I know he’s sitting on our shoulders, organizing everything from step off to guest speaker to laying of wreaths to the hanging of flags. Gentleman and patriot Ed Colligan is very much on my mind this Memorial Day weekend, our first without him, he who began the tradition of the Avenue of Flags. He who was so devoted to his community, his country, his family and friends.

Volunteers are needed at 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning, May 25, to put up the flags which will be at half staff in memory of our service people who made the ultimate sacrifice. The flags will be raised at noon in honor of our military and veterans today. The parade will step off from American Legion Hall post 257 on Martin Road at 10 a.m. It’s a short and glorious walk to our Oak Grove Vineyard Haven Cemetery and the famous Avenue of Flags. There will be a guest speaker, the laying of wreaths and the soulful singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Scouts, veterans, auxiliaries and all people are welcome to join us.

After the last wreath is laid we will walk back to the Legion Hall where refreshments will be available for everyone. Remember Ed on this day and say a mental thank you to Anna Duarte, whom you may visit in Windemere, for all her years of service as our Poppy Girl. God bless America.

No moss grows under Nicky Fullin’s nimble feet. Nicky was really into sprucing up the Legion, gazebo and all. The gazebo is in remembrance of a special soldier who served from here — Tony Canha. Nicky led a team of volunteers, all Legionnaires and concerned civilians, in cleaning up the property and sprucing up the flower beds last Tuesday night. They worked well after sunset. Thank you. Now the rest of you, go admire their work.

Our annual Tisbury Town Picnic will be held on Monday, May 25, from noon to 4 p.m., at the Tisbury Water Works. Activities and treats include picnicking, pony rides, chalk art, games, music by the luminous Flying Elbows and free ice cream. Be sure to tour the renovated 1887 Tashmoo Springs building. To me, this very Tisbury event is the real start of our summer season.

This June, members of the Martha’s Vineyard Photography Club will showcase their work in the fifth annual group art show at the Vineyard Haven Public Library. All of the photography is terrific, but I have a special place in my heart for the work of Sharon Simonin. The show is sponsored by the Friends of the Library who will host an opening reception on Tuesday, June 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. This club meets monthly at the Vineyard Haven Public Library on the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. The club is open to all.

The thrill is gone. How many times have I seen B.B. King play in Chicago, at the Bottom Line in New York, opening for the Stones. One of my favorite memories was to see B.B. play at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs many summers ago. I took the musician Nonna. Raised on church music and Frank Sinatra, Mom quickly got into the flow and loved the music and the professionalism of his group. Heaven’s got a great new guitarist.

I hope you all have a terrific Memorial Day weekend. There will be picnics, parties and weddings, but remember our enlisted Americans, both here and gone. See the Avenue of Flags and think of Ed Colligan when you view his triumph at the Vineyard Haven cemetery.

Anniversary bouquets go out to Cheryl and Margie on May 28 for the founding of C.B. Stark’s first jewelry store on Island. I still have the first piece of jewelry I ever bought on Martha’s Vineyard, a turquoise and silver necklace, at her little shop down by the boat.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Bridget Tobin, Theresa King (two stars of our Steamship gang), Thomas Battistini and Patricia Nothingale on May 22. May 23 sees my brother Jim Gardella, Ambrose Seward and Judy Crawford age gracefully. May 24 is for Bob Dylan, Betty Gardiner, Lindsey Rendall and Jessica Walsh. May 25 honors Peter Scott, Ruda Stone, Celeste Ewing, Peter Campbell and Nancy and KT Mortell, mother and daughter, not twins. May 26 is a party for Chris Osborn, Jo Ann Murphy, Jay Leno, Melissa Fleming and Cathy Gallagher. May 27 smiles on Shawn Townes, Shannon McAuliffe and Esme Ruth Towles. And on May 28, Cheryl Stark and Christian Keoni King take the cake. Many happy returns.