Vineyard cottager, Linda Chastang, served for 10 years as chief staff for the late Congressman, John Robert Lewis. What a thrill of a lifetime to have had that experience with the last of the civil rights legends.

Indeed in 2014, Linda moderated a special dialogue at Union Chapel with Lewis and his friend, C. T. Vivian. Vivian died within the same day as Lewis. So it is no surprise that Linda is off-Island with the delegation joining the six-day celebration of life for John beginning in his hometown of Troy, Ala. then finishing the “last crossing” over the Edmund Pettus Bridge headed to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. Then they will proceed to Washington, D.C. where he will lie in state before returning to Georgia and his congressional district before his burial in Atlanta.

Linda, we thank you, too, for your service and wish you safe travels during this historic journey home for the “boy from Troy” who became a man before he was 21. His lifelong commitment to “getting into good trouble, necessary trouble,” inspired the nation to become a more perfect union. How long, not long!

The Island continues to host civic, cultural and social events that includes facial masks and social distancing. The Martha’s Vineyard Author Series will be hosting four online events via the Crowdcast platform. Sunday, August 2, there will be a conversation with authors Erik Larson and Amor Towles. On August 9, Dahlia Lithwick will be hosting Supreme Analysis: An Evening on the Court with authors Adam Cohen, Richard Lazarus and Ruth Marcus.

Speaking of book clubs, Monica Lyle, daughter of Ronnie and Bill Lyle, is organizing the 2020 Summer Book Club and has selected three books for summer reading. Included in her choices are The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime and Oak Bluff’s own Jennifer Smith Turner’s award-winning Child Bride. Happy reading.

The Union Chapel trustee board convened virtually and socially distanced this past Saturday. They received updates on the reconstruction schedule of their new organ, the progress on their Campaign 150 fundraising led by Al Johnson and updates on their John Schule/Mildred Henderson Challenge Grant at the Island Food Pantry. After considerable discussion, the trustees voted unanimously to give 10 per cent of all church service collections to the Island Food Pantry, effective immediately. This is a further and focused commitment to fight food insecurity on the Vineyard. It is the goal of Union Chapel to raise $50,000 over the next several years. Newly elected trustees, Ann Stewart and Dr. Michael Teiger, were enthusiastically welcomed to the Union Chapel family.

Barbara Alleyne and Kathy Taylor recently hosted an informal “guide chat” for friends that have recently purchased cottages on the Island. Gail Myatt from Connecticut, Jeanette Conrad-Ellis from Washington, D.C. and Carla Diggs from Detroit and D.C. were all ears as they were made aware of the people, places and subtleties of the Oak Bluffs community.

 The Boston Chapter of Girlfriends, Inc. canceled their very popular Ladies Luncheon this August but that has not stopped some of them from gathering in small numbers to maintain their social ties. Sisters, Kim and Christi Budd, Shawnda Walker, Kim Crawford and Cyndi Carter enjoyed a porch chat. Shrimp dip, smoking hot sausages, fruit salad and more were shared by this fun-loving group.

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