When I moved to this Island year-round 42 years ago I thought I would, yes, work, but write and paint and work on my poetry. That fall I signed up for an adult education course at the high school. The program was run by English teacher, John Morelli. John greeted us and ushered us out after class and always inquired how we liked it and what he could do better. But there was nothing he could do better because Dan Sharkovitz was our short story teacher. There was magic in that classroom. And Shark was the magician. His knowledge and enthusiasm and cheerleading for the subject was all- encompassing. Many years later my son had him as an English teacher and as a mentor for the high school newspaper. And occasionally, when my Chris was young and in scouts, as a referee at baseball games. I don’t think anyone has ever said anything bad about this man. When I found out he passed last Sunday I went into mourning. And still am. The written word and baseball. What a legacy to leave.

Stay in Your Lane, the first bowling fundraiser for Vineyard House, was a great success at Barn, Bowl, and Bistro last Saturday. Mike Sisco was master of ceremonies. Mike Sawyer, manager of the venue, was very helpful and attentive to our needs. Families, kids, trophies, prizes — let’s do it again before the year is out.

Tamma Cimeno has returned to the Island for a brief visit. She left her new granddaughter in Texas with parents, Sam and Ashley Byrd, and hastened here to supervise the birth of her next grandson, due next week, to Ken and Chyenne Ward of Oak Bluffs. That gives her a total of four grandkids, two boys and two girls. Big exchanges of baby clothes going on between Texas and the Vineyard. Team Tamma.

Skip Finley has another great history book coming out. The subject this time is the story of black whaling captains back in the day when that was our industry in this part of New England. Skip’s books are always informative and exciting and never stodgy. Dan Sharkovitz would have applauded this one.

The next Neighborhood Convention will be on Tuesday, March 3 at 11 a.m. at the Federated Church in Edgartown. Bring a sack lunch and enjoy a talk about animals in winter given by Joyce Kirkland of Felix Neck. I’ll see you there.

Sunday, Feb. 23, is the first day of the new law on hands-free driving. No more holding a cell phone while you are traveling in a few tons of steel and glass. If you need help anchoring your phone in a safe, hands-free spot, our Tisbury police department is offering to help. I can’t say enough kind things about our police officers.

Monday starts school vacation. I am wishing a great week to all of you, kids, teachers and staff. Safe travels to those going off-Island and happy stay-cation to those spending it here. Check out our Martha’s Vineyard museum and all our libraries for events.

When my dear friend, Bonnie Fyfe, was having a rough patch, her friend gave her a support chicken. Bonnie and Hattie did everything together for years. Hattie passed in Bonnie’s arms last month. They gave each other the best of lives.

The birthday bandwagon was very crowded on Feb. 18 when three of my favorite people celebrated: Al Stewart, Carrie Camillo Tankard and Charlotte Strople. They all take the cake in my book. Many happy returns.