Congratulations and all the best to Tobias J. Vanderhoop, chairman elect of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). Tobias garnered 165 of the 258 votes cast on Sunday. He will take office the first week of January 2014. His supporters and community members rallied around him at the Aquinnah town hall on Sunday evening. The evening was rather festive with foods prepared by Theresa Manning, as well as potluck. His brother Thomas Fantasia honored Tobias with a special song that he drummed. Generations of Aquinnah residents enjoyed the evening together in this sea of change.

Perhaps I should head to Washington, D.C., to become a political analyst. My prediction for the past month was that Tobias would win with 165 votes — and that is exactly what he did!

Today is a rather somber day for many of us as it was 50 years ago that our President John F. Kennedy died. Many of us were in disbelief, in shock and in mourning. We were numb. I just heard that one elder suffered a stroke that day upon hearing the news and passed away a week later. It was my senior year at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and as I recall, I was in Mr. Thompson’s business class when the news was announced over the intercom. I turned and the student I shared my feelings with that very moment is still a friend today.

The significance of the day has remained part of many of our lives over the past half century. One would never have imagined that his family would ultimately be a part of our tiny community, but they have and we respect their anonymity. Over the years I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting many members of the Kennedy clan. The memory of President Kennedy remains with us today.

Aquinnah Public Library will sponsor Hanukkah fun on Saturday, Nov. 23 with dreidel games, treats, and an opportunity to make your own driftwood menorah or candle holder during library hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! will be performed at the Oak Bluffs School over the weekend with shows tonight and Saturday night at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m. I will have to venture down to see my seven-year-old nephew Robbie perform with his schoolmates.

The fifth Winter Farmers’ Market will be on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall. A great selection of turkeys, chickens, vegetables, eggs, kielbasa, Pam’s pesto, pies, cakes, Linda’s jams and jellies, herbal teas and more awaits you.

There will be a memorial service for Doris Hamel for her family, friends and neighbors on Nov. 29 at Community Baptist Church at 1 p.m. Doris, who died at her Lighthouse Road home on May 1, would enjoy each Thanksgiving surrounded by her family. As her children Charles and Ernest and his wife Pam, and grandchildren David and Shari observe the holiday together this year, they will gather for the memorial service as well. Nurse Laura Murphy will have a blood pressure clinic on Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Aquinnah town hall. Marjorie Galbraith and her daughter Polly were weekend guests of Natalie Francis while here to vote and share in the festivities. They enjoyed spending time with their family and friends.

Peter Ives is expected to arrive home today from his recent surgery.

All the best to Captain Rick Lee who will now be a permanent resident of Florida. We will miss those July beach parties, but Rick will still visit the Vineyard each summer and we will find him at his volunteer duties at the Chicken Alley Thrift Shop.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving and be mindful of the Wampanoag tribe. I begin most of my history lessons with “We had very loose immigration laws at the time.”

May you also have a very happy Hanukkah for those who observe this special holiday.

Happy 55th anniversary wishes to Karl and Patt Burgess as they celebrate their special day on Nov. 23.

Happy birthday wishes to Billie Diamond Vanderhoop Shepard who will be seven on Saturday, and she shares the day with Jim Barrett. Kenneth Belain and Fred Croft share the day on Sunday. Peter Temple will party on the Nov. 25. Captain Dick Thompson will be 87 on the 26th. Captain Lewis Larsen will be 88 on the 27th. Diamond Vanderhoop will party on the 28th and shares the day with Carlos Montoya. Joseph Spinelli will celebrate his special day on November 29 and shares the day with Karl Burgess, Al Alley 3rd, and Noni Smith.

Reminder: Chilmark Chocolates will be open on Nov. 25 and 26, closed for Thanksgiving, and then reopen on Nov, 29 until just before Christmas.