There has been a lot of talk about upgrading Veterans Memorial Park between Lagoon Road and the causeway. And that’s fine because so many people use what I call “my park” for picnics, birthday parties, soccer, baseball and, my personal favorite, basketball. As you recall I also spent at least two hours last spring exploring the wildlife of its swamp.
The park, a gift from our American Legion Post 257 to the town in 1964, is a Tisbury treasure. But aside from its use and popularity, this is why I think it so: years ago, while walking my dogs around the perimeter, I looked down at the stately row of trees I was passing. At the base of each tree was a brick that noted the names, dates, and assignments of several of our Island soldiers. Names you would recognize: Carlson, Silva, Norton, Luce, Sylvia. Iwo Jima, Korea, Normandy, and so on. These were the people who served to make our lives and parks safe. I think of their stories, I wonder about their families, I thank God they served. I hope any renovation of the park includes continuing to remember and honor these brave men.
You can serve by helping us put up the more than 400 flags at the Avenue of Flags in Oak Grove cemetery, Vineyard Haven, on Sunday, Nov. 11, the traditional date of Veterans Day. We begin at 7:30 a.m. and take the flags down at 3 p.m. All are welcome and it is a truly moving experience. Even if you can only stay for 20 minutes, we would appreciate it. The Veterans of Foreign Wars parade steps off from Our Market at 9:45 a.m. All are invited back to the VFW in Oak Bluffs for refreshments after the parade.
More information is available at dukescounty.org. Look up veterans services for events and information. County veterans agent JoAnn Murphy is at the office, 508-693-6887, Monday through Friday, but on Tuesday afternoons she is at post 257 in Vineyard Haven. Stay in touch. These people put us here.
In other legion news, the auxiliary will hold its last meeting before the Dec. 1 Christmas bazaar on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. We need help making theme baskets and arranging for this always anticipated party. Please come.
Since Monday is the holiday observation of Veterans Day, our schools will be closed. This is your opportunity to get a free flu shot at the clinic at our high school, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I’ll see you there.
Meanwhile, the Vineyard Haven public library, in consideration of the half day for Tisbury schoolchildren next Wednesday, will show a film and serve popcorn at 1 p.m.
I have recently had the pleasure on several occasions of stopping in the fascinating Devil’s Dictionary at 9 Main street. Owners Gillian Wright and Ambrose Seward have transformed this shop into a truly elegant men’s accoutrements and cigar lounge. There is a pool table and TV in the back room. Ambrose and Gillian are open every day until 10 p.m. Great place to shop and pick up that special gift or cigar.
There is so much to say about Judy Jacobs and I’m so sad to have to say it because she died last week. Although Judy and her family are from upstate New York, they were the most loyal seasonal residents since they discovered the Vineyard so many years ago. Judy taught me so much about devotion to family, hard work, and her love of reading and our discussion of books kept me constantly on my toes. Our condolences to her husband Jake, her children Eve and Michael and their families. I shall never forget her.
Anniversary bouquets go out to Rene and Joanne Moncada on Nov. 14.
Belated birthday greetings to Stormy Serusa who celebrated on Nov. 7.
The birthday bandwagon pulls along Barbara Jo Cayer, Matt Medeiros, Maria de Pinha, and Evan Scott-Jennings today. Nov. 10 is the famous birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, founded in a tavern in Philadelphia in 1775, yes, the year before our country came to be. Binnie Ravitch shares the honors with the Marine Corps.
Nov. 11 honors the veterans, Willa Shalit, Victoria Hehre, and Lizanne Donegan. Nov. 12 is a party for David (Cricket) Willoughby, Suely Oliveira, Matt Brown, Tim Sylvia and Isaque Silva. Nov. 13 is shared by Rosemary Jackson and Lisa Quartiroli. Nov. 14 belongs to Alfred Frances, Ellison Brasil and John Gardella. And on Nov. 15 Swaran Bahal, Judy Hatt and Juraci Rodrigues take the cake. Many happy returns.