Chilmark enjoyed sharing the January thaw with the rest of the Island. However, there were many activities in town to get us out in the mild weather. At Squibnocket Beach, both in the parking lot and in the surf, many boarders enjoyed the waves. Over at Menemsha, the parking lot was at a summertime level, people coming in numbers to view the unfortunate basking shark cast up on the bathing beach. As I write midweek, the rains are falling and there is a mist similar to an April rain. However, cooler weather is in the forecast.

Industry continues through mists and rain and the two construction projects in Menemsha move along. There is more to see on the bluff where the new house is rising than there is at the boathouse where we know work is progressing. We send condolences to the family and many friends of Howard I. Wall who died on Dec. 28. He had a lively personality and many talents that were appreciated by all who knew him. He will be missed by many up-Island and beyond.

Elmore (Bud) Mayhew is back from off-Island hospitals and is now at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and will be happy to have brief visits with his friends. We hope he will be home soon, but we know he will get better faster on the Island.

The Chilmark School PTO is busy making plans for the annual fundraiser for the student outing programs. The date is Feb. 8 at the Chilmark Community Center. There will be food, dancing, auctions and much other merriment. It is a popular midwinter activity giving us all a chance to catch up on the winter happenings. Don’t forget the date, Feb. 8 from 7 to 11 p.m. Contributions for the real and silent auctions are welcome.

Nancy Aronie tells us she will be teaching her writing program Writing from the Heart at Kripalu Center in Lenox from Jan. 26 through 31. If you are in the area, the phone number is 1-866-200-5208 and the address is

The Yard is inviting us all to a dance this Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Chilmark Community Center at 7:30 p.m. Music will be by Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish and the whole family is invited.

The Tisbury Travel Club at the Tisbury Senior Center is offering us all a chance to buy tickets to their annual trip to see the spring flower show, this year in Providence. The trip will be on Feb. 20 leaving on the 8:15 a.m. boat and returning on the 5 p.m. Boat. Please call Sandy Whitworth at 508-696-4205 or email her at for more details.

The Chilmark Tavern is again the scene for the activities of the Pathways Projects, a program for and of the arts of all medias. There is a lot of activity scheduled for this spring season. The first of their weekly and more events begins this week. If you are a poet, writer, painter or other artist, please check out or call 508-645-9088. The public is invited to drop by and enjoy music, readings and visual arts. It is a full kit of treats and hard to describe in a town column, but you must check it out for yourselves! The program for tomorrow night, Saturday, Jan. 18, is from 7 to 9 p.m.

Town hall is a busy place this time of year as preparations are underway for the annual budget reviews and the refining of the warrant articles for the April town meeting. If you are a chairman or department head, this is a reminder that the annual reports and budgets will soon be called for.

Back in 1914 the town had a real estate valuation of $291,881 and supported three schools. They were listed as Menemsha schoolhouse and lot, Northeast schoolhouse and lot and South Road schoolhouse and lot with a total real estate valuation of $2,200. The two teachers’ wages for the year totaled $506.25. Isn’t it amazing the way things have changed in 100 years? I feel as if I have lived through most of it and I hardly saw it coming! The town spent $11.50 to control brown-tail moths that year and they listed $36 as an expense for shipwrecked seamen.