Walking into The Mariposa Gallery at 57 Circuit Avenue is a wonderful experience, not only to see unique artistic elements and narratives but also the voice of Christy Vanderhoop sharing the specifics about the lives and backgrounds of the artist. She is a thoroughly informed gallery director who guides even a novice around the well laid out gallery space covering the full terrain of the colorful, creative pieces in their various poses.

Freedom Songs is the overall theme of the studio, featuring artist Ashley Bryan, Lucy Terry Prince, works depicting Black World War I veterans fighting in France and others. I was especially struck by the ingenuity of Kevin Blythe Sampson. Mr. Sampson was raised in the Ironbound section of Newark, N.J. Now retired he worked for decades as composite sketch artist and police officer in New Jersey. He has turned his grief from personal loss and some of the tragedies he saw on the police force into memorials sculptured from found objects and mementos given to him by family and friends. His powerful Black and Blue exhibit is not to be missed. The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey produced a colorful book on his work written by Karen Patterson. Tell your friends, guests and colleagues to stop by and talk with Christy from now until Sept. 30.

Last week Dr. Constance Wheat Batty released her book In Spite Of: The Journey of an African American Family, tracing the story of her parents Donald Louise and Irma Lucille Wheat (1914-2010 ). This is truly a very different set of shared life experiences. Her father was a serial entrepreneur and among other things managed an egg farm in the Catskill mountains Dr. Batty tragically lost both her sister and brother early in life. These setbacks caused her parents to leave New York and travel to Spain. They purchased a house and stayed for 10 years. Having become familiar with Spain, Connie’s husband and two girls would often summer there. That is until they visited the Vineyard met friends and wanted more. In 1978 her father purchased the cottage that they occupy today. I have read many biographies but few match the depth, warmth and blend of surprise and success as this one.

This summer has been especially harsh on local restaurants and food establishments. Catering has vanished as group events were forbidden because of the virus. Most food establishments could not seat patrons inside. In order to see some friends and support a local business Toni Faye and Stephen Ross Johnson went under the outside tent at Deon’s last week for a social distance fete for friends, mostly with New York and New Jersey connections. The conversation was dynamic, the guests looked grand and the oxtails were the best ever. Deon outdid himself with Key Lime pie served with a sauce that reminded folks of their family secret recipes. Let’s all follow in their steps by eating out and spending local.

Bud Moseley and son Gavin are here staying at the family cottage on Gorham. Frances Kenny Moseley, wife and mother respectively, hails originally from Tuskegee , Ala. Her father, a well-known physician, purchased the cottage in the 1930s. It is a place of history where legends from the education and medical fields have graced the table and the porch over the decades. Gavin is a rising entrepreneur in New York’s hospitality industry and Buddy is enjoying a break from the fast-paced world of executive search.

Speaking of fast pace. Attorney Herve Gouraige is here visiting with wife Carla and daughter Sophia celebrating his recent court victory. All lawyers hope to attend any Supreme Court case and listen to the arguments. Others would find it exhilarating to argue in the well of the highest court in the land. Herve beat them all by actually winning a case, Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission with an 8-1 decision in his favor this past June. Congrats Herve.

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