Oak Bluffs: Polar Bears

Art at Norton Farmstand. — Joanne Lambert

“I am the source of my joy and infinite possibilities.”  –Martha’s Vineyard Polar Bears mantra

The “Today Show” did a piece about our own Martha’s Vineyard Polar Bears on August 24, with video footage and interviews with Polar Bear leaders Caroline Hunter and Brenda Davenport. It was a beautiful representation of the 76-year legacy of the Polar Bears, and the magic of the early morning water experience. The season officially ends on Labor Day; only a few more mornings to exercise together at 7:30 am.

COVID got me. I tried to be careful, but I guess it was inevitable. Still, that pink line is a startling sight. It felt like a cold coming on the first day, then like a bad flu crashing down on my whole body. I spent a few days in bed, with headache and cough the worst symptoms. Ginger ale, ibuprofen, and extra vitamin C, plus binge-watching “The Bear,” got me through missing so many of these spectacular late summer days. Be careful out there, this virus is not fun.

The Norton Farmstand is a gem in Oak Bluffs. We have really enjoyed the quality of fruits and veggies and baked goods there this summer. The flowers in the field and in the cans are always gorgeous, and I love the plate art that lines the entrance. Thanks to the family and staff for keeping us stocked with fresh summer food!

September is Maritime Month at the Oak Bluffs library. In honor of Gordon Goodwin, longtime resident and avid fisherman, his family donated a fund to the library to support programming about our marine environment. On Friday, Sept. 2, join Jonathan on the O.B. pier at 10 am for a morning of fishing. He will have some equipment available, or bring your own, and get some tips and guidance to get ready for the Derby. No experience needed! This will happen again on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 10 am.

Shellfishing lessons will be offered on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Meet at the first bridge (by Island Spirit Kayaks) at 2:30 pm, bring your water shoes, and learn how to quahog in Sengekontacket Pond with local experts from the M.V. Shellfish Group. You don’t need a permit, equipment, or experience — just maybe a good chowder recipe. This will be repeated on Sept. 14.

Kick off the holiday weekend with the Tabernacle Sunset Concert Series on Friday, Sept. 2, featuring Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. Always great to have them in our own backyard! Music starts at 6 pm.

Ocean Park Sunday evening music at the bandstand on Sept. 4 will be the Black-Eyed Susans, from 5:30 to 7:30 — don’t miss a minute!

MVCET (formerly ACE MV) is offering an exciting opportunity for a three-credit college course through Cape Cod Community College here on M.V. “Child Growth and Development” will be offered in a webinar-type format, meaning after you register, you take the classes at your convenience, at your own pace. The course is being supported by grant funds that offer tuition scholarships (translation: This three-credit course could be free for you!) and cohort support in the form of scheduled meetings for the group to network and get questions answered. If you or anyone you know is starting a career in early childhood education, working toward teacher certification, or just want to add to professional development, this is an amazing opportunity. The course begins on Sept. 8. You can contact kate@mvcet.org, or even send me an email and I will get you more info.

Save the date: The annual Aquinnah Powwow is Sept. 10. It’s a special and meaningful day to honor the traditions and perseverance of the Wampanoag people, whose land we live upon. Before this island was called Martha’s Vineyard, it was called Noepe by the Wampanoag people, who were the first people to live on the Island more than 10,000 years ago. Their descendants still call this land home, an amazing feat of survival against cultural genocide. Attend the annual Powwow and learn more about these first people of Noepe.

September birthdays start off with a bang: The ever-fabulous Karen Trotier celebrates on Sept. 1, and then the mayor of Oak Bluffs and ambassador of smiles, Eddie Ben David, will receive all birthday hugs on Sept. 2. On the 5th, Caroline Hunter shares the day with Alexandra Clark and Rachel Ben David. Skylar Hall and Erica deForest celebrate on the 6th. Many happy returns to Holly Hawks and Susan Phillips on the 7th.

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