Aquinnah: ‘Haint Blu’ at Orange Peel Bakery

—MV Times

I find myself astonished anew at the hordes of people on the Vineyard right now. The ferries are toting hundreds of people in each direction multiple times every day. Events are overcrowded, with cars lining the roadways or filling up the fields of enterprising folks offering parking for money. Beaches and trails are filled with contented visitors, but long wait times at restaurants are simply the way it is for now. Driving on our roadways requires hyper-vigilance, as motorists and bicyclists struggle to figure out how to coexist. Mostly I enjoy watching how happy our visitors are, but I confess to getting impatient when cars driven by people who aren’t used to narrow, winding two-lane roads go too fast, or casually weave into the oncoming lane to avoid bikes or mopeds. And I get frustrated with bicyclists who studiously ignore the long lines of cars behind them. If you are a visitor, please slow down and be courteous — some of us are on our way to work or to an appointment, and all of us want to stay safe. If you are a resident, please be patient, and remember that our visitors are likely on a long-anticipated vacation, and simply don’t know how it is yet. Be welcoming. And whoever you are, remember that if you are grumpy, your anger will reverberate, but if you are calm and cooperative, it just might help. 

Julianne Vanderhoop has formed a collaboration with her Orange Peel Bakery and the Yard. Together they are bringing the Urban Bush Women to perform from August 9 through 13 at the Orange Peel. Each night at 7 pm, this extraordinary group of dancers will perform a site-specific version of their work, “Haint Blu.” Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women is a Brooklyn-based, nationally known performance ensemble and dance company. They seek to bring untold and under-told histories and stories to light through dance, song, and spoken word. The work embodies a look into familial lines and the movements, histories, and stories of elders and ancestors. It reflects on what has been lost across generations, and what can be recovered. It is thrilling to think of what they might have created utilizing the grounds and energies at the Orange Peel. Go to the website of the Yard to get tickets and find out.

On a different note, it’s time for one of my favorite parties of the year. The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s lollapalooza of a Livestock Show and Fair runs from August 17 to 20. Their theme this year is “Grow It, Sew It, Show It,” because if you have made something spectacular this year, they want you to enter it into the fair. Go to the website for a full schedule and entry rules. You can enter online, or you can print out the form and bring it to the Ag Hall. All entries are due by Sunday, August 13, at 5 pm. Don’t be shy. Strut your stuff. And definitely, go to the fair. It’s got everything from great food to the handiwork of your neighbors, to oxen also strutting their stuff. (And the rides aren’t too shabby either!)

On Saturday, August 12, at our Aquinnah library, it’s “Meet the Reptiles from Felix Neck Day.” You’ll get a chance to meet some live reptile ambassadors, and will learn answers to whatever you always wanted to know about them. They’ll be there from 2 to 3 pm, along with their wise human handlers.

On Thursday, August 17, at 1:30 pm, the Up-Island Council on Aging’s outreach coordinator, Susan Merrill, will be at the library to share information about services available at Howes House, and to answer any questions you may have about their programs. Services available run the gamut from Medicare to exercise, to food, to durable medical equipment. Come and learn about what help and fun is available.

You still have time to check out “Hang the Moon,” by Jeannette Walls, and get it read before August 24 at 3 pm. That’s when the Aquinnah Library Book Group will meet to talk about this entertaining and enlightening look at life during the days of Prohibition.

This week’s birthday love goes to Kate Taylor on August 15 and to Sowanahsh William Vanderhoop on August 16.