Political and public policy figures associated with Nashawena Park have been identified singularly by the prince of Martha’s Vineyard, the late Edward Brooke. Jane Edmunds, a friend and understudy to the late Sen. Edward Brooke, took center stage in early October at the Massachusetts State House. She came to testify in support of an act to ensure gender parity and racial and ethnic diversity on public boards and commissions. Jane is a talented woman of color serving first in Sharon in local government, followed by a stint as chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, director of the Department of Workforce Development and a member of the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission, all while serving three governors: Dukakis, Romney and Baker.

Often her assignments have found her in the deliberation room as the “only” person of color. She encouraged the legislative panel to vote positively on the bill to make certain that the diversity of ideas, perspectives and experiences can be added to the deliberation rooms in the future. She gave a powerful testimony. Senator Brooke would have been proud.

The Middlesex Chapter of Links, Inc. arrived on Oak Bluffs on Oct. 4, 40 strong to discuss and plan their 2020 civic engagement and community service strategy. The meetings took place at the cottages of Vineyard residents including Cindy Carter, Pat Washington, Val Mosley, Vivian Beard, Clemmie Cash, Shawnda Walker, Sabrina Williams, Jennifer DaSilva and Kathy Taylor. Indigenous People’s Day weekend has special meaning to our Island community because of the long standing active presence of our Wampanoag community centered in Aquinnah. Whether you celebrate that holiday or Columbus Day you would have enjoyed the food, frivolity and remembrances on display at the Inkwell Beach by some 250 people on Sunday, Oct. 13. The storms, the winds and the high waves presented a formidable barrier for those trying to reach the Vineyard on Oct. 10 and 11, but the sun showered the Island on Oct. 12 for yet another glorious weekend. Goodbyes, cottage closings, early leaf raking all punctuated this long weekend officially signaling that summer has surrendered.

Skip Griffin and Lynette Glover had an open house at their newly acquired cottage in Hidden Cove over the holiday weekend. While many were enjoying the new surroundings, the buzz in the room was less about the house and more about the celebration of the engagement of Lynette’s daughter, Robyn, to her beau Mike Blackmond. Early champagne and mimosas were served.

Islanders L. Duane Jackson, Kirk Sykes and Darryl Settles took flight last week to Los Angeles for the semi-annual national conference of the real estate executive council. This four-day conference helped Duane’s wife Debbie mask a surprise birthday party for Duane as he turned 70! Looking 50 while turning 70 is the dream for all of us. Deb had arranged for their younger son, also a real estate executive, to fly his wife and family from New Jersey to L.A. They all joined the Jackson’s oldest son Dana and his family who is a screenwriter in the city of angels. Shock, hugs and a big smile from Debbie revealed that she was the master planner.

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

Send Oak Bluffs news to rtaylor@mvgazette.com