Oak Bluffs: Indoor story walk, risotto cooking class, travel talk, and Parenting in America

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—MV Times

“When you make it to the top, turn and reach down for the person behind you.”  –Abraham Lincoln

This month we celebrate the birthdays of two presidents: Abe Lincoln (on the 12th) and George Washington (on the 22nd). We all get a holiday on Monday, the 20th, thanks to them.

Don’t forget Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. There are pink hearts and candy and flowers at nearly every store counter, so no excuse to forget to tell someone they are loved.

I had fun at Paint Night at the Barn last Saturday! This library-sponsored activity was a great way to spend a cold night in February. The upstairs room at the Barn was set up with individual canvas and easels and all the paint and brushes you need, and guided by the very fun Hannah Burbidge. Hannah kept us laughing and listening to great music while we attempted to create a colorful painting of koi fish. There was a wide variety of expression on canvas in the group, and we all had a good time. I highly recommend this for a fun night out. The next one is March 4; be sure and preregister by emailing hburbidge@clamsnet.org.

Speaking of the library, there will be an indoor Story Walk for ages 4 through 8 on Saturday, Feb. 11. The book is “When the Schools Shut Down,” which tells the story of a community’s fight for equal education. Story Walks are really fun, as you follow the story at your own pace on a trail, and learn along the way.

On Valentine’s Day, you can take a cooking class at the library with Brent Turner, chef at Rosewater Market, from 5 to 6 pm. This class will create Vegetable Risotto. Preregister for this one at hburbidge@clamsnet.org.

Our own Tom Dresser is bringing his slideshow about his long-distance walk on the West Highland Way in Scotland all the way to West Tisbury. You can catch it at the W.T. library at 4:30 pm on Feb. 9.

The P.A. Club will host the Edgartown School fundraiser to benefit the eighth grade this Friday, Feb. 10. From 6 to 7:30 pm, there will be a silent auction, with items like fishing charters, salon services, Bruins tickets, artwork, and more. Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish will get the dancing going at 8 pm.

“Parenting in America” is a program for families who have immigrated to the U.S., bringing a wealth of parenting strengths that draw on culture, tradition, and family experience, but finding challenges living in a new, multicultural setting. The goal of this program is to help parents and caregivers to develop new, culturally responsive strategies and practices, while honoring their own cultural heritage. This free six-week series for Portuguese speakers is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 10 am through March 16 at the Family Center in Vineyard Haven. Breakfast is included! It is a collaboration between Island Wide Youth Collaborative, Connect to End Violence, and the Family Center, all programs of M.V. Community Services.

I forgot to say happy birthday to Alyssa Sylvia last week, who celebrated her 17th on Feb. 6. Alyssa is busy rehearsing for “Chicago,” the high school musical, which will be presented Feb. 16–19. Mark your calendars: This looks like a great show, directed by Brooke Ditchfield and featuring the multitalented high school ensemble of actors and musicians, plus some cameos from the community. See you there!

A Save-the-Date notice for friends, family, and fans of Shirley W. Mayhew: Shirley passed away in August 2020, during the COVID pandemic lockdown, and the family is finally able to schedule a celebration of life for her. The event will be Friday, May 12, from 4 to 7 pm, at the Agricultural Hall on Panhandle Road in West Tisbury. This will be a “cocktail hour” event. The family will be providing wine and nonalcoholic beverages, and are asking guests to bring potluck plates of finger food. It will be open to the public; there will be a notice published in The MV Times much closer to the event. Mark your calendars, and please email Deborah Mayhew at drdeb@vineyard.net with any questions.

Happy birthday to George Valentzas on Feb. 10. Bunches of balloons go to Judy Pachico on the 11th. Judy shares the day with Juanita Espino and Kristen Tidmarsh Araujo. Our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, shares his birthday with Island renaissance man Brad Tucker. Celebrating Valentine Day birthdays are two people with very big hearts, Ray Whitaker and Caroline Derrig. Big birthday hugs to Donna Hopson on the 15th!

Stay warm, and send me your news!

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