Lyn and I went on June 10, our 45th wedding anniversary, to watch the Sharks play the U.S. Military All-Stars in baseball at the high school. Laurie Howick generously provided the tickets. Unfortunately, the Sharks lost in a close game, 3 to 2.

One of the few Sharks players to get a hit that night was Nick Sanford, the grandson of George and Mimi Sanford. Nick plays shortstop for the Sharks and for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Sharks players are chosen by the coaches from among colleges across the nation. They play a 50-game schedule against teams made up of other college all-stars.

Nick first came to East Chop to visit his grandparents when he was four. It’s wonderful that Sharks baseball brought him back. Because of his love and commitment to baseball, he spent many summers at home in West Hartford, Conn. playing in summer leagues. Now that he’s back on the Chop, he’s having “a blast” with his new teammates, and is enjoying the time spent with his grandparents and other family members who plan visits throughout the summer.

Nick is a rising junior at UMass with a major in legal studies. His current plans are for a career in the military. “Who knows?” he said. “Maybe I’ll be back in five years playing against the Sharks with the Military All-Stars.” Who knows, I thought as I left this engaging young man. Maybe some day we’ll be watching him at Fenway Park.

When I was Nick’s age, I read Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl. I thought it was an adventure story about a small crew led by Heyerdahl, who constructed a balsa raft and sailed it across the Pacific ocean from Peru to the Polynesian islands for fun.

Not so, according to former anthropology professor Jim Richardson. Heyerdahl was a practicing anthropologist who wanted to prove it was possible for a raft crafted to ancient specifications to make the 4,200 mile trip from Peru to Polynesia. Like other anthropologists of his day, Heyerdahl believed there was transocean traffic between the ancient peoples of South America and Polynesia.

In a fascinating lecture given to a packed audience at the library of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum on June 26, Jim presented evidence to support Heyerdahl’s thesis. Two key pieces of that evidence include sweet potatoes and chickens. Sweet potatoes were native to Peru, but unknown to the ancient people of Polynesia. And yet they somehow came to Polynesia and flourished. How did they get there? The same question pertains to Polynesian chickens. How did they get to Peru? Jim speculates that in both cases they traveled across the ocean in ancient Kon Tiki-like rafts.

Jim is retired from the University of Pittsburgh, and the curator emeritus of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He is also a longtime board member of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. If you have any questions for him, you’ll have to wait, because he heads back to Peru next week to lead a trip to Machu Picchu.

Two years ago Kim and Perry Patterson donated a piano to the tennis club. The question was how to use it. The idea for a community sing came from memories generated by last year’s 100th anniversary celebration. Board member Mary Woodcock took that idea and ran with it. Seventy-five enthusiastic participants attended the community sing on July 1 at the tennis club.

The old piano never sounded better under the capable hands of Jeremy Berlin, a 20-year band member with Johnny Hoy and the Blue Fish. Mary led us in song, with Sam Barnes performing a medley well known to older club members from dances at the tennis and beach clubs from the early fifties. This wonderful evening ended on a high note with participants standing to sing happy birthday to club historian and distinguished senior citizen Les Woodcock, who turned 85 on June 30. Cake and dessert were then served. Thank you, Mary, for all of your hard work in putting this evening together.