Chilmark: ‘Jaws’ tour, sculpture fund, book reading, and the fifth dimension

—MV Times

North Road is narrow, curvy, and rural. Leaves are bursting out of branches. Dogwoods are in bloom. Tunnels are appearing overhead. 

Who saw the northern lights? Who knew NOAA had a Space Prediction Center? It was a surprise to receive an email alert from ChilmarkMa warning of a severe geomagnetic storm expected that might disrupt radio and internet transmissions, GPS navigation, and power grids, and bring northern lights to the night sky. 

I took the dog out late and watched bright sheets of light undulate behind the clouds. It was magical and eerie; for a moment chills climbed my spine, and we danced across the lawn following the spectacular showers of light as bright as a full moon. I wish I’d remembered a camera can catch more than the eye sees.

Thank you, Katie Carroll, the Chilmark library, and everyone who helped with the celebratory gathering for Jane Slater. It is always a pleasure to see Jane. I love her sense of style as much as her quick mind and wit. The Chilmark Historical Commission Award plaque is beautiful. It was a lovely event. 

This weekend we caught sight of the “Jaws” tour van. The blue tour buses and motor coaches reflexively bring to mind a spooky and snarky, “They’re here.” A quote from the movie “Poltergeist.” I am tired of snarky, and want to embrace the poignant with a laugh-till-you-wee-itude.

Mum has a kind and generous nature, and is a terrific ambassador, who always stops and asks tourist groups, “Where’re you from?” ”How’d you get here?” “Where’re you headed?” And “Did you know each other before this trip?” Before sending them off with, “Enjoy.”

I encourage you to support the African American Heritage Trails GoFundMe campaign for a Barney Zeitz sculpture of Rebecca the Woman from Africa, with scenes from her life and the names of her descendents. Though Rebecca was enslaved on the Island, she inherited property from her Wampanoag husband, Elisha Amos. A sculpture of her daughter, Nancy Michael, the wise woman, is at Memorial Wharf in Edgartown, and was created by Barney Zeitz. Her great-grandson, William Martin, was the Vineyard’s only African American whaling captain. The sculpture will rest on a rock at Native Earth Teaching Farm. 

It is fitting that the magnificent and wise Rebecca Gilbert will host the sculpture and story. Thank you, Randy Ben David and Rebecca Gilbert, for creating Native Earth Teaching Farm. 

On Saturday, May 18, at 4 pm at Featherstone Center for the Arts: “Not your ordinary poetry reading” — science, poetry, and memoir spoken by three of my favorite writers, poet Fan Ogilvie and guest readers Ursula Goodenough and Janet Holliday, from Ogilvie’s new series, “Dust Is the Only Secret: Assent To Life.” Billy Collins says Ogilvie gives “a careful meditative voice … to the contemporary welter of our discontent.“ Ogilvie’s books will be offered for sale at a huge discount over Amazon.

Summer jobs listings are up for the Chilmark Beach. Lifeguard pay ranges is $20.75 to $21.48. Parking guards must be at least 14 years old, and the pay range is $15.97 to $16.53. Beach and gate guards must be CPR- and Basic First Aid–certified, and the pay range is $20.75 to $21.48. There are scholarships available for the training. The jobs have flexible scheduling and bonus incentives for commitment to future employment opportunities. Contact Martina Mastromonaco at

Rachel Baird is offering a free online workshop on Monday, May 20, on “Living in the Fifth Dimension.” Come and experience what all the talk about 3D-5D is about, from 8 to 9 pm; register at

The Chilmark Store is open! I like to keep one of its pizzas in the freezer. 

The Chilmark Community Church will host one more pizza night, and the following Tuesday, May 28, the menu includes a pasta feast made by Janet Weidner and Tom Ruimerman. 

I want to send a shower of respect and encouragement to the Chilmark Community Center executive director, Susan Andrian, and Heidi Ganser, adult, family, and community program director. We are lucky to have you.

I am making large batches of bubble solution, and praying for a warm Sunday morning.

Wishing you all a good week.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,