The sun sets now at about 6 p.m. and is dropping faster each day and when daylight saving time ends in two weeks, early darkness in the morning as well as evening will have us in her grasp. Pumpkins now grace many front lawns except for the large masked man who is in front of Trip Barnes’s house on State Road. This may be the last weekend to mow your yard and then put your lawn mower away until spring. The leaves, with rare exception, still do not have much color and are another week or so away from the peak.

Our congratulations to all of the winners of the 68th Annual Bass and Bluefish Derby.

Tara Whiting, town clerk, wants to remind everyone about the special town meeting on Nov. 5.

Beth Kramer over at the library reports that all the children in town are invited to attend the Halloween party on Oct. 31 at the Grange Hall. There will be crafts, games, refreshments and hayrides. So come in a costume and have a good time.

Phyllis Meras went down to NYC on business last week and on her return, stopped over to visit Sal Laterra in Providence. World traveler that she is, her trip from Providence to the Vineyard was an astounding nightmare at best. The plan was that Tom Thatcher would meet her at the 3:15 boat in Oak Bluffs. Tom arrived at my house in the morning to report that his home telephone was not working so he purchased a cell phone. I telephoned Sal with the new cell number, but he reported that he doesn’t carry a pen or pencil with him and Phyllis was busy buying a cell phone because she had misplaced hers on their most recent trip. After another series of phone calls about new cell numbers, boat and bus schedules which, by the way, she loses more frequently than her phone, she determined that she could not make that boat but the 6:15 p.m. for sure and Tom would meet her. She became concerned as she could not get hold of Tom to let him know that she was going to miss that boat also because the bus was late. She ended up taking the 7:30 boat. No one could reach Tom, whose new phone presumably was being charged up, and he finally borrowed someone’s phone to let my wife Anna know that she wasn’t on the 6:15 boat. After trying to pick up Phyllis on earlier boats at different ports and times, it was determined that Tom should stay home and rest and Anna collected Phyllis at 8:15 p.m. What did we ever do before the age of cell phones?

Paul Karasik reports that on Sunday the Scarecrow Building Workshop for the Charter School Scarecrow Festival will happen from 10 a.m. to noon. They provide free basic building materials and simple construction tips. You bring specific costume and materials for your music-themed scarecrow. Scarecrows decorate Island businesses from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3. There’s no entry fee and you may be eligible to win an iPad.

Anna Carringer over at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum reports that she will be busier than normal this week with the Martha’s Vineyard Arts PechaKucha Night on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Harbor View Hotel in the Menemsha Room. Reservations are required only if you’d like to present. Call Katy at 508-627-4441, extension 123. On Sunday, Oct. 27 from noon to 2 p.m. kick off Halloween week at a festival with your family at the museum’s Vineyard Haven property. The day will feature contests and prizes for best costume and best pumpkin carving for both kids and adults judged by some familiar Vineyard faces. Come in costume and bring your already carved pumpkins. Watch a world-renowned carver carve his own Halloween pumpkin, see what others in the community have carved, and feed and pet alpaca from the Island Alpaca Farm. Cider will be provided and the historic building will be open to walk through, rain or shine. The festival is free and the judging will take place at 2 p.m.

Lynne Ditchfield reports that Adult and Community Education (ACE MV) continues and you can contact her at or 774-310-1131 to sign up for classes. Their website has all the information.

Emily Gadd reports that the Bread & Puppet 50th Anniversary Cabaret will be held at the Chilmark Community Center on Wednesday night from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. It will be preceded by a community potluck dinner that starts at 6 p.m. The event is free to the public. Bread & Puppet is one of the oldest nonprofit, self-sustaining theatrical companies in this country. Donations on behalf of these talented performers will be accepted. A beautiful selection of cheap art created by Bread & Puppet will be for sale by the puppeteers in the lobby after the show.

As Halloween is nearly upon us, let me remind you of the biggest Halloween spoof accidentally played on the public. It was the broadcast on Oct. 30, 1938 of Orson Welles’s dramatization of H.G. Wells’s tale War of the Worlds on Mercury Theatre of the Air. It aired nationwide on the CBS radio network. The invasion from Mars was covered by realistic live reports interrupting the regularly scheduled program. The headline on page one of The New York Times the following morning read “Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact.” If, however, that Sunday evening you were listening to the program that was broadcast opposite it, on the NBC blue radio network, you knew nothing about “the invasion” and enjoyed the show. What was the name of that weekly comedy program that stared a small man in a top hat and was sponsored by Chase and Sanborn coffee?

Happy birthday to Cynthia Walsh, Gail Tipton, Joan Clark, Kim Nichols and Joseph Turney today; Sara Dexter, Ben Retmier, William Bennett, Bob Levine, Penn Kimball, Bud Mayhew, Paul Galligan and John Early tomorrow; Erich Luening, Insley Julier, Jean Holenko, Virginia Carmichael, Amy Hoff, Ted Powell and April Knight on Sunday; Bob Doane, Mary Hinckley and Matthew Stedman on Monday; Susan Silva, Brianna Bingham, Katherine Stackpole, Meaghan Gouldrup, Bernadette Ottiano and Jacob Ferry on Tuesday; Roger Blake, Dianne Rothwell, Susan Faraca, Mark Bettencourt, Wendy Forest-Biddle and Alice Greene on Wednesday and to Betty Cottle, Ben DeForrest, Paul Gibbs, Angel Russell, Mary Coleman, Bernadette and Shirley Wilcox on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Sandy Hill and Goodie Stiller, and belated anniversary greetings to John Paul Jones and Irene Selvino, Davis and Gina Solon and John and Jean Kellerher. Also a very special 70th wedding anniversary wish to a swell couple, George and Mary Lu Hough of Indian Hill.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s column. If you have any news please call or email me ( Have a great week.