Monday night Alpha 11, otherwise known as Paul Manning, was called to respond to a lock out at 81 Lighthouse Road. Most of you may recognize that address as the Outermost Inn. Alpha 11 responded from Menemsha Texaco, where he happened to be fueling up the cruiser, to a surprise birthday party hosted by his bride Theresa. Surrounded by family and friends at a spot on the westernmost end of the Island overlooking one of the most spectacular sunsets of the season was an ideal way to welcome the half-century mark. Thanks to Noah, June, Kayla and Kylee, Adriana Ignacio, Berta Welch, Carla Cuch, Kendra, Chris and Emme Carroll, Kristina Hook, Ellen Biskis, Tiffany Smalley, Hugh and Jeanne Taylor, Noni Madison, Jamie Vanderhoop, and Alexandra, Shawn, Olive and Violet MacPhail, among others, for making the evening super fun.

Other town folks celebrating this past week include Chip Vanderhoop and Ona Ignacio. West Tisbury resident Evan Fielder celebrated his birthday at the Flanders family camp on Dogfish Bar. A day of celebration with a warm September breeze, fish busting at the shoreline and a colorful layered sunset sounds pretty ideal.

The Chilmark School fourth and fifth grade kiddos set sail aboard the Alabama for their week of school at sea. Laina Benoit, Clyde Smith and Yossi Monahan, along with their classmates, will learn all about maritime life — hoisting sails, swabbing the deck, navigating, charting. They will learn about teamwork. They will learn a lot about themselves and their classmates. They will learn how to be brave. They will return home in need of a hot shower, hugs from mom and dad, and with so many stories it will take days for them to all be told.

Have you seen the Bologna family cruising about in their new sweet ride? Nick and Susie, along with their most adorable offspring, Charlotte and Will, have been thoroughly enjoying their new-to-them 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia. Their Westie has 36,000 original miles on it and boasts a very new-looking exterior as it was garaged by an older couple in Vancouver, Wash. According to Susie, it has “90 hp and is going nowhere fast.”

Juli Vanderhoop’s Orange Peel Bakery has some fabulous new long-sleeved T-shirts ready for purchase. The brown shirts are adorned on the front with bright orange brick oven flames and the back is simply embellished with “Bake. Beach. Repeat.” I would have to say this is a perfect mantra for any summertime baker.

Seventh grader Fynn Monahan has taken on some extra responsibility this fall. His new pet guinea pig will need daily doses of love, veggie nibbles, fresh water and regular cage cleanings. Although I haven’t met the furry ball of love yet, I have seen a picture.

Don’t forget, Wiggle Worms story time takes place tomorrow at the library from 10:30 to 11 a.m. The next book club meeting will be Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. with Jeff Hobbs’ The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace as the topic of discussion. The New York Times bestseller is, according to the LA Times, an honest, insightful and empathetic account of (a) sometimes painful, always strange journey.

David and Saskia Vanderhoop’s Sassafras Earth Education Saturday Squirrels and Coyotes late summer/early fall youth program begins Saturday with a series referred to as Island Explore. The series will take your child to various Island locations to explore various Island ecosystems through games and adventuring. Check out their website at or call 508-645-2008.

Enjoy these last few days of summer and prepare to welcome fall and all the season has to offer. Dim lights and cozy fires, cool breezes that blow in your bedside window and lull you to sleep, the way the sunlight hits the colorful changing leaves on a tree, early mornings casting at fish before heading off to work or school, and the ability to reconnect with friends you intended to catch up with over the course of a hectic summer are all things that fall has in tow.

Just a reminder, if you have news, stories, family happenings, joyous occasions or other little town tidbits you’d like to share, please shout it out to me at