Resounding applause to Dan Sauer for his arising early to assist with the construction of the new playground in December. Dan was inadvertently omitted from the list of volunteers who worked on that cold blustery morning to provide a safe place for the children of Aquinnah to play.

The Chilmark Community Center will be having a flea market and bazaar tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the direction of Coco Adams. Vendors will have a vast array of antiques, books, artwork, jewelry, Native American art and jewelry, handcrafted items, furniture and collectibles. Stop by and join in the fun.

Welcome to Steve Mathias, who was approved by the selectmen on Tuesday evening as a special police officer for the Town of Aquinnah. Steve, husband of Kristen Siple, will begin his duties and training soon to cover vacations, educational leaves and so on.

Also at the selectmen’s meeting, it was noted that the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is shredding the music and arts programs that are so vital to our youth.

I for one am grateful that my grandson Chris participated in the music program during his high school years while playing trumpet and was the only one who played the French horn. Chris is now in college in Newfoundland. One would also be reminded of the stellar performance by Jesse Wiener in the Music Man: Jesse will be graduating from Harvard in a few months. Matthew Scott is a member of the Dartmouth Chords, a singing group from Dartmouth College, that recently toured around New England. Matthew is a freshman at Dartmouth. There is Cera Garvin, a talented young artist whose work is on sale in Aquinnah. Maxwell Butler, who was graduated from Bates College two years ago, is a talented young musician who spent a semester in Italy studying music. Lydia Fischer, Elsie Fantasia, Tom Fantasia and many other students are currently in the music program advancing their musical talents. Aquinnah probably has the greatest number of Minnesingers alumni per square inch.

These are programs that are not only important for the students but also to the parents who are supportive in attending their concerts, shows, and plays and providing transportation to practice sessions, and important to the community at large. Perhaps more participation by the community would be a way of showing their support when concerts are given or plays performed or art shows on display.

Even in our tiny Aquinnah community, we have innumerable talented musicians, theatrical students and artists who have thrived because of these programs over the past few decades and just why they have targeted such an important department for budgetary cuts is beyond anyone’s imagination. Let our children flourish: show them our support, attend their art shows, their concerts, their theatre productions. They are our future. As a community we need to find a way to provide the $27,000 necessary to prevent the closure of the arts department and shredding of vital positions into bits and pieces. As a community we cannot sit back and see the demise of these programs.

The Aquinnah Public Library winter events will be featuring genealogy with yours truly. On Jan. 17, 24, and 31 from 2 to 4 p.m., I will be assisting those interested in being family historians and genealogists with mapping their pasts and filling in those blanks on their ancestry charts. Classes will begin with your present knowledge of your family tree and searching for ancestors to complete those branches. Spend an afternoon exploring your genealogy.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Aquinnah Public Library, the Bread & Books new book group will discuss Eating India: An Odyssey into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices, by Chitrita Banerji. Julianne Vanderhoop Mahoney of the Orange Peel Bakery will provide bread during the discussion.

Condolences to the family and friends of Lloyd Mayhew, multi-generational family friend and schoolmate of so many up-Islanders.

Joan Gentry Patadal has returned to her home after a brief hospitalization at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Happy birthday wishes this week to Jesse Wiener as he celebrates his 21st birthday today. I can certainly remember the day he was born and the blizzard that was swirling around outside. Carol French will also be partying today. Anthony Vanderhoop will be nine years old on Saturday and shares the day with Ruth Major, Roy Hope, and Carrie Anne Vanderhoop. Capt. Gordon Bassett will party on Jan. 20. Catherine Deese will party on Jan. 21 and one will probably find her offering her services for the elders at Windemere. Shaun MacPhail will celebrate on Jan. 23.