It’s good to be back.

I’ve been asked to fill in the column to give Holly Nadler a three-week respite to catch her breath out in (fill in the blank: sunny, muddy, windy, fiery) California.

In thespian news, we want to commend M.J. Munafo of the Vineyard Playhouse for her efforts in the Fourth Grade Theatre Project, which concluded this past weekend. M.J. brings the theatre alive for the prospective performers, from publicity and promotion, to technical support and artistic design, to the high level of acting itself. We commend the fourth graders for their efforts in this venture.

We’d like to add kudos to Lisa Reagan who baked delicious chocolate chip cookies for the ensemble of Oak Bluffs fourth graders.

The Theatre Project is a natural segue into A Chorus Line, the ambitious program scored by Kate Murray and her Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students. What a production. It was a delight to appreciate the efforts of so many students. The high school’s annual performance brightens the deep dark days of winter in so many ways, and invites students to appreciate the opportunities that abound in theatre arts. This also is a reminder of how important it is for the community to strongly support the arts offered at the regional high school.

On tour buses: We stopped by Island Transport to chat with our own Bert and Ernie (think It’s A Wonderful Life, rather than Sesame Street), Scott Dario and Chad Metell. Island Transport celebrates 25 years of operation this year.

Scott recognizes the opportunity that he has with the tour buses. “All the boats use Oak Bluffs. We are the hub of Martha’s Vineyard. I see it only as a positive. Merchants obviously benefit from all this.

“We’re providing a service. We want to make it a most positive experience. This encompasses as much of the Island as we can. We work closely with the Chief of Police and the Oak Bluffs selectmen and Oak Bluffs businessmen to make it work.”

Recently there was chatter about the cruise ships that visit the Vineyard each autumn. Chad noted that patrons on the ships who take the bus tour around the Island, “return to Oak Bluffs for an hour and a half. We don’t take every single person on the ship. Those ships hold from 2,300 to 2,500 passengers and we take 800 to 1,000 at most. Lines of people spend time and money in Oak Bluffs.”

Scott invites Vineyarders to take the tour. Even though we live here, there is much to learn about our little Island. And as for tourists, he adds, “We consider ourselves ambassadors of Martha’s Vineyard. We’re here to promote the Vineyard.”

On movies: We encourage people to visit the Oak Bluffs Public Library to watch a movie screening at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 23. This matinee explores the adventure of a young man who travels to Alaska and attempts to live alone in the wilderness. Sounds like a modern-day Walden Pond experience! The new DVD release will be shown on the library’s big screen and popcorn will be provided. It’s just like being at the movies.

In these post-holiday doldrums, we’re all trying to reduce one thing or another. If we can cut down on snoring, it might improve our partner’s sleeping habits. Send suggestions or solutions to Much appreciated.

On politics: We know many people are overwhelmed by the length of the political season, but, when you get down to it, we had our primary earlier in the month, and the general election is not until November. As Sen. Obama continues his streak of primary victories across the country, we can revel in Obamamania, and see how far it goes. I understand some Republicans actually cast ballots in favor of the senator from Illinois. They are members of a new party, the Obamacrats. There is talk, albeit small, of following the tradition of Julius and Augustus Caesar, and naming a month after the popular Democrat, which would, of course, be Obamber. We heard tell of a small fishing village that has come out in support of Barack. The town, naturally, is named Obama, Japan. And in a daring scoop up in Vermont, the campaign confirmed the use of a pair of ObamaMobiles, on loan from Ben & Jerry’s, giving away Cherries for Change ice cream.

On spring: My wife Joyce is the eternal optimist. One day last week she said the weatherman announced we had four minutes more of daylight than the day before. How can you argue with that?