Aquinnah: Sassafras Thanksgiving truth, Ayurveda workshop, and homework club

—MV Times

The Outermost Inn is open for lunch at 11 am Thursday through Saturday and for brunch on Sunday at 10:30 am. They are also hosting a winter dinner series on various nights; it began this past Monday with Chef Frank Williams cooking up some very good-looking short ribs. Call for reservations and more information at 508-645-3511.

Sassafras will host a workshop for the general public at the Oak Bluffs library on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. David Two Arrows Vanderhoop will talk about the truth behind the Thanksgiving story most of us were taught in school, followed by a workshop in which the audience can participate. Sassafras is also holding a fireside gathering for native families at Sassafras on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. This gathering will provide a safe space, for native families only, to talk about what this holiday brings up. 

The Wampanoag Tribe’s election ballots are due this Friday, Nov. 18. The next tribal general membership meeting will be on Sunday, Nov. 20 at noon. This will be a hybrid meeting; tribal members can come in person or via zoom.

At the library on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 3 pm Sonja Josephson, founder of Seasons of Life Ayurveda, will lead an Ayurveda workshop on balancing diet, lifestyle, and self-care practices for the fall. This program is free, and all are welcome. Email to register. There are also drop-in crafts from noon to 3 pm on Saturday and the homework club meets Tuesdays at 3:30 pm. The next meeting of the book group will be on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 3 pm to discuss, “On the Rooftop” by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. Copies are available at the library.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival will present three short films by Island filmmakers on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 pm at the Grange Hall. The evening will include films by dream hampton, James Graham, and Aquinnah’s own Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth. Liz and Ken will be showing a ten minute excerpt from their film, “Follow the Journey,” currently in post-production. It documents a year in the life of one of the most endangered creatures on earth, the North Atlantic right whale. As seven newborn calves are guided up the Eastern Seaboard by their mothers, from Florida to Canada’s Maritime Provinces, their 2,000 mile journey is monitored by a close-knit network of researchers racing to save the species from oblivion. Tickets for the evening can be purchased at

The West Chop Community Fund now has a website with a downloadable (and uploadable) grant application for our 2022-2023 grant cycle — go to If you are part of a nonprofit, your organization is eligible to apply by this year’s Nov. 30 deadline for grants to be announced late spring 2023. Guidelines and instructions are listed on the site.

This past Saturday a memorial was held for John Henry Patterson, who died on August 19. John Henry was such a light on this Island. Although he was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, which became increasingly painful and limited how engaged he could be with others, he always had a smile and would help in any way he could. John Henry had a wealth of knowledge about cars, Indian motorcycles, plumbing, welding, building, and many other topics. His gift was that he would generously share his expertise with anyone who asked and would do so in a way that never belittled you for not knowing what you didn’t know. I keep thinking I will see John drive by me in his brown Astro van and flash a smile one last time.

Congratulations to Ollie and Lily Crowell who have a new home in Aquinnah! They had a party on Sunday to celebrate the end of their Island shuffle. Happy birthday to Tiffany Vanderhoop who celebrates on Nov. 18, Max Butler on Nov. 20, and Ngina Johnson on Nov. 21.