“The history of one’s own locality should be known to each of its citizens, since one cannot appreciate the present conditions without some understanding of the causes which have produced these conditions.” This prefaces Martha’s Vineyard, History-Legends-Stories by Henry Franklin Norton in 1923. He was born in Oak Bluffs in 1888 and buried in Norton’s cemetery near Pulpit Rock Road. From 1949 to 1961, he was curator of the Dukes County Historical Society (today’s Martha’s Vineyard Museum) and a leader in including black and original people in Island history. He and his family lived at Tomahawk Corner in Oak Bluffs, the location of the soon-to-be roundabout at the blinker, our only working traffic signal.

Oh yes, just the one blinker. I point this out because we are at the halfway point — the changeover. That means July guests have departed and the August people have arrived to frantically squeeze a whole summer into the scant 30 or so days left of the season.

We, the year-rounders, are pleased to welcome the new and returning August guests, and it seems useful to suggest ways that can keep our welcome warm and not frosty. It’s on, not in, Martha’s Vineyard and it is Oak Bluffs, not Oaks Bluff. Every possible way into each town will be traffic-challenged — less so if you smile, don’t text, use directional signals and keep moving. Bicycles are exercise and transportation and are encouraged; share the automobile rules of the road. Streets are one lane in each direction and everywhere takes longer to get to, especially in August and especially in Oak Bluffs, because the endeared Robert Morris Copeland, who designed much of the town, neglected to anticipate that you and your husband and your children might each need a vehicle to get to all the scheduled activities.

You may as well not be in a hurry driving because no one is. And, in fact, no one will notice if you’re late. State law gives pedestrians the right of way at intersections — a law religiously adhered to, especially in front of Nancy’s, on Circuit avenue between Giordano’s and the Island Theatre and at the intersection of the Flying Horses and the Sand (used to be Strand) Theatre. You can assist the flow of traffic by moving quickly across the street and not hovering in the crosswalks on your way to spending lots of money in our favorite town — and thank you for that, by the way!

Oak Bluffs becomes the nexus of well-attended activities throughout the month of August, and our 7.4 square miles of paradise becomes one of the busiest places in New England, starting tomorrow, when the Martha’s Vineyard Arena has a Bloody Mary and Mimosa Brunch fundraiser at Hooked, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That includes a silent and live auction including, of course, hockey related goodies. Tickets are $75 for a great cause.

At what promises to be a very cool event, The Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival starts with a parade from the SSA to the Tabernacle at 2 p.m. tomorrow, followed by a performance at the Tabernacle. It runs until Wednesday and is highlighted by a Jazz Brunch Sunday at Hooked from 2 to 5 p.m., headlined by an Island-favorite vocalist, the talented Vivian Male.

Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr. is the featured preacher at The Tabernacle Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

The Possible Dreams Auction is Monday at Ocean Park at 4 p.m.

The ninth annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival is showing 60 films, ranging in length from six minutes to features of 98 minutes, at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center from Tuesday to Saturday. The theme is The Color of Conversation, and a schedule of all the films is on the website, Ocean Park childhood friend and neighbor Stanley Nelson’s latest film, The Jesse Owens Story, will be shown Tuesday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m. — and Stanley will be there for a question and answer session after the film.

Fellow Vineyard Gazette East Chop town columnist Rick Herrick is giving a lecture on the writing of Christian Gospels at the Oak Bluffs Library at 7 p.m. starting on Wednesday.

The new Martha’s Vineyard Harlem Fine Arts Show opens with a shared reception with the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival Thursday at Hooked at 8 p.m. The Martha’s Vineyard Harlem Fine Arts Show plans exposing for sale the art of over 30 accomplished black artists and galleries, including the Vineyard’s popular Glenn Tunstull who is represented by Oak Bluffs’ Cousen Rose Gallery.

Gary BenDavid won the Farm Neck Golf Club’s men’s championship a week ago. Ocean Park Realty’s Alan Schweikert won the A Flight; Carl Lawrence won the B Flight, and Al Alexander won the Senior Flight. Postponed by rain last week, the women’s championship this week was won by Betsy Dripps. My frequent fishing buddy, Meadowview Farm’s Debi Crews (who has won trophies at both Farm neck and Vineyard Golf), won the A flight and Mae Deary won the B flight.

Della Hardman continues to provide moments to savor, and the much admired Nikki Giovanni inspired Saturday in Ocean Park. Thank you to the volunteer Della Hardman Day committee, led by Gretchen Underwood and Esther Hopkins and its many supporters.

If you were wondering what those big, portable generator trailers were (I was) in front of the highway department on County Road, they are there to help mitigate potential extraordinary power surges, such as those from air conditioners due to the recent heat. That’s a very thoughtful and good plan; thanks to those involved.

It would be nice if past fire chief Dennis Alley’s plaque on the rock at the northwest corner of Waban Park was changed to read Oak Bluffs instead of Oak Buffs before our guests latch onto another incorrect name for our favorite town.

Keep your foot on a rock.