The weather could not have been better over the Labor Day weekend. The beaches were nearly fully, traffic was brisk, wedding bells were in the air. If you went out to eat on Saturday it was very busy at all the popular restaurants. School opened on Tuesday, so be aware of students by the side of the road and watch for school buses; do not pass them when they are stopped and the lights are flashing red.

At this time of the year Joe Howes would remind people of an old saying that has proved to be quite true over the years. “You can tell what the coming winter will be like by how large the area of black is on the first white caterpillar you see this fall.”

A sure sign of fall is the start of the 70th annual Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby on Sunday. Joyce Bowker, director of the Council on Aging, said fresh fish will be at the Howes House on Thursdays throughout the derby. Please call 508-693-2896 after 10 a.m. on Thursdays and the staff will know the amount of fish that will be distributed to senior citizens in the up-Island towns.

Margo and Tony McClellan from Baltimore, Md., seasonal residents of Old County Road, are on Island for a short stay. Margo, as a representative of Friends of the Mill Pond, has photographed the end of summer evidence of increasing algae, scum, invasive vegetation, and shallowness in the Mill Pond. The photos were submitted to the paper along with a brief article to raise awareness on the part of residents and visitors that each year, we are all losing more and more of this precious gem of a pond that brings us pleasure!

Denise Mount of Canton, Conn. came to visit for the long weekend at our place. She enjoyed the wonderful weather, the beaches, hiking and dining out.

Will McCullough, his wife Cissy, and their children Caroline, Will and Melissa, of Hingham stayed in their home in the Kansas section of town for the past two weeks. They enjoyed the fireworks, boating and the beaches.

Sig Van Raan of Music Street celebrated his 70th birthday on Sunday with a host of friends at a cookout and surprise gifts.

James and Diane Pagnotti, of Old Forge, Pa. are here this week celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary. They have done a lot of sightseeing and went to the beach. They have returned each year for their anniversary and have a wonderful time.

Geoff Currier reports that on Tuesday from 5 to 9 p.m. Flatbread will hold a benefit night for the West Tisbury Library Foundation. The library will receive $3.50 for every large pizza, and $1.75 for each small pizza sold. There will also be a raffle and silent auction. Items to be auctioned include a week in a house in Nevis in the West Indies, a photo shoot with Randi Baird, an exquisite hand-made quilt, Cape Air tickets, a signed Beetlebung Farm cookbook from Chris Fischer, and much more.

Amy Hoff, over at the library, reports that on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Tweed Roosevelt will begin a 12-session reading group focused on overlooked gems. He has chosen some great books you may not have heard of. The first session will begin with a discussion of The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. This book is available at all Island libraries. The Snow Goose was originally published as a short story in the Saturday Evening Post in the November 1940 edition.

The history channel provides this tidbit. On this day in 1813, the United States got its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, N.Y., who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government. In the late 1860s and ‘70s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam a white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Flagg. In his version, he wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is looking straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You for the U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster.

Happy birthday to: Bob Holt, Anne Evasick, Maria McFarland and Ryan Rossi Friday, Tim Barnett, Emily Lou Brush, Sofia Van Raan, and Lauren Bedford Saturday, Jimmy Powell, Wayne Greenwell and Loren Gibson on Sunday, Katherine Hough, Stan Schonbrun, Geraldine Brooks, Ann Richards, and John VanDyk on Monday, Betsy Fisher, Manny Nunes, Evan Fielder, Susan Huck and Kent Medowski on Tuesday, Raquel Soares, Winn Davis, Charlie Kernick, Tracey Olsen and Gregory Pachico on Wednesday, and Celine Segel, Jason Kurth and Jay Gardner on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Sig Van Raan.

Well that is all of the social news for this week’s column. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.

Send West Tisbjry news to alleys@vineyard.net.