One of the distinct advantages of living in Oak Bluffs is that we have several options for ferry service in addition to the Steamship Authority. Memorial Day Weekend launches the spring schedule of the Island Queen. For many this was a welcomed reliable alternative for getting across to the Island.

The 9 a.m. Friday morning boat saw many regulars bringing plants, weedwackers, fertilizer, dry goods, a little paint and even a few golf clubs for the working weekend.

The early tour buses were also in full swing including New England Trip coaches carrying patrons from Boston to the Island for a relaxing day-trip. The Patriot Boat, known more loosely as the paper boat, serves as a good option too as in the early spring weeks it runs a lot more frequently during the day.

Restaurant owners as well as the proprietors and purveyors around the harbor and throughout the town were all anxious to receive the crowds kicking off the 2018 season.

Speaking of restaurants, Ben DeForest of Red Cat and formerly Balance fame has taken over the former Rare Duck space and introduced the Cardboard Box restaurant. Hoping to increase the quality of the entertainment at the new spot and to attract a lively crowd, Ben has teamed up with long time entertainment “place maker” Steven Anglin. Steve has a tremendous peer following and social media channel. He started with a soft Celtics Watch event over Memorial Day and will be at the restaurant most weekends from Thursday on. Exciting times ahead for the young and the young at heart.

East Chop’s Prof. Cheryl Finley has released her new book, Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship. Her book explores the iconic image of an 18th Century slave ship, initially published by abolitionists to convey the shocking and horrific experience of the Middle Passage.

Speaking of ships and books, prolific author Tom Dresser has launched his new book and will be reading from, Whaling on Martha’s Vineyard. Those that are familiar with the bustling whaling industry in New Bedford and Nantucket will be interested to learn more about the nexus to the Vineyard. Hopefully, we might learn more about Amos Haskins a Wampanoag native who sailed on six whaling voyages between 1839-1861 when he was lost at sea.

We wish both Cheryl and Tom much success as they make their rounds to Vineyard venues.

Washington Park, across from Our Market, was the scene of the Open Flea Market organized every Sunday by Kathleen Cowley. The intermittent sun and strong winds did not stop patrons from popping in to look at the products offered by 11 dealers on the first market of the season. The music for the summer will be managed by Don Groover and he opened with a big splash as local favorite Sabrina Luning’s splendid voice drew a crowd to the music area.

The Juneteenth Independence Day is celebrated by many in recognition of those in Texas that did not get word of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation until June 19,1865. Those in Texas endured the hardships of slavery for three extra years. Texas being more geographically isolated was not a battleground state. Indeed, many came from eastern southern states to avoid the Civil War fighting while still preserving their traditions. Eventually, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston Island with 2,000 federal troops. Shortly after his arrival Granger read aloud: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United states, all slaves are free.”

In recognition of this historic event, the Oak Bluffs Library will celebrate Juneteenth all day on June 19. And yours truly will speak at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole sponsored by the Woods Hole Diversity Initiative also on June 19.

The family of our beloved Charles (Cee Jay) Jones have announced that services for him will take place on the Island on August 13 with a reception at the Portuguese American Club following the service. Friends of Cee Jay are in motion planning a special recognition for this favorite son of the Island.

Some of the snowbirds are back on the Mink Meadows golf course. In recent weekends Jeff Otten, Bill Lytle, Wayne Johnson, Al Johnson and Bob Hayden were spotted chasing the little white ball. Tall tales and many swings punctuated the laughter in the air.

Wedding bells are ringing at the cottage of Ed and Shirley Redd as their youngest daughter Rachel recently became engaged to Reynolds Graves. Heeding the call of Beyonce “put a ring on it” Reynolds popped the question while they were on a short vacation to Bermuda. The ring was from long time family jeweler, the Barmakian Brothers of Boston and the Vineyard. We wish this talented young couple all the best.

Prayers and sunshine for Joe Parham and Lois Jean White as they recover from medical procedures. Hope to see them back on-Island before too long.

Paradise on earth is the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting!

Send Oak Bluffs news to