwin VanGelder wanted to go to the Ag Fair. I mentioned it would probably be pretty crowded, given that it was the first night and the fireworks would be the following night, but we ventured out just the same. And I’ve got to say, even I had underestimated the size of the crowd. But we were there for the sights and sounds rather than the rides and games, so we just wandered around for a bit, ate some fried dough and came back home.
As anticipated, I got out of Dodge on Friday night, avoiding the fireworks and crowds completely. I really feel uncomfortable in that big crowd and the make-the-world-a-better-place part of me tends to think about how many countries we could feed with the money we spend on fireworks, so I don’t go. But I’m thinking, if I start gathering up my nerves now, I might actually be able to go watch them next year. It sounds like it was quite a show this year. Maybe it’s time for me to give it another try. I hope everyone got to have some special fun this week and made some special memories.
Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Kate Lingren on August 24, Dean Rosenthal on August 27, Manny Estralla on August 29, and Pam Melrose on August 30.
Janet Messineo will be at the Edgartown library on Thursday evening at 5:30 for an author talk, discussing “Casting into the Light,” tales of a champion surfcaster: the education of a young woman hell-bent on following her dream and learning the mysterious and profound sport, and art, of surfcasting, on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Registration is not required.
The Beach Road Weekend festival is this week, starting with “Jaws” night on Thursday and then three days of concerts at Veterans Park. You can check out the schedule at beachroadweekend.com. I know there are some great performances scheduled but, like the fireworks, I’ll be staying someplace a little quieter, or more likely, listening from farther away, perhaps while painting my house. I seem to recall hearing a lot of the music last summer.
The Edgartown library is offering up An Evening of Stand-Up Comedy with Charlie Nadler and Cord Bailey at 7 pm on August 27. They will start with an open mic for up-and-coming folks who want to give joke telling a try and then Cord Bailey and Charlie Nadler will take the stage.
It’s that time of year again. Moms and dads are sending those “babies” off to college. Whether it’s the first time or tenth time, I know it never really gets easier. I remember crying like a baby when I took Riley to college. I cried at Walmart buying his supplies. I cried at dinner. I cried as he waved goodbye from his dorm room door, even though I was going to see him again a few days later. I cried the night before I left. I cried the entire plane ride home. And I cried for days once I got home. It’s a wonderful, magical, fantastic time for the kids to go out to create their own adventures and lives. And it can be so, so hard on the parents. You’ve got this, Mom and Dad. It’s time for them to fly. Good luck to all the students heading off to start, continue, or finish their studies.
While we are on the topic of kids leaving for college, don’t forget to stop into your town clerk’s office and make arrangements for or get an absentee ballot for upcoming elections. Your voice and vote matters. Republican, Democrat, or Independent, you need to vote.
I am so moved by the outpouring of support our community is showing to the Bulgin family, who lost their sons/brothers/nephews last week. There is so little that we can do in such tragedies. But as I write this, the Go Fund Me account that was set up for the family with a goal of $50,000 has reached $222,000.00. Money can’t even begin to address the tragic loss this family has suffered but I am just in awe of how so many have jumped in to really do the only thing they can do to tell the Bulgin family how sad we are and how we so desperately want to help them. It can’t address the grief and loss but it certainly helps ensure that they do not have to worry about all of the costs related to travel here and back to Jamaica and for services for the young men. Thank you, M.V. You have helped restore my faith in humanity.
That’s about it. School starts next week for teachers and the week after for kids. It seems crazy to be going back so soon. It has been one of those weird summers that feels really short and really long at the same time. Labor Day is closer than we think. If you have news for that week, get it to me as soon as you can, as my deadline is Friday, Sept. 2, due to the Monday holiday. Have a great week.
If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, email@example.com.