Connie Borde will be a super delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. She attained that honor because of her position as vice chair of Democrats Abroad in France. The convention in August will be the third one she has attended as a delegate.

I sat with her recently on her porch and received a civics lesson. There are 7 million Americans living in foreign lands. Democrats Abroad (the Republicans have a similar organization) brings American politics to them. There was a French primary election to select nine delegates to the convention (Obama won handedly), and then every American living abroad can vote in the general election with an absentee ballot from their home state. Connie organizes fundraisers, works to get out the vote, and lobbies politicians on issues that concern Americans living abroad. According to Connie, most Americans abroad care passionately about their country and its politics. It is her job to see that they are enfranchised.

There are not many 2-year-olds who are lucky enough to have a motorcycle policeman visit their home; however, when Lilly Harris learned that her grandmother Mary Dibble’s bike had been stolen, she dialed 911. The policeman came, and the bike was later returned. It was obvious that the thief did not want to mess with Lilly.

Lilly’s mother, Dr. Sarah Dibble Harris, had two important due dates this spring. She handed in the final draft of her dissertation on Spanish literature, and the next day gave birth to twin girls Madelyn and Emily. In the fall, Sarah will return to the University of California at Los Angeles as a faculty fellow to teach and do research.

The Patterson family has a wonderful tradition that centers on the Edgartown Regatta. On August 22, 1908, Kim Patterson’s great-grandfather Rule Perley Smith sailed the Ellen Cyr, a catboat, to a first-place finish in the regatta. The Ellen Cyr was named after Rule’s wife, a prominent writer of her time who among other things developed the first reading series used widely in California and other public school systems around the country. The legacy of the Ellen Cyr continues to sail in the regatta, with Rule’s great-great-granddaughter Amy Patterson who teamed up this year with Tory Reagan in the 420 class. The first-place trophy won by Rule has been on prominent display in the Harrill/Patterson household for the last hundred years.

We’ve missed Anne and Rick Hazelton this summer. Although they recently returned to their Connecticut home from a trip to Greece, they unfortunately are not headed for the Vineyard anytime soon. Instead they are flying to Hong Kong to visit their son Tad, his wife Marilyn, and their two grandchildren Katama and Tommy. Tad is a senior captain with Cathay Pacific Airways and is stationed in Hong Kong. In September, Jim and Jess Hazelton will introduce baby Finn to the Vineyard. They live in Los Angeles where Jim is acting, writing, and producing in the film industry. I assume Anne and Rick will be here for the visit. Thank you, Jim, for bringing your parents back to us.

I recently received two lessons from Dan Protzmann. The first was on the tennis court, and it wasn’t much fun. The second related to the health of the airline industry. Dan is a senior pilot with American. According to Dan, his industry has come up against a perfect storm with skyrocketing fuel costs, cutthroat competition, and a myriad of other problems. The one area of good news for consumers is flight safety. With all the steps the airlines have taken since 9/11 to combat the terrorist threat, flying has never been safer.

Dan and wife Nancy McCornack Protzmann are staying with Nancy’s mother, Patsy McCornack, who moves back to the Chop each July from Vineyard Haven. Patsy’s grandson Sam works for the tennis club and was part of that bitter first lesson I was handed last week. The Protzmanns have two additional children, Matt and Annie.

Finally, I am happy to report that I did a little better on the tennis court playing with my 7-year-old grandson Ben. I was also very impressed with his serve. When I asked him how he learned to serve, his answer surprised me. “Playing with my wii, Granddad,” he said. I left the court smiling and feeling rather old.