Back from Iraq: West Tisbury school principal Mike Halt has returned to the Island. Another marine, Duncan MacMullen, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Class of 2004, got off the boat last Monday morning and was greeted by a color guard, fire trucks, the Tisbury police chief, and many friends and well-wishers. Thank you both for your service and welcome home.

This is the first time our American Legion Post 257 on William street has ever put out a call for donations. But our furnace is over 50 years old and the air conditioning is inadequate. We need to replace them and are looking to raise about $10,000. Commander Kevan Nichols sent out an appeal. Can you help us?

I wish I’d had the foresight to assign you all homework over the last week and a half: to watch Ken Burns’s documentary on World War II on PBS. It was excellent, it is being repeated, and it is available on DVD. Every day a thousand of our veterans from the greatest generation are dying. Ken said his dad died before he had a chance to collect his oral history of his war experiences; he thinks of this as a tribute to him and all who served. I firmly agree with Santayana that those who choose to ignore the past are condemned to re-live it. Watch it with your kids.

The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library are preparing for a book and bake sale at the library on Saturday, Oct. 13. I’m giving you a heads-up so you may contribute. Hard as it is for me to part with any book, I already have a collection to donate. No doubt I’ll purchase just as many as I’m giving away. Elaine Eugster at 508-693-7614 is the contact if you have any questions.

Since the Harbor View Hotel is being renovated, hostess par excellence Patsy Wheeler is scrambling to find a suitable location for the Robbie Burns birthday dinner, only five months away. This annual tribute to our favorite poet and all things Scottish draws about 150 people. Call Patsy at 508-693-4026 if you have any suggestions. We in the Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard also bid farewell to Cathy and Ken Campbell who are moving to Texas and to John and Gretchen MacArthur who are relocating to Colorado. These four have lifetime membership status wherever they might go. New members are welcome. Come to our annual meeting next Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Federated Church in Edgartown. No, you don’t have to be Scottish to join.

Dennis von Mehren spent a fabulous weekend visiting his mother, Gloria, sisters Pam Alley and Linda Chambers, nephews Chris Alley and Anthony Cardoza, and attending his Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Class of 1962 reunion this past weekend. Sister Linda came over from Bourne, though her daughter Kim Mello is recovering from surgery and couldn’t catch up with Uncle Dennis. Dennis reports his classmates met for dinner last Friday night at the Square Rigger. They had a blast Saturday night at the Mansion House. Dennis returned to his home in Maine on Monday.

It’s finalized: free English lessons brought to you by the Edgartown Public Library begin on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The six-week course will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the children’s room in Edgartown. All students from all towns are welcome, and I can’t wait to see you. We are hoping Edgartown and Vineyard Haven will offer a winter course after the holidays.

Ken Peterson, of the Boston Public Library, will talk at our library on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The talk is geared to parents, about online resources for homework help. You can investigate this new resource for yourself online at A free electronic library card from Boston awaits you.

Jen Morgan never stops planning events for our chapter of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Join us on Monday, Oct. 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Lattanzi’s restaurant for entertainment, silent auction and raffle, pizza, pasta, and salad buffet, cash bar. Tickets are $25 at the door and benefit the MSPCA. For information, call the shelter at 508-627-8662.

Get-well wishes go out to Nancy Gaffney, now back at her post at the Mansion House. The best for a speedy recovery also goes to Kim Mello.

Many people were married in October. Anniversary bouquets go out to Ray and Laurel Redington-Whitaker on Oct. 5, Arthur and Priscilla Dickson on Oct. 7, Don and Hildy Mitchell on Oct. 8, and Chuck Redington and Carolyn Snow Redington on Oct. 10. May they all continue to live happily ever after.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Ross Macpherson and Megan Willey today. Oct. 7 is claimed by Kim Samuels. Oct. 9 belongs to Donna Rhoades. Oct. 10 honors Rob Laffie. And on Oct. 11 Mardell Francis, Kenon Veno, Kristin Siple and Caitlin Crossland take the cake. Many happy returns.