The holiday weekend weather was absolutely delightful. Many outdoor activities and cookouts took place. The first weekend of summer brought thousands of visitors as was evident by the long lines at the grocery stores in town and increased automobile traffic. The price of gasoline was $4.44 a gallon for regular grade over the weekend, an increase of 86 cents since last year at the same time on the Island, but that did not seem to discourage visitors. Indeed, the boats were very busy all day Monday as people were leaving. At this time last year the dreaded caterpillars were everywhere eating the new foliage. So far this year, there is not a sign of them anywhere. Andrea Rogers reports that the two-day Artisans Show at the Grange Hall was a huge success.

Jeff Munroe, manager of the youth hostel, reports that they hosted about 50 people each day last weekend. Many of the guests were from several European countries: Bulgaria, France, Germany, the Ukraine and Finland. Our country was well-represented with guests from several states. Additionally over the holiday weekend, Chris Fried, of Vineyard Haven, installed a hot water solar device that is attached to their outdoor showers. Jeff invites people to come by and see how it works. Perhaps they would be interested in putting one in their homes as energy costs continue to skyrocket.

Marti Marnier, of Providence, R.I., has graduated from art school. She arrived last weekend to spend the summer in town. She is employed at the Carol Craven Gallery in Vineyard Haven again this summer.

David and Rosalee McCullough arrived on Tuesday and plan to be here for most of the summer. David is featured in an exclusive HBO documentary Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The show is titled Painting with Words. It is all about David and his writing and it includes some Vineyard scenes.

Bob and Rosemary Doane of Maine arrived for the summer recently as did his brother Richard and his wife Martha from Tucson, Ariz.

The church is beginning the planning for the 19th annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. Mark that date on your calendar now.  

Nada Martecchini, of Englewood, Fla., returned last Wednesday to her seasonal home at Plum Bush Point. She reports enjoying the winter and the superb weather in Florida. She is happy to get back to the Vineyard and is confident that she brought warm weather along with her.

Linda Baughman, who was scheduled to leave for her home in Philadelphia, Pa., on Friday decided to stay an extra day and catch up on the news her hostess, Phyllis Meras, brought back about her trip to Germany. The ladies had dinner with the Baron Von Ochs on Friday evening. Linda sadly departed for home on Saturday.

Adam Block of Reston, Va., arrived in town on Tuesday to handle some business matters. He returned home on Thursday.

Shannon R. McAuliffe of Charles Neck Way returned home last week after completing her junior year at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

John and Judith Churchill of New York city spent the holiday weekend at their Lambert’s Cove Road home. They returned home on Monday but plan to be in residence here by mid-June.

Ralph and Alvida Jones celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last Thursday with a small gathering of friends at their home. Their daughter and son in law, Deb and Phil Pearce, from Marquette, Mich., were on hand for the special occasion and stayed on for the holiday weekend. Their other son, Duncan, and his daughter Kati from San Francisco arrived last Friday to spend a few days.

Charlotte Earle, of Venice, Fla., and Old County Road reports that sons Skip and Bill and grandson Nick opened up the cottage this year. This is the first Memorial Day weekend that she and her husband Sandy have observed in Florida in the 24 years they have lived down there. They plan to arrive soon. Sandy looks forward to his 80th summer on the Vineyard and they both will be happy to get back to see their many Islandfriends. 

Alex Karman of New York city arrived last Friday to spend the long holiday weekend at his mother’s house on State Road. He had several guests: Kate and Rick Reilly, of Philadelphia, Pa., Steve Chestnut of Arlington, Va., Tom Elaisinski of Brooklyn, John Kuefner of New York, Saul and Michelle Farber, and Josh Merereau from Boston. Alex who is building a backyard sports complex, organized an Islandwide bicycle ride for his pals. He also reports that his father, Pete, has created a news blog.

Carey and Abby Rosenthal of Newtown Square, Pa., arrived on Friday to spend the holiday weekend at their home. Carey reports the following news about their daughters: Blake has just participated in a skating competition in Lancaster, Pa., and Brin has just completed her sophomore year at Cornell University.

Marian Irving of Old County Road and her friend, Beth Welch from Vineyard Haven, reports that they enjoyed a two-week walking tour of Sicily. They were a part of a group of 10 people. Their guide was an Australian citizen, as were the others in our party. They were the first Americans to take this tour. They had such a good time that they became “Honorary Australians” during time they spent together. The tourincluded walks in the mountains, exploring ancient Greek and Romanruins, visiting beautiful old churches in villages on high peaks, cruising in the Aeolian Islands, watching Mount Etna erupting with rosy glow at night and enjoying all the wild flowers a nd gardens in full bloom. The food and wine and generous spirit of the Sicilian people will be a treasured memory.

Colleen Morris, over at the library, reports that tomorrow is National Sunflower Day in Kansas. This is especially important as they are the sunflower state. Also starting on Sunday, Doug Kent of Indian Hill will be displaying his art work in the library all during the month of June.

Dr. Bob Levine and his wife, Barbara, have returned to their South Pond Road home after spending the winter in their Boca Raton, Fla., house. Bob reports that it is great to get back to the Vineyard.

On June 10, 1946, Steve and Barbara Courtleigh and their son George, of New York city, arrived to spend the summer season in town. Their daughter Pat was set to join them in August. They rented the winter home of Donald Campbell on Old County Road. The Campbells moved up to their summer home on Basin Road in Menemsha. Steve, an actor, was also the voice of the Shadow on the radio. People could listen to the popular mystery program, sponsored by Blue Coal, on Sunday nights on radio station WJZ.

Happy birthday to Chris Osmers, Greg Marcella, Colin Whyte and Peter Hoffman today; Howard Wall, Linda Gandel, Amy Fournier and Brian Van Horn tomorrow; Eric Magnuson and Chaya Thanhauser on Sunday; Linda Alley on Monday; Emily Pires, Casey Decker and Laurence Binney on Tuesday; George Hartman, Stephanie Brothers and Debra Yapp on Wednesday; and Dale Julier, Margery Meltzer, Mona Rosenthal and Jason Look on Thursday. Belated anniversary wishes to Ron and Deb Kokerneck.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s edition. If you have any news, please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.