Oak Bluffs: Family Planning, Herb Custer, Delanie Pickering, Jon Bates Band, and full moon

—MV Times

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” —Audrey Hepburn

That quote is for all you gardeners getting ready for the season. It is a hopeful business, gardening. Especially in New England, and particularly off the coast, where the weather is even more unpredictable, and the growing season is different. The fun part is now — gathering seeds and making plans!

The Lip Sync Contest is this Friday, March 22, at the Loft, from 7 to 11 pm. Performers go all out at this annual fundraiser for Friends of Family Planning M.V., with a top prize of $500. For $20 at the door, you join the judges and enjoy the fun. Proceeds benefit the vital work of Family Planning M.V., providing access to quality sexual health services, support, and education for the Island community.

There will be a celebration of the life of Herb Custer on Saturday, March 23, at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center from 1 to 2 pm. A reception will follow at the P.A. Club. Herb Custer passed away last August at age 90. He was a well-known, highly respected educator and school administrator for more than 30 years, as well as a public servant in our community, and an avid fisherman and sailor. Join Herb’s family and friends to remember his remarkable life this Saturday.

I was talking with Delanie Pickering last week, she was getting ready to travel to France to play at a blues festival called “Festival Terri’ Thouars Blues” in the town of Thouars, southwest of Paris. The festival is promoted as a “high-quality international program” including artists from many countries, and covering a wide range of blues styles.

It is very exciting that our own Delanie, well-known as lead guitarist for Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, will be bringing her own style and exceptional talent to this international music festival. If you have seen her play, you know what I mean. And I call her “our own” because even though she’s from New Hampshire, she lives in Chilmark, and plays a whole lot of music here in Oak Bluffs, regularly appearing at the Ritz, the Offshore, and the P.A. Club.

Delanie is one of the most insanely talented and exceptionally kind and humble people I have ever known. She’s made a name for herself beyond the Vineyard — the Bluefish have played around New England at dive bars and swanky clubs, and they have also traveled to Europe to play as a band. Somewhere along the line, Delanie was invited to join some other French musicians at this festival, and I know that she is going to blow their socks off! Bon voyage, Delanie, can’t wait to hear all about it!

In more music news, the Jon Bates Band is playing a concert at the W.T. library on March 24 at 2:30 pm. They are a really great, high-energy band; don’t miss this chance to see them!

We have a full moon rising on March 21. This “Worm Moon” is also bringing the first lunar eclipse of 2024. According to astrologists, this eclipse will make the full moon’s energy feel much more intense. It comes just six days after the spring equinox, making it a symbol of turning points or awakenings in ancient lore. I read that each Zodiac sign will experience this full moon eclipse differently. My sign of Capricorn says, “Time to make money moves … to reflect on what you’d like to scale toward next.” I don’t think I’ll be starting a new career, but I guess you never know.

Happy full-moon birthday to Kathleen Cowley on March 21, and thank you for everything you do to make our town more fun! Also on the 21stt, we celebrate Candace Jennings and Heather Rynd. We celebrate Carol Vargo on the 22nd, and send big bunches of birthday wishes on the 23rd to Marcelle BenDavid and Sandra Macias. Sing happy birthday to musician and horse whisperer Jennifer Weiland on the 24th. More birthday hugs on the 24th to Sophia Brush, Nick Briggs, and Ned Casey.

Joyce Dresser celebrates on the 25th, along with Hunter Ponte. On March 26, say happy birthday to Chef Deon, and send heavenly wishes to June Manning. Happy birthday to you, Dan Zoll, on the 27th — which is also the birthday of Randall Jette, and the sweetest, kindest, most fun 10-year-old girl in the world, Clementine DeForest!

Happy spring! Send me your news!

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