Congratulations to everyone’s friend, Neal Maciel, who has just been promoted to head our state troopers. Neal is hardworking, efficient, caring and a great person. He’s one of our Island’s own. We couldn’t be happier.

Brian and Noreen Flanders of Vineyard Haven have had their 7 1/2-year-old granddaughter, Mackenzie Flanders of New Hampshire, visiting with them for two weeks. Dad Matthew Flanders came along to help her have a great time with the Island family. Mornings were spent at Pond View Horse Farm where she won two red ribbons. Afternoons were spent swimming with her new friends. The family trekked all the way to the big city of Oak Bluffs for nights of Flying Horses, the Game Room, and all the exotica Cottage City has to offer. A special treat was going fishing with her father. We are all looking forward to her next visit. By the way, her great-grandparents are Florence Flanders of Vineyard Haven and Richard and Lorraine Mavro of Oak Bluffs.

If it’s August you know Leda Giatti of Riverdale and Carolyn Walters of Tarrytown are here. The ladies arrived last weekend. They are in their usual summer rental diagonally across the street from me which has seen wonderful renovations over the winter. Iole and I have spoken to them by telephone but, amazingly enough, have not even seen them yet as they are already immersed in their usual wild schedule, beaching, working out at the Mansion House, attending movies, and dining out. Hope to see them before the month is gone.

Yes, I have a new cell phone with my old number. No, don’t call it yet. I’m still waiting for a teenager to teach me how to use it and, yes, I read the directions but they are in Greek.

I am giving you plenty of notice on the summer soiree and auction to benefit Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. The elegant summer evening is planned at the Farm Neck Golf Course for Monday, August 11 at 5:30 p.m. Jeremy Berlin will provide the music, dinner is presented by V. Jaime Hamlin. As you know, hospice services are offered free of charge. Each year, more and more families need their help. Expenses are met entirely through the generosity of the community. Tickets are $125 per person, $90 of which is tax deductible. This year’s fundraiser is dedicated to the wonderful Marsha Miller Campbell, who was so committed to this organization and so much else in our community. There will be a silent and a live auction. All your friends will be there. Call 508-693-0189 for more information.

The Thrift Shop is overwhelmed with donations, especially due to the temporary closing of the Second Hand Store in Edgartown, and also because it is the time of year our thrift shop is trying to clear out for their annual Chicken Alley Art Show. Please call ahead if you have donations. Unless otherwise marked, everything is half-price from now until the show which is on Sunday, August 17. In other Thrift Shop news, was I disappointed to hear that the cash jar left on the counter for Second Chance, donations for island pets and animals, was stolen. Karma is coming to that evil person, I guarantee.

Belated birthday greetings to Doug Liman who celebrated on July 26.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Gisele Nascimento, Arthur Strople, Kelsey Anne Hunter, and Charlotte Lowell-Bettencourt today. Tomorrow is shared by Sam Martin and Seniel Seward. August 3 is a party for twins Patty Roddy and Sharon Coogan, Will Sherman, Tom Colligan Sr., Lucas Brunelle, Greg Cimeno and this reporter. August 4 belongs to Elaine Klein and Don Mitchell. August 5 is for Angelo Stoudemire, Beverley Ann Brush, Virginia Jannace Malara, Janete Sabin and Ashleigh Porrier. And on August 7 Arlinda Graves, Sandie Corr-Dolby, Travis Baptiste, Luisa Tassiana and Leslie Hunter take the cake. Many happy returns.