For the Martha’s Vineyard Times, 2022 was filled with delicious food, outstanding musical performances, adventures by both land and sea, and enough community news to fill a book. Each year, the Community section of The Times seeks to celebrate the diverse population and chronicle the rich culture that exists on our tiny Island. We are constantly on the lookout for fascinating historical tales that frame the current way of life here, such as in Chris Baer’s endlessly enthralling “This Was Then” column. In 2022, Baer brought us the story of the Holmes Hole (Vineyard Haven) skyline, tales of “Turkeyland” in Edgartown from 1742, and documented accounts of the exploits of vicious pirate captains in Vineyard waters.
Another strong highlight of 2022 was all the talented musicians who performed on stages, at bars, and via Zoom, who brought their creative energy out into the open for all to enjoy. We had a great time writing about the Weiland family, for which music is a force that brings the whole household together. We also featured a piece about the Navigator program at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, where special education students compiled and starred in their own music videos from beginning to end.
And then there were epic narrative pieces about the various thrills Islanders enjoy: paddleboarding at night with light-up transparent boards, floating among mud and rocks on the seafloor in order to spear that perfect fish, bowhunting bucks through the thick woods, and rocketing down an open Trustees trail on a mountain bike. We explored new community programs, like martial arts classes for kids, and local chefs providing wholesome and toothsome meals to homeless shelters.
And who doesn’t love hearing about what some unique locals do for a living or during their spare time? For instance, the family-owned Island Bee Company harvesting honey and turning it into amazing health and beauty products, or the women of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association out on a brisk morning on the last day of the Derby. What about the Aronie brothers of Chilmark and their fantastic new invention, the Bud Wakker?
There was no shortage of content for garden lovers and those passionate about the outdoors in 2022, either. The Community section was bursting with fun and informative articles from Abigail Higgins, who writes Garden Notes; Matt Pelikan, who writes Wild Side; and Valerie Sonnenthal, who writes Gardens of Love. We learned about prepping gardens for winter, a cicada that sings in the morning, and a longtime couple moving to the mainland and taking their garden with them.
Some of the most beloved moments from 2022 spotlighted Vineyard youth and some of their accomplishments. Lucky viewers were blown away by the performance of “Les Misérables” at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, presented by the student performing arts and music departments. In a more scholarly vein, the community celebrated young Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School student Kalleb Oliveira, who took home the gold at the Islandwide Spelling Bee and earned himself a spot on the Scripps national stage.
So let’s wave a fond goodbye to 2022, and look forward in joyful anticipation to new experiences, new memories, and new accomplishments in the year to come.