Suellen Lazarus, director of our Chilmark Book Festival, must be proud of me. I headed to the famous Bunch of Grapes, where Bill Clinton was spied shopping this week, and bought four new books, all by Island authors. I shall be carrying them around with me everywhere like a schoolkid until I run into each author and get them signed. Three are poetry. One is Skip Finley’s new Historic Tales of Oak Bluffs.

By the way, Skip and Bow Van Riper are holding a Q&A on Skip’s new book this Saturday, August 24, at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum from 9:30 a.m. until noon.

The other books are two poetry journals by Arnie Riesman and The Space Between by Island poet laureate Jill Jupen. And to cap off my love affair with authors and their books, award-winning journalist Philip M. Dine called me from Washington, D.C. last week. Phillip is the son of my two besties, Joe and Laurie Dine. They have passed, but their granddaughter, Alexandra, is continuing the Dine-Vineyard connection by spending time here to celebrate her birthday. Her dad, Phil, is famous for many things, but his book, State of the Unions, is one of my top reads. I discussed our VTA bus drivers strike with him. You all know I always “look for the union label”.

My dear friend Uta Kloss won first prize for her photo entered in the Fair. No surprise there! Uta and Doug Johnson have the beautiful Island Art Gallery Kennedy Studios on Main street in Vineyard Haven. There is always something there to pick up for yourself or as a gift.

Back to Arnie Riesman: on Thursday, September 12, join him at the Vineyard Haven Public Library for an account of Rembrandt Has Left the Building. Arnie co-wrote a screenplay based on the 1979 robbery at the Gardner Museum in Boston, a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. And speaking of photographs, for my money the best one at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is the one of Island icon John Alley all tuxed up and ready to perform wedding ceremonies. Don’t miss it.

Art in the Stacks at our library has an exhibit, Jazz in Black and White. I am trying to lure my friend, jazz aficionado Al Stewart, here to see it. It runs till the end of this month.

Congratulations to Cadet First Class Shane William Meters on his graduation from the Mass Maritime Academy. We wish you smooth sailing.

My dear friend, Glenn Grant, a.k.a. the General, received the key to the city of Cambridge last Sunday at a Super Hero Party in his honor. From now on August 18 is proclaimed Glenn Grant Day. His wife, Angel, is an Island girl. Both are accomplished musicians and amazing artists.

Our condolences to the Anderson family of Oak Bluffs on the passing of matriarch and consummate OB Girl, Maureen Anderson. She certainly made a difference.

And so did Music Man Will Luckey. It is hard to imagine our Island and our music scene without him.

Anniversary bouquets go out to Phil and Janet Ginter on their 24th, celebrated on August 19.

Two birthday corrections: Millie Gerber Lockington celebrated on July 24 and nurse Melissa Dolby partied on August 18.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Eva Raposs and Maripatt Shemowat on August 20. Mary Margaret Duffy claims August 22. And on August 25, Sherm Goldstein, Laiza Cimeno and Cheyenne Cormier take the cake. Many happy returns.

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