Juneteenth Celebration, Father’s Day and a cottage blessing intersected on Pennacook avenue this past Sunday. Fintech entrepreneur Kahina Van Dyke and family hosted tours of the historic Dunmere Cottage. The property was originally constructed on Circuit ave. in 1880 but was relocated to Pennacook in 1910. Kahina and her husband Claudio Casarotti own their own cottage across the street from Dunmere and watched prospective buyers come in and out of the property as it was listed for sale. Hearing that far-away investors were considering purchasing the property for a short-term flip, they had other ideas. They wrote the sellers a three-page letter, explaining that they wanted to preserve this legacy property and give it the restoration that it deserved. When it was all over, they consummated the purchase!

Visitors will be delighted at the restoration of this Victorian into three majestic suites with dramatic views over Nantucket Sound. A new foundation put in years ago has lifted the structure. The Captain’s Suite is dedicated to whaling captains of color; the Reverend Amanda Smith Suite is dedicated to the evangelist who spoke at the Tabernacle in the 1800s; and the third suite is dedicated to Frederick Douglass. Two of the suites are adorned with portraits of Reverend Smith and Frederick Douglass, painted by the much-celebrated artist Rhonda Brown, whose parents inspired her life’s work when they opened up one of the very early African-American art galleries in 1980 in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

After the tours, Kahina was surrounded by her family including her father who came in from Albany, New York. She talked about why property and legacy in Oak Bluffs is so important for her children and, hopefully, their children. Reverend Chris Sims blessed the cottage and all that would board there and connected the celebration to those long ago in Galveston, Texas who had waited so long for freedom. All in attendance were treated to a real Juneteeth meal provided by Chef Deon, an Island favorite. His culinary delights included “red chicken,” which is a must for this holiday. The idea of red foods and red drink for this occasion is thought to owe its existence to the enslaved that came to Texas in the 19th century from the Yoruba and Kongo tribes.

Thanks and applause to Island artist and poet Harry Seymour for his poem “Juneteenth and Father’s Day.” A few lines for you to ponder: “Between father and child/And aspirational in forging/That universal bond/Hence Juneteenth’s legacy/Coinciding with Father’s Day/Is not simply coincidental/But consequential/When honoring fathers/Past, present and absent.“

Kudos to India Rose and team for developing and producing the Martha’s Vineyard Black Owned Business Listing. Business categories include accommodations, barber shops, consulting and public relationships, endodontics, entertainment, event planning, art galleries, photography, property management, real estate brokers and more. To help kick off the directory, all are encouraged to patronize local restaurants during Martha’s Vineyard Black Restaurant & Retail Week, June 18-27!

Thanks to those who came out on Sunday to the art show on Shawmut ave. featuring Bernica Wilcox and Amanda Raulason. Sunny skies, good snacks and spirits made for a relaxing afternoon.

Oak Bluffs resident Priscilla Douglas has just published her most recent book, ”Woke Leadership.” This former White House Fellow has a been a corporate leadership consultant for Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs. Priscilla is also the newly elected Board Chair of the Boston Public Library.

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