MV Obsession

ALL MARTHA'S VINEYARD, ALMOST ALL THE TIME …


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My Yearly Illumination Night Post …

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Illumination Night is Wed, Aug  19, 2015

It has always been my favorite event of the summer… going to Illumination Night is a thrill for me no matter what my age is.

 

  I think I was 2 and 1/2 the first time I went to Illumination Night.  I’m embarrassed to say that even with my annoyingly good memory, I don’t remember it. My first memory of Illumination Night involves wearing a particularly pretty dress so I’m thinking I was around three or four, which would have been around 1946.

My dad, mom, god-mother and I would have an early supper and then walk to the Campground. My dad and I would stroll around looking at all the beautifully decorated gingerbread houses while my mother and god-mother would chat with friends and relatives.

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  At 8 o’clock the Vineyard Haven Band would begin playing and the always fun community sing would start. Patriotic songs like, America The Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, Battle Hymn of the Republic are always stirring and emotional. It took me a couple of years to learn the words to all the songs and I still get messed up on a couple of the rounds like John Brown’s Baby. The band playing the Star Spangled Banner and the rousing Stars and Stripes Forever are always a crowd pleaser.

But as much fun as that was it was only a precursor to the main event. The Tabernacle and Campground go dark… the crowd cheers. The lighting of the first lantern and then all the gingerbread houses are simultaneously aglow with Japanese lanterns.
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Everyone oohs and ahhs and stream out of the Tabernacle to walk through the magical fairyland the Campground has become.
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My dad would carry me on his shoulders so I could see everything… I felt like I could touch the stars.
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 After seeing all there was to see we’d head out onto Circuit Ave to either the Frosty Cottage for ice cream or Darling’s for popcorn, a tasty ending to a perfectly enchanting night.

No matter your age, Illumination Night is fun for everyone, I myself morph into an 8 year old.

  Illumination Night as described in the Vineyard Gazette:

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If you’re on the Vineyard this Wed, Aug 19, 2015 you should go and experience Illumination Night.  101_3011


4 Comments

1982 August Trip …

August 1982 was my first trip back to the Vineyard in too long a time.  I was excited, anxious and also looking forward to showing my family the place I love so much. Both my teenage daughters were supposed come, however, my older daughter Patty decided she didn’t want to, so that meant my younger daughter, Deb would have to face the vacation alone with her parents.  Not a situation a teenager really looks forward to, especially when your mother turns into a crazy woman for most of the trip. Talk about embarrassing, I was the definition of it in her eyes… and quite frankly, I was a tad embarrassing once in awhile. Deb survived the trip mainly by escaping into her books… she can tell you what she was reading and where we were at the time… she still does that.

Aug 1… We drove to Falmouth and stayed there overnight.  Why?  I don’t know.  The fact of being so close to the Vineyard and not actually on it seemed like torture.  We actually drove to Woods Hole that evening just so I could look at the ferries and see the Vineyard.

Aug 2 – 6… I awoke early, okay, not really awoke since you can be sure I didn’t sleep much at all.  After a quick breakfast, we drove to Woods Hole to await the arrival of the ferry.  I was thrilled to be landing in Oak Bluffs, the town I grew up in as a summer kid.

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 (All pictures in this post are from 1982, the originals are 3×3.. they are somewhat blurry and the colors are not vivid.  I took pictures of them with my digital camera today and have not altered them). 

We drove into Edgartown and checked into the Kelley House.  The Kelley House hasn’t changed much at all but the buildings that we saw from our window definitely have.

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Unpacked, rested maybe 10 minutes and then back to Oak Bluffs to see the sights and maybe do a little reminiscing… maybe a lot.

Lower Circuit Ave… and  Circuit Ave

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Ocean Park… the Flying Horses.. and yes, I did take a ride on them :)

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Then into the Campground where seeing the Tabernacle for the first time in so many years was kind of emotional for me.  Anyone who reads reads my blog or knows me knows I have a deep attachment for the Tabernacle.

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After dragging leading my little group around town for quite awhile I took pity on them and back to the hotel we went to relax.  It had been a long first day and there were still 4 more to go.  Yippee.

The next morning we headed Up-Island to see Gay Head.  Look closely at the pictures to see the difference in the cliffs from 1982 to 2010.  There’s been erosion and the colors have changed but they’re always an awesome sight to behold.

1982

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2013

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On our excursion the next day out to Menemsha we drove past my mother’s relatives house in Indian Hill.  This is where I unknowingly at the time, embarrassed my daughter Deb.  I wanted to get a picture of the house and while doing so notice a man in the backyard I thought I knew.  To get the picture of the house I was standing half in the car and half out… I thought I was being inconspicuous. The man in the back yard didn’t see me but my daughter did and buried her nose deeper into the book she was reading.   I can safely say she laughs about it now, but back then, major mother embarrassment.

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On arriving on the Vineyard I was thrilled to find out we’d be there for Illumination Night.  It had always been my favorite event of the summer (still is) and I was beyond excited to be there for it.  (Cue another embarrassing moment or two) When the community sing began I was amazed at how quickly the words to all the songs came back to me.  I sang, clapped my hands, and was 8 years old again… and my daughter sat as far away from me as she could get… can’t say I blame her, I was a little on the excited side.    I cannot believe I only took ONE picture.

