Oak Bluffs has always been the sweetest town, at least cavity-wise. Back in Stuart MacMackin’s 1920s, Circuit avenue and its surroundings included three ice cream/soda fountain establishments (the Jack Hughes Ice Cream Parlor, Rausch’s Ice Cream and Pearson’s Drug Store Soda Fountain at the Arcade), two bakeries (Mrs. Dow’s Bake Shop and LaBell’s Bakery), cotton candy from the Flying Horses and of course, saltwater taffy from Darling’s.

Darling’s was the popcorn-based establishment of probably 60 years with the endearing sign, “Darling’s, For Twenty Years The Best.” It was located where the recently closed Seasons is now. Darling’s puts a smile on the face of probably half of the folks reading this who remember the days when, thanks to the iconic business, Circuit avenue smelled of popcorn and candy.

A July 23, 1948, advertisement in the Vineyard Gazette read, “A Favorite since 1642 – Home Made donuts – Plain—sugared—raised. A faithful copy of the ancient Dutch recipe, brought to the Vineyard from New Amsterdam — the specialty of Walmsley’s “Home” Bakery, next to the Post Office, Oak Bluffs.” I was also a big fan of the bakery in back of the Wesley House. Their six-inch jelly donuts with exotic fillings like apple and pineapple made for a great end to daytime dates at the nearby paddle boats at Sunset Lake. The dates began at the Inkwell, and when teenagers asked for the date they knew both moms were going to insist it be over before dark. That left time for diving for coins or extra unlisted chores to raise funds. Over the years, the Old Stone Bakery’s smaller raspberry-filled jelly donuts, Frosty Cottage, and Hilliard’s Candy Kitchen with the rock and pebble candy appeared.

In an attempt at responsibility, for Mother’s Day I stopped at Good Ship Lollipop, where Hilliard’s Candy Kitchen used to be, to get some sugar-free candy for my children’s mom and found that Good Ship Lollipop is owned by the four children of Elizabeth Hilliard Stacy — Hilliard’s founder! I may be the last person in Oak Bluffs to know that. Two of the sisters, Marguerite Cook and Brenda Mastromonaco, still make the candy — and along with the wide candy selection, they play Disney’s hit songs dating back to 1929 in the store.

Our sweet town of Oak Bluffs today has five ice cream establishments (alphabetically, Ben & Bill’s Emporium, the Big Dipper, the Carousel, Mad Martha’s and the Sweet Spot down at Dockside); three candy stores (Good Ship, Murdick’s and New Moon Magick Enchanted Chocolates and Antiques on the same street as the Oceanview); two bakeries (I count Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Bakery and Back Door Donuts twice) and two coffee shops (Mr. Mugg and Mocha Motts) where products are sugar or sugar substitute-fortified. And we have seven other places whose principal product may not be related to your sweet tooth, but you could satisfy an urge — Conroy’s Apothecary, the Corner Store, the Flying Horses, Jim’s Package Store, the Old Variety Store (next to the Flying Horses), Our Market and Tony’s Market. The 19 sweet places in Oak Bluffs do not include our restaurants, which are rapidly opening for the season.

Tonight R. Bar, named after my youngest R. Kristin Finley-Brown who is Hooked’s manager, debuts with a launch party at 8 p.m. in advance of the Hooked opening next week.

Lobsterville Bar & Grille opened Wednesday and Giordano’s opens Thursday for a record-setting 83rd year — being kitchen alumni, I’ll be there!

Entrepreneur Reynaldo Faust, formerly of Muscle Discipline, is soon launching Fat Ronnie’s Burgers at the old Smoke ‘N Bones spot on Circuit avenue. I suspect there’s an inside joke there somewhere. Best wishes and welcome back.

Back to sweet things, the Annual Garden Tea Party and Fashion Show last Saturday wasn’t missed by anyone; it seemed the entire female population of Oak Bluffs and much of the rest of the Island was there with me and nine other guys, seven of whom were models and photographers. The beautiful white tent was so spectacularly filled with colorful clothes, flowers and people that we had sunshine on a cloudy day despite the rainstorm outside. Hats off (pun intended) to all those involved, especially to Featherstone’s director Ann Smith and fashion show coordinator Marla Blakey, only two of the dozens it took to make Martha’s Vineyard’s 2013 fashion year kickoff a success.

Our guests start to arrive next week and the season begins again. You have fewer than 60 days to get over to B. Strong if you want to fit into a bathing suit by the time the water gets warm enough to get in it.

Keep your foot on a rock.