Our annual sure sign the season has changed — Martha Dunham and her rugged clan on Skiff avenue have been using their outdoor shower for the past month. Other great news from Martha, you know she has been feeding a stray black cat for a few months? Well, the cat gave birth to five adorable kitties last Friday. If I were homeless and pregnant I would hightail it to the Dunhams’ groaning board, too. Martha is a great foster mother/grandmother. When the kitties can be placed in mid-May she has already contracted to have them go to our Island animal shelter. Only responsible foster parents need apply.

Nonna and Teri and I attended the most wonderful family birthday party reunion at Ernesto’s restaurant last Saturday. The food and the service was excellent as always! Ernesto’s is just down the road a piece from where the famous Gardella Brothers fruit and vegetable store was for so many years. Nonna’s nephew, Richard Gardella, was being honored for his 80th birthday this week. Approximately 20 Gardellas and honorary Gardellas were invited to toast Richard and speak of his wonderful life. I cannot mention everyone, but it was a delight to see his wife, Barbara, his sons, Richard and Peter, their children, all of Richard’s beautiful sisters, their husbands, and his sister in law Diane. We all reminisced. Nonna told the story of how Barbara had been one of her Italian students at Good Counsel College. When Richard’s mom, my Aunt Vera, called to say Richard was dating Barbara Strollo, my mother gave an impeccable reference on Barbara’s character, which no doubt sealed the engagement. Although Richard went on to become a practicing attorney and, later, a president of the Westchester Bar Association, I always credit he and his wife for giving me my start in journalism. They were two cub reporters at the Reporter Dispatch when I was a lot younger. Reading their bylines gave me ideas that culminated in this column. What a treat to see the gang again!

I want to remind you that April 14 is the next town meeting, always a major event. The meeting commences at 7 p.m. at the Tisbury School. The other towns have meetings next week as well. Exercise your power and go to the meeting, and report back to me. If anyone says anything particularly serious or funny, let me know.

Out of our town but worth crossing borders for will be the Harlem Rockets game on May 8. Peter Lambos has arranged for a fundraiser for his beloved Boys and Girls Club. Tickets will be available soon, get yours quickly!

Our library continues with its Great Discussions Group at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, in the program room. All of these topics are interesting and none are trite. Next Thursday’s study will be on Sectarianism in the Middle East. Betty Burton is the one to contact for more information.

Richard Paradise has some great films for you. Tomorrow at 4 p.m. the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is screening Timbuktu, a 2015 Academy Award nominee for best foreign film. The movie will be shown again on Sunday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Speaking of great events on film, the Martha’s Vineyard Poetry Society reminds me that a three-part series on Civil War poetry was recorded by MVTV. The DVD of this series is available at MVTV if you missed it, or just love poetry as I do. Need I remind you this is National Poetry Month? Do you carry a poem in your pocket every day?

April is a month for many things. Besides poetry, I am sure you are aware it is National Autism Month. This affects more and more families each day. Have you thought about how you can help?

Pretty please with a cherry on top, does anyone have a lead on a rental or donation of housing for our Renaissance House annual workshop for writers and artists? Abby McGrath is anxious to hear from you at RenaissanceHse@aol.com, or you may call me. I suggest you Google Renaissance House and see what a fine project it is.

Belated anniversary bouquets to Marvin and Saralee Rosenkrantz who celebrated on April 3.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Jason Murphy on Friday. Saturday shines on Jennifer Colligan Kuehne, Zachary Atumick, and Suzanne Cory-Warren. April 12 honors Siobhan Francis, Elmer Silva, and Danielle Ewart. April 13 is claimed by Barbara Kunzelman and Taylor Gramkowski. April 14 is a party for Rita McKenna Kean, Emily Brown, William Diamond and Roger McGrory. April 15 is for Joe Ojile, Wendy Francis, Mike McLaughlin and Shirley Kennedy. And on April 16, Jenny Painter Seward and Evan Rogers take the cake. Many happy returns.

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