I snuck away from the family last Friday night and had a grand time, first at Louisa Gould’s gallery attending a reception for four artists, and then at the Bunch of Grapes listening to Phil Dine speak on his new book, State of the Unions.

I had the pleasure of meeting Phil’s wife, Debbie, and three beautiful daughters, Alexandra, 15, Jessica, 11, and Jo Elle, nine. The family is very excited to be on Island until July 11 when they return home to Washington, D.C., to welcome a new member. The Dines are expecting a sweet Pomeranian which they have already named Periwinkle. Phil Dine’s book still is available at the Grapes. I finished it in three days. If I had not had to work, I would have been done sooner. Phil has covered the labor beat for more than 20 years. His experience and insight are unparalleled.

Another of our favorite families has returned for the season. Alan and Michele Berman are in residence on Harborview Lane this year. Son Greg and his wife Carolyn of Brooklyn have joined them with 9-year-old Hannah and 6-year-old Milly. The young ladies are having the best time attending art classes in West Tisbury and working out at Island Gymnastics. They are pleased to be of assistance with their 8-month-old cousin, Charlie. Charlie allowed his parents, M.J. and Annie Lou Berman, to drive him to the Island for his first visit ever. Faithful family companion, Huck the Dog, rounds out the Berman summer. Welcome to all.

John and Janis Wightman announce John’s annual photography show at the bank in Chilmark from July 7 through July 14. A reception is planned for Saturday, July 12, from 4 to 8 p.m. It is always a blast with art lovers and John and Jan’s gang of interesting friends. Iole and I are able to do a lot of our holiday shopping at this fabulous event. I’ll see you there.

Our annual street fair is on July 8. The high school once again has opened its parking lots for your convenience. Free shuttle busses will get you to Main street and back. Often we Island dwellers see each other only at this popular event. It’s also a great place to welcome the seasonal friends we have missed all year. Join us.

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Alice Hafner. Alice was sweet, kind, patient and fun. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten.

Today is the anniversary of Arthur and Charlotte Strople, as well as the anniversary of Tim and Rosemary (Tootie) Kieffer. Who needs to tell you that Tootie is Arthur and Charlotte’s daughter? Meanwhile, Steve and Judy Nichols celebrate on July 9. Bouquets to all.

Belated birthday greeting to John Doyle who claimed last Sunday, June 29.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Cora Medeiros, Steve McCarthy, Derek Araujo and Steve Nichols today. Tomorrow belongs to Cathy Burdick, Mike McCloskey and Pat Murphy. July 6 is claimed by Kerry Sertl, Selma Balbino and Carol Fleming. July 7 shines on Kyle Natichioni, Peggy Jewett and Julie Fisher. July 8 is for Jordan Stallings. July 9 is a party for Matt Lobdell, Gloria Mendez, Nancy Hoffmann, Richard Clark, Bruce Bailey and Nathan Herrick. And on July 10 Orla O’Connor, Russell Burroughs, Bill Rohr and Ketlyn Carolyn Alves take the cake. Many happy returns.