About a week ago Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, made some heartfelt and interesting remarks about the removal of the city’s insulting Confederate monuments. Bill McGrath brought the speech to my attention and it resonated with me. From the New York Times; “The soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years, rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way — for both good and for ill. It is a history that holds in its heart the stories of Native Americans — the Choctaw, Houma Nation, the Chitimacha. Of Hernando De Soto, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the Acadians, the Islenos, the enslaved people from Senegambia, Free People of Colorix, the Haitians, the Germans, both the empires of France and Spain. The Italians, the Irish, the Cubans, the south and Central Americans, the Vietnamese and so many more. You see — New Orleans is truly a city of many nations, a melting pot, a bubbling caldron of many cultures. There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: E pluribus u-num — out of many we are one.”

I was struck by this: if you changed some of the names and words to Gosnold and Mayhew, Saunders and Pease, Algonquin and Wampanoag—Portuguese, Azorean and Cape Verdean, you’d have a pretty good description of Oak Bluffs albeit on a smaller scale. In two weeks (June 16) the Martha’s Vineyard Museum launches Anna Barber’s colorful new exhibit, the Local Immigrants Project, perfectly complementing Mr. Landrieu’s comments. Following its ground-breaking ceremony last Saturday, it won’t be long before the renovations of our museum will apply some show and tell to its 17,000-plus photographs, articles and artifacts that portray our long and lasting history.

Featherstone Center for the Arts has two shows opening Sunday June 4, one creatively called the Blue Show where artists create a work in which the predominant color is blue. This show debuts in the Virginia Weston Besse Gallery and all media are welcome. The opening reception will be at 4-6 p.m. and the exhibition lasts until June 21. That same day the High School Ceramics Show will open in the brand new Pottery Studio, showing beautiful creations from talented high school artists. The new studio officially opens June 11.

Rich Combra of the town highway department and Amy Billings of the parks department rescued the remains of Hartford Park’s Consecrated Tree last fall, thanks to the notice of Pequot avenue’s Anne Cummings. Rich and Amy are soliciting input from the community to make plans -- the tree (with its plaque) is on display at the Highway Department. Always pleased to recommend others for tasks; perhaps some members of the Historic Commission might volunteer to host a meeting with stakeholders who may include neighbors, members of the Camp Ground Meeting Association and the Wampanoag Tribe. Said to be a red cedar by some and a Juniper by others, the tree was reputed to have graced the park since the 1840’s or before.

To the surprise of no one, the owners of the Island Theatre, who have vexed town leaders, voters, taxpayers and the courts, are making promises. I’d be reluctant to say I don’t have the words for this situation because I do; unfortunately they are all of the four letter variety and none of the expletives I have in mind are fleeting. If someone were to set the saga to words, they’d probably come up with Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind” absent any of the positive meanings attributed to it over the years.

Farm Pond sea monster Vanessa is back for another season. Vanessa’s disarming charm never gets old.

Happy birthday to the late Dorothy West, born June 2, 1907, the same year we seceded from Edgartown and who with this column paved the way for four others of us — Della Hardman (Savor the moment), Holly Nadler, Bettye Foster Baker (Open your gifts) and me, who, in our own ways, portray how “the soul of our beloved City is deeply rooted in a history that has evolved over thousands of years; rooted in a diverse people who have been here together every step of the way…”

Keep your foot on a rock.

Send Oak Bluffew news to sfinley@mvgazette.com.