—MV Times

Let Age not prevail
over heroic dreams
as we gather here
on the field of screams
Through divots and errors
Those foul lines, Oy Vey
Our spirits are high
here on opening day
–Sig Van Raan, co-commissioner of Chilmark Sunday Morning Softball

Barney Zeitz made a beautiful plaque for the Chilmark Preschool’s Musical Garden, dedicated to the memory of the founding director, Chris Abrams. The garden is behind the Chilmark School. 

On July 15 at 7:30 pm at the Chilmark Community Center, there is a special town meeting to vote to transfer dollars from the General Stabilization Fund and appropriate them to pay for budget items we approved in April.

We don’t have to travel far to hear music. July 16, from 6 to 7 pm, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish will play at the Community Center. On July 17, on the Chilmark library patio, Joel Harrison will be playing with Tauras Biskis and Chico Huff. 

I am pleased to note that Christina Montoya is offering her salsa classes at the center from 6 to 7 pm, on Mondays July 22 and 29.

Summer is filled with annual gatherings. Kristy Noyes Mayhew is collecting items for the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Backyard Bash. The event primarily raises funds for the benevolent fund to help injured and sick firefighters, and for their college scholarship and Halloween and Christmas parties. The deadline for donations is July 25, and the event is August 2. Current and former members of the Chilmark Volunteer Fire Department are an intrinsic part of our community. I always enjoyed conversations with Will Parry, and am preparing to notice his absence.

I have learned to appreciate that when my mind notices those who are absent, memories are recalled, and when they come, I like to pause for a visit. I think Rebecca offers a phone in the field at Native Earth Teaching Farm so we can call the ancestors. I want to continue conversations I hoped to have with Gus Ben David. He was a remarkable man — encouraging, kind, and patient. 

This summer I hope to have more conversations with friends at beloved annual gatherings.

On Sunday, July 7, Sig Van Raan reported, “Chilmark Sunday Morning Softball kicked off its delayed opening day with two rousing and well-played games.

“The game has been in existence since the late ’30s, when the Flanders family would host a backyard softball game after church on Sunday mornings. Over the years, the game has had many incarnations, including an eight-year run behind the West Tisbury firehouse and then in the early 2000s at the present field, off Pasture Lane, a dirt road off Tabor House Road that leads to our field of dreams.

“The games feature wizened veterans, superstar young guys, and future even younger players. At any given time, superlative fielding can combine with hilarious misplays. More than anything, it is a ritual of summer for the players and onlookers alike.

“It’s a game where age doesn’t exist — nor does time. It’s a game where we all become kids of summer.

“This opening day’s ceremony included a singing of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame accompanied by Jim Feiner on the trombone, and a ‘Happy Birthday’ song to erstwhile and veteran third baseman Jason Balaban.”

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