The busiest week in Oak Bluffs ended with a bang and crescendo of light on Friday night at the 40th Annual Oak Bluffs Fireworks. A brass band playing Dixieland tunes accompanied the evening.

After a slow start the finale didn’t disappoint and devices of all kinds provided enough photographic and video evidence to last another year. Thanks for BET's thoughtful donations for the past five years that helped finance this cherished event. New thanks to JB Blau, proprietor of Sharky’s, Copper Wok and the MV Chowder Co. who via social media mounted a challenge to local businesses and individuals who contributed more than $11,000 for next year’s fireworks. In the cold light of day, however, it is unlikely this giving is sustainable. Please consider the fireworks, Niantic Park and our theatres for future gifts. What amounts to rounding errors in corporate coffers means the world to the biggest small town on Martha’s Vineyard that we all call home — Oak Bluffs.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault led a warm farewell, along with Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, Vernon Jordan and many others, for the life of Julian Bond at the Inkwell on Saturday.

At the same beach on a recent bright morning there were as many as 41 polar bears enjoying the ocean during its warmer months.

I wonder why such a place of memories, fame and fun has those new “Beach Rules” signs differentiating Pay Beach and the Inkwell. The only sign I ever recall seeing at Town Beach — which most would believe includes everything from the jetty at the harbor to the end of the wall — used to read, “Oak Bluffs Bathing Beach.”

That sign was on the railing across from Narragansett avenue. The widely derided Pay Beach ended at the long jetty where Lover’s Rock used to be, about where the lifeguard stand is today. The name Pay Beach earned no honorific, and it would be great to see it removed from the Inkwell side signs, if not all of them.

Last December, I wrote about the deceased philanthropist Lucy Hart Abbot, a nice person with the unusual nickname of Bideau. Memorialized in her Vineyard Gazette obituary entitled “Bideau Abbot: Honest, Giving and True,” her charity, frugality and modesty were well-known to all. Her daughter, also named Lucy Abbot, has with Phil Cordella been pursuing a business on Dukes County avenue in the Arts District called Take A Seat. They buy and sell good used furniture at, let me add, outrageously low prices. Take A Seat is across from Tony’s Market, 112 Dukes County avenue. You can contact them at 774-563-9399 or email

Oak Bluffs’s Thelma Baxter, the retired superintendent of the Harlem, N.Y. school district has an interesting enterprise called Ferry Godmother MV. Her concierge service hosted her granddaughter Kayla Baxter Gilbert’s princess party for eight two- to five-year-old princesses in training at The Barn Bowl and Bistro last week. You can reach the creative Dr. Baxter at

Dawn Davis’s well-attended book brunch at Lola’s last Saturday was also well-received. All are reminded to sign up at for book news.

Pam and Jim Butterick are hosting an Evening of Music on the Lagoon at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4 at their home at 395 Barnes Road, to benefit the Federated Church organ fund and Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. Adele Dryer and Peter Boak entertain.

Holly Alaimo reminds all to prepare for the annual Wind Festival next Saturday, Sept. 5, in Ocean Park from 10:30 a.m. to dusk. The rain date is Sunday. For information, visit

Ninety-year-old Justin Wyner, the oldest participant in the Sullivan Run/Walk, came in second to Oak Bluffs’ Leon Haley in the 80 to 99 year old men’s walkers. Joe Vera was first in the 80-99 year old men’s runners. Congratulations all!

On Sunday, Barack Obama and his family departed Martha’s Vineyard, but on Friday, like everyone else, they attended the Oak Bluffs fireworks in Ocean Park.

Keep your foot on a rock.

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