Our weather was delightful and summer-like last weekend. It is getting busier each day as more people continue to arrive for their vacations. Starting on Wednesday the crunch will be upon us as some folks will get a head start on the long holiday weekend. Independence Day is Thursday and all municipal buildings and post offices will be closed. The up-Island bus traffic has increased in just a week and next weekend is the start of the busiest week of the summer season.

Happy Fourth of July on Thursday and welcome to the summer season and all the excitement it brings. If you went downtown for any reason last weekend the traffic was brutal and just about every building in town is occupied. The buses are comfortably full and the planes and boats are crowded. Many backyard cookouts will be held around town tonight and tomorrow, assuming the weather allows.

The annual Independence Day parade in downtown Edgartown on Thursday starts promptly at 5 p.m. Do yourself and your family a big favor and make getting to the parade and fireworks a whole lot easier by taking the bus to Edgartown. Main street will be closed to all automobile traffic at 3 p.m. but the buses will be diverted to a convenient location near Cannonball Park until 7 p.m., when they will return to their regular scheduled stop on Church street.

One of the largest crowds ever attended the Strawberry Festival last Saturday afternoon. The weather was superb and so were the strawberries. The enormous supply of berries were sliced, sugared,and served along with shortcake on tables set up on the lawn at the Congregational Church. Marian Irving reports that it was a very successful day. All of the money raised will go to help with church maintenance. The popular event had a staff of 40 volunteers. Marian is very grateful to the community for their support.

Our daughter Nicole and grandson Robbie came down on Wednesday night for a visit and Saturday birthday sail in honor of Carey Rosenthal’s birthday. Her husband Arsen came in on Friday. Robbie has a swell time bussing around in the early morning with his grandmother, watching the buses and swimming at a pool down in Vineyard Haven.

Peter and Frances Rockwood are visiting their beloved home on Middle Road this week. Frances reports that they are enjoying their visit and the weather.

Robin Perchel reports that Dr. Jay Segel has written another children’s book, Charky Clay Fun on the Vineyard, which will be available soon.

Old friends Ed and Jane Konicki of Webster arrived last week for a few days of vacation. They are staying at her daughter’s condo in Vineyard Haven. They have had us over to dinner and a pool party. Ed, who Jane reports has not been swimming in 15 years, joined all of us in the pool.

Dianne McDonough-Silva reports that her family is looking forward to hosting a July 5 barbecue. Her mother Lorraine Musico from Weymouth and brothers Jack McDonough from Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Ed Musico from Bridgewater and their families will be celebrating the holiday poolside at their Vineyard Meadow Farms home.

Sandra Polleys of Hemlock Farms, Pa., was in town recently visiting friends and savoring seafood, which is hard to come by out her way. She attended the conference at the Dukes County Health Council on Monday, June 17. Her anthropology dissertation about community and health care access for the aging population on Martha’s Vineyard is not completed yet but she expects to finish it by fall.

Vivian Stein, the president of Women Empowered, reports that Sarah Kuh of the Vineyard Health Care Access Program has been honored as the Woman of the Year. Sarah has done an outstanding job of connecting residents of the Island of all ages with health benefits. Her leadership has been recognized by state and federal officials for her outstanding effort to enroll Island children and teens in healthcare programs. The newly established David Kurth Memorial Fund helps defray costs to low income Islanders who need to travel for medical appointments. The award will be presented on September 29 at the Harbor View Hotel.

Amy Remondi reports that historical novelist Nicole Galland will speak about her new book, Godiva, on July 10 at the Grange Hall. The event is part of the Speakeasy Series and hosted by the West Tisbury Library Foundation to benefit the library construction project.

Kathy Kitsock wants to remind you that the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club’s art and flower show, Bloomin’ Art is tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Old Mill in West Tisbury. Admission is $5 and you can contact MaryLou Perry at 508-696-416 for more information.

Barbara deBraganca reports on the rhododendrons planted by the old tennis court on their property. Her grandmother Gladys Foote lived through the hurricane of 1938 and wanted no more trees or shrubs on her property. Some 33 years ago Barbara had her fiancé plant the original plants. This year the immense plants celebrate 33 years, along with Barbara’s marriage! Her son Miguel graduated from Berklee College of Music on May 11. Barbara was thrilled to attend the preceding graduation concert, which featured the three honorary degree recipients for the ceremony: Willie Nelson, Carole King and Annie Lenox. Berklee students performed the music they had composed accompanied by the artists, and on graduation day, these three musicians shook the hands of all 1,058 graduates! The following weekend, their daughter Camilla graduated from George Washington University with a degree in organizational science. They are very proud of both their children! Her other daughter, Annabel, continues to live in Paris where she is the managing editor of Paperblog, a French equivalent to the Huffington Post. She selects and edits the news in English destined for British and American readership.

