I have been working on a photo book for years now. It is a very sad undertaking. Whenever I receive a notice on my feed that one of our own has died in service to our country I save the photo. I always write a thank you. I always say that I shall never forget them. So many beautiful young men and women are saved in my photos. It is so sad for their families and us. Veterans Day is this week, so this has been very much on my mind. I want to thank all the vets who are still living, including my son, Chris, his wife, Lilly, Woody Williams, and Mike Berninger who served as Marines. Many vets in my large family, the Gardellas and Jannaces, have since died. Some of the Island vets that I remember so well are Tony Canha, Ed Bernard, Fred Glodis and Ed Colligan. You all know many. There is no us without them. Please remember.

Our banks will be closed on Saturday. The annual parade has been changed to a ceremony at the Oak Bluffs School Gym, beginning at 11 a.m. I’ll see you there.

I certainly remember the Tet offensive. I shall never forget what happened in Hue. Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, published a new book this summer on that time called Hue 1968, A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. At the time those events were occurring I was horrified that the Viet Nam war went on with our involvement for at least 10 years. And never did I think we would still be at war in Afghanistan and Iraq for 15 years. Attention must be paid. Something must be done. I do not want to keep working on my photo album.

Our MVRHS football team won handily at their final game of the season last Friday night. Many injuries have forced us to forfeit our last two games. The Island Cup is cancelled. I hope for a complete season next fall. The coaches and team are hard workers. The discipline, knowledge, and camaraderie my son and his friends received in this program were outstanding. Thank you to all who participated this year.

Nothing is more adorable than the annual Scarecrow Contest our charter school produces for Island businesses. The icing on the cake is to see them all collected and standing watch in front of the Mansion House in the first week of November.

Peter Simon is “coming out of retirement,” although no one expects Peter to ever retire. On Thursday nights at the Ritz, Peter has been dusting off his music collection and playing the tunes that keep us singing and dancing. I’ll see you there.

Coming to us soon and just in time for Christmas, Island author Judy Campbell has her 11th book, Christmas in Crisis, headed for under your trees. This multi-talented woman never ceases to amaze me.

I give you notice this week to mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 17. At 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Parish Hall on William street, the Family to Family food program will distribute turkey dinner and all the fixings to families that qualify. Be sure to pick yours up for a happy holiday.

Quite possibly the party of the century will take place at the Loft on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. JB Blau is kindly hosting a free pizza party for all of us who communicate on Islanders Talk. Name tags will be distributed. Mine will say Sophia Loren. Now we can actually meet the people we praise and protest with. JB would like a heads up on participation to know how many pizzas to prepare. I will definitely see you there.

My good friend Anita Cimeno has moved from Woodside Village to Windemere. Be sure to stop in and say hi.

Get well wishes go out to Jan Stokes who is recovering from heart surgery.

Condolences to Martha Dunham and her family on the loss of dear Gracie. Gracie had been John and Sharon Von Mehren’s pet. When these nice neighbors of Martha both passed, Martha took Gracie in. Gracie had a great life and made all who knew her very happy. The birthday bandwagon pulled along Liza Buckley on Nov. 5; Hunter Thomas on Nov. 6; and Kara Best on Nov. 8. The United States Marine Corps celebrates its birthday on Nov. 10. The Corps was founded at Dun’s Tavern in 1775, a full year before we parted from England. And on Nov. 14, Mardell Francis and John Gardella take the cake. Many happy returns.

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