Bowling returns to Oak Bluffs. At 2:30 this Saturday, March 28, the Oak Bluffs library invites the public to go bowling. At the library. Yes, indoor bowling is now possible on the library’s Nintendo Wii. Also, reference librarian Mat Bose screens a slideshow on historic bowling alleys in Oak Bluffs. (A free gift card giveaway is donated by the Library Friends.)
The library offers a lecture on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) on Thursday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. Find out more about CAM and learn its history and current trends.
Lights Out Martha’s Vineyard is an Islandwide energy conservation event that takes place this Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Islanders are encouraged to turn off nonessential lighting. An announcement of Lights Out will be made at the community meeting at the Oak Bluffs school.
The school play, The Ants and the Grasshoppers, A Greek comedy in one act, is staged this weekend, directed by theatre person Donna Swift and music teacher Brian Weiland. Show times are 7:30 Friday and Saturday evenings, and a Saturday matinee at 11 a.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students.
Sixth grader, Russell Shapiro represented Oak Bluffs in the Island spelling bee and made it through seven rounds, gaining third place.
MCAS testing runs from Monday, March 30 through Tuesday April 14.
Featherstone offers culture classes by Elizabeth Straton on Monday, March 30 for children ages 5 to 8. This is a music and language art program. On April 1, Rev. Judy Campbell teaches a memoirs class entitled It’s Your Story ... now write it. John Holladay offers a spring landscape watercolor workshop on Saturday, April 4 and Paul Carrick has a gallery exhibit that opens Sunday, April 5, with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on his book Watch Out for Wolfgang. For more information visit featherstonearts.org.
Michael and Ruth Davin plan to move some 500 feet from their Madison avenue home to a brand new house on Clay avenue, built especially for them by Jack Reagan. The Davins, who retired to the Chop, plan to move in by the first of May.
Slice of Life begins their breakfast menu Monday, April 6 and opens on Sundays, beginning April 19. The restaurant will redo their floors from March 30 to April 1, and so will not be open Monday through Wednesday next week.
Over the past several weeks we’ve profiled a number of empowered women who exemplify unconditional support and encouragement for their families and to the people and town of Oak Bluffs. This concludes our series.
Town Profile: Nancy Billings
Nancy Billings was born in Vermont, raised in Maine, but settled here. “I first came to work on the Vineyard and married a native and you don’t leave!” She and her husband tried to work in Maine, but Donald preferred Island life. So this is where they are.
When her children were young, Nancy started her own nursery school, the Donald Bee. “I fixed up my house and ran it for 10 years.” It was licensed for eight children. “Some of those kids are now in their forties and have memories of coming to my nursery school,” Nancy smiles.
Two of Nancy and Donald’s four children have passed away. There are memorials to Donald Jr. and Jonathan at the Edgartown lighthouse brick memorial. The surviving children, David and Amy, operate the Cottage City Outdoor Power and Home Appliance Store, formerly Western Auto, on Circuit avenue.
Nancy earned her degree and taught fourth grade in Oak Bluffs for a few years, then tutored students in reading, a Title 1 program, in Tisbury.
As a charter member of the Friends of Oak Bluffs, Nancy recalls, “I was an original. I helped set it up with David Healey.” Modestly, she adds, “I am president, actually.” She also was a founding member of the Martha’s Vineyard Antiques Club in the 1960s. The Club is a study group, where one person researches a topic of interest related to antiques, then presents a paper or gives a demonstration. “It’s on a topic that interests you, you share it with a group,” she explains, then adds, “They’re always looking for speakers.”
With Judy Bruguiere she began the Good Riddance Girls, a quarter century ago. Nancy says, “I was teaching and she was a school nurse and it’s been a great and good service.” Recently they sold out to Tim Rush and Tom Fisher, who renamed it the Good Riddance Group. “It’s nice to pass it on. Both of us were ready to move on.” Tom and Tim retain the friendly concept of clearing out and selling household furnishings.
Nancy is involved with the flowers at her church, Good Shepard Parish. Her grandchildren are very important, from Jaime Lynn, a senior getting ready for college (hopefully Roger Williams), Samantha, a sophomore and Joshua in kindergarten in Oak Bluffs, and step-grandchildren Kara Best and Andrew Welch.
Nancy and Donald celebrated 52 years of marriage on March 21.
On this week’s book list we recommend my first novel, In My Life, coming out this spring. This coming-of-age story is set in northeastern Massachusetts in the mid-1960s.
And now it’s time to pass the baton back to Holly Nadler who returns refreshed and revitalized from a couple of months in warm and comfortable California.