On this Friday the thirteenth, our students will be closing their books, logging off their computers and taking a break from their studies this upcoming week. April vacation has called out their names to celebrate birthdays, venture to faraway places and explore their own back yards. Perhaps the weather will cooperate and give our youngest adventurers an opportunity to roll over logs to find salamanders and point out the thick green stalks of daffodils emerging from the wintry ground.

I don’t typically announce birthdays for fear of leaving someone out, but since my own kiddo celebrates his 15th on the 16th, allow me to indulge. Celebrants include: Ty Sinnett, Alicia Knight, Don Sexton, Adam Miller, Westley Wlodyka, Brooks Carroll, Dianne Smith, Ann Noyes, Chas Hollinger, Susan Larsen, Charles Fitzgerald, Peter Cook, Shannon Hurley, Sarah Kimber, Scott McDowell, and I am sure plenty more. May your days be filled with balloons, cake and ice cream. Westley, Brooks, and Susan all would have shared a day with Basil Welch if he were still here with us. I think of him at this time of year and likely will for the rest of my life.

Another kind soul who would have celebrated this week was Flip Harrington who died April 5. Not only was Flip a colorful storyteller but he enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experiences by mentoring an eager band of young fishermen. Predawn Derby fishing adventures for up and coming anglers like Adam Knight, Tegan Fenner and my own son Brooks were not out of the ordinary. Not only were they fed information about setting drags, chunking bait, and proper netting techniques but they also talked about hunting, birds, whales and how life isn’t complete without outdoor adventure. Some time ago, and I can’t recall where, I came across a poem that seems so appropriate as we mourn the loss of Flip. I will share the last paragraph of Gone Fishing by Dalmar Pepper:

To all of those that think of me,
Be happy as I go out to sea.
If others wonder why I’m missin’
Just tell ’em I’ve gone fishin’

Marina Lent, the day-to-day go-to gal for all things related to the Chilmark board of health has found herself in a bit of a predicament. She took a tumble at the end of last week and fractured her femoral head. Yes, the big ball-like protrusion of bone at the top of her femur that fits neatly into the hip joint managed to crack which led Marina down the road of hip replacement surgery. She will be enduring a number of weeks of therapy and nursing care so be sure to text, email, call or drop a note in the mail to keep her spirits up. Her presence at town hall will be missed, but thankfully there is a great team who has pitched into cover the board of health needs.

Jeff Bezanson made his way to town for a quick visit. I enjoy listening to stories of family get togethers and the treasured train ride adventures he takes with his great grandson. After catching up and sharing a few laughs we always part ways the same way. I say, “It was nice to see you.” He responds with, “It was nice to be seen.” It may seem like nothing but it’s a moment that always make me smile.

Don’t forget April 22 is Earth Day. The Vineyard Conservation Society will hold it’s 26th annual beach clean up from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday April 21. Menemsha and Lucy Vincent beaches, among others around the Island, will be staffed with volunteers so be sure to grab your gloves and a bag and enjoy the outdoors while living up to the expectation of leaving places better than you find them.