Barbara and her husband had a busy spring, visiting Annabel in Paris just a week ago, and now they have houseguests who live in Paris visiting here on the Island. Desmond Colborne, who is South African and his wife, Marianne, who is Swedish, are relishing their first time ever on the Island. Barbara is having quite a time accompanying them around the Island at the beginning of the summer season. Desmond is an historian and lecturer, specializing in Cole Porter. He brought up the topic of Joshua Slocum and his ties to Capetown in conversation, not realizing the connection that he had to the Vineyard or the fact that he had married a woman from this town.

The winners from this town in the annual Best of the Vineyard competition held last week are: Martha’s Vineyard Hot Yoga, The Granary Gallery, Animal Health Care Associates, and Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank North Tisbury branch. The runner ups were: The Yoga Barn, the Agricultural Fair, Farmers’ Market and Julie Robinson Interiors. Congratulations!

Anna Carringer, assistant curator at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, wants to remind you that the very popular appraisal day with Skinner Inc. will be held on Friday, July 19 from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. in the museum library. They are accepting reservations from members now and other folks may apply starting Monday. For more information or reservations, call Jennifer at 508-627-4441 extension 117.

Well, it is July so you know the library book sale is just around the corner. The sale begins on Friday, July 26 and runs until Monday, July 30. Jennifer Tseng reports that people interested in donating books to the library’s sale are most welcome to bring them directly to the school gym (Old County Road) anytime after Monday between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon, as their book drop is full!

Nancy Shaw Cramer of Music street asks that you come and meet West Tisbury artists Leslie Baker, Ruth Kirchmeier, Marie-Louise Rouff, Laurene Krasny Brown, Julia Mitchell and Hermine Hull and see their new work at an artists’ reception at the Shaw Cramer Gallery on July 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at 56 Main street in Vineyard Haven.

History Note: On June 30, 1942 John Palmeira, air raid warden and chairman of civil defense, issued an order to all motorists driving at night requiring them to use only their parking lights on all roads leading south off the Edgartown Road. Since school was dismissed the week before and the teacher who was in charge of the center, Miss Ruth Blanchard, had gone up to New Hampshire to be with her mother for the summer, he also moved the control center from the schoolhouse to his home for the summer. She had tended to the center from 7 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, it was staffed by volunteers. The alarm, should there be warning of an air raid, would be the ringing of church bells. Mr. Palmeira received a siren for his automobile to help him spread any alert. He also conducted monthly air raid exercises and school students were drilled in the proper procedures to take in case of an air raid. Sector wardens made sure that blackout screens were in place on all homes each and every night.

Happy birthday to Samantha Look, Colleen O’Donnell, James Cleary and Sam Decker today. Tony Silva, who will be celebrating a significant milestone, Lynn Weber, Harriet Bernstein, Alvida Jones, Myles Thurlow, and Ruby Hoy celebrate tomorrow. Clifton Athearn, Scott Yapp, Ken Mastromonaco, Rebecca Conroy and Jack Gray all have birthdays on Sunday. Max Bradshaw, John Miller and Philip Engles celebrate on Monday. Cherrilla Brown, Diane Abbot, Alison Clark, Shirley Cartier, Karl Hermanns, Brian Jolley, Marianne Tsikitas, Elliot Tholen, Sioux Eagle, Marsha Winsryg and Debbie Farber have cake on Tuesday. Alison McKinley, Andrew Dickerman, Tina Sisson, Marissa Kaeka and Michelle Marks have birthdays on Wednesday. William Roddy, Jill Placzek, Sandra Clark, David Buck, and Stephen McCarthy celebrate on Thursday. A happy anniversary to Chris Hind and Shannon Brown on Monday and old friends Ed and Jane Konicki on Tuesday. Belated birthday wishes to Sandy Hicks, Kelley DeBettencourt and Helen Martin.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s column. If you have any news please call or email me. A happy and safe Fourth of July and see you at the parade. Have a great week.