Sometimes the history of Oak Bluffs and its people takes a fortuitous turn in providing great stories. I found a sweet story recently thanks to social media about longtime Oak Bluffs resident and visitor Joan Freeman Boyken and Islander Becky Cournoyer. Joan writes a beautiful blog at that I read with some regularity and that you might enjoy as well.

Joan calls herself a “Vineyard-a-holic” and her blog is filled with new and old pictures of the Island — especially Oak Bluffs — that she uses to share her family history here, going back to before the 1940s to when she was a little girl.

In this story, Ms. Cournoyer, while researching her ancestry, was steered to Mrs. Boyken’s blog by the name Albra Mae Flewelling Littlefield Baird, the second wife of Arthur Baird Sr., and Joan Boyken’s grandmother.

Albra’s first husband was Charles Littlefield, who died when Joan’s mother, Maude Littlefield, was three years old. Joan posted a picture of Maude on her blog this past June 19, the same day that Becky sent her a note on Facebook that she had a copy of the book Pilgrim’s Progress and that on the last page was a list of the Oak Bluffs High School senior class of 1926 written by the owner at the time, Maude Louise Littlefield.

Do you suppose it was coincidence that graduation day in 1926 was also June 19, the date on the back of Maude’s graduation picture that Joan had posted? Well, how about the part where Maude had written, “If this book should chance to roam give it a kick and send it home.” Becky Cournoyer did just that, sending the copy of Pilgrim’s Progress home to Joan Freeman Boyken.

Bob Coveney died last December and folks are pausing for a tribute to him at the Inkwell Saturday, August 8, at 5 p.m. hosted by his daughter Brooke.

Jo-Anne Bates has a reception at the A Gallery (opposite the Barn Bowl and Bistro) Saturday from 5-7 p.m. for her new art show, Mixed Media on Paper.

The Rotary Club is holding its annual pancake breakfast on Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon at The Anchors next to Memorial Wharf in Edgartown with all-you-can-eat pancakes, bacon, sausage, orange juice and coffee. Prices are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under. The funds are donated to a variety of Island charities including the Della Hardman Day essay contest.

The documentary about Althea Gibson is Wednesday at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center from 7-9 p.m. followed by a discussion with Traci Green, coach of women’s tennis at Harvard University, sportscaster Michael Holley of Oak Bluffs and Boston, and William C. Rhoden, the New York Times sports columnist.

Wednesday is the annual Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association Gingerbread Cottage Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the $25 ticket will be used to restore the Tabernacle and are available at

Richard Taylor presents Martha’s Vineyard-African American Women History Makers at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 13. Stop by to see the Lois Mailou Jones show while you’re there.

One of Oak Bluffs’ Jazz and R&B songstresses, Vivian Male, appears at the Strand on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and half the proceeds go to the Martha’s Vineyard Theater Foundation, a fun way to support the foundation’s efforts to restore our historic theatres. If you can’t make the show, donations are very much appreciated at

Oak Bluffs filmmaker Spike Lee with actors Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris and Father Michael L. Pfleger will discuss Spike’s new movie, Chiraq, at the performing arts center on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. The new movie is part of the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival.

Dr. Jack Rizzo is the new principal of Oak Bluffs School and invites parents and town residents to share thoughts on the school. You can call 508-693-0951 to set up a time for an interview or just stop by to say hi.

Joan Freeman Boyken’s grandmother Albra Mae Flewelling Littlefield Baird died in the house that is now the Sweet Life Cafe — a sweet ending to a great story.

Keep your foot on a rock.

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