Definition of a veteran, by an unknown author: A veteran, whether on active duty, retired, National Guard, or in reserves is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to and including his or her life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

We can do our part by honoring Armed Services Day on Sunday, May 25, and by showing up at Oak Grove Cemetery in Tisbury on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. to help put up the flags. We need your help as well at 3 p.m. to take them down. In between, join us at legion hall on Martin road at 9:45 a.m. when the parade will step off to the Avenue of Flags. Our traditional memorial service will be held with a flyover. Return to the hall for refreshments and camaraderie. Don’t forget to take the kids and houseguests to our annual Tisbury town picnic at the Tashmoo waterworks between noon and 4 p.m.

Tireless Anna Duarte resigned from the poppy chairmanship but she will still be out in front of Cumby’s with her bouquet of memorial poppies waiting for your kind donation. What would we do without Anna? Don’t forget to drop a gift for our troops in the donation box while it is still inside the store.

An unexpected reunion took place between Steve Nichols Sr. of Vineyard Haven and Steve Nichols Jr. of Westport. The two motored to Salem, Ill., to visit with an old Army buddy from the 1950s. Private First Class Nichols was a Morse code operator and corporal Donald Blank was a voice operator, both stationed in Dachau, Germany, during the Korean conflict. Steve Jr., and his wife Milli had time to stop in St. Louis, Mo., where they went up 623 feet in the Arch and had a blast. On they motored to meet another army buddy, Private First Class Earl Bennett Lineman, who was waiting for them. The friends had a wonderful time looking at old albums of photos, reminiscing, and laughing. This whole reunion came about only because Donald Blank’s wife had found an old Christmas picture of Steve Sr.’s daughter. Be sure to label your photos . . .

Speaking of veterans, my son and his wife and kids are expected by next weekend. They stayed in Rockford long enough for Chris to attend one of Lilly’s roller derby meets, the first time he’s seen her in action. Her helmet is labeled Corporal Carnage and I guess it was true because her team, the Victorias (Secret) handily defeated the Fredericks (of Hollywood), 125 to 66. Way to go, Corporal.

A welcome new policy in our town is the open office hours of selectman Denys Wortman from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tisbury senior center on the first Wednesday of each month. June 4 will inaugurate this great addition to our burg.

I remind you that the friends of Family Planning annual art show opened last night and will run until May 25 at the agricultural hall in West Tisbury. More than 100 Island artists are featured. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

First the neighborhood was being repopulated in dribs and drabs. Now a wave of our favorites are back. Welcome to Bob and Carol Clark, Jessica Walsh, Jim and Trude Hart, and Becca Dunham. Could Nancy Cohen and Roger McGary be far behind?

Our condolences to the family of Betty Burton and John Sundman on the death of John’s brother Paul. Paul had a long and courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Paul was a superb athlete, a lover of music, comedy, and Eastern philosophy. Most important to him was his wonderful family. He shall be greatly missed.

Belated birthday bouquets to Chris Walski who was feted with a surprise party on May 17. Marge Howes met Dot Edelfry halfway for lunch off Island to celebrate Dot’s day on May 19.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Jim Gardella, Ambrose Seward and Judy Crawford today. Bob Dylan and Lindsey Jewett Rendall celebrate tomorrow. May 25 is a party for Celeste Ewing, Ruda Stone, Peter Scott, Amy Litchfield and Peter Campbell. May 26 belongs to Jo Ann Murphy, Jay Leno, Melissa Fleming, Chris Osborn and Cathy Gallagher. May 27 honors Shawn Townes, Shannon McAuliffe and Esme Ruth Towles. May 28 is for Bill Preston, Cheryl Stark and Christian Keoni King. And on May 29 Marina Kaufman takes the cake. Many happy returns.