For the first time since May, I took a day off and popped off-Island to celebrate my mom’s eighty-fourth. We didn’t do anything super exciting but had some epic pizza for dinner — her request — and talked a lot about genealogy and got her some new glasses. My dad and I strolled around Wilson Farms in Lexington which, of course, prompted conversation about baking pies. Apple is my favorite.

I missed out on some Derby excitement and some of the day to day comings and goings of all of you, but it was worth it. You didn’t even notice I was gone, did you?

Congratulations to mini-junior Sam Fairstein, who is all amped up after reeling in a 7.62-pound false albacore this past weekend. Days later he is still talking about it. That is what Derby Fever is all about.

While poking around on the Menemsha jetty Sam retrieved a cell phone from between a couple of rocks. He turned it in to the Texaco and it was returned to its rightful owner. Great job, Sam. Thanks for doing a good deed. The fishing gods rewarded you with that albie.

Pam and Clark Goff have the pleasure of their son Clark’s and grandson Trip’s company for a spell. The father-son team also has Derby Fever. They traveled from North Carolina to fish and visit with their folks.

If the math serves me correctly, this just might be upstate New Yorker Zac Horrocks’s thirtieth year fishing the Derby. He’s back on the water, often with his dad Terry and friend Frankie Krempa. They sure do know how to have fun.

Many more familiar up-Island affiliated names have made their way on to the Derby boards. Adam Knight, Max Suman, Brian Curry, John Bunker, Gary Fudem, Lew Colby, Everett Healy, Andy Goldman and Greg Clark, to name a few.

Sharon Bialy may spend most of her year in California but after renting in town for twenty-five years she purchased a home in Menemsha back in 2020. Although we’ve not met, she had a lot to share via email and it goes something like this:

Sharon’s son Josh Berlinger and Julia Mertl, recently married and who make Paris their home, arrived on Chowder Kettle Lane on Sept. 16. Josh is a journalist for CNN but his first true employment was with Stanley Larsen at Menemsha Fish Market. Sharon’s daughter, Michelle Berlinger, joined them to partake in celebrating the newly-married couple. Michelle’s passion for jewelry, now available online at Berlinger Jewelry, began many years ago at the Chilmark Community Center’s summer camp art shack and at the Chilmark Flea, where she enjoyed helping a couple of the artisans with their beading. She was eight at the time. The house was overflowing with friends, happiness and celebration, more of which is to come.

Reverend Dr. Charlotte Wright has returned to the Chilmark Community Church as interim minister after a three-year hiatus. She is excited to be back guiding the congregation on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. for in-person worship and fellowship.

Pizza nights return to the church’s fellowship hall on Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. The season kicks off on Sept. 27. Pizza nights are all about community and all are welcome. Please consider bringing a salad or dessert to share, along with your thinking cap as a rousing couple of rounds of everyone’s favorite game Bananagrams with be laid out on the table.

Connie and Bob Taylor had the pleasure of a visit from their daughter Morgan Taylor Lucero who makes her home in California. It’s been a few years since Morgan has had the pleasure of sitting on her parents’ porch but she did that, along with making the rounds of favorite places including dinner on Menemsha Beach, an afternoon at Lucy Vincent, boating on Menemsha Pond and more, all with the company of her friend Lance.

The Chilmark School 4/5 has returned from a week of school at sea aboard Shenandoah under the care and guidance of the team at FUEL. Although I’ve only had an opportunity to chat with Penny Athearn and Liam Keene about their trip, I gather it was pretty memorable since both kids used words like awesome, great and really good. The conversations with these two were heartfelt and comical — just as any parent should hope for.