Popular Oak Bluffs couple Ed and Shirley Redd were toasted by their family last week to celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary. Family arrived from, among other places, Ohio, California, New York and Virginia to join the festivities at Lambert’s Cove Inn in West Tisbury.

The couple entered this joyous occasion to applause with the beat of This is Why I Love You by Major. Eddie looked sharp in his linen suit with a gold bow tie and accessories that complemented Shirley’s outfit. The bride was dressed in a chic, golden, shimmered cocktail dress with a wrist corset and golden slippers.

Special guests included Ms. Donna Baum, Shirley’s maid of honor at the wedding 50 years ago in Martinsville, Va.; Hassan Smith of Atlanta; Richard Scott of Boston; and Island favorite Vivian Male. All gave heartfelt remarks of love, appreciation and gratitude to the couple.

Guests were treated to a three-course meal of entrees, desserts and drinks curated by the exceptional staff under the management of Bridget and Galen Sampson. Pastor Mark Couch of Atlanta officiated the renewal of their vows.

Shirley and Ed were college sweethearts at Brandeis University and went on to graduate and professional schools to become a medical doctor and attorney, respectively. Ed ultimately rose through the legal ranks to become the presiding justice of Roxbury district court, a community where he grew up. It was a remarkable accomplishment that made his late mother Francis Redd glow with pride. Shirley became a partner in a substantial anesthesia medical group practice.

Their pride of life are their three wonderful and engaging daughters. They are often referred to as the Spelman Trinity Sisters because they live and work in Atlanta where they went to college and have begun their own careers.

The Redd family is steeped in their faith and love of family. When asked for the secret to their success, they gave the credit to God for helping them through the tough times and ushering in the good times. On-Island Shirley is active in The Cottagers and Ed is Papa Polar Bear. They enjoy their retirement.

The couple treated themselves to a 24-day excursion through Australia and New Zealand to refresh and reimagine their relationship going forward.

Juneteenth and Independence Day allow for reflection on the state of the American democracy as we contemplate the Declaration of Independence, our local and national government and our own surroundings on Martha’s Vineyard.

Our truth is that the coming weeks of July and August will present to all an opportunity to self-reflect on how we can continue to strive for a more perfect union. Our film festivals, public forums, art exhibits, religious services, discussions on Ocean Park benches or lawns, beach chair chats while the water rushes on feet and legs, porch or deck readings are platforms to practice being an active citizen. Hope you enjoy it as much as I hope to.

Paradise on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting. Randall Edward Taylor rest in piece.