Oak Bluffs: Cinco de Mayo, kids planting seeds, Tom Dresser’s book, and Minnesingers show

—MV Times

“May the fourth be with you!” That is not a “Star Wars” misquote, it is part of an actual headline in the London Evening News from May 4, 1979, when Margaret Thatcher won the election and became Britain’s first female prime minister. May 4 is also Star Wars Day, for those who celebrate.

May’s full moon is known as the “Flower Moon,” and it will bloom on Friday, May 5. All the native American names for this moon refer to the awakening of spring, such as “Budding Moon” (Cree) and “Planting Moon” (Dakota). It is said that the full moon is an ideal time to accept a proposal of marriage — so be careful whom you go out to watch the moon with!

May 5 is also Cinco de Mayo! This annual celebration commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It took a few more years for the French to officially withdraw from Mexico, but the date became a symbol of Mexican independence and culture. Celebrations include parades, parties, music, great food and drink — my kind of holiday!

Caroline Hunter has been checking in from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with photos and videos of the spectacular music and sights throughout her birthplace, NOLA. Caroline is always busy — before the Jazz Fest, she completed a residency at Bard Graduate School in NYC, where she spoke about her experience cofounding the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement in the 1970s, and her antiapartheid and civil rights work over many decades. Soon she’ll be back home in Oak Bluffs, getting ready to jump into the water with the Polar Bears!

Friends and family gathered on Saturday to honor the life of Ron Whitney, who passed away on April 8. Ron was well-known as the manager at the MSPCA of Martha’s Vineyard from 1977 until 2009. He was a kind, gentle man, a good friend, a protector of animals, and a loving husband and father. He will be missed, and our deepest sympathy goes out to Debbie and family.

Longtime West Tisbury resident Shirley W. Mayhew passed away in August 2020, during the COVID pandemic lockdown. Her family has scheduled a celebration of Shirley’s life for Friday, May 12, 2023, from 4 to 7 pm, at the Agricultural Hall on Panhandle Road. The family will be providing wine and nonalcoholic beverages, and are asking guests to bring potluck plates of finger food. The event is open to the public. Please email Deborah Mayhew at drdeb@vineyard.net with any questions.

Kids, get your garden started this Saturday by going to the library for “Seed Planting” at 11 am. This workshop is for kids of all ages, and you will go home with some starters and lots of information.

Looking forward to Tom Dresser’s new book, “Martha’s Vineyard in the Roaring Twenties: Radicals and Rascals,” which will be released on May 22. You can preorder now, or wait for it to be available on-Island. Tom says, “This book was a treat to write, and is a joy to share. Compare it to our own Roaring ’20s right now! See how life has changed. Or not.”

Featherstone will be opening the “Art of Flowers” show on May 14. The opening reception on the 14th is from 4 to 6 pm, and the show will be up through May 29 — don’t miss it! Featherstone has also announced its summer music series, so we can look forward to magical evenings on the lawn again this summer. Musical Mondays begin on June 26, and Blues Fridays with Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish will start on June 30.

Be sure and get your tickets for the annual Minnesingers Spring Show on Friday, May 12, at 7 pm and Saturday, May 13, at 4 pm. These shows are always fabulous, and a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend!

Hooray, hooray for birthdays in May! Willy Nevin, who was of course born on Cinco de Mayo, will celebrate his 30th birthday on the 5th! Fred Hall and Todd Alexander also celebrate on the 5th. Happy birthday on the 6th to Leslie Hurd, and on the 7th to our own rock star, Don Groover! On the 9th, balloons go to Diane Sylvia and Jamie Boyle. On the 10th, we remember Primo Lombardi, and we salute Richie Smith.

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