On Jan. 23, 1790, Wampanoag Robert Seaton put his X on the deed, selling what became the Cottage City district of Oak Bluffs to Samuel Norton for 10 pounds. On June 22, 1870, 142 years ago today, his descendant, Captain Shubael Lyman Norton, sold the land for $1,613.40 — about as much as a modest week here costs.

Real estate has always been dear here, but you probably remember when driving your very first car, the most important Oak Bluffs real estate is one of the 68 parking spaces on Circuit avenue — and the best would be the ones in front of Ben & Bills Emporium — even when it was Cozy’s or Frye Leather.
For us and our returning summer guests, those spaces and others are going to cost $20 per ticket if we overstay our welcome — we all want to go to the post office, Reliable and Phillips Hardware! This year, parking tickets have gone digital — officers will have handheld units to accurately scan the data from your car efficiently. Do your share and pay on time if you can’t leave on time.
Oak Bluffs is the biggest little town on Martha’s Vineyard: ranking fifth in total area (8.7 sq. miles), fourth in land area (7.4 sq. miles), second in summer population and first in year-round population, where 4,527 of us live in peaceful serenity.
For a small town, we’re blessed with a police force whose prophylactic, sophisticated approach to law enforcement, led by Chief Eric Blake, provides the comfort of safety and security. Island-born and raised, Chief Blake has assembled a professional, educated team of 15 full-time and two special officers year-round that increase to seven for the season (four of whom will tend to parking). Chief Blake has a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) (an associate degree is a minimum departmental requirement). The OBPD includes members with degrees in law, divinity, history, teaching and business, impressive accomplishments in any organization and a commitment to community. It’s a sad fact that most of us meet the team on perhaps the worst day of our lives. We in Oak Bluffs know we’ll be treated with care if that day comes.
Chief Blake is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as a vice president of the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP. Chief Blake, thanks.
At 95 years of age, Oak Bluffs bon vivant Charles H. (Cee Jay) Jones will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on June 27 in Washington D.C. acknowledging the segregation of his fellow African American marines at Montford Point, a part of North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune in 1943. A Congressional Gold Medal is bestowed by Congress and is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S. President George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. are among the fewer than 350 recipients of this most prestigious award since 1776.
Cee Jay is quite excited about the recognition — stop and give him a shout. Hoo-Rah, Cee Jay, congratulations and thanks for your service.
Congratulations also to Locker Room owner Todd Rebello who, on June 9, in a foursome with former summer cop Lance Slaughter, C’est La Vie’s Roger Schilling and coach Eric Williams, got a hole in one on Farm Neck’s number 9 — his second on hole 9 and third on Farm Neck.
I hope you noticed a new and important rock in front of the YMCA with the engraving:
The Island is my soul
I laughed, I danced and I played
I cried, I sang and I loved
I smile, I am
— In memory, Jena Pothier, 1990-2000.
Laugh, dance, play — poignant reminders from the still-healing David and Terri Pothier and their Oak Bluffs family.
 As Della Hardman wrote, Savor the Moment — school’s out; let’s watch out for those excited youngsters circling Circuit avenue looking for one of those 68 parking spaces in their cool cars.
I’ll be judicious in my stewardship of this favored column — with thanks, recognizing the grace and care exhibited by Bettye Foster Baker and Holly Nadler for the past several years and the late, great Della Hardman and Dorothy West. You have an accomplishment to share — reach out, we care.
Rumor has it that an electrician, stopping to check his work well after closing hours at a new Oak Bluffs eatery, found a game of naked volleyball in progress. I sure hope that’s a new fad.
Keep your foot on a rock.