I owe Martha Dunham three apologies. So here they are. First of all, when her daughter Jen called to invite me to Martha’s surprise birthday party at the P.A. Club on Sunday, Nov. 24, I was so afraid I would let the cat out of the bag I did not speak to Martha for the next two weeks. I am sorry. The day came. I was so sick with the Island cold, I could not attend. I am sorry. Then I realized I had noted her birth date in my column as Nov. 25. It is actually on the Nov. 24. I am sorry.

Apparently Martha had not had a Sweet Sixteen party in the 50s. Well, her kids took care of that! Guests were invited to wear poodle skirts, popcorn socks, and many men sported bowling shirts. The music was retro, the food was plentiful and in keeping with the theme.

The way Martha was tricked into arriving was stellar. Ask her how. This newly minted 80 year old was indeed surprised. Friends came from near and far. I demand a redo next Nov. 24. I’ll see you there.

Tamma Cimeno has moved on to San Marcos Texas to await the birth of her next grandchild to her daughter, Ashley A. Byrd. Tamma had a great Thanksgiving with current grandson there, Jude, and all her relatives by marriage. Tamma reported yesterday she is working on the winter vegetable garden. And it is 70 degrees there. I am not sure I want to hear from her the rest of this winter.

Sharry Grunden is turning out pots, plates and pitchers at an alarming rate. See her beautiful ceramic work at Featherstone from noon to 4 p.m. through Dec. 15. You may also shop for her treasures at the Vineyard Holiday Shop, 68 Lagoon Road, open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 14. As always, SRS Grunden Pottery is open through Dec. 24. She does magic with the color blue as Elizabeth Toomey does with her indigo fabrics. Shopping local is the best.

I omitted some good choices for your holiday gift list. Our Martha’s Vineyard Museum has educators who provide 250 free classes to over 1,100 students annually. You may check them out for donations at 508-627-4441 or visit mvmuseum.org.

Another great choice for giving is Sandy Paws Rescue.Inc. Sandy Paws has teamed up with a fabulous photographer for Christmas in Edgartown on Dec. 14 and 15. There will be a photo stand for an annual portrait with your pet. All proceeds go to this life-saving organization. If you bring a bag of food for this cause you get a voucher for a free five-by-seven portrait. Times are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. I’ll see you there.

A great life and light of our Island has moved on. I am devastated to inform you that Shirley Tankard Robinson passed last week. So many lives, especially youngsters, felt Shirley’s loving touch. We are better people for having known her.

Get well wishes go out to dear Kristin Zern.

The birthday bandwagon pulled along my colleague, John Alley, on Dec. 3; Mark Zajackowski celebrates on Dec. 5; the incredible Larry Bird ages gracefully on Dec. 7; Bill Schwabe claims Dec. 8; and on Dec. 14, Chyenne Ward takes the cake. Many happy returns.