“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, air, and you.” —Langston Hughes
After being postponed by a day, the fireworks were as fabulous as ever, and Saturday night was perfect, with clear skies and a mild breeze. We were treated to a beautiful sunset over Ocean Park, followed by bright stars to accompany the fireworks. Great job by the town to organize and produce a perfect event, and many thanks to the fire and police departments for keeping everything safe and peaceful.
Serena and Jay Lavoie were here from Portland, Ore., catching up with old friends and enjoying all their favorite Island activities, including the fireworks from the family porch. I caught up with Amelie and Rob Loyott, not an easy thing to do, as busy as they are! They introduced me to David Bigelow, who is a documentary filmmaker working on a film about the making of “Jaws” from the Islanders’ perspective. He has been interviewing people all over the Island who had some connection to the production. He himself had a small role as a child, thanks to his connection with Lee Fierro, and he has been working for years to piece together this story. He hopes to premiere his film on the Vineyard in 2025, for the 50th anniversary of “Jaws.”
Charles Ogletree passed away on August 4, leaving this earth much too soon. He was an attorney and beloved Harvard Law professor who taught and advised Barack and Michelle Obama, among others. He was a tireless advocate for civil rights and social justice. During his celebrated and influential career, he founded the Criminal Justice Institute and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard, and he represented both high-profile clients like Anita Hill and Tupac Shakur, and also victims of the 1921 Tulsa race riots. Here on the Vineyard he was well-known for his generous spirit, his work creating forums for important discussions about race and justice, and also for his love of fishing and family. He will truly be missed, but his legacy will live on in all those he inspired.
It seems appropriate that we will end August by experiencing a monthly “Blue Moon” on August 30. This fairly rare phenomenon happens when there are two full moons in one month. This one is also going to be a supermoon, meaning it is closer to Earth and appears larger than other full moons. But, no — it will not be blue. That name was given to designate it as a rare occurrence. This won’t happen here again until 2026, so be sure and get to your favorite east-facing spot to see it rise.
Island Spirit Kayak will host the Martha’s Vineyard Oar and Paddle Regatta on Sunday, August 27. This is a family-friendly race for all ages, and you can choose what to paddle. Bring your own kayak, paddleboard, canoe, or rowboat, or use one from the ISK fleet for an extra fee. Registration fee is $50, and all proceeds benefit Friends of Sengekontacket and its work to keep the water clean. Check-in is at 8:15 am; the 2.4-mile race starts at 9 am, and is followed by a beach picnic and awards ceremony.
Last week all roads led to the fair, and this weekend is all about the Beach Road Festival. Three days of music begins Friday in Veterans Park, Vineyard Haven.
You’ll be more likely to see me at our smaller music venues. Thursday, August 24, brings Andrew Sue Wing to the Oak Bluffs library lawn from 6 to 7 pm. I heard this young man play guitar this summer, and he is just amazing.
Following the concert, you are invited to “release, revive, and rejuvenate” with sunset Tai Chi and drumming on Inkwell Beach at 7 pm.
Friday, August 25, brings the last Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish summer concert at Featherstone. With the sun setting earlier, the time is 6 to 7:30 pm. Monday, August 28, brings the last scheduled Musical Monday, with Jon Zeeman and Joanne Cassidy.
At the Tabernacle lawn on Friday night, the Sunset Concert Series will feature the Black Eyed Susans at 6 pm. The last Community Sing of the summer will be on Wednesday, August 30.
If you miss the Black Eyed Susans on Friday night, there’s another chance to see them Sunday evening, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Ocean Park bandstand.
Happy birthday to Rob Oslyn on August 26, and son Justin Oslyn on August 30. On the 28th, we celebrate Anne Whiting and Chris Alley. August 29 brings 80 balloons to Billie Hancock! Wishing her a fabulous day, and many more! Birthday hugs on the 30th to Pam Melrose, Ashley Girard, Daniele Albert, and Jennifer Fiore. Nancy Giordano celebrates on August 31.
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