I have witnessed two sure signs of spring: my snow drops are blooming and Pam Benjamin is rounding the Chop on her roller blades. The end of February also brings the high school musical. While I love many shows, A Chorus Line is one of my absolute favorites. The show debuted last night at the performing arts center. You can catch it tonight, tomorrow night, or the matinee tomorrow. Come see what our talented kids can do.

My Aunt Joan from Farmington, Conn., sent me an interesting story from The New York Times of Jan. 23. I wonder how many of you saw this piece on our Island friends and neighbors? It featured Jan Buhrman of Chilmark, describing our “Island-grown style of bartering.” The title of the piece is On Martha’s Vineyard, Using Scallops as Currency. Other Island names you will recognize in the story are Bobby Brown, Carl Flanders, Rebecca Miller, Matt Dix, Caitlin Jones and Allen Healy. An added treat are three recipes adapted from Jan Buhrman’s kitchen collection: beef curry soup, scallops with lemons on the half-shell, and Long Island heirloom squash. If you have already recycled your newspapers, I’m sure you techies will know how to search for this on the Web.

Let’s face it, we knew the writers’ strike would be settled before the Academy Awards. Apparently, our performers can only work from a script. Frankly, when you hear them ad-lib, it usually just confirms that writers are necessary. (Note to my editor.) So Richard Paradise of our Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is pleased to announce the third annual Oscars Night Gala on Sunday, Feb. 24. This year’s event will be held at the Oyster Bar and Grill in Oak Bluffs. Dust off your velvets and décolleté! Visit and scroll down to get information about tickets and times.

Meanwhile, on a much more serious note and in conjunction with Black History Month, tomorrow night’s presentation at the Katharine Cornell Theatre at 7:30 p.m. will be American Blackout. As you know, we have struggled with voter disenfranchisement and many irregularities throughout the country on election days. Don’t miss this important contribution to guarding our election process.

It isn’t often I can extol the virtues of a dental appointment. Frankly, I find this experience so miserable I think it should be included in our health insurance coverage that a limousine is sent to pick you up and take you there, then deliver you home after. The added insult to these unwelcome appointments is when we Island dwellers must report off Island for the insult and injury to our mouths.

But I must say that last Thursday I had the most wonderful experience at Dr. Vince Phillipino’s office in Falmouth. First of all, I love visiting Vince and Karen. The staff is always friendly, helpful, professional, and sensitive to Islanders’ boat departure needs. No pain was involved because an impression was being taken. I was out of there quickly and returned to the SSA parking lot to catch the bus to Woods Hole. Only one other person was waiting for the bus, and it was meant to be. I noticed his U.S. Navy Seabees cap and asked if he had served in World War II, as my father had in the submarine service. And so I had the great joy of meeting Nelson Smith of Edgartown. I had heard of him for years. His story is one of the voices in Linsey Lee’s second collection of Vineyard Voices. I never had a bus ride nor a boat trip pass so quickly, listening to this gallant, learned, and dedicated man. I nominate him to speak at our schools and pass on his great knowledge of Island history and World War II to our children.

Owen and Brenda Rabbitt had been visiting their mom, Clara, while they helped care for their daughter Leslie and her children while Leslie was being treated for cancer at Cape Cod hospital. As you know, Leslie died and is in heaven with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Those attending her funeral service from the Island were the Rev. Jeffrey Winter, pastor of the Faith Community Church in Edgartown, and his wife, Judy. Also attending were cousins Mark and Melinda DeFeo, Paul and Christine Cardoza, and their sons, Nicolas and Christopher of Edgartown. Alice Rabbitt McCracken of Oak Bluffs attended, along with Carla Furtow, Sandra Healy and Ann Silva of Vineyard Haven. Uncle Tom Rabbitt and cousins Jayne Stanek, Gregory and Megan Carroll were present. All together, a great send-off to a great lady.

Anniversary bouquets go out to Brian Doherty and Lizanne Donegan on Feb. 19.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Grace Burton-Sundman and Heliliani Mendes Souza Coelho today. Feb. 16 honors Father Michael Nagle, Stephen Kaufman, Mary Lee Gerber and Chelsea Rose King. Feb. 17 is a party for Colin Kennedy, Leslie Kent and Jill LaPiana. Feb. 18 belongs to my favorite bartender, Paul Howes, who shares his day with A.J. Ewart and Charlotte Strople. Feb. 19 shines on Chris Passendorf, Michael James Moore, Justin Keough, Bobby Gordineer and Noreen Bettencourt. Feb. 20 is for writer and poet Margery Benjamin, Michael Dowling, Benjamin Davey and Laura Artru. And on Feb. 21 Michael Cecilio, James Holenko, Marie Boas and Nisa Kontje take the cake. Many happy returns.