Time is a luxurious concept we used to take for granted when wasting our youth. Spearfishing, blueberry picking and skipping rocks was what we used to call "Monday." Time stood still for our antics, one day running into another. Tuesday could be destination-less bike riding. Any given Wednesday might have been devoted to making a bow for some arrowheads we thought we found. They never stayed on the arrows, no matter how we affixed them.

Thursday slingshots that we made got us punished for shooting the sparrow who defied, as it turned out, our unerring aim while the bigger sea gulls cackled at our incompetence. Friday brought punishment for the murder of the bird. We had to take the family linens to the laundromat that used to be where Offshore Ale is. Restriction to the house afterwards included a bath and reading a book until the daddy boat arrived before bedtime.

We had to mind our p’s and q’s (whatever that meant even back then) for the weekend because there was no "wait until your dad gets home" because he didn’t leave until Sunday night. Monday’s reprieve was a beach day occupying us until 6 p.m., and after dinner we could go out and play. Our playground extended to the far outreaches of Oak Bluffs and daylight defined when to be home. One enchanted evening with nowhere to go — but close enough to get home just after dark — we were sitting in the little gazebo at the tennis court on Niantic Park when a police car pulled up to the northwest corner of Katama avenue and Nashawena Park. The officer got out and turned on the lights around Waban Park and the boardwalk along Seaview avenue. Perhaps free time caused some mischievousness. After turning them off it didn’t take long to determine that it took about two hours for a patrol car to roll up and turn the lights back on. Delighted, this became at least a twice weekly activity.

As we got older and bolder, once, just to see what would happen, we took the fuse out of its socket and got a new lesson when the officer put a penny in the fuse’s place and turned the lights back on. We loved that it was a “copper” penny. As I grew older and found better uses for my time I recalled that light switch, frequently when a new girl visiting the Island wanted to spend some time at the beach looking for shooting stars. I’m not sure if it was the romantic notion of seeing shooting stars, or being cool enough to know how to make it even darker at the Inkwell, that helped me get to at least a couple of bases back then. Funny how time changes things. Once a fan of the darkness, now that the town has voted to replace the boardwalk lights with historically accurate versions I’m pretty excited by the light.

Alas, the light switch on Nashawena was replaced with a meter some time ago.

For the 75th Anniversary of the University of Georgia’s George Foster Peabody Awards the organization has announced three individual and institutional winners. Founded in 1938 by the National Association of Broadcasters, the award recognizes public service programming by radio, television, networks, online media and producers. The Peabody is the electronic media equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize and this year two Vineyarders will be recognized: Oak Bluffs’ Stanley Nelson and David Letterman. The Daily Show receives the institutional award.

The award winners have transformed the cultural landscape through their unique contributions. Stan Nelson is described as “a prolific documentary filmmaker, a seeker of truth and justice who has examined the history and experience of African-Americans in a powerful, revelatory body of work.” The ceremony will be held at Cipriani’s in New York city on May 21. Tickets are $1,500 and funnyman Keegan-Michael Key is the host and emcee. If you prefer waiting, the presentation will be televised. The 75th Anniversary Peabody Awards airs on Monday, June 6, at 8 p.m. on Comcast’s channel 231. I bet Dave Letterman is delighted to brag to his friends that he’s going to receive a Peabody with Stan Nelson.

Warm congratulations to new board of selectmen chair Gail Barmakian and vice-chair Walter Vail. I believe this is the second time our board has been led by a woman. Here’s hoping the country takes note come the fall elections.

This just in, the Summercamp hotel’s three-year contribution to the Oak Bluffs fireworks almost makes up for the name change. Thank you.

Keep your foot on a rock.

Send Oak Bluffs news to sfinley@mvgazette.com.