Oak Bluffs: Galleries galore 

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Oak Bluffs officials have some concerns about the shelter's location. —MV Times

“Zen is not practiced on the mountaintop, it is practiced in the valley.”  –Bob Laskowski

 I picked up that quote from Dr. Laskowski while we were having a conversation about the important things in life. It is easy to lose track of moments when we get caught up in the rush of days and weeks, always planning ahead and worrying about the future. Thinking we’ll find that inner peace. But life exists in the moment, in the small things of every day. Allowing ourselves to be present and appreciate what is happening around us can bring that inner peace that we seek. It is a gift we can give ourselves, and it is free. 

Remember when the date of the Grand Illumination at the Campground was a well-kept secret? Not any more — the most festive day of summer takes place on Wednesday, August 16, so get your lanterns and glowsticks ready! The library can help, with Illumination Lantern Decorating from 1 to 4 pm on August 16. You can also hear the history of Grand Illumination Night on August 15 at 1 pm, with Terry McCarthy.

Of course, next week also brings the 161st Agricultural Fair, running August 17 to 20. You can buy tickets online to skip the line at the booth, and also get all the info you need to plan your fair time at marthasvineyardagriculturalsociety.org. The fair book is also now available online (and when you flip the pages, it makes the sound of a page turning!), or in hard copy at the libraries. My tradition for the fair is to go late afternoon on Thursday, have my favorite fair food for dinner, see the animals, check out who won the blue ribbons in the Barn, and then shop the vendors. Of course, there are a lot of friends to see and catch up with along the way, so it takes a long time to get through all that! 

The Oak Bluffs library will host an author talk on August 12 at 2pm: “Washed Ashore” by Bill Eville, the story of a man coming into his own by coming home.

And don’t forget Music on the Library Lawn, Thursday, August 10, with the Jaywalkers from 6 to 7 pm. 

The Alison Shaw Gallery on Dukes County Avenue is full of new work, including Alison’s newest boat series, gorgeous shots of boats from unusual angles. You can see it all and more at the O.B. Arts District Gallery Stroll on August 12 from 4 to 7 pm. Stroll our own “arts row” on Dukes County, stopping in across from Alison Shaw at the Knowhere Gallery (which will feature dancer Christina Montoya), and along the street to the Galaxy Gallery, and Michael Blanchard’s Crossroads Gallery. These strolls are always filled with art, nibbles, beverages, and fun. From there, go over to Cousen Rose Gallery on Upper Circuit Avenue, where Zita Cousens will feature artist Ekua Holmes, along with live jazz, from 7 to 9 pm.

The African American Heritage Trail unveiled a new Oak Bluffs site honoring Graves Machine & Tool Co., which operated on Uncas Ave for 27 years, on the site where the Barn, Bowl and Bistro is today. Robert and Shirley Graves were an integral part of the community, and the shop was the place to go for all things needing fixing — plus it was a gas station and bait shop (because Bob loved to fish). Bob Graves had worked with my father-in-law, Romeo Lambert, in Springfield, at Package Machinery, and he was very kind and helpful to us when we first moved to Oak Bluffs. Great to see their hard work and achievements honored.

I was really saddened to hear of the passing of Estelle Reagan this July. Estelle and her family have owned and operated the Attleboro House on Oak Bluffs Harbor since her father bought it in 1944, and then she and her husband Bart took it over in 1982. All six children helped to keep the inn operating, and had many family memories there, right up to Estelle’s passing. Our sincere condolences to her large and loving family.

The Tabernacle Sunset Concert series presents the Dukes of Circuit this Friday, August 11, 6 to 7:30 pm. 

Happy August birthdays to Annette Sandrock and Rebecca Laird on August 10. Kati Alley and Deb Hammett celebrate on the 11th. Cecilia Minnehan and Terry McCarthy share birthdays on the 12th. On August 13, we wish a very happy anniversary to Gina Patti and Rob Oslyn! Happy birthday to Sadie Mae Parr, Chris Rasmussen, and Casandra Hyland. Sending hugs and a birthday song to Kate Taylor on the 15th.

Stay kind, and send me your news!