The long holiday weekend begins today as Monday is the Memorial Day holiday. There will be a parade and traditional observances down in Vineyard Haven. Town buildings, banks and the post office will be closed. If the swans choose to stay in the Mill Pond it will surely make it feel like summer is just around the corner.

The boat schedule changed last week and the port of Oak Bluffs is now open. You can tell from increased traffic on the roads and in town that new visitors are here, with more expected this weekend, which is the official start of the summer season.

Over this holiday weekend let’s not forget what Memorial Day is really all about and take some time out from our busy activities to remember those who have gone on before us. Brian Athearn, veterans’ graves officer, has placed new American flags on the graves of all the veterans and put out the large American flags to decorate the cemeteries.

Anna Alley, of State Road, returned home Sunday evening after spending the weekend with our grandchildren Robbie, Henry, Eddie, and Mark and their parents up in East Taunton.

Last Friday Leon Brathwaite of Vineyard Meadow Farms (by the way today is his birthday) was shepherding The Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and first time visitors, Iyerl and Simone Quinn of Jerusalem, Israel around the Island on a mini tour. The weather was lovely and everyone enjoyed the tour.

Sig Van Raan and his wife Susan Dickler, of Music Street, returned to their home Monday for the summer.

Ava and Naomi Plakins of Philadelphia, Pa. arrived last week, opening their Middle Road estate for the summer season. They are busy making improvements to the house.

Phyllis Meras, of Music Street, returned home last weekend after a business trip down to New York city.

Paul Karasik proudly reports that his design was the winner of the Agricultural Fair poster contest.

Andrea Rogers reports that the 18th annual Artisans Spring Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Grange Hall. She reports that they have added a few new features for this year’s show. They will be open rain or shine with free parking for all and plenty of good food. For more information about the Artisans Festival call Andrew at 508-693-8989.

The parks and recreation committee reports that beach stickers will be available starting on Saturday, June 18 every day at their shed at the school near the tennis courts on Old County Road. The hours on weekdays are 9 a.m. to noon and weekends from 4 to 7 p.m. The beach opens for the season on June 25. Also swimming lessons begin on July 11. Please register at the same place you buy your beach sticker. For further information call the parks department at the town hall, 508-696-0147.

Marie-Louise Rouff, of 150 Field View Road, would like you to know that she has opened her studio and gallery for the summer season. Her hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. through Labor Day, and also by appointment. For directions and other information please call her at 508-693 2072.

Jane Coakley requests that you join the Chamber Music Society on Sunday at their spring concert to celebrate national chamber music month. The concert will be held on Sunday at the Old Whaling Church from 3 to 5 p.m. Subscriptions to their Summer Concert Festival will be on sale.

The annual Friends of Family Planning Art Show Benefit, which helps support the Family Planning Clinic of Martha’s Vineyard, will be held this weekend daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall on Panhandle Road.

Seventy-five years ago Friday people gathered around their radio sets in their living rooms to listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt hold a fireside chat announcing that he had proclaimed an unlimited national emergency due to Germany’s sinking of the unarmed merchant steamship Robin Moor. Other than sending “Bundles for Britain” we didn’t think much about it that summer, but the clouds of war were forming.

Happy birthday to: Brenda Hayden, Kaila Binney, Dan Leventritt, Shannon McAuliffe, Leon Brathwaite Friday; Martha Tohlen, Cheryl Stark, Sheryl D’Agostino Saturday; April Thanhauser, Dianne DeMoe, Alan Cottle, Fan Ogilvie and Alan Brigish on Sunday; Peter Hoffman, Colin Whyte and Chris Osmers on Monday; Amy Kurth and David Murphy on Tuesday; Eric Magnuson and Daphne Hickman on Wednesday; and Linda Alley, Linda Doane and Joyce Siberling on Thursday. Kevin and Maria McFarland will celebrate their wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

Well that is all of the social news for this edition. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a safe holiday weekend and a great week.

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