Oak Bluffs: Underground electricity, beach clean-up, seed planting, and Vera-Jean Clements

—MV Times

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it.” —Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Atticus Finch had some of the best lines ever written, in my opinion! Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926. They say the plot and characters of “To Kill a Mockingbird” were loosely based on her observations, growing up in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala. It is striking that the story still resonates almost 100 years after her birth — and more than 60 years since she wrote the story! Maybe it is because she told the story through the eyes of the children, which gave it such profound innocence and clarity.

We had an interesting experience with electricity on my street last week. The power went out Friday morning — which was not alarming, as we are all used to that happening on the Island with storms. But this time, we were told that the underground lines that were installed 40 years ago for the street were not owned by Eversource, and therefore could not be repaired by them. This caught us all by surprise. Apparently, this is somewhat common on the Island, although I thought it only applied to “private” developments, which our street is not. Somehow, after hours of work between Eversource and an island electrician (big thank-you to Rob Young Electric!), we had our power back. We still don’t know who is responsible, I’ll keep you posted. I can tell you that the last thing you want to hear from the electric company is, “Do you have another place to stay?”

We live in a place where some people discard trash without thought, and other people pick up trash without thinking twice! On my walks around town, I try to grab trash that I see on the street or on the beach, stick it in my pocket, and dispose of it with my household trash. I appreciate the people I see who deliberately walk with trash bags and gloves, picking trash out of the bushes and dunes.

Everybody will have a chance to pitch in on April 27 for the annual “Earth Day Beach Cleanup.” Sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society, along with a huge number of Island organizations, this Island-wide event has locations in every town to meet at your favorite beach and start cleaning. They will provide gloves and bags (or you can bring your own).

Once you finish cleaning, join the afterparty at the M.V. Museum Earth Day Festival, from noon to 3 pm. You will share a free lunch with fellow beach cleaners, plus there will be music, games, free entry to the museum — and a contest for the most unusual, coolest, or grossest things found on the beach! The VTA is pitching in with FREE rides to beaches for cleanup, and to the museum for the afterparty.

Our library is offering seed planting for “kids of all ages” on April 27 from 11 am to noon. Drop by and plant flower or vegetable seeds to take home, and watch them sprout.

There will be a celebration of the amazing life of Vera-Jean Clements on April 27 at the P.A. Club at 2 pm. Bring a dish to share, bring a story to tell, or just bring a hug for the Clements family, island-style.

Be sure to stop in to Reliable and wish Donna Pacheco a happy birthday on April 25! Vanessa Vento will celebrate her day on the 26th, and Sam Oslyn will be partying in Brooklyn on April 27. Sam shares that day with Noah Hazelton. Bunches of balloons go to Melanie Rivers and Tabitha Clark on the 28th. Beth Glynn and Elizabeth McMahon celebrate on the 29th, and they share that day with author Harper Lee. May 1 is the day to say “Happy Birthday” to Island photographer and man about town Michael Johnson.

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