—MV Times

In this country, whether in city or town, there has almost always been at least some form of bakery that offers up a variety of breads and pastries, some that hold deep cultural meaning. Among those where I grew up was an Italian bakery that made the best sourdough bread, cannolis and cakes, and hand-rolled raviolis. There was also a Mexican panaderia that sold cakes, and handmade tortillas, as well as little Mexican wedding cookies that coated our faces with powdered sugar. Each of these community-based bakeries played key commercial and social roles in our neighborhood. They were family-centric, and offered comfort and joy both to those who shared their cultural roots, and to those who learned about them deliciously. There is an organization called the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History that gives awards to businesses throughout our country that demonstrate the values and principles inherent in such community-based bakeries. To her surprise and delight, our own Juli Vanderhoop’s Orange Peel Bakery has been given this award. It came unsolicited, and as a surprise. It was given to recognize Orange Peel as an exemplary community bakery that demonstrates “the vital role, entrepreneurial spirit, and time-honored presence of [a] family-centered enterprise.” Congratulations go to Juli and her staff for this national recognition.

Another creative entrepreneur is the artist Jennifer Burkin. Jennifer used to work at our Aquinnah library, and also taught wonderful painting classes at the town hall. I was delighted to learn that she is offering acrylic painting lessons at our town hall again. This time it is a once-a-week, seven-week session, on Thursday afternoons, beginning on July 11 at 1 pm. The group sessions, meant for all skill levels, will allow each participant to set their own goals and benefit from Jennifer’s wisdom, and be part of a kind and creative group. Snacks and all materials will be provided. The cost is $20 per session. Sign up at or at 617-750-1224.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center has a remarkable dual exhibit featuring the celebrated works of Julia Marden. “The Wampanoag Story” showcases a series of four wampum belts, and her “Traditional Art of Weaving” presents a Twined Turkey Feather Mantle, a masterpiece of traditional weaving that marks the first of its kind crafted in 400 years. Later this month, on July 27, Julia Marden will be giving an artist talk. I’ll let you know the details once they are announced. The center is open from 11 am to 4 pm each week, from Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free for tribal citizens, and costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 7 to 17, and is free for children 6 and under.

The Martha’s Vineyard Author Series is presenting the NY Times opinion columnist Frank Bruni, who will speak at the Chilmark Community Center at 7 pm on Thursday, July 11. His book, “The Age of Grievance,” is his examination of how grievance has come to define our current culture and politics. The series continues throughout July and August with a variety of notable authors and topics. Details and ticket sales can be found at

Birthday greetings this week to Tobias Vanderhhop on July 15. 

And now I head to the beach. Please do send me your news and/or feedback. If you are a part of Aquinnah, this is your column.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Kathie Olson,