Welcome to those veterans participating in the fourth annual American Heroes Saltwater Challenge. I had the great fortune of meeting a few of their family members while on tour with Lori Keefe and her young son Grady while they were in Aquinnah. They were thrilled to have gone out on the Alabama on Tuesday. Lori and I will make that challenge to go on the Alabama next year! It is also encouraging to learn that three veterans are in the lead in the derby!

With less than six weeks to go until the election, please be sure you are registered in the town you reside in. If necessary, check with your town clerk to be sure. If you need an absentee ballot, please write to your respective town clerk and request one. Be sure that your legal address is up to date.

Sometimes things go as planned. The solar panels are being installed at the Aquinnah landfill this week, less than a year after receiving approval at town meeting. Now that is progress! For further information on the project, please go to vineyardpower.com. In the meantime Peter Ives of Aquinnah is part of the team installing the panels with South Mountain Company, as well as Paul Simmons of L&P Masonry.

Today at the Aquinnah Cultural Center there will be traditional weaving with Tobias Vanderhoop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tobias will demonstrate the traditional hand weaving of baskets and bags using the ancient method of twining. He will also display some of his beautiful finished pieces. On Saturday, Durwood Vanderhoop will demonstrate the art of layering various colors of powdered clay from the Aquinnah Cliffs into glass containers, an artform developed for the tourist trade in the mid-19th century. It is a use of the clay different from pottery, and you may purchase a vial. On Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be house tours.

Martha’s Vineyard Museum and muse ums nationwide will observe Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day on Saturday, Sept. 29. Over 1,300 museums across the country open their doors for free in celebration of culture and learning. Log on to smithsonianmag.com/museumday to print out your ticket and enjoy the Martha’s Vineyard Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free and open to all. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services will sponsor an electronics disposal day on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus at 111 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs across from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Fees are between $1 and $30 with discounts for carloads of items for recycling: air conditioners, cell phones, computers, copiers, dehumidifiers, fax machines, microwaves, monitors, notebooks, printers, ranges, refrigerators, scanners, stereos, televisions, washers and dryers. Bring your personal or business items for disposal off-Island in an environmentally-friendly way. All proceeds benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

ACE MV Adult and Community Education’s fall program registration will be held on Sept. 29 and on Oct. 2 and 3. Forty-three classes will be offered, and start on Oct. 6. All evening classes at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School offer free child care sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Family Center. You may register online acemv.org.

Martha’s Vineyard Magazine will be on newsstands Oct. 5 with many interesting articles, as always. One that I am very interested in will be the Allure of the Azores, as I continue to assist Marianne Thomas in rewriting Our Portuguese Heritage and the 3,000 families who settled on the Vineyard.

All the best to the Revs. Michael and Priscilla Allen who have sold their home on Cormorant Way in Aquinnah. Rush and Fisher, Inc. conducted an estate sale at the home on Sunday and many people were the recipients of treasures. We will miss them in Aquinnah after all these years.

Jacob Bazzy has enjoyed paddle boarding over the summer and now it is time to think of activities for autumn and winter. His parents Derrill Bazzy and Jo-Ann Eccher are looking for energetic, fun-loving, flexible and non-judgmental volunteers for Jacob’s home-based Son-Rise autism program. Training is provided! They have the Son-Rise autism program seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They are looking for people who can give two hours twice a week, plus a team meeting once a month. You will be reimbursed f

or gas money to travel to Aquinnah. For young people for whom being paid makes a difference in volunteering, that is another option. An externship may also be provided to someone who is interested in working in the field of special needs and autism as well.

Jacob has a gluten, grain, dairy and soy-free playroom, which means they use a lot of nut and coconut flour in snacks and food. Benefits include great snacks, learning to choose happiness no matter what the outcome, and the opportunity to work with a non-verbal child and learn for two hours! Jacob’s motivations are music, movement and playing with all and every type of ball. Lots of time is spent joining Jacob in his world as an invitation to join our world. Focus is on eye contact, interactive attention span, communication, daily living skills and having fun. If you are interested, please call Jo-Ann at 508-645-3245 or email jeccher@earthlink.net.

I just enjoyed a delightful breakfast at the Aquinnah Shop with Sue Carroll, Mollie Hoben and Denise Scheibe of Book Women, a reader’s community for those who love women’s words. Together these ladies have traveled to London, Mexico, New Mexico and many points in between. While on the Vineyard this week, Mollie and Denise will be meeting with many women writers. They anticipate meeting on the Vineyard in September 2013 for a week, and thus we will be searching for a place to stay for approximately 16 participants. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It was nice to catch up with Sue, aka Mrs. Jerry Grant, daughter of our local hero Bob Carroll and Lucille (Hillman) of Edgartown.

Trudy Garvin and her family are missing their cream-colored tiger male cat Push, who is also part Persian. He has been missing since Sept. 15 and is missed. If there are any sightings of Push please call Trudy at 508-955-9080.

Condolences to the family and friends of Mary Ann Hoxsie, who passed away last week while residing off-Island. She was the widow of Dr. Russell Hoxsie and enjoyed entertaining his staff and other staff members of the doctors’ wing in their lovely home overlooking Menemsha Pond. Some of her favorite recipes will be cherished forever.

Curtis Langer, his wife Molly Purves and their son Rodeo recently returned from a trip to Rotundo Beach, Calif. where Curtis taught a class for a week. They enjoyed Disney Land, Studio City and many great sights while there. Molly is winding down her summer season at Chilmark Tavern and is once again working on advertising for Edible Vineyard as well as for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.

Condolences to the family and friends of Roddy Santos, who passed away on Sept. 20 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Our spouses were co-workers at Mercier’s Market many decades ago. She is survived by her daughter Kathy Smith and her husband Bill of Chilmark, their daughters Samantha and Katy, as well as her son Stuart and his family of Florida.

Safe journey to Joe Spinelli and John McKinstry as they head south this week after a very busy summer, and not one that they had anticipated. Joe is feeling a little better, and once they return to their winter home he will be able to rest and recuperate further. We will look forward to their return in the spring.

Happy 73rd anniversary wishes to Garth and Ollie Edwards of Abel’s Hill and Essex, Conn. who will observe their special day on Sept. 30. Happy 17th anniversary wishes to Captain Buddy Vanderhoop and his bride Lisa Bibko on Oct. 1. Happy 47th anniversary wishes to Richard and Karen Duffy on Oct. 2. Happy eighth anniversary wishes to Captains Hollis Smith and Robin Robinson on Oct. 2. Happy fourth anniversary wishes to Damon Runyon and Anna Cotton on Oct. 4. Happy first birthday wishes to Lewis Emmett Moore, son of Heidi Vanderhoop and Alex Moore, who enjoyed the day on Sept. 25.

Chris Carroll will celebrate on Sept. 29. Edwin J. Vanderhoop will party on Sept. 30 while fishing the derby. Captain Rick Lee will party on Oct. 1 and shares the day with Alyssa Mayrand and Grace Calla Vanderhoop. Jessica Seeman Dubno will party on Oct. 2 (this year without Alyssa), and shares the day with Tim Murphy and Coco Adams. Trudy Vanderhoop Garvin will celebrate on Oct. 3. Jane Lancellotti will celebrate on Oct. 4 as will Robert Max Peterson. Menasha Leport will be 10 years old on Oct. 4. A very special happy birthday wish to Bill Kistner as he observes a major milestone on Oct. 5. Margaret Steinberg, Pat Z. and Jayden Baird all share the day on Oct. 5.