Stuart MacMackin, author of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s Intelligencer article I Was a Circuit Avenue Street Kid, includes a map of the businesses on Circuit avenue. Remarkably, at least 28 of 36 stores and shops from 100 years ago are extant today, either in whole or with the same footprint. One, formerly Deon’s, the soon-to-be cool new Beetlebung establishment, was the A&P — whose classic logo remains tiled at the entrance. The Island House Hotel has changed in purpose and use and the Eagle Theatre is the Island Theatre that will be 100 in 2015 (if it doesn’t fall down). Both are, however, remarkably the same as they were at the turn of the last century. The same applies to the Magnolia Restaurant, today’s much-beloved Giordano’s. While it isn’t exactly on Circuit avenue, the Flying Horses has seen little change. Today there are about 45 businesses on our main street, over half of which are close to, if not already, 100 years old.

Including today, there are two more shopping weekends before Christmas and it would be grand if you can do some shopping in town. Let’s support our businesses this Christmas.

Local Oak Bluffs celebrities have certainly been well represented in the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life. Our own Charlayne Hunter Gault, a friend of Mandela’s for years after covering his rise to freedom post-apartheid, covered the story live this week from South Africa as an NBC and MSNBC correspondent. She and Lagoon Heights’ professor Charles Ogletree were featured guests on Meet the Press on Sunday, and Polar Bear Caroline Hunter has been a guest on morning radio shows, along with being referenced in a host of social media. Caroline was a research chemist at Polaroid where she began fighting apartheid in 1970, upon discovering her employer’s involvement in the system. She and a co-worker whom she married, Ken Williams, formed the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement, which demanded that the company stop all sales to South Africa until the end of apartheid, that they publicly withdraw from South Africa because of the unjust system and that they donate all the profits made in South Africa to liberation movements. In 1971 Caroline testified before the United Nations and was fired because of her advocacy of a boycott of Polaroid products. She brought the issue to the attention of WBZ’s Tanya Hart (another Vineyarder) who, in concert with Robert Lenzer from the Boston Globe, stayed on the story. The result was that Boston became one of the first cities in the United States to divest of South African investments. Council member Charles Yancey introduced the measure in city council and the divestiture was supported by then Boston mayor Raymond Flynn. In Nov. 1977 Polaroid cut off business ties with South Africa and became the first major U.S. corporation to do so. These actions, combined with Mr. Mandela’s daughter living in Boston, were why Boston was the first U.S. city he visited after being freed in February 1990. Ken Williams died in 1998; Caroline has kept his memory alive via the Ken Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund, celebrated by the Island’s seasonal golf tournament. Oak Bluffs’ rich history is past, present and likely to be in the future.

The Oak Bluffs Council on Aging’s holiday bazaar last Saturday was fun and well attended. Its annual Christmas party is Wednesday at noon, and along with a scrumptious meal, the elementary school children will be entertaining with songs. You are encouraged to bring nonperishables for the Island Food Pantry in lieu of gifts. The senior center is looking for volunteers so please call Rose Cogliano at 508-693-4509, extension 3 if you’d like to teach a craft, conduct a class or just answer the phone. The center will be closed Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas Day. Thanks for the shout-out in the December newsletter, you guys.

Next week, from Tuesday to Friday, the Oak Bluffs library is featuring classic holiday movie matinees at 1:30 p.m. each day beginning with White Christmas. Admission is smiles all around.

After so many trials and tribulations, it’s amazing how challenging it will be to find a picture of Nelson Mandela not smiling. Rest in peace, sir, and thanks for your sacrifice.

Keep your foot on a rock.