Dolly Campbell of our town and her sister, Libby Howland of New York city, just returned from New Zealand. Dolly is becoming an old hand on the long flights, but it was Libby’s first visit to see Dolly’s son Seth, his wife, Jacqui, and Dolly’s new grandson, four-month-old Silas McLeod Campbell. The weather was gorgeous and autumny. Seth entered a marathon and as he was about to run through the finish line, Jacqui was there and handed him baby Silas and they ran through the finish together. This made for a most touching and dramatic picture which was featured in the local newspaper.

In other marathon news, Doug and Jeanne Dowling’s daughter, Shannon Dowling Moore, was among the Islanders who ran in the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day. This was Shannon’s first marathon, and she was greatly encouraged by the beautiful letters of support from her son Michael’s third grade class at the Tisbury School. The third graders are under the leadership of teachers Anne Williamson and Meredith Goldthwait. I can’t tell you how much their letters meant to my son, Chris Clark, when he was in Iraq last year. He said he’s saving every one.

In other Dowling family news, daughter Kristen, a graduate of the Tisbury School and MVRHS, is now working in the budget department of the executive office at the White House. Kristen’s children, Quinn, age ten, and Vivian, age eight, were invited along with other children of White House employees to attend a Take Your Kids to Work Day. They were graciously greeted by Michelle Obama and held a press conference with her. Michelle discussed the ways in which the kids could help their country. They went on to make cookies with the White House pastry chef and then weeded the garden. Quinn and Vivi also attended the White House Easter Egg party on Easter Monday. Where can you go on the social ladder after that?

Speaking of grandchildren, George Balco, who likes to brag he doesn’t go farther than Falmouth, made an exception to travel to Livermore, Calif., to see his first grandchild, Max Clark Balco. Max was born on April 18 at eight pounds, 20 inches long, to proud parents Greg and Amy Balco. Everyone is doing fine. George is hoping they will show up soon for Max’s first Island visit. Doting grandpa wants to get Max a Black Dog bib and all Island accoutrements.

My neighborhood has been livened up this week by the return of Roger McGary and Nancy Cohen, Fred and Sally Benson, and two lovely ladies from Stockholm, Sweden, Sisse Rinkhag and Lena Thorn. This is their first Island visit. I neglected to ask them if they had been to America before, but, then, this is not America. The ladies are very interested in knitting so they have been visiting the Alpaca Farm every day. I caught up with them on Main street, as well as spying them in many Island locations. They came without a car and are doing just fine, thank you, with our great transit system and long walks in fabulous weather.

The vote is in on the new mural by Anne Grandin and Tom Larson on the side of Stop & Shop. It is overwhelmingly affirmative. What a pleasure for people to see as they disembark from the boat! Thanks to the artists and all the artistic kids who helped make this dream come true.

Anne Grandin is never far from her easel. You may view her work this weekend, along with six other artists, if you happen to be in the Chestnut Hill area. The Newton Open Studios, operating at Church of the Redeemer, 379 Hammond street, Chestnut Hill, has a viewing tomorrow and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check it out at As always, ten per cent of all sales go to outreach charities.

In library news, teens meet for their book club tomorrow at 1 p.m. and view a movie. Director Amy Ryan wants you to know that the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library still have discount passes for all age groups at the desk: attend the New England Aquarium for a very reasonable price. Those of us who love poetry can meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to hear poets Linda Black and Michael West read from their works.

The meeting season is winding down for summer madness. The Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network holds its last meeting until September on Tuesday, May 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Baylies room of the Old Whaling Church. Prices are $15 for members, $25 for non-members, and $30 for walk-ins. You may get your discount ahead of time by stopping at Ameriprise Financial in Edgartown or at Kiddo’s in our town. You may also register at The guest speaker will be energetic Debbie Phillips. All MVWN members attending and those signing up for membership will receive a free copy of Debbie’s book, Women on Fire: 20 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets.

Our American Legion Auxiliary meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19.

If you are an unregistered 18 year old, or a grownup who never got around to it, the League of Women Voters will sign you up at the high school next Wednesday and Thursday.

Anniversary bouquets go out to Allan and Judy Davey on May 21 for their 54th year of wedded bliss.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Jeffrey Sylvia today. Tomorrow sees James Seccombe turn seven. May 17 honors Isabel West, Jenna Bagnall, Wesly Coelho Souza, and Martin Simoni who will be nine. The famous Nonna, my mother, Iole Gardella, will be 92 on Monday, May 18. May 19 honors Zach Charter and Tony Gramkowski. And on May 21 Rosie Bick takes the cake. Many happy returns.