Oak Bluffs: Community greenhouse

Oak Bluffs library. — Joanne Lambert

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, air, and you.” –Langston Hughes

We all need rain and humor these days! Now that we are past the big week of summer, maybe the roads will become a bit easier to travel, the lines a bit shorter. I don’t know, though, as there was a line waiting for Reliable to open on Sunday, and the Beach Road Festival is this weekend. I have not attended the festival before, but I couldn’t resist an opportunity to see Emmylou Harris on M.V., so I’ll be there Sunday!

The fireworks were as fabulous as ever, on a night that might have been the most perfect ever for it — clear skies, mild breeze, beautiful sunset, followed by bright stars to accompany the fireworks. Great job by the town to organize and produce a perfect event, and many thanks to the fire and police departments for keeping everything safe and peaceful. Sandi and Ray Santinello hosted friends on their beautiful porch overlooking the park, where we enjoyed a delicious potluck feast, caught up on news, had many laughs, and then shared many “oohs” and “aahs” watching the show in the sky. Jenna Lambert and fiancé Zach Sylvia were with us, which made it even more special, as Jenna started watching the fireworks from the Santinellos’ porch as a baby.

August also brought the heartbreaking tragedy of the death of two young brothers from Jamaica after jumping from the Big Bridge. In classic Vineyard style, everyone felt the sadness for the lives lost, and for the family of Tavaris and Tavaughn Bulgin, and contributed to a memorial fund for their family that has topped $200,000. The tribute to them on the bridge is a beautiful and stark reminder that life is fragile. May their family find some comfort in the outpouring from the Island community.

Happy 90th birthday to Jakki Hunt, longtime resident of Oak Bluffs. She came to the Island in the summer of 1943. She remembers when Circuit Avenue had wooden sidewalks. She married Ben Hunt in August 1953 on the Vineyard. Among many accomplishments, she was the first female president of the NAACP of M.V., and served in that role for 13 years. She was the first black person to work at the regional high school, from 1969 to 1973, and developed curriculum for Black history and Black literature there. She taught junior high school in New York City for 12 years, retiring in 2000. Her birthday celebration was held in front of her home on Nashawena Park on Sunday, August 14, attended by her daughter Karen, her granddaughter Sidney, and many friends.

The Vineyard Greenhouse let me know that they still have tomatoes growing in the greenhouse, available for sale by the pound. They need volunteers to water and tend the greenhouse, and this September they will be hiring a new manager, because Zephir and family are moving off-Island. It’s a 20-hour-per-week job; check out the listing in this week’s paper.

Big thanks to the highway department for all the tree and brush trimming they have done around town! Many corners are much safer with better visibility, plus our side streets look much nicer!

This Friday, August 26, brings the last Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish summer concert at Featherstone. The time is 6 to 7:30, and special guest Barbara Puciul-Hoy will be joining the band on bass and vocals.

Musical Mondays on August 29 (also at Featherstone) will feature the fun dance band the Dukes of Circuit Ave., 6-7:30.

At the Tabernacle lawn on Friday night, the Sunset Concert Series will feature Missis Biskis. Morning yoga continues under the tent on the Tabernacle lawn. On Tuesday, August 30, it will be “Family Yoga and Movement,” 10 – 11:30 am.

And don’t forget Community Sing — the last one of the summer — on Wednesday, August 31.

Happy birthday to Rob Oslyn on August 26, and son Justin Oslyn on August 30. On the 28th, we celebrate Anne Whiting and Chris Alley. August 29 brings 80 balloons to Billie Hancock! Wishing her a fabulous day, and many more! Birthday hugs on the 30th to Pam Melrose, Ashley Girard, Daniele Albert, and Jennifer Fiore. Nancy Giordano celebrates on August 31.

Send me your news!

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.