Chilmark: ‘Why Fathers Cry at Night,’ kids and reading, longevity series, and local farms

—MV Times

“What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help them to learn.”  –African proverb

In less than two weeks, on Sept. 9, at 2 pm, our family will host a celebration of life for our father, Robert (“Bob”) Ganz, at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. For those who are unable to join us in person, the service will be viewable by Zoom using this link: All are welcome, and our family would love to hear any and all memories, photos, and stories.

I have an allergic reaction to hagiographic accounts of a life. I am interested in stories about the moments when suddenly you recognize a veil has lifted, and you can see the whole thing and understand exponentially more than the moment before. My father savored not just the facts, or a single perspective, but the expanding webs of the imagination as expressed in philosophy, poetry, literature, fine art, and music, across times and cultures. He helped me see that humans are messy and imperfect, and that patience and kindness are two of the best gifts.

I am reading Kwame Alexander’s “Why Fathers Cry at Night,” which is a memoir about the messiness of being human, perusing memories, and noticing and nurturing tendrils of love. I wish I could discuss it with my father. The book is stunningly beautiful, complex, and resonant. It was a privilege to hear Kwame Alexander speak under a tent in the field connecting the school and library in Chilmark.

One of the things I like about the Chilmark library is the breadth of its offerings — for toddlers 2 to 3½, stories, songs, and play, Thursdays from 11 to 11:30 am. Storytime on Saturday at 11 am for ages 3 to 6. The summer reading program for ages up to 17.
And there are programs for parents, like the one offered by Deb Dunn on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 4 pm: “Ten Tips to Help Your Child’s Reading Bloom.” Learn about the latest brain research, and 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. Deb Dunn, M.Ed., has an advanced degree in reading, decades of experience teaching, and is a national teacher trainer. Email for more information. We are so lucky to live in a community that includes deeply talented teachers and lifelong learners.

The library is offering six monthly lectures from Jim Lobley’s “The Long Game,” an online learning and training platform for longevity as a series of monthly lectures. Even though the classes are virtual, we have the option of viewing it together on the screen at the Chilmark library. The first is Sept. 6, at 4 pm, and will be on deep health, encompassing movement, nutrition, cognition, connection, and sleep. I am so looking forward to this combination of science and real-life practices. Jim Lobley is a certified personal trainer and longevity coach, a certified brain health trainer through the Functional Aging Institute, and has an M.A. in dance/movement therapy from NYU.

Our local farms continue to offer yummy veggies, and it was a delight to find the Grey Barn offering some of their very own apples.

Native Earth Teaching Farm and the Milokan Center have been hopping with music and workshops, tours, goat yoga, and indigo dying on Sundays.

Thank you to everyone who bought lobster rolls from the Chilmark Community Church, and to all of the volunteers.

Thank you to the Rev. Charlotte Wright, for holding a moving and meaningful pet memorial service at the church last Sunday.

Summer is winding down, the crowds are thinning, and there are only two more Chilmark Flea Markets left — off North Road, Saturday, Sept. 2, and Wednesday, Sept. 6, 9 am to 2 pm.

Wishing you all a good week.

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