Aquinnah: Town meetings, Climate Action Fair, Howes House, and art and science talk

—MV Times

I’m one of those who love town meetings. I am comforted and happy to see the faces of neighbors. I am touched by the earnestness and dedication of those hearty souls who bother to come out and take care of the town’s business. I am also amazed at how, no matter the topic and no matter the passions expressed, good sense almost always prevails. I am a woman from the West, where we don’t have town meetings, and I wish that this form of democracy in action happened there; we are so fortunate to be here.

Aquinnah will hold its annual Town Meeting on May 9 at 7 pm at the Town Hall. Among other critical items (like the budget!), we will be the last town, and the decider, on the issue of the high school budget. Although special town meetings may be called throughout the year, this is the big one. Then May 11, from noon to 8 pm, come to Town Hall for the annual Town Election. Please come out, your mind and your heart and your vote are needed. Not everybody on this planet gets to have a say in the way their community works — you do.

For another chance to do something positive about this old world, don’t forget the Climate Action Fair on May 7, from 12 to 4 pm, at the Ag Hall. Come and view exhibits, have some good food, and learn about what good work is being done and how you can take part. This is a family event.

The staff and volunteers at the Up-Island Council on Aging at Howes House are offering some great things this month. If you have some time to spare and are looking for a way to get involved in the community and lend a helping hand, on May 9 they are holding a Volunteer Fair from 1 to 3 pm. Various groups will be there to tell you what they are doing and what kind of help they need. Then on May 11, bring your own lunch to the Howes House for good conversation — and free dessert (please RSVP). They are also forming a walking group, and compiling a list of interested walkers. Let them know if you are interested. There are many other terrific programs, like yoga and watercolor classes and support groups and legal advisors and more, but I specifically want you to know that they also offer transportation help and food resources for seniors facing food insecurity. The basic message to seniors — you are not alone, help and friendship is at hand. Give them a call to get on their mailing list. Their number is 508-693-2896.

At the Aquinnah library, the every-Saturday-in-May craft is jewelry making. Drop by to make friendship bracelets, learn to make your own earrings, and more. There is also an afterschool club every Tuesday at 3:30 pm, with homework help, crafting, games, and more.

On May 5, the M.V. Museum brings together biology teacher and member of the Wampanoag Tribe Carole Vandal with artist Marion Wilson and Emma Green-Beach, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, to talk about the intersection between art and science. Preregistration is encouraged. This one costs $10 for museum members and $15 for others. Go to to register.

My husband Charley and I have been together for 51 years. We were officially married on May 6, 1974, so this is our 49th year of being legally bound. I can tell you this: Long-term marriage has been the surprise and delight of our lives. This time, when we are slower and older and quieter, is deep and good. We are both grateful that the other never gave up, and that our old eyes can still see us as we were when we were young and beautiful. Thank you, Charley. Thank you.

I know of two women who celebrate birthdays this week. Alex Taylor celebrates on May 6, and Robin Robinson celebrates on May 11. Both of these women are almost kin to me, as Alex is my son-in-law’s sister, and Robin is married to his uncle. They are both people who welcomed me when I first came here, and have, in the seven years since, become truly dear to my heart. Happy birthday, A.T. Happy birthday, Robin. I am grateful to you both.

Now, if the rest of you will please let me know about birthdays, or celebrations, or awards, or events, or other things of note, I will be very grateful. (Thank you to Barbara Wallen for sending me a list of the birthdays she knows about.) Write to

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Kathie Olson,