The town of Chilmark has a birthday today, but it will pass quietly with no fanfare. Thirteen years ago, when the town marked its tricentennial, it was a different story. A town picnic at the Allen Farm and a parade were part of the celebration.
“I completely forgot,” confessed Kristen Maloney, children’s librarian at the Chilmark Public Library. Mrs. Maloney quickly thought of ways that the library could help celebrate a new town year. She suggested that town residents stop by and view the newly hung photograph taken at the picnic or check out her husband John’s limited edition poetry collection, Town of Chilmark, published in honor of the 300th birthday. The library is closed today, although it has nothing to do with the town birthday but is due to new fall hours for Fridays.
For anyone who wants to bone up on town history, the shelves are stocked with town records and annual reports. The library will reopen tomorrow morning.
“Three thirteen is not the most significant of birthdays,” observed Clarissa Allen, owner of the Allen Farm. She suggested waiting until the town turns 325 for another party. Bill Rossi, owner of the Chilmark Store, agreed. “You’ve got to work incrementally to plan birthdays,” he said. “Not every one can be celebrated.”
Over at Larsen’s Fish Market, Christine Larsen took a break from shucking oysters to think about how the town could celebrate. “We should pool together and buy a bunch of lottery tickets, 313 to be exact,” she said. “Whatever we win, we should put back into the town.”