“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
Memorial Day is an American holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
It started after the Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, and claimed more lives per capita than any conflict in history. National cemeteries were established, and people began decorating the graves of the countless soldiers. It became a federal holiday in 1971.
Memorial Day weekend also kicks off the summer season, although last week felt quite busy in Oak Bluffs, between the cruise ship visitors flooding town and the Martha’s Vineyard Marathon on the weekend!
There are lots of activities over the holiday weekend, including the official “restoration reveal” at the Flying Horses on Saturday, May 27. At 9 am, there will be a tour of the newly refurbished horses and equipment, at 10, the ceremonial ribbon-cutting — and free rides from 10 to 11.
The 29th annual M.V. Memorial 5K Road Race and Fun Run is Sunday, May 28. All proceeds from the event will directly support Hospice & Palliative Care of M.V. Online registration at runsignup.com must be done by May 27 at noon. Cost is $15 for the one-mile Fun Run, $30 for the 5K. In-person registration, check-in, and bib pickup is May 27 from 4 to 6 pm, and May 28 from 8 to 9 am. The Fun Run starts at 9:30 am, then 5K runners and walkers start promptly at 10 am from Ocean Park.
After the race, stop in at the Oak Bluffs Open Market in Washington Park, which begins Sunday, May 28, from 10 am to 2 pm. Enjoy local shopping, food, and music, every Sunday through the summer. If you’d like to be a vendor, text 508-939-1076.
Thursday, May 25, don’t miss “Woman’s Work: Tradeswomen” at the O.B. library at 5 pm. The impressive lineup of panelists includes Emily deBettencourt (Oak Bluffs harbormaster) and Emma Green-Beach (M.V. Shellfish Group, Oak Bluffs Select Board member). The panelists will discuss their fields of work and the paths that led them there.
Tom Dresser will give a talk about his new book, “Martha’s Vineyard in the Roaring Twenties: Radicals and Rascals” at the library on Friday, May 26, at 4 pm.
Meet artist Jack Yuen from Oak Bluffs on Saturday, May 27, at 5 pm at the Louis Gould Gallery on Main Street in V.H. Jack is a truly amazing artist, and he will be showing his new selection of landscapes and seascapes.
I saw a wonderful show at the Vineyard Playhouse last weekend; just have to tell you about it! “Miss Maybelline’s Nocturnal Flights of Fancy” was at once entertaining and hilarious, and deeply moving. Written by Kathleen McGhee Anderson, a second-generation Oak Bluffs homeowner, the story tells the tale of life on School Street through the past 10 decades or so, as told by 110-year-old Miss Maybel (played by S. Epatha Merkerson of “Chicago Med” and Broadway fame) to her 15-year-old neighbor, Trey. Along the way we learn a lot of Island history, including a little-known story about the M.V. Camp Meeting Association removing cottages owned by people of color, which gave rise to other neighborhoods — like School Street. We also learn from Trey about what it is like to be “on the spectrum,” as he describes himself, and the struggles for his single mom trying to survive on the Island. The actors were masterful in bringing the story to life, and the workshop was expertly directed by M.J. Munafo.
June 7 is home Opening Day for the M.V. Sharks! They are still in need of host families for the players. You can contact Russ Curran at 508-813-0380 if you can supply a bed or two for the summer.
The Greenhouse has started putting its tomato plants out; they have an abundance of varieties, and this weekend will be a good time to get the plants in the ground. They will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 3, with healthy plants at great prices.
Happy birthday to my first grandson, Elijah Cheney, on May 25! Jamie Kageleiry shares the date — take the day off and celebrate, Jamie! Heather Boyle celebrates on May 26. Our favorite Shakespeare actor, professional clown and aerialist Liz Hartford, will be celebrating in Nashawena Park on May 27. Liz is hosting her fellow “S___-Faced Shakespeare” actors from Boston for the celebration. May 28 sends birthday wishes to Patti deFelice, Sheryl Dagostino, and Mattie Long. On the 29th, we celebrate the Marvelous Ms. Porterfield, Stacey Morris Porterfield. On the last day of May, sending balloons to Melanie Bilodeau, Sarah Shaw Dawson, and Lacey Dinning. A happy anniversary shout out to Deena Dray and Peter Rosegg, who are celebrating in Aix-en-Provence.
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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, firstname.lastname@example.org.