Edgartown: Island Alpaca, library fundraiser, ballroom dancing, and ‘The Wisdom of Trauma’

—MV Times

It’s still January, as I write. It seems like such a long month. I’d love to see some sunshine. I love the warmer weather we’ve been having over the past week, but it came with mostly gray skies or rain, which is kind of dreary. Alas, it is winter. We could have been slammed by snowstorms by now, so I’ll not complain. But I do see sunshine in the forecast, so that just gives me something to look forward to, right?

My nieces, Abby and Gwen Gardner, and I went to do the Alpaca Walk and Talk this weekend. I’ve written about it in the column a few times, but this was the first time I’ve made it up there. We had a lot of fun. The alpacas are so sweet and soft, and it gave us something to do on Saturday morning. Check out the website at islandalpaca.com for details and information about the farm and what they have to offer. The shop is cozy, their yarns are beautiful, and they have a lot of cute items for sale. Plus you can walk an alpaca. How cool is that?

Kate Ridenour from the M.V. Museum wrote in to share that the museum is showing its first major exhibition of 2024, “Clifford: Our Big Red Dog.” This unique and highly interactive exhibit will be open in the Hollinshead, Cox, and Fleischner Galleries from Jan. 27 to July 14. Designed to captivate visitors of all ages, this exhibition aims to appeal especially to families, offering a playful and educational experience centered around the beloved children’s book series and its inspiring creator, longtime Vineyard resident Norman Bridwell.

On Feb. 3, a special Black History event, a discussion with Bonnie Boswell, MIT graduate and executive producer at PBS, will take place at the Oak Bluffs library, beginning at 10 am. Boswell will chronicle stories about why some groups of women disproportionately experience higher mortality rates related to pregnancy and childbirth in our country. Also on hand will be attorney Bryan Stevenson and Pastor James Lawson, civil rights activist. Brunch will be served, and a question-and-answer period will follow the presentation. The organizations collaborating yearly to bring you the event are the M.V. League of Women Voters, the M.V. NAACP, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the M.V. Museum, and the Oak Bluffs library.

The next Neighborhood Convention, “The Art of Balance,” with Nan Doty, will take place at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 11 am. All are welcome; bring a bag lunch.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Ninon Garvin on Feb. 2, Lisa Gazzaniga on Feb. 3, and my cousin, Jon Ryan, on Feb. 5.

Herb Foster’s Birthday Fundraiser for the Edgartown library will be on Feb. 3, from 4 to 6 pm at the library. Join the Friends of the Edgartown Public Library on the anniversary of what would have been former beloved trustee Herb Foster’s 96th birthday, to socialize, reminisce, celebrate, eat hot dogs, and donate. Please bring a dessert to share. There will be refreshments, including hot dogs with coleslaw prepared by Chef Chris Look. The Herb and Anita Foster Staff Education Fund was established by the Friends in January 2021. This earmarked fund supports professional development for library staff members who wish to pursue educational endeavors that support and enhance their role at the library. Suggested ticket price is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Herb and Anita Foster Staff Education Fund. No registration is required.

Looking for a new hobby, or a chance to show off your dancing skills? The Unitarian Universalist Society is the place to be, twice a month on Sundays, with live music and ballroom dancing. The dates coming up are Feb. 4 and 18, Mar. 3 and 17, April 7 and 21, and May 19. This is organized and sponsored by the M.V. Ballroom Musical Sunday Afternoons group, and includes music performed by local favorites, including Serendipity, Delanie Pickering and Johnny Hoy, Darby and Sam, and more.

On Sunday, Feb. 4, from 4 to 6 pm, the M.V. Film Center is showing “The Wisdom of Trauma,” a fundraiser for the Red House. Dr. Gabor Maté seeks to build a more understanding system that is less concerned with diagnosing and suppressing symptoms, and more focused on individual healing. A movie will be followed by a short panel discussion.

Featherstone is offering “Clay Sculpture Making: Animal Busts,” beginning Feb. 5, from 12 to 3 pm. This is a five-week course, open to beginners, with Frank Creney. Students will learn the nature of clay, sculpting, and glazing. Using hand-building techniques, students will learn how to sculpt a clay bust of their favorite animal, 12 to 16 inches in size. The fee is $340 for the five classes/15 hours, and includes materials fee.​​​ Attendees bring their own aprons and clean-up towels. Please note, long nails and jewelry get in the way of working with clay. Please only register if you will be able to attend all five classes. Register via the website at featherstoneart.org.

I stepped out of my comfort zone last week, and started volunteering at Misty Meadows. I’ve been away from horses for years now, since having my kids, and I’ve been toying with ways to get involved with them again. Misty Meadows’ program is amazing, its facilities are gorgeous, and it was a great experience. And I get a lot of my steps in while walking with the kids and horses. Seems like a win-win situation to me. If you are interested in volunteering, you can reach out at mistymeadowsmv.org.

That about does it for this week. Vacation season is upon us, and many of you are traveling far and away. Please feel free to share your travel adventures and stories with me at ggardnermv@gmail.com if you’d like me to share them with readers. We can live vicariously through you.

Have a wonderful week.

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.