Cheers to all! A whopping 85.3 per cent of the qualified voters in Chilmark turned out for a big vote on Tuesday. It was exciting to feel the passion and energy that everyone put into the whole process of organizing, campaigning, voting, counting and completing the details of such a large vote. I hope your choices won but if they didn’t you are not alone, just keep working for the public good and you can’t go wrong.

Welcome home to Wesley Cottle who moved back to Chilmark several weeks ago. He is enjoying renewing his many friendships around town. We are sure his parents, Eric and Margarite Cottle of Menemsha, are happy to have him near again.

Katie Carroll sends us the results of the costume judging at the annual volunteer firefighters’ Halloween party for the children of Chilmark. Sandy Mincone, Betsy Cornwall and Melanie Becker volunteered to be judges. The awards for best were as follows: Animal, Keira McCarthy; Princess/fairy, Wren and El Christy; Pirate, Oisin McVey; Plant life, Bryce Cioffi; Funniest, Delilah Oliver; Scariest, Dash Christy; Grooviest, Finnegan MacLeod; Disney character, Kelly Klaren; most original, Maggie Mayhew; best homemade, Brooks Carroll; best “what is that,” Grazina Biskis. Thanks go to the Athearn family at Morning Glory Farm for donating pumpkins and corn stalks and to Julie Flanders for hay bales. The Chilmark School grades four and five donated goodies from their UNICEF fair and Bill Smith did the pumpkin carving. It was a wonderful night.

Marina Lent is serving as temporary administrative assistant for the board of health at town hall. Her extension is 2105 and her hours are Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Condolences to the family and many friends of Betty Franklin who died in Florida on Oct. 22. Betty was a person whose life encompassed the world and her friends and family extended way beyond the locations of her home in West Tisbury and Sarasota. She is remembered by many for her interest in the West Tisbury library and her work on its annual successful book sale. She was a lover of words and ideas, which she shared via e-mail with the whole world. We will miss our e-mails from Betty Coed as she always smilingly called herself. Her sense of the real and the ridiculous was a special gift that we are happy she shared with us. Her husband, Ralph, and her children and grandchildren will gather on the Vineyard next summer so we may share memories.

The annual Chilmark all town boards meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the town hall. All committees and commissions are invited to have a representative attend.

Cheers to Joan Poole Nash and her children, Amy and Thomas, all of Quitsa and Newton, who raced in their final rowing competition of the season, The Head of the Fish races in Saratoga, N.Y. Joan won a silver medal in the quad, a four-man rowing boat; Amy won a gold medal in the eight-man boat and Thomas won a gold in his third race as coxswain — one of his prizes was a fish head! Rowing comes down through the generations in the Poole family. Joan’s great-grandfather, Everett A. Poole of Chilmark, was on the first crew at the Up-Island Life Saving Service station. The station was first built at Gay Head in 1895 and the men were hired to man the station 10 months of the year and were charged with the responsibility of rowing out to any wreck sighted and to attempt to rescue the survivors. They remained on call for July and August. Rowing was the only means of travel and sometimes there were several wrecks around the Island at one time, requiring them to be working for several days at a time. They covered the area off Gay Head and down the shores to Edgartown and out in Vineyard Sound. In 1915 the Life Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service merged to become the U.S. Coast Guard, taking over the Life Saving Station. Thanks to Everett Poole, grandson of Everett A., for the details of this interesting service. When things get quiet this winter, I’ll give you some more interesting stories of this unique Up-Island service.

Ken Iscoll called to say that there is a special interest in rowing in the Quitsa area. He lives on the shores of Quitsa Pond, as do the Poole and Nash families, and shares the same enthusiasm for rowing. In fact, he has organized the Nashaquitsa Rowing Club which meets at 6:30 a.m. on summer days to row in Quitsa Pond. He reports that this past summer they had from 6 to 10 rowers each morning. Ken himself competed in the Head of the Charles this fall and rowed a single in the Men’s Veteran’s Singles. He also rowed in the Head of Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia and placed fourth in the men’s veteran’s singles. Congratulations from us all!

Veterans Day is Nov. 11. The Martha’s Vineyard DAR chapter is collecting items to send to a veterans hospital. Susan Larsen will be asking for donations from the school children at the Chilmark School. She is sending a letter home with them asking for appropriate donations for a hospitalized veteran. The items will be collected at the school on Monday, Nov. 17. The list of items include: stamped Christmas cards, socks, toiletry items, wash cloths and hand towels, plastic cups and water bottles, hats and caps, T-shirts and sweatshirts of all adult sizes, pens, notepaper and paperback novels. If you have questions, please call the Chilmark School.

Chilmark Community Church continues to offer soup suppers on Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. All are welcome.