It’s official! The Aquinnah fire department now has a sign over the doors signifying their true existence. On Nov. 16, the new sign was placed on the outside to replace the old Gay Head Fire Department sign following the weekly Sunday morning drill. The sign in gold leaf reads Aquinnah Fire Department, on a red background. The last sign in town to make us in compliance as officially Aquinnah-cized. Thank you to fire chief Walter Delaney and his firefighters for their commitment to our community.

Scallop season started on the Aquinnah side of Menemsha Pond on Thursday, Nov. 20, with 30 people participating which is up from the 20 who fished this past winter. The pond will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week, with an air temperature above 32 degrees, and with a three level-bushel limit. This is expected to be a great year, surely enhanced by the scallop restoration program being implemented by Andrew Jacobs under the direction of the tribal natural resources director Bret Stearns.

From the Vineyard Gazette files of November 21, 1930: “Good scallops and plenty of them was the report of the Gay Head scallopers who made their opening drags on Monday. Fourteen boats went into the Gay Head side of Menemsha Pond and every man had his limit of seven bushels before 10 o’clock. The scallops ran very even and of medium size, opening rather fewer to the bushel than the Edgartown catch. Three dollars was the average price paid for the opened scallops, but a portion were sold in the shell, the price running from a $1.25 a bushel to $1.50. While this is considered to be exceptionally good scalloping in Menemsha Pond, no one is willing to say what the prospects are for the future. Apparently the bivalves are plentiful but grass and dark bottom prevents anything in the way of a survey. Many have previously said that this is to be a banner season for the Gay Head shellfishermen, basing their theory on observations made before the season opened, and nothing occurred on the opening day to cause a change in this opinion.”

To clarify the Martha’s Vineyard Neighborhood Convention reference last week, Rev. Denniston opened the services at their monthly meeting in November, 1928.

Thank you for all the accolades regarding the historic account of Cranberry Day in my column recently. To find this and so much more of historic significance, Cynthia Meisner is the librarian at the Vineyard Gazette office with morning hours and would be happy to assist you. There are many archival folders on individuals, families and hot topics.

One may also find microfilm reels at the Vineyard Haven library, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, and at the Edgartown library. The Vineyard Haven library has an efficient microfilm reader/printer; a very generous gift of the late Katharine Graham. For a nominal fee, you may make a copy of any of the articles that are of particular interest to you. The fee is the same at the Edgartown library where the copies are on thermal paper and allows one the ability to make two pages on one piece of paper. Making copies of articles regarding your family and their Vineyard history is certainly a fun winter project for the entire family to participate in. There are already copies of articles also on file at the Vineyard Museum and they will charge a nominal fee for photocopies as well.

While the Aquinnah Public Library is in limbo for the next few weeks, the telephone number 508-645-2314 is presently connected at the old town hall. Moving day is now scheduled for Dec. 2 due to the floor refinishing project. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the library, Aquinnah executive assistant Jeffrey Burgoyne has offered to field calls through the selectmen’s office at 508-645-2300.

Nancy Delaney is resting comfortably at home following her care at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Nancy and Walter enjoyed a weekend visit from their daughter Gayle Delaney Dineen. Their grandson Raymond Dineen is an honor student at Newman Prep School in Boston and is highly respected and honored as the principle violist.

Captain Ron J. MacLaren relinquished his command to his relief officer in a change of command ceremony on Nov. 8 at his latest headquarters in Fort Dix, N.J. A dinner reception the evening prior was attended by his wife, Terri, and their son Brett and a friend. Many of us from Aquinnah were unable to attend but will await his retirement celebration to make up for the lack of attendance.

Ron is the director of health at the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and returned to his position in June, 2008 after serving in Kuwait since November, 2007, as the commander of the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Forward GOLF, assisting the United States Army in a shore-type mission to provide customs and cargo handling. Ron has seven months remaining until he finishes his 30-year military commitment. He will be doing project work while assigned to the headquarters staff in Williamsburg, Va. Meanwhile, those of us in Aquinnah are now on the planning committee to organize his retirement ceremony on the Vineyard in June.

On Friday past, Ron arranged transportation for members of the tribal health department staff, committee members and tribal members to pay a visit to Chief F. Ryan Malonson who has remained on complete bed rest for the past three months at the Boston Center in Roslindale. Ryan is going great, he is expected to begin his intensive physical therapy regimen this coming week and has appreciated all the visits, calls and cards. Those who were able to travel with Ron included Cheryl Vanderhoop Sellitti, Bettina Washington and yours truly. We were all just as excited to see gasoline prices at $2.05 per gallon!

Thank you, Ron, for making the day so cheerful, and a grand thank you for your new United States Navy coin for me to add to my collection.

Get well wishes to Leigh Moreis who underwent surgery at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and is resting comfortably at home. We can expect to see him back at the Chilmark post office within the next few weeks, in time for the holiday rush.

Coco Adams reminded me of the two-day antique flea market over the holiday weekend at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury on Nov. 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Happy Thanksgiving all and please be mindful of those in need at this time of the year.

Visits to those confined to their homes, to elders and those who may be alone are always a rewarding adventure, and simply a card in the mail will bring a smile to someone who may be alone. Please have a safe journey if you are traveling over the holiday weekend.