We saw the first fallen snow upon awakening Tuesday morning. It was just a light dusting and melted rather quickly but fun for the young ones while it lasted. The temperature has been below freezing most nights this week, especially with the wind chill factor and the blustery winds swirling around.

Curbside pickup of library materials is available at the Aquinnah Public Library on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 508-645-2314. On Dec. 10, make polar bears by Zoom. Holiday gift wrapping will be available on Dec. 19 — stop by the library to pick up your supplies to make your own gift wrap.

Welcome to Paul and Nancy Cotton who will move to their seasonal Aquinnah home on a full-time basis this week, after residing in Burlington, Vt. for many years. They are especially delighted to be with their daughter, Anna Cotton, and her husband Damon Runyan and grandchildren — nine-year-old Jack and four-year-old William. Looking forward to seeing them in the neighborhood.

Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of tribal elder Roland James who passed away at the Veterans Hospital in Brockton on Dec. 4. Roland, known as Moonanum, was an activist in Native American causes. He followed in the footsteps of his father, the late Frank James aka Wamsutta, as well as Flutie, the founder of the National Day of Mourning protests every Thanksgiving since 1970 on Cole’s Hill at Plymouth Rock.

Roland was the founder of United American Indians of New England / UAINE, and spoke nationwide on the injustices that indigenous people still face today. Roland’s children, Benjamin, Kisha and Womsikuk, will carry on and follow in his footsteps. He was a descendant of the Cook and James families of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe. Roland is survived by his three children, as well as his sisters Sharon Ryone and Donna Sacher. He would often visit with his Aquinnah families, mostly staying with the late Mrs. Beatrice Gentry and her daughters Barbara Gentry and Joan Gentry Patadal.

Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Gladys Combra Welch who passed away over the weekend. Gladys was a nurse at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for six decades, a great co-worker, friend and mentor to many over her professional career. She had great insight, was always cheerful and known for her sense of quiet humor. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she affected.

Across the channel at USCG Station Menemsha, Flying Santa arrived by helicopter on Sunday afternoon to the delight of the children of crew members. This has been a Christmas tradition since 1929. Bert Fischer was on hand to capture the joyous occasion. While the up-Island community has always been very supportive of the crew especially during the holidays, it is even more important this year due to the pandemic. Crew members are not allowed to travel to their family homes during their allotted leave time, leaving quite a few away from their families. In normal times, those presently serving at Menemsha would be flying home to California, Louisiana, Florida, Delaware and North Carolina. But not so this year.

The crew was not able to celebrate the family style Thanksgiving as usual with their families at the station. And the annual Christmas party with families, auxiliarists, and community members will not happen this year. The CG Spouses’ Association of Menemsha and community members are doing all they can to keep the morale up of the crew and their young families. Oh, to get beyond this Covid-19! In the meantime, as the community liaison to the spouses’ association I would like to personally thank everyone who has so generously donated to our cause to assist the crew and their young families.

All the best to Ryan Ouelette who was discharged on Wednesday and will ultimately return to his home in Florida.

Happy Birthday wishes this week to Zima Vogel-Kipre, daughter of Ivo Kipre and Janis Vogel and granddaughter of Brian and Elaine Vanderhoop, who turned two years old on Dec. 6. Matahquhs Leonard Spears Vanderhoop turned five years old on Dec. 8.

Deborah Hancock will observe her birthday on Dec. 9, sharing the day with Paul Henry Jeffers-Mayhew; Tamara Buchwald will party on Dec. 10; Jenna Gosson parties on Dec. 12; Dec. 13th is a day of celebration for Bruce Eckman, Charlie Thomas and Heather Sanborn who will observe a milestone by Zoom; Joan Wallen celebrates on Dec. 14; Ariana Feldberg and Douglas Plummer share the day on Dec. 16; Lee Taylor celebrates on Dec. 17 as will Rosalie Vanderhoop Belis; Noah Hall will be seven years old on Dec. 18.