There was a time when everyone who was anyone, before they became someone, played music in Oak Bluffs. In 1872, lovers pursued the charming activity of “bluffing,” or strolling the boardwalk by the beach into the rising moon, hand in hand, and often to the strains of the Oak Bluffs Galop (sic) emanating from the majestic hotels of the day.

From 1915 to 1930, Will Hardy’s big band played waltzes such as Dear Old Martha’s Vineyard, the all-time favorite, Tivoli Girl, and A Moonlight Stroll. In the 1960s, the Mooncusser coffee house opened on Circuit avenue, followed closely behind by the Unicorn. Those who eventually became someone included Judy Collins, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Don McLean, Tom Rush, Bob Dylan, Ian and Sylvia, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Phil Ochs and of course James Taylor and Carly Simon.

Those halcyon years went by and for a while only David’s Island House featured live music as local DJs entertained. In recent years, the Lampost, Lola’s, the Dive Bar, Offshore Ale and the Ritz have each made contributions to bringing live music back to Oak Bluffs.

Last summer, the Martha’s Vineyard Sound Festival debuted with enough passion in Waban Park that it returns next week, expanded to Saturday and Sunday with after-parties at venues around town. There will be 23 bands this year with headliners Kenyatta Hill, Dwight & Nicole, Ryan Montbleau, Island Thunder and of course the bold letter big name local bands loved by many.

The Martha’s Vineyard Sound Festival is a family-friendly, multi-activity event that takes place in an historic park alongside one of the most famous beaches in the East. It incorporates food and art, and is designed to bring the music back. It’s produced again by the same crew of dedicated locals — Phil daRosa, Ann Quigley, Jesse Hayes, WMVY-FM morning personality Jess Phaneuf — and their legions of friends and associates. There are reasonably priced tickets available at

Yes, that is a pirate ship seen daily from the beach. Leaving from Dockside at the marina, it’s a new family activity aboard the Sea Gypsy X that for $32/person (children must bring an adult) offers a 90 minute escapade playing pirate.

Harry N. Seymour’s new art show at the A Gallery on Uncus avenue features a delicious picture called Jennifer’s Nest of a dove confusing a light bulb for an egg. Stop by.

Alas, Reliable Market fans, Eileen Blake’s Pies has closed on Martha’s Vineyard. But if you’re jonesing, special orders are available at 508-922-0208.

Renaissance House invites people to come to the Inkwell on Saturday, July 4, at noon to read sections of the Frederick Douglass speech, What Does the Fourth of July Mean to the Negro? For questions, call 917-747-0367.

Deval L. Patrick, our 71st governor, is the guest speaker at Union Chapel this Sunday at 10 a.m. Be sure to get there early.

Alicia Crabbe who is staying aboard a boat in the marina is volunteering with the BiodiversityWorks folks here monitoring birds. When she’s not here she works in Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons. On a bike ride with a friend, she identified a bunch of Prickly Pear Flowers (and sent me a picture) apparently growing wild along the bike path. She told me that in the Southwest, where this cactus grows profusely, the fruit that forms after the gorgeous yellow flowers is used to make jelly. Nope, I won’t tell you where.

Even if you parked there all winter long, now if you park next to the Strand you will get a parking ticket for unauthorized parking. In Dukes County if there are no lines painted on the street you may not park. It seems these spots are reserved for the moped place next door — which makes me wonder if they have to pay the personal property tax we do for our vehicles, and if so, does the county count them?

Keep your foot on a rock.

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