It’s important we open this week with the real news about me, your correspondent. The rumors are true: I did fall and did sufficient damage to my shoulder and that I needed help to produce this column. My very kind neighbor, Barbara Armstrong, happens to be also pretty skilled on the computer and I am appreciating her tireless energy so we will proceed from here.

Yes, I did fall, but as usual I bounced and Dr. Monto, a Chilmarker we should all be happy to live near, says it won’t be long before all is well again. Many thanks to all the skilled people who make up the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital as they were all friends, neighbors and truly professional people who did a great job.

I did promise you that you could do all your seasonal shopping in Chilmark. I just didn’t think a shoulder was on my shopping list.

Word has reached us of the recent death of William Damron of Kingston, NY. He was a summer resident of Menemsha for more than 30 years, sharing the heritage in Menemsha with the Goldman family which has been there continuously for over 50 years. He loved the Vineyard, made many friends playing tennis, collecting antiques and exhibiting at the agricultural fair. You may remember his boat in a bottle, a replica of the Alabama, for which he won a blue ribbon in 2005. His wife Judy, his children and many friends gained through a life well lived, will miss him and remember him.

Caleb and Chris Slater and their daughter Celia and their two dogs came from Northbridge this past weekend to visit Herb Slater.

Tom and Barbara Rivers of Tea Lane enjoyed entertaining Vineyard friends and relatives on the occasion of a memorable birthday for Barbara. Cheers from us all.

Peter and Katherine Teel are back at their Chilmark home after an enjoyable 10-day cruise on a sailing vessel in the Caribbean. They enjoyed snorkeling and island-hopping.

Remember that the Friends of the Library will be holding their annual holiday reception on Dec. 19 at the library from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is most welcome. Refreshments will be served. Greens will be made during the party with people who know how helping you and me make our centerpieces and wreaths.

The library also offers a holiday book sale that begins on Dec. 15 and runs through Dec. 24. Many books, videos and discs will be available . . . stocking stuffers all.

The holiday schedule for the library is as follows: open Monday, Dec. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25. The same hours will apply to Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 2008.

Notice to my up-Island shoppers: there’s a lobster sale at Menemsha Fish Market this week.

Coco Adams tells us the flea market was a success and the vendors are planning another sale for Jan. 9, 2008.

Please remember the library is offering amnesty for overdue charges through the month of December. Please bring food for the food panty in place of your fine. A box is in place in the library for your donation.

Robert Morgan and Valerie Murphy traveled, as probably many other Islanders did, to the mainland for a day of pre-Christmas excitement.

We send condolences to Judy Mueller of Vineyard Haven who’s one of the faithful staff of the Chilmark library. Judy’s mother, Rose Simonds, died recently in Vineyard Haven, where she lived. Her friends and family will miss her.

All town department heads should remember that the budgets are all due in town hall on Dec. 28.

The Chilmark firefighters are still working on their plans for this year’s annual Christmas party complete with a visit from Santa for all the children of Chilmark. The happy event will take place at the community center on Thursday, Dec. 20. If you have children who will be attending, please call Jan Weidner at 508-645-7830 so that your child may be included in the very personal gift distribution. Katie Carroll is also working on the preparations.

Be sure this week that you take a ride around town to see the wonderful Christmas lights. Everyone seems to have surpassed his or her previous efforts. It is all fun and don’t forget to shop in town. Menemsha Texaco is still the place for stocking stuffers for young and old.