The Tabernacle and Cottage City Historical District are the jewels of Martha’s Vineyard. Recognizing that wholly chauvinistic comment — even from the writer of said town’s column, an elementary historical review illustrates how they helped to make the Island so popular. Some came to pray, some came to play — and many chose to stay. Sally Dagnall’s remarkable book, Circle of Faith (I got a signed copy at Cousen Rose) has a “List of Firsts & Important Dates” of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, a fact-filled chronology of the years 1835 to 2006. The Tabernacle grounds had street lamps installed in 1863, for example, three years before the Oak Bluffs Land & Wharf Company. President Grant visited in 1874; the association donated Sunset Lake to the town in 1910 and the entire area was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Oak Bluffs has been the setting for several contributions to American history.

Decrying change is a familiar pastime we all enjoy. Folks miss Hilliard’s Candy Kitchen, for example — but Good Ship Lollipop is just as good. We have Murdick’s Fudge but not Darling’s. Ben & Bill’s Emporium replaced Cozy’s. I miss Walmsley’s Bakery’s huge jelly doughnuts that used to be located behind the Wesley House hotel ­— but I like apple fritters from MV Gourmet (from either door) every bit as much. The Unicorn and the Mooncusser were outlived by Dreamland, the reincarnated casino that’s now a music and entertainment venue. There are hundreds of changes remembered and missed. A substantive change is that few families can afford to stay all season; mom and dad work . . . and with shorter vacations, lazy, hazy days are replaced by trying to do everything we used to do quicker. Economics forces homes to be rented, so summers may include four families, each staying two weeks, sharing the house — and multiple vehicles to pursue the Vineyard without the luxury of time. Oak Bluffs attracts the bulk of activity because we host the high school, YMCA, ice arena, skate park, Flying Horses, children’s arcade and hospital, along with one of two ferry terminals, beaches open to all, several popular restaurants and two of the largest Island events. So when we vote for change — like the roundabout — folks from other towns feel compelled to comment, despite their lack of contribution or cooperation (beaches and parking, for example). Change usually proves its worth. For example, black people were not allowed to buy property on the leased land of the Camp Meeting Association until relatively recently — not all change is bad. Everyone hopes the roundabout will be a good change but I, for one, appreciate that other towns don’t get a vote.

I miss the bowling alley I worked at years ago that used to be where Sovereign Bank is. I don’t miss that it wasn’t air conditioned or setting those pins. No doubt the family owners weren’t able to upgrade to new technologies — which may be why we no longer have a bowling alley. Based upon an article in last Saturday’s New York Times (“Resort Towns Face a Last Picture Show”) my disdain for the Strand Theater sign’s missing letters seems petty in view of what the owners face. The article mentions Martha’s Vineyard (but not our Strand or Island Theaters) and an Ocean City, N.J-based Strand Theater — and 10,000 small theaters in jeopardy of closing as the major movie studios plan to convert to digital from the present-day analog films. The estimated $75,000 conversion cost greatly exceeds seasonal theaters revenues, and is a difficult if not impossible amount to obtain through bank financing. For studios, the change to digital leads to substantially less cost of movie distribution and production, so they plan to cease releasing the 35 mm films used by small theaters by the end of the year. It is highly likely that the Island Theater will soon join the Strand in permanent closure—and perhaps it is time for town officials to meet with the Hall family owners to ascertain if there are any mutually beneficial solutions, stasis hopefully not being one.

Credited with 10 albums to date, big-league crooner Martin Sexton appears live at Dreamland tonight . . . which is the second full moon of the month, also known as a blue moon. “Bomba bomb bomb, be bomba bomb bomb, be bomba bomb bomb, dang a dang dang, ding a dong ding, blue moon.” Wouldn’t it be cool if he sang that (Blue Moon by The Marcels)? I’m going, just in case he does.

The MV Wind Festival is in Ocean Park tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (rain date Sunday) and features kite flying, sailboat races, frisbee and model airplane flying and demos of flying contraptions. Don’t forget to buy a poster benefiting the Boys & Girls Club.

Soon-to-be media star Courtney Streett, formerly a producer for Plum TV and currently assistant to the executive producer of CBS Evening News in New York, is getting married to high school sweetheart John Reynolds (who is in law school) on Oct. 6. Her mom, Delaware state superior court judge, our Hiawatha avenue’s Diane Clarke Streett, is excited and delighted.

A thousand apologies to Carroll Allston (and Myrna!), who shared his family pictures with me — not Philip, as I mentioned in last week’s column. Carroll’s brother Philip (also a childhood playmate) died and I hastily confused his name with their grandfather, also named Philip.

Yay! Massachusetts state maintenance folks cleaned the sand off the bike path on Beach Road Tuesday. The last week of the season. How thoughtful.

Labor Day is Monday, and school is back in session Thursday — please be careful. I’m looking forward to sneaking a swim at what’s left of Jungle Beach and maybe even Zack’s sometime soon.

Keep your foot on a rock.