According to the big oak in my front yard, the leaves are about a week later in falling than most years. All the leaves have put on a good show of color this year despite the dry summer which made it seem as if the leaves might turn only brown. With the recent rains, the level of Brine’s Pond is up slightly so that the white rock finally at least has its toes in the water. We’ll need a lot more rain before the pond and the swamps fill.

A group of faithful film fans spent last Sunday at the Chappaquiddick Community Center watching foreign movies from noon until 9:30 PM. The day-long Clam-Chowder-and-Potluck Movie Marathon was organized by Mary Spencer as a thank-you to everyone who helped at last September’s Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival in Vineyard Haven.

Chappy was well represented among the volunteers for 2007’s film festival, including Laura Jemison (who is spending her first full winter on the island), Peggy Pinney, Judy Buss and Paul Cardello. Judy is visiting family in England, but Paul came bearing a chocolate cake he baked himself. Former Chappaquiddicker Christina Brown came from Edgartown bringing other volunteers and friends who walked the trails between movies.

Chappy residents and friends were invited by volunteers to come and watch the films, too. Annie Heywood saw every movie on Sunday and added a delicious pumpkin pie. Susan Gomez came to see an early movie, left for a meeting, and then returned later bringing pizza.

“A roaring fire, comfy sofas, good company, plenty of food and great movies . . . . what could be better than that?” was Mary’s comment on the day. “With hot cider, two bottomless caldrons of clam chowder, pizza, homemade bread, salads and desserts, we just ate (and ate!) and watched movies for nine hours! Some people came and stayed for the whole thing — we’ll definitely be calling them to volunteer next year!”

The festival will be Sept. 11-14, 2008. Mary will be coordinating the volunteers again so call her at 508-627-4011 to help.

Everyone is invited to come to the community center today between 3 and 5 p.m. for hot cider and cookies and to pick up the 2008 Chappy calendars. Karen Gazarian, who, with Frank, put together the calendar, is pleased with the printing and says they look “absolutely spectacular.” If you didn’t yet order any, you can come and buy one or more on Friday or call Karen at 508-627-9663. If you order soon, she can send them out in plenty of time for the holidays.

The next potluck at the community center will be on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. for appetizers and 6:30 for dinner. Edwin Seabury will be hosting. All are invited to come and share some good food and socializing with our island neighbors.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Sally Snipes and Walter Streeter, authorized Shaklee distributors, will give a presentation at the community center entitled, Creating Healthy Environments in Vineyard Homes and Schools. The event will be from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. with the doors opening at 7:15. The event is free and refreshments will be served. Also, food donations will be accepted for the Island Food Pantry. Shaklee has been producing eco-friendly products, including Basic H, for fifty years. For more information, call Walter at 508-939-4046.

The Annual Christmas Tea will be on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the community center. Call me at 508-627-8894 if you can help with baking cookies, making sandwiches or setting up.  

The Chappy Book Club will meet to discuss Murder at a Vineyard Mansion by Philip Craig on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. You can call Annie Heywood at 508-627-4754 for further information.

Last Saturday, I went to a workshop given by Linsey Lee at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. She shared some of her experiences interviewing Island people and recording their stories for the museum’s Vineyard Oral History Center. Besides creating the two Vineyard Voices books, filled with Island history and tales, Linsey has archived interviews with more than 450 Vineyard people at the museum library. These are available for anyone who wants to listen and find out more about Island life through people’s memories all the way back to the mid-1800s.

Some work has been done recording Chappaquiddickers over the years, but there are always more stories as time goes on. If anyone is inspired to do some interviewing, he or she can get in touch with Linsey at the museum. She has recording equipment to lend. You don’t have to be trained to do it — you mainly just need to be interested in finding out about someone’s life.