You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.
September morn, afternoon or evening… it’s a beautiful month to catch a ferry and visit the Vineyard. The Island starts to recover from the crowds of the summer and yet offers a variety of things to delight MV visitors.
Here are some events you will want to check out.
* Aug 19-Oct 19 The Corn Maze at the Farm Institute
* Sept 13 Tivoli Day in Oak Bluffs
* Sept 14 – Oct 8 The 63rd Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
The Flying Horses sit in this building at the intersection of Circuit and Lake Aves in Oak Bluffs. They came to the Island in 1884 from Coney Island. I did a post on Oct 23 telling more about them, you can read that by clicking here.
The Flying Horses are not a carousel, or a merry-go-round, they don’t go up and down just round and round. They are flying horses, like Pegasus, and fly to wherever you can imagine them to. They don’t actually have wings, but as you make the first circuit you feel like you’re about to fly out the open windows.
I flew on these beautiful horses every day when I was a little girl. The ticket taker was a young man who would never take my tickets ! We tried everything to get him to take them… we brought him candy and cookies and tried slipping the tickets in with them… nothing work. At the end of the summer I said I wanted to buy him a gift, so off my mom and I went to purchase what I thought was a novel idea .. a tie. I was 5 years old, what did I know about buying gifts for men… he, by the way was about 13 but in my eyes he was a grown up. We put the tie in the box with all of summer’s uncollected tickets. As he came around to NOT collect my ticket I handed him the box. He smiled. Ah ha, success… or so I thought. As we were leaving the Flying Horses he came over and thanked us for the tie and as we turned to leave he handed us the tickets. I won’t say who he is, just that he turned out to be an official in Oak Bluffs in later years… and someone I’ve never forgotten.
Topping off the busiest week on the Vineyard is the grand finale event of the summer. The Oak Bluffs Fireworks on Friday night, Aug 22nd at Ocean Park. The Vineyard Haven Band starts playing around 8pm and the fireworks begin at dark, around 9pm.
The Ag Fair, as it’s affectionately known, starts on Thursday, August 21st and runs thru Sunday, August 24th. It is held at the Ag Hall in W Tisbury. This year the theme is “Homegrown Favorites” so get out there and see what the Vineyard has to offer… like…
the fiber arts tent, including MV Fiber Farm yarn
livestock such as pigs, cows, goats, sheep and alpacas
quilting and domestic arts Island grown produce and flowers
great rides for the kids, the fairway with games and places to eat… and the always popular woman’s skillet throw competition.
These are just a few of the things to be seen and experienced at the Ag Fair.
Someone said to me recently that they thought I should not write so much about Martha’s Vineyard !!! That I should write about where I live, or other places. All well and good but my blog is about MV and my obsession with this 100 sq mile piece of land abounding with charm and yes, in some cases, mystical qualities.
I got to thinking about something a teacher in high school said… ‘to write what you know about.’ I have to say that I do know more about MV then anyone else I know, and what I don’t know I’m researching and learning about. I know how my heart flutters as it nears the ferries in Woods Hole. I know how no other place I’ve ever been delights my soul and makes me feel at peace and at home. I know how I love to breathe deeply and fill my lungs with sea air. I know that whether I’m physically on the Vineyard or not that I AM in my mind and spirit always there. I know how many ‘traditions’ I have to experience each time I’m on MV. I know that it’s a hassle getting there sometimes, but that once I’ve driven onto the ferry it’s all been worth it.
So what is it that makes a place so special to a person. I know in my case it’s that MV is where my mother grew up and where I’ve been going all my life. I know also that now my family feels the same connection, and I feel content knowing that fact. How can sea, sand, grass and trees be so special in one place. It must be that each experience is a part of the sum of the whole. It’s also the surprises each trip to MV holds for me… for instance… I have never stayed anywhere else where a teeny stuffed mouse has sat atop an old fashioned typewriter in my room. It’s starting a conversation only to find out that the person you’re talking to knew you or your family years ago. It’s dipping your toes into the water in the same spot you did when you were five years old and being transported back to that time. It’s remembering your loved ones who aren’t there in body anymore but definitely in spirit. It’s simple things too like shopping and eating and reading on the beach. It’s all those things and more.
So… thank you for suggesting I broaden my topics, but no thank you. I am content writing about the place I know about and am obsessed with, and that brings me much happiness.
In one week on Wed, Aug 20th is Illumination Night. Come see the Tabernacle and the Gingerbread cottages decked out in a breathtaking array of Japanese lanterns. Enjoy the band concert and community sing also. Illumination Night in the Campground in Oak Bluffs is an event you won’t want to miss… I know I wouldn’t.
I did it. Like many others, I brought sand home from the Vineyard. It was wrong. What if everyone who visited the Vineyard did the same thing. How could I have done such a thing to the place I love so much. Shells and stones are one thing… you’re almost required to collect those. But how many bags full of sand can an island stand to lose before it starts to make a difference. Hundreds, thousands, millions… sand isn’t infinite, an island only has just so much of it. I was wracked with guilt. My bag of sand taunted me… I couldn’t look at it without feeling like a thief. Why did I think I needed it in the first place… did I need to touch it to feel a physical connection to MV!
I had stolen the sand in the early Spring and it wasn’t long after I got it home that I knew what I had to do. I had to take it back !!!! And so in the middle of winter while my husband and I were on MV I did just that. We drove out to the scene of the crime. I trudged through the sand to exact spot where I’d pilfered it from and emptied the bag of sand back to its rightful place.
A few years ago my daughter Deb gave me this charm from CB Stark jewelers in Vineyard Haven. This vial of sand is guaranteed Vineyard sand and in my opinion it is the only way to bring sand home from the Vineyard.
South Beach/Katama is a 3-mile stretch of barrier beach along the southern shore of MV. As legend has it, Katama was a beautiful Wampanoag maiden whose father was chief of the Wintuckets. She fell in love with Mattakesett who was chief of Mattakesetts. Their love however was not to be as she was promised to another. A brutal war broke out between the tribes. Katama had warned the Mattaketsetts, but they were no match for the Wintuckets. Katama could not return to her people, nor could she become the bride of Mattaketsett. A tired and weary Mattaketsett came to Katama and said since their love was strong the sea could help them find happiness. Together they dove into the moonlit sea. It is said that sometimes you can see two dolphins swimming here on moonlit nights. Could it be !!!
This is a great beach for surfing and kite flying.
The dunes are sculpted by the Atlantic Ocean.
South Beach/Katama is about two miles from the center of Edgartown. Bike, drive or take a shuttle bus to get there, but definitely get there.
Look, a post card from MV.