November is American Indian Heritage Month and the Aquinnah Public Library has a stellar collection of Native American books. Please stop by and look through the vast collection for your reading pleasure. This is a collection that has been built upon over the past two decades, first by Roxane Ackerman and growing significantly with each new library director. Jennifer Christy, her staff, and library trustees Nancy Delaney, Betty Joslow, and Martha Vanderhoop have further expanded the collection.

A reminder that the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) will hold its annual tribal election and general membership meeting on Sunday, Nov. 18 at the tribal building. Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The annual meeting begins at noon. Refreshments will be served. You must have your tribal identification card to vote and to attend the meeting. A safe journey to all who are traveling to and from the Vineyard during this annual event. See you there.

This past week, the Aquinnah Public Library started the new book group featuring Cake and Contemplation where they tasted cakes. Julianne Vanderhoop-Mahoney of Orange Peel Bakery provided delectable breads and has agreed to provide bread for the gatherings each month at the library. You will now be able to enjoy a variety of Julianne’s specialty breads while discussing interesting books.

On Tuesdays through Dec. 4 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., for ages 8 and up (younger with parental participation), there will be Bookmaking with Lindsey. This will be the fourth such season of classes at the library which have previously included knitting, puppetry, and bookmaking workshops. Classes now will be held on the creation of a three-dimensional book which is simple to make, but looks complex. It has the origins of origami and can make a very wonderful and interesting gift. This workshop is free.

Please start planning for the December open house and celebration at the Aquinnah Public Library which will be held on Dec. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be live music, food, new and interesting books and DVDs and good cheer right at the library.

Juleann VanBelle will be conducting a flu clinic on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the town hall from 3 to 5 p.m. She will have the flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine available for those 10 years of age or older. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt under your sweater or jacket. Although the vaccine is free, Juleann would appreciate your bringing any health insurance information you have available. The vaccine is preservative-free. If you are unable to attend the above clinic and would like to obtain the vaccination, please call Juleann at 508-693-6659 to schedule an appointment.

The Neighborhood Convention was held at the tribal building on Nov. 6. The discussion for November was about the Clay Cliffs. Members of Community Baptist Church and the Rev. Roger H. Spinney hosted the meeting. Fawn Vanderhoop Fantasia, assisted by yours truly, gave a brief history of the cliffs and the tribe. It was a wonderful program and such a great day to see so many Vineyarders participate in such an event. Perhaps that is the reason it is the oldest non-denominational organization still in existence on the Island. Donations to the Neighborhood Convention sponsor numerous non-profit groups across the Vineyard.

Condolences to the family and friends of Roger Andrews, who died over the weekend. Although I had known Roger for many years, he was exceptionally helpful when I lived at Sengekontacket during 1988 and 1989. He would always find the time to assist the residents and tenants.

Condolences to the family and friends of Marcellino Blanco, who died at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Saturday. Marcellino has been a Vineyard Transit Authority driver for the past several years. He had lived on the Vineyard for almost 15 years and had many friends which was evident when he had a major illness about a year and a half ago and showed their support during his recuperation. He was a native of Honduras and looked forward to visiting with his friends in Florida and his family in Texas. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send a donation to the Transit Connection, Inc., RR1 Box 3, Edgartown MA 02539, to assist his family at this time. A celebration of Marcellino’s life will be held at a later date.

Aquinnah Fire Chief Walter E. Delaney reported that the Dukes County Fire Training Council conducts the Firefighter I course on the Island. The council is in the process of continuing with the classes this fall and throughout the winter. The instructors are made up of volunteer firefighters that are qualified to teach the classes here on the Vineyard. The classes are held at various stations and in each town. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should get in touch with their fire chief.

Joan Gentry Patadal is a patient at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston where she will stay for the remainder of the month. Her daughter Beatrice Patadal is with her at this time as Joan recuperates from a fracture.

Trudy Taylor thoroughly enjoyed her 85th birthday on Nov. 7. She had a surprise visit from her grandsons, six-year-old twins Logan and Henry, who had flown to the Vineyard with their mother, Kim Smedvig, while their father, James V. Taylor, was on the West Coast to open his tour in Las Vegas on Nov. 10. Logan and Henry totally transformed Trudy’s yard by playing throughout the day while climbing in the trees, lining up items, and just enjoying themselves. After their yard experience, they all went to the Outermost Inn to join Trudy’s children Kate and Livingston, granddaughter Alexandra and her husband Shaun and their twins Olive and Violet MacPhail, as well as grandson Isaac and his wife Noli. A wonderful time was enjoyed by all.

One always enjoys their neighbors who often are too busy to visit during the summer but reach out in the off-season. Fan Ogilvie stopped by the other day with some homebaked muffins and to chat for a while; thank you, Fan. Corinna Majno and her husband Ken Kauffman of Aquinnah and California sent a homebaked pie which they had ordered from Luther Madison and which was delivered on Sunday. Thanks to all of you for your generosity and caring.

Deer season is about to begin. Please be sure to dress yourselves, your children and your pets appropriately in fluorescent orange during the season while you are perhaps on a daily walk or even out and about in the neighborhood. Deer and ticks are both in abundance this year.

Once again, the tribal weigh-in station will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week. Any donations of venison will be very much appreciated and is used for tribal social gatherings during the year and to feed the elders at their luncheons throughout the winter. At our spring social in April, we have the opportunity to enjoy venison stew and venison chili.

All the best to the Tilton ladies, Tania Stobie and her sister Kathleen Clancy, on the opening of their new Tilton Market in Tisbury across the courtyard from Midnight Farm. On a recent visit, it was obvious that they certainly have a wonderful array of holiday treats and treasures. Not only do they have exotic coffee and teas, but the holiday candies and other sweets, as well as imported cheese and crackers just in time for Thanksgiving. You may also find holiday gifts as well. We will then anticipate the arrival of their Christmas treats and treasures in the next few weeks.

Happy 49th anniversary to Karl and Patt Burgess as they celebrate on Nov. 23.

Happy birthday wishes this week to Benjamin Booker who will be 10 tomorrow. Rachel Vanderhoop, daughter of Douglas and Linda Vanderhoop, of Aquinnah and Utah will celebrate tomorrow as well. Rick Vanderhoop will party on Nov. 20 and shares the day with Maxwell Butler. Conrad Noble will observe his special day on Nov. 21, as will Junior Vinson. Curtis Sayles will be 15 on Nov. 22. Jim Barrett will party on Nov. 23 while looking for a smaller year-round abode up-Island.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving. Be mindful of those in need and those who are serving our country around the world to protect our freedom. Remember the Wampanoag nation and the meaning of Thanksgiving. A safe journey to all as they gather with their friends and families.