Aquinnah: Turkey mantle, Howes House, town library, and Lighthouse gathering

—MV Times

In the sea and on the beach right now, krill and such are abundant. The whales at sea, and the birds on shore, are flocking and feasting in delight. Here on shore, it is thrilling to see the great sculptural swoops of flocks of tiny birds as they happily, drunkenly, go up and down the shoreline partaking in the bounty.

Speaking of birds, as you know, we have lots of turkeys here on this Island. That said, I have never heard of a turkey mantle and don’t know what a turkey mantle is, but I’ll go to the ACC on Sept. 11, from noon to 1 pm to find out. That is when the Aquinnah Cultural Center is presenting a conversation with Julia Marden as she discusses her recently completed turkey feather mantle. Beverly Wright tells me that this is the first mantle to be made by a Wampanoag artist in centuries.

The Up-Island Council on Aging/Howes House has announced its September offerings. Highlights include the annual lobster picnic on Sept. 11 (register in advance!). Also, they will be distributing fish from the 78th annual Derby beginning on Sept. 14 and continuing through the middle of October. They are also advertising Emergency Preparedness 101 on Sept. 15 at 11:30 am, an educational conversation with West Tisbury Emergency Management Director Russell Hartenstine, and Deputy Emergency Management Assistant Director Jennelle Gadowski. This is in addition to their regularly scheduled fitness and yoga workshops, their Thursday noon lunches, Parkinson’s Support Group meetings, legal and audiology clinics, craft sessions, MahJong games, food distributions, and more. The staff at the UICOA is surely busy. Now that summer is cooling off, take advantage if you can.

I am sad to report that Sonja Josephson, that smiley, competent young woman who gave us all those great programs at the library this summer, has resigned her position to move on to greener pastures (a.k.a. a better paid job, closer to her home). First, I want to thank her and wish her all the best. Her programs were exciting and thoughtful and beautifully advertised. Then, I want to commiserate with Rosa, who struggles with the staffing challenges presented by leading a tiny library at the tip of an Island where the housing market is brutal, and the skill set required of its staff is increasingly complex. Go to the library and express some thanks to her and Vera. We are so lucky they are there.

I also want to remind you about the gathering at the Lighthouse at 4 pm on Sunday, Sept. 10 to honor Len Butler. Come and pay your respects.

That’s it for this week. Except for one thing: This columnist tries her best to give it to you straight, but sometimes I stumble. That’s when a great editor comes in handy. I want to express my thanks to Connie and to Barbara at the MV Times for catching my gaffes before they go to print. A weekly column is a commitment — kind of like homework — and this one will only be as good as all of us help to make it. Send me your news, please! And be comforted that our Times editors are on the job.

And to all those brave and hearty young ones headed off to school with pounds of books and snacks in their backpacks — may it be a great school year. Have fun and learn something — every day.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Kathie Olson,