This past Saturday, the East Chop Association held its last meeting of the year. President Craig Dripps gave a full report of the association’s activities, including a detailed report on his meeting with the Oak Bluffs conservation commission in regards to the clean up of Crystal Lake. All were pleased with the progress on this environmental initiative. More to follow!

But the surprise of the morning was a presentation made by Jeffrey Burnett, an archaeologist and PhD student at Michigan State University. Jeff shared that the title of his thesis is Exploring Baptist Temple Park in the Highlands: The Beginning of An Historical Archeological Project in Oak Bluffs.

The investigation seeks to explore the Baptist revivals and camp meetings from the mid-1870s until the mid-1930s. The research will map the remnants of the temple structure and perhaps involve some limited excavation. The Shearer Cottage and the surrounding cottages are well known to many on the Island. We will no doubt learn more about their connections to the Baptist camp grounds. See you at the dig.

Sunny Hostin brought her view to a crowd of about 200 people at Union Chapel last Wednesday. She reminisced about her 15 years of visiting the Island, which she drew from to write her best-selling book Summer on the Bluffs.

Her exuberance was on display as she announced that the popularity of her book has led to a movie and a contract to write books about Sag Harbor in New York and Highland Beach in Virginia. After the reading and taking questions from the crowd, Sunny stayed behind for more than 30 minutes to sign autographs and take pictures. See you next year!

Join NAACP president Arthur Hardy-Doubleday as he welcomes Andrew Patch of the Camp Meeting Association this Saturday at 11 a.m. Mr. Patch will be sharing his research on the history of African Americans and the Camp Meeting organization. The meeting and presentation take place via Zoom. All are welcome!

Oak Bluffs was brimming with political figures last week. Congressional leader and majority whip Jim Clyburn, his colleague Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Mayor Steve Reed of Montgomery, Alabama all came to the Vineyard. Congressman Clyburn is the history teacher-turned-elected official from South Carolina who has become the guardian of American democracy. From a porch on Narragansett, Boston’s Pressley, a Vineyard favorite, discussed elements of the infrastructure bill.

Mayor Reed, his wife Tameka and two sons were treated to the convenience of staying at The Dunmere. Mr. Reed was the guest of Fred Lowery, Rob Liberatore, Deb Kraft and Lindsay Eakin at a large reception in West Chop.

Leon and Sherry Wilson hosted a close group of friends at their cottage. Longtime friend and Omega brother Jimmy Turner was among the out-of-town guests. Curtis and Carol Cole from Norfolk attended as guests of John and Leslie Christian.

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