Chilmark: Assistance dog, learning to read, jazz concert, and Constance Messmer workshop

—MV Times

This week my beloved dog, Bitz, took a final walk. I am so grateful to have shared life with him, and the waves of grief are large. He and his training from Assistance Dogs of the West in mobility assistance were a gift from loved ones and friends when I was paralyzed. He was the sweetest and kindest soul. He gave me uncomplicated love and steadfast loyalty, and opened my heart. He helped with embarrassing tasks when my hands, feet, and legs didn’t work. He helped me pull up and down my underwear, and get on and off the toilet. He eagerly pulled my blankets up. He picked up what I dropped. He helped me with laundry, alerted me when I needed medications, and fetched the medicine bag. He comforted me when I fell. When my joints painfully flared, he gently settled his body weight over my painful joints, soothing them better than any over-the-counter medication.

After a new biologic medication gave me back my mobility, he retired, and we spent hours wandering along deer trails and streams. Lately, when his joints were flaring, I’d lie beside him with the weight of my arm on his shoulder and hips, our breaths matching until he fell asleep. I know I will go on, but I loved him deeply and miss him terribly.

Deb Dunn’s event at the Chilmark library was rescheduled for this Saturday, July 22, from 4 to 5 pm: “How Do Children Learn How to Read?” And how can you help them? Learn about the latest brain research. Take home practical tips to help your child thrive as a reader. Learn what to watch for, and what to do if they aren’t progressing. Parents, caregivers, family members, and teachers of children up to age 9 (and older) all welcome! Deb Dunn, M.Ed., has an advanced degree in reading, decades of experience teaching, and is a national teacher trainer.

“Seaweed Art” with Corinna Kaufman is on Tuesday, July 25, at 11 am. Come create seaweed art with the talented Kaufman! We’ll make art and cards, and learn about the process of making art using real seaweed. Preregister for this event by emailing, or call 508-645-3360. This event is for maximum 10 participants, ages 6 to 11. We will also create a wait list for others who are interested.

Wednesday, July 26, at 5 pm, it’s “Patio Music at the Chilmark Library” with the jazz duo of Jeremy Berlin and Eric Johnson. Take in some sultry summer tunes as you relax out on the Chilmark library’s patio and lawn. The popular piano/guitar duo of Jeremy Berlin and Eric Johnson will play a mix of jazz standards and lesser-known gems, originals as well as more modern fare. Jeremy and Eric have been making music on the Island in many different contexts over the past 35 years. They’ve been playing jazz together for about 20 of those years, and plan for another 25! Email for more information. Free; sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library. Call 508-645-3360 for more information.

Ronni Simon wrote that the Simon Gallery, off of Tabor House Road, will not be open this weekend, July 22 and 23, but will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 4 pm through Labor Day (probably longer). And it is also open by appointment; call 508-325-2242.

What’s stopping you? A workshop for women: “Where History and PsychoSpiritual Health Come Together,” Saturday, July 22, 9 am to 5 pm. Constance Messmer, 211 Middle Road, Chilmark; 508-645-2211. Price is $200. Are you feeling frustrated, anxious, or stuck? Unsatisfied with your relationships, career, or unfulfilled dreams? Are you at a point where you find that you have not lived up to the life you envisioned? What if you could remove the blocks that prevent you from living your dream life? Join us for this one-day immersive workshop of empowerment designed to answer these three questions: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Rediscover yourself through integrative spiritual, intellectual, and emotional exercises designed to open you to your true self. Walk out of this special program with a plan to achieve your goals. Bring your own bagged lunch. Refrigeration, microwave, oven, and coffee, tea, spritzer available.

Facilitators: Constance Messmer has worked in psychic development and spiritual self-awareness for over 25 years. She hosts “Soul Awareness with Constance Messmer,” a podcast for higher conscious living. Constance resides on Martha’s Vineyard, and will use her psychic skills throughout the workshop. Diane Macaluso is a clinical social worker and vocational trainer with over 20 years’ experience, using an eclectic approach with multiple healing modalities in her therapy practice to help create meaningful change in client’s lives. Monika Mitchell is an awardwinning author and women’s historian who has worked with incarcerated women to help them reinvent their lives. She teaches African American and U.S. History at Bloomfield College. A summer resident, she dreams of the Vineyard from Manhattan’s West Side the rest of the year.

At the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, M.V. Camp Meeting Association presents Diversity Coalition: Truth and Joy Celebration, Saturday, July 22, noon to 8 pm. Free.

Come celebrate an opportunity to explore the Island’s rich, diverse cultures with art, music, food, and more. Entertainment by Theresa Thomason and Walter Robinson. Featured vendors: Geno’s Backyard BBQ, Aquila MV, Vineyard Caribbean Cuisine, Orange Peel Bakery, Bowen’s Arrow, and more. 11 am: Opening Ceremony at Wamsutta Ave. 3 pm: Presentation by Kyle Williams of “A Long Talk About an Uncomfortable Truth,” and students from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. 6 pm: Dancing and live entertainment. I will be at the League of Women Voters table from 1 to 3 pm.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,