Oak Bluffs: Robin Williams, Hart Music Man, Trumpet Chics, outdoor concerts, and Truth and Joy

—MV Times

“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky.”  –Robin Williams, “Jack”

Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951. He was a comedian and actor who could make me laugh till I cried, or bring me to my knees with his characters, like Dr. Sean Maguire in “Good Will Hunting” and the loving dad in “Mrs. Doubtfire.” Seeing him onstage was a rollercoaster of emotions, and he always included you in the joke. He left us too soon, dying at age 63 from a brain disease that robbed him of his joy in life. “Na-nuu, Na-nuu,” Robin Williams!

I have to give a shout-out and a big thank you to the Oak Bluffs lifeguards, who are doing a spectacular job this summer! Matthew O’Rourke, the head lifeguard, was here early in the season working hard — repainting crosswalk lines, setting out walking mats on the beach, working with the town to rebuild the lifeguard stand on Pay Beach and to rent an ATV for better emergency access. Together with his brother Cameron and the rest of the staff, they placed lifesaving equipment up and down the beach, and Carry-In/Carry-Out signs that have been very effective in reducing trash on the beach. This dedicated crew has been practicing and running drills every morning, and actively patrolling the beach. We appreciate you!

Concert for Sofia Hart is Friday, July 21, at the Old Whaling Church, at 7:30 pm. Stephen Hart and his band, Hart Music Man, will play to raise funds to help Sofia, a 2011 graduate of MVRHS who is currently waiting for a heart transplant. As you may remember, her twin sister went through this same journey a few years ago, and is now thriving. The band features Stephen Hart and Paul Thurlow, whom we all remember from the Ululators, plus Tom Major on drums and Steve Tully on sax, with guest vocalist Jodie Treloar Sampson. This will be a good one; come out and help our Island family.

Last summer we had a musical treat on the beach when the Trumpet Chics from Camden, N.J., did a pop-up concert at sunset that had everyone clapping and dancing. This ensemble is part of the Camden Repertory Theater, which helps increase opportunities for students in the arts. These talented young musicians bring amazing skills, energy, and choreography to their performances. They will be performing in Ocean Park on Saturday, July 22, at 4:30 pm. This free concert is sponsored by the Oak Bluffs Polar Bears, so bring your beach chair and your friends for an amazing experience.

Legacy Week on the Vineyard is a gathering of students and alumni from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) to engage, empower, and honor their bond. This sixth annual Legacy Week is July 23 – 29, and the week is filled with activities, from yoga on the beach to guided art walks through the Oak Bluffs Arts District, films, discussions, dance parties, and much more. See legacyweekonthevineyard.com for all the details and fabulous events to join.

The library has begun its Summer Lawn Series on Thursdays, from 6 to 7 pm. This week, July 20, enjoy Phil daRosa and Darby Patterson. On July 27, musical guests will be Johnny Hoy and Delanie Pickering.

The Sunset Concert series continues on the Tabernacle lawn with the Dock Dance Band this Friday, July 21. Bring your lawn chair and picnic at 6 pm for this Island favorite.

The Tabernacle will host “Truth and Joy” on Saturday, July 21. Organized by the M.V. Diversity Coalition, this free all-day event will begin at noon with a marketplace featuring food, artisan tables, and information from Island agencies. At 2:30 pm, there will be a panel discussion facilitated by Kyle Williams of A Long Talk About an Uncomfortable Truth, including students from MVRHS and the M.V. Charter School. That will be followed by a dance performance, and then an evening of music, including awardwinning saxophonist Tim Hall from Berklee School of Music. For more info, see mvdiversitycoalition.org. See you there!

Don’t miss Stan Strickland at Featherstone on Monday, July 24. If you haven’t seen this group before, get ready for excellent jazz by renowned musicians Stan Strickland, Joel Harrison, and their quartet. We are so grateful to Ann Smith and her staff for sharing the beautiful grounds of Featherstone for music lovers!

Happy birthday to Nikki Mercaldo on the 20th! She shares the day with Laurie Teague Leonard. Charlene Alley and Lisa Fitzpatrick celebrate on July 22. Hugs and balloons to Stephanie daRosa and Julie Foushee on the 24th, and to Paul Robinson on the 26.

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