Oak Bluffs: Babe Ruth, Orchid Show, Gloria Wong, and contradance

—MV Times

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” —George Herman (“Babe”) Ruth

Babe Ruth was one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but here in Massachusetts we know him as “the Bambino,” whose trade to the Yankees caused the curse on the Red Sox that prevented them from winning a championship for 86 years. I would have loved to see him play. He was quite a character off the field, too. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I was happy to witness the breaking of the curse in 2004, but still had to admire a player whose talent and power had been strong enough to have a curse named for him!

I ran into Wendy (King) Oliver at the Cape and Islands Orchid Show last weekend in Hyannis. The show was beautiful and impressive, with orchid growers from all over New England. Wendy’s “Frosty Hollow” orchid display was stunning, and received a blue ribbon for design. I first learned about orchids from Wendy, back when she sold her orchids at Tony’s Market and the Farmers Market. Wherever she was, she shared her knowledge and passion for everything about orchids, which she still does today. She made me less afraid of orchids, and I have nurtured a few bought from her. I picked up another one at the show — wish me luck!

My deepest sympathy to the family of Gloria Wong, who passed away last week. Gloria was a little lady with a big heart and a huge smile, and she was filled with vitality. She became an Oak Bluffs Polar Bear in 1970, and had been swimming daily from spring right through this past fall. We celebrated her 95th birthday last summer with a grand party on the beach. Gloria will be missed by many.

Dust off your dancing boots! The Grange Hall is hosting a contradance on Saturday, Feb. 10, with a professional caller and live fiddle tunes by the Flying Elbows. It is billed as “the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” The dancing starts at 6:30 pm. You don’t have to have a partner, but bring your own snacks and beverages. Thanks to the Preservation Trust and Circuit Arts for bringing some foot stomping to the Island!

Feliz cumpleaños to Judy Searle on Feb. 1! It is also the birthday of poet Langston Hughes. A big Happy Birthday shout-out to my girls, the beautiful, talented Nala and Madison Pitman, who will be blowing out 15 candles on Feb. 3! Missy Smith, Nicole Brisson, and Emma Williamson also celebrate on the 3rd. Rosa Parks was born on Feb. 4, as were Tom Dresser and Matt Rivers. On Feb. 5, we send birthday hugs to Jeremy Driesen, Cathy Bettencourt, and Debbie Grant. Alyssa Sylvia will blow out 18 candles on Feb. 6! She shares that day with Bob Marley. Marc Rivers and Lana Schaefer celebrate on Feb. 7. Enjoy your special day!

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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.