Two established Vineyard entrepreneurs introduced their products and services this week in Oak Bluffs. Calvin Butts, Sr. (no relation to Rev. Butts of New York city) and Michael Armstrong are creative talents sharing their visions of “doing good and doing well” with Island visitors and residents. The irony is that both are graduates of Hampton University and their personal and professional accomplishments have earned them seats on the board of trustees at their alma mater. Impressive indee

Lori Armstrong - Michael’s wife - and several of her friends curated OB Boogie, their very first successful venture around family fun. It took place at the former Lola’s for several years. They realized that, outside of the beach, young black families had no place to gather in large numbers to play lawn games, enjoy face paint, and meet and greet, among other activities. They utilized a number of Island businesses to help forge this successful annual event.

This year, Michael decided to introduce a clothing and accessory line branded with two names that seem to represent opposite meanings: Inkwell Country Club. Michael explains that while for many decades country clubs excluded African Americans and women, the Inkwell was an antidote to this unwelcoming travesty. This lifestyle brand of clothing includes sweatshirts, sportswear, T-shirts, caps, beach towels and, yes, kids’ clothes. See you at the Inkwell.

Calvin has long been interested in the real estate industry, especially the patterns of African-American families purchasing vacation, seasonal and year-round properties. Butts established East Chop Capital, LLC with the concept of raising private and institutional capital to acquire properties not only on Martha’s Vineyard but also locations such as the Poconos, Destin, Fla., Broken Bow, Okla., and Gatlinburg, Tenn., among other interesting resort markets. A number of investors, friends and interested parties were feted with cocktails and appetizers at Farm Neck Golf Course this past week to review the details.

Congrats to both Calvin and Michael. Last week showcased Howard University. This week, Hampton University took the stage.

Dr. Thelma Johnson, president of the Vineyard chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (MVASALH) announced that on August 17 at 3 p.m., preservationist Peggy King Jorge will be speaking about Memorializing Resting Places of Enslaved Africans. Ms. Jorge can trace her family’s presence on the Vineyard to 1920, when her cousin’s family worshipped with Rev. Oscar Denniston at the Bradley Memorial Church that was on Masonic ave. The event is virtual and open to all.

Union Chapel continued its 150th celebration with its Saturday Day of Service at the Island Food Pantry. The trustees were led by Heidi Bryan, liaison to the organization. Kathy Taylor, Aliya Browne, Kam Branche, Diane Welburn and Roger Morris, along with Cheryl Finley, her daughter Nora and Monica Dean, were part of those volunteers packing and stocking fresh vegetables, baked goods, frozen meat, and canned and dry goods.

Rev. Howard-John Wesley from Alfred Street Baptist Church will lead Union Chapel’s 10 a.m. service this Sunday.

The trustees of Union Chapel extend a heartfelt thank you to former trustees Kim Patterson, Polly Patterson and Bill Adams for their loyalty and longtime service. The Campaign 150 chapel leadership salutes sponsors Eric and Jennifer Turner as well as Kevin and Jennifer DaSilva.

Monday, August 16 is finally on the horizon as the Boston chapter of Girlfriends will be hosting their annual national luncheon. This fun-filled afternoon draws Girlfriends from all across the country. Health protocols this year call for all attendees to provide proof of vaccination.

On Wednesday, August 18, Sunny Hostin--star of The View on television, lawyer and author--will come to Union Chapel to close out the Forum Series for 2021. She will be reading from her new book, Summer On the Bluffs.

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