The Ascot racetrack just outside of London was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and hosts the Royal Ascot races every June, which is attended by the Queen. This year Cindy Carter of Oak Bluffs, accompanied by her childhood friends from Pittsburgh, Anne Simmons and Linda Armstrong, attended Britain’s most popular race event. This is all possible because Anne and her husband are members of the Royal Enclosure, one of three special seating areas designated to watch the races. They arrived on the fourth day and celebrated the arrival of Her Majesty, and of course enjoyed “tea” at the event. For those unfamiliar with these gatherings, tea also includes champagne and lunch!

Cindy and Linda, who is the daughter of Nancy and the late Micky Washington of Vineyard Haven, then headed for Paris. Their next stop was the Musee d’Orsay to see their much talked about exhibit on slavery. The display covers African history as well as the period of the abolition of slavery in France through today, via artist works including Gericault, Manet, Cezanne and Matisse, among others. What a wonderful way to spend a week in June!

Circuit avenue is becoming a very dynamic food and entertainment cluster, with the opening of the new Oyster Bar 02557, the Cardboard Box downstairs, the live music at the Ritz and Ronnie’s across the street. In fact there will be an MV Ole Skool reunion held at the Cardboard Box on July 3 and 4 in the evenings. Bring your dancing shoes and your memories.

The new Martha’s Vineyard Museum on Lagoon Pond Road is hosting an Evening of Discovery headlined as their Grand Opening Gala on June 29 at 5:30 p.m. Oak Bluffs Trustees Barbara Alleyne and Skip Finley are enormously proud of this spectacular facility. Significant sponsors are many, but include Lisa and David Grain, Elizabeth and David Beim, Ann and Shelley Stewart, Debi and Bob Crews, Betty and Richard Walker, Anne Lewis, Lana and Willie Woods, Kathy Taylor, Caroline Taylor Ellerson as well as Teri and Lloyd Trotter. The event is said to have many surprises throughout the evening.

Union Chapel begins its season this Sunday at 10 a.m. with the very popular Island minister Rev. Cathlin Baker of West Tisbury preaching. She is a dynamic, relevant and forceful preacher.

Abigail McGrath of Renaissance House will again host a public reading of Frederick Douglass’s famous speech, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? The community reading will be held on July 4 at 4 p.m. on the Inkwell beach.

Lynn Bolles and Mycki Jennings are hosting a welcome home reception for cottagers on June 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Cottagers’ Corner.

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

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