Writing about the history of Oak Bluffs often brings pangs of nostalgia, and every once in a while I ease that by grazing through Harlem Renaissance author Dorothy West’s original writing.

On Friday, Oct. 13, 1978 she wrote about Brush Pond’s Cecile Helmsley Gordon, a longtime homeowner on County Road, a visitor for much of her life and a year-round resident from 2005 until she died last Oct. 27.

A family friend for almost all of my life, she was someone who earned the honorific “Aunt” like many others who helped raise us by their example. Aunt Cecile was a beautiful woman — inside and out. But she’d blush to hear someone say she was so pretty that you’d grin just looking at her.

More importantly, Mrs. Gordon was a senior executive at the New England Telephone Company, one of the original Baby Bells of AT&T. She was one of the most senior black corporate executives in the country at New England Telephone where she worked in community affairs and earned a master's in urban affairs at MIT.

Among the many social, charitable and business boards she served on was Freedom House — the organization that helped me get my start in broadcasting in the early seventies — and the New England Broadcasters Association, which I wound up being a member of. Her kids are still playmates of mine, clearly a misnomer due to our own advancing age. Aunt Cecile was a model of accomplishment and grace.

Last weekend the inaugural Vineyard Golf Club high school invitational was held. The players from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School won first place against nine other Cape Cod teams. Congratulations to members Chris Matthews, Jack Murray and Finn Simpkins who shot a 73, tying for a personal medalist honor.

Town planning board officials have pointed out that the proposed renovation of the North Bluff wall and walkway as designed will make the beach disappear except during low tide. They suggest that the seaside resort look we have enjoyed since Robert Copeland‘s work in 1866 will be lost. I urge you to seek more information and be a part of this discussion. After all — and I apologize for my indiscretion — this is the best beach for finding beach glass in Oak Bluffs.

Game on at Niantic Park. Find a way to be a part of it. Also remember the Martha’s Vineyard Theater Foundation needs donations. Contribute at mvtheaterfoundation.com.

It appears something interesting is taking place at the Island Theatre. I wouldn’t want to put the kibosh on it, but look at its roof if you’re traveling up Circuit avenue.

The Oak Bluffs Library celebrates its 10th anniversary on Oct. 16, but sadly this also marks the last day for library director Sondra Murphy. Thanks for your service and happy trails. Anna Marie D’Addarie, the program coordinator, is also moving on to the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop. Alison Malik becomes the interim director of the library.

Stanley Nelson’s new Black Panthers documentary was one of the films favorably reviewed in a New York Times article on Oct. 2. It draws parallels with today’s realities of some police officers’ alleged brutality against, and harassment of, black people. The point of view of the story was how Stan’s and other similar-themed movies have relevance to civic events of the present.

I have to admit being impressed by the Polar Bears’ commitment. There were three of them enjoying the 60-degree water temperature at the Inkwell last Saturday. They also endured the 52-degree temperature of the air, coupled with 20 mile-per-hour winds. That’s almost too chilly for Canadians. Caroline Hunter says there were over 600 people who participated with the Polar Bears in July and over 900 in August for three records this season. Another was the 80 who participated in the circle one August morning.

I’m nostalgic for the stateliness of Cecile Gordon’s charm. I’ll miss her warm smiles and soft laugh. There is a memorial gathering in her honor this Sunday, Oct. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the family home.

Keep your foot on a rock.

Send Oak Bluffs news to sfinley@mvgazette.com.