I usually end my column with birthdays but this one is so important I am leading with it. Our very best to Ed Reade, Jr., who turns 97 on Jan. 7. Ed is enjoying his friends at an Easthampton retirement home. Ed is still an active reader, a sports fan, and noted raconteur. He sees his Island friends while he spends summers at his home on Main street here. Ed is always happy to catch up with the gang at our Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. This is a man who has seen many changes through his lifetime, on-Island and off. I suggest you visit Ed when you get off-Island. Here’s to you, Mr. Ed Reade.

Getting off-Island was the theme here on Wednesday. In light of the predicted storm on Thursday, Islanders hastened to get to the Cape or Boston or hole up at hotels before weekend plans. Others postponed commitments to see how this all shakes out. I imagine the SSA terminal looked like a summer weekend, but with frost in the air.

I did not see it, I would not venture out in the snow, but I have it on the highest authority that our annual Polar Bear Dip on New Year’s day did take place at 11 a.m. at Inkwell beach. I have seen photos. We have some brave or crazy souls living on the Rock. Well, perhaps brave and crazy.

The first week of each winter month is very poetic. On Tuesday evening, Pathways in Chilmark holds a reading. Poet Laureate Arnie Reisman hosts a Thursday night poetry party at the Vineyard Playhouse here on Church Street. At 7 p.m., all are welcome for a $10 entry fee to enjoy poetry, pie, and a beverage. Arnie was determined to announce that there will be heat! So far, the roster of readers are Island poets Annette Sandrock, Donald Nitchie, Peter Lederman, and special guest, New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel. As with all scheduled events in these winter times, check ahead to make sure the party is still on.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is temporarily closed while construction continues on our new site. However, students and researchers may contact Bow Van Riper if you need access to materials. Bow may be reached at 508-627-4411 or bvanriper@mvmuseum org.

Brian Packish has found a whole passel of snow owls to photograph. If Brian would like to attend the monthly meeting of our MV Photography Club it is at 6 p.m on Thursday, Jan. 4. All levels are welcome at our library. Meeting ends at 7:30 p.m.

The free Tuesday night movie at 7 p.m. in the program room will be Dunkirk. I have heard the best reviews of this. Popcorn by Betty Burton.

Speaking of Betty Burton, Jakob Burton-Sundman is working hard at Spaulding Rehab. Dad, John Sundman and Betty are hopping boats to and fro to visit and help their son. They send out updates weekly which is so nice for Jakob’s many friends. Jake, Missy G sends her best.

Cassie Cook and Starr Lynn had a whirlwind New Year’s weekend visit to the Island. We were planning to meet but events, weather, and my head cold interfered. I hope to see them soon in warmer weather.

Continued get well wishes to Jakob Burton-Sundman. Get well to all suffering colds, or is it allergies from being house bound?

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Ed Reade on Jan. 7. The sun smiles on Rita Shapiro on Jan. 9. And on Jan. 10 Dominick Leigh Clark takes the cake. Many happy returns!

Send Vineyard Haven news to iklean@yahoo.com.