Woody and Phyllis Williams had a wonderful winter break. Off they traveled to my Old Country to meet up with their daughter Vanessa and her fiance´ Evan at their Dobbs Ferry apartment. Vanessa and Evan always act as the tour guides to this couple who never spent time in New York until Vanessa moved there two years ago. Vanessa ordered tickets online for the Van Gogh exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Phyllis and Woody felt like VIPs, proce eding ahead of a long line of art enthusiasts to enter the newly redone museum. Then the ladies had a mother-daughter day and walked all over Manhattan for six hours. Phyllis saw Macy’s flagship store for the first time; remember Miracle on 34th Street? Now you all know Emily Milstein, Phyllis’s employer on-Island. Vanessa took Mom to FarFetched on Fourth avenue, the store Emily co-owned before she moved to the Vineyard. Her former partner, Susan, was surprised and delighted to meet Phyllis and catch up on news of Emily’s Island life. Evan and Vanessa had made reservations at Otto, one of Mario Batali’s signature restaurants, two months ago. The juniors took the boomers there and it was delightful. Christmas dinner was spent at Evan’s mom’s in Westchester, the next night at his dad and stepmom’s in Hastings-on-Hudson. Phyllis and Woody were thrilled, exhausted, and have returned to the Island planning their next break in the Big Apple.

Call Carrie Tankard to get a last-minute reservation for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. day luncheon scheduled for next Monday. Never forget the path it took to get to this important remembrance of such a great man. Other annual January dates of significance include the Robbie Burns annual birthday dinner, hosted by the Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard. Make your reservation by Jan. 20 with Cynthia at 508-955-9024. The dinner will be at the newly renovated Harbor View hotel on Saturday, Jan. 24. It’s always a blast.

Now to the Irish. I have become, much as I was in my younger years, a regular at Dunne’s Pub, 15 Shapham Place, White Plains. Oh, it was called Foley’s then, and the drinking age was a whole different story in New York at that time, not that I’m endorsing it. Anyway, Liam Murphy, their ambassador of all things Irish and a wonderful a capella singer of the great old tunes, was there last night passing out notices of the Irish Declaration of Independence which will be celebrated on Jan. 21, the 90th anniversary. Dunne’s Pub, as well as the Irish and their friends worldwide, will commemorate this occasion with live Irish music anchored by former all-Ireland fiddle champion Brian Conway. I was there for the weekly Wednesday live music session. I had the pleasure to meet my nephew Jonathan’s Juilliard-trained violin teacher, Heather Bixler, who jammed with Brian Conway and his band. I was amazed at how many young people played with the accomplished musicians, and how accomplished they were. While Jonathan Alexander Gardella has sat in with them before, he had an early bedtime last night, so I enjoyed the talents of Finbar Kantor, Eugene Bender, Shane Cornyn and brothers Liam and Dylan Siry. Not one of these young men was over 17. Guest guitarist and singer was Gabriel Donahue. If you are ever down this way, especially on a Wednesday night, do stop in. There’s nothing warmer and more cheerful than Irish music on a winter’s night.

Big changes in the air, can’t you just feel it? The Vineyard Haven Public Library welcomes all from 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday to watch, hope, cheer on, and enjoy the inaugural day proceedings in their community room. I am hoping to be done with my dentist appointment in time to join you there.

Live jazz? Free? You bet. The library invites all on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. to hear Jeremy Berlin and Eric Johnson play jazz standards from the great American Songbook. There will be a short break in the concert for questions from the audience. This wonderful duo has been playing together on Island for the past eight years and I have had the pleasure to hear them many times.

Action, romance, and comedy? No kidding. Get down to the Katharine Cornell Theatre tonight by 7:30 p.m. for a most unusual 2006 German film, The Kebab Connection. The plot is too twisted, strange and hilarious to describe in detail here. Just go.

A more serious subject is the weather and our preparedness for ice storms and other natural disasters. American Red Cross volunteers Ted Smith and Glen Beasley will be interviewed about our area’s plans. They will speak on volunteering as well. You may catch three times for the program on radio Sunday, Jan. 18. Airings will be at 6 a.m. on WFCC 107.5, at 7 a.m. on WQRC 99.9, and at 8 a.m. on Ocean 104.7. For more information contact Cape and Islands Red Cross at Stay informed, stay ready, volunteer.

I have been blessed to have such fabulous neighbors in my ’hood. Sadly, for all of us, neighbor Jan Baclawski died at his Connecticut home on Jan. 3. Our condolences to his wife, Rosemary, and his large and extended family. Any of them I met here on Island were always so kind, polite and interested in their neighbors. Jan himself was such a gentleman; he will be greatly missed by us all.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Maribeth Roden, Thaw Malin, Joaquim Balboa and Myra Romain today. Tomorrow belongs to Rosemary Gambino. Jan. 18 is shared by Anthony Cardoza and Ronnie Daw. On Jan. 19 Ciara Seccombe turns nine and celebrates that day with Patti Linn, Mandy King Rice, Ruth Major and Elizabeth Hume Hall. Jan. 20 is a party for the wondrous Patricia Neal, Kim Montanile and Mary-Beth Priore. Jan. 21 is for Carol Whitmarsh, Noah Casner, Annie McEvoy, Ned Hehre and Travis and Derek Fennell. And on Jan. 22 Donna Bouchard takes the cake. Many happy returns.