Labor Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial end of summer. College kids have departed for various campuses and the doors of our public schools have opened, welcoming their students for the 2021-2022 school year.

Once again, children are standing along the roadsides with new backpacks and perfectly laced-up sneakers, awaiting their buses. Drivers: be reminded to keep a look out as wonderful bus drivers traverse our roads, stopping here and there to pick each child up and safely deliver them for a day filled with learning.

This time of year also marks the beginning of the annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. The opening bell dings at midnight on Sunday, Sept. 12. Fishing folks will take to Vineyard shores and waters over the next month for some friendly competition and camaraderie.

You can pre-register for the Derby on their website,, and can easily complete the process at Menemsha Texaco. We have our supply of buttons, hats and souvenir booklets ready to pass along to you.

Speaking of fishermen, Owen Singer, the 24-year old son of Claire Ganz and Tom, has been in town this past week to visit his folks, grandparents Bob and Ann Ganz, and many friends. He reconnected with some favorite childhood stomping grounds, including the Menemsha jetty, and had the opportunity to really decompress before heading back out into the sportfishing world that generates his paycheck these days.

Also meandering the docks over the past week were Marni and Tosh Fischer, along with their folks Andrew and Emma. Sandcastles were built. Fish were caught, including some tiny juvenile mahi mahi. They made their way into the Texaco touch tank for observation and made quite a stir. Hours were spent frolicking with toddling cousin Gene, grandpa Albert and many more. A laugh and giggle fest took place with aunt Ann Wallace because, well, she’s just the coolest.

As lucky as I am to be able to watch these little humans grow through Andrew’s Instagram posts, it is markedly better to catch a glimpse of them in person. Back to Northern California they have gone, looking forward to another Vineyard visit in the future.

More familiar faces took advantage of the long weekend and made their way to town to connect and enjoy family time. Samantha Jason and Dave Lehman, along with kiddos Vivienne and Owen, strolled the dock and soaked in all the salt air they could. They watched uncle Denny Jason fish the Little Lady, played with grandpa Dennis Jason, and amazing aunt Jesse Keller Jason doted on her niece and nephew to the very best of her ability.

Life is good when family gets together.

My eldest, Bradley, celebrated her 25th birthday on Sunday. As we have done every year since her arrival in the world, we had cake on Squid Row, surrounded by family and friends. It’s hard to believe this has been a quarter-century tradition.

Although there wasn’t a sunset to be seen behind the grey sky cover, we did enjoy grilling to the backdrop of live music. uncle Chris Carroll and teen friend Ezra Levy strummed their guitars as folks chatted, laughed and told stories. Ezra is the grandson of Prospect Hill’s Bernie Levy and younger son of Julie Tischler and Dan. Thanks to George Oskan for stepping in to man the grill; job well done.

Also celebrating this week is Captain Mike Hamilton of F/V Sinful. Happy birthday, Mike.

It’s hard to believe we will not see Ray Kellman again. After 97 years, he has ceased adventuring about town. I saw him every few days or so -- one of his tires had a slow leak -- so I had an opportunity to say hello or at minimum offer a “have a good day” wave. My condolences go out to his family.