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Our four days on the Vineyard came too quickly to an end.  I was sure that I would never get back again… I still feel that way after each trip.

Was I a little on the frenzied side?  Yes.  I had dreamed about being back on the Vineyard for a long time and the reality of it was intense for me.  Quite frankly I still get a touch of it each trip.  My heart still beats quicker the closer to Woods Hole I get and try as I might I just can’t not burst into smiles.

Has my daughter Deb gotten over the embarrassment of her mothers behavior?  Yes she has.  She and I have made more than 20 trips to MV by ourselves and she smiles at, and enjoys my Vineyard persona.

Did my daughter Patty ever make it to the Vineyard?  Yes, finally in 1996 she, her husband Mike, their daughter Tiffany, and son Tyler joined me on the Vineyard.  I loved showing them everything and passing my love of the Vineyard on to my grandchildren.

I cannot believe the paltry  number of pictures I took in ’82… I mean really. ONE picture of Illumination Night.  ONE picture of the Tabernacle.  ONE picture of Gay Head.  Well, things have definitely changed and now with digital cameras I can snap up a storm… and I do… and sometimes with two cameras.


4 Comments

Illumination Night Memories …

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Illumination Night is Wed, Aug  20, 2014.

It has always been my favorite event of the summer… going to Illumination Night is a thrill for me no matter what my age is.

  I think I was 2 and 1/2 the first time I went to Illumination Night.  I’m embarrassed to say that even with my annoyingly good memory, I don’t remember it. My first memory of Illumination Night involves wearing a particularly pretty dress so I’m thinking I was around three or four, which would have been around 1946.

My dad, mom, god-mother and I would have an early supper and then walk to the Campground. My dad and I would stroll around looking at all the beautifully decorated gingerbread houses while my mother and god-mother would chat with friends and relatives.

At 8 o’clock the Vineyard Haven Band would begin playing and the always fun community sing would start. Patriotic songs like, America The Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, Battle Hymn of the Republic are always stirring and emotional. It took me a couple of years to learn the words to all the songs and I still get messed up on a couple of the rounds like John Brown’s Baby. The band playing the Star Spangled Banner and the rousing Stars and Stripes Forever are always crowd pleasers.

But as much fun as that was it was only a precursor to the main event. The Tabernacle and Campground go dark… the crowd cheers. The lighting of the first lantern and then all the gingerbread houses are simultaneously aglow with Japanese lanterns. Everyone oohs and ahhs and stream out of the Tabernacle to walk through the magical fairyland the Campground has become. My dad would carry me on his shoulders so I could see everything… I felt like I could touch the stars.

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After seeing all there was to see we’d head out onto Circuit Ave to either the Frosty Cottage for ice cream or Darling’s for popcorn. Always a tasty ending to a perfectly enchanting night.

Like I said, no matter your age, Illumination Night is fun for everyone. Just look at these faces from 1998…

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 From the Vineyard Gazette:

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Links.

Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association

 

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If you’re on the Vineyard this Wed, Aug 20, 2014 you should go and experience Illumination Night.  :)


3 Comments

Awesome Awe-gust Awaits …

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In my opinion August is THE month to be on Martha’s Vineyard… not just because it’s the last full month of summer… but it’s jammed packed with special events.

My favorite is Illumination Night which this year is Wed, Aug 20, 2014.  I did a post about my memories of Illumination Night… 101_3019 CLICK HERE to read it   … and CLICK HERE for information on this year’s Illumination Night.

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The 152nd MV Agricultural Fair is Aug 21 – 24, 2014 … CLICK HERE for information.

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On Friday, Aug 22, 2014 you truly won’t want to miss the Oak Bluffs fireworks at Ocean Park.  CLICK HERE to see video of previous fireworks.

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These are just three of MY personal favorite things to do on MV in August…  CLICK HERE to check out the MVOL.com calendar of events to see all the other fun and interesting things going on.

As a summer kid on the Vineyard August was always a special month for me.  Although my mom and I would arrive for the summer in June it wasn’t until August that my dad joined us until Labor Day when we’d all come home to New Jersey.

In the 40’s and 50’s August was filled with days at the beach, nightly rides on the Flying Horses, ice cream at the Frosty Cottage on Circuit Ave, popcorn bars at Darling’s also on Circuit Ave, trips to my mother’s cousins home in Indian Hill, band concerts in Ocean Park and community sings every Wed at the Tabernacle.

In the 90’s and 2000’s it was about introducing my grandchildren to August on the Vineyard.  Days at the beach, rides on the Flying Horses, ice cream at any number of places in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, bicycle rides,  miniature golf, and being together.

 

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3 Comments

Awesome Awe-gust …

August is THE month to be on Martha’s Vineyard… not just because it’s the last full month of summer but it is a month jammed packed with special events.

My favorite is Illumination Night which this year is Wed, Aug 14, 2013.   Last year I did a post about my memories of Illumination Night… CLICK HERE to read it   .101_3019… and CLICK HERE for information on this year’s Illumination Night.

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The 152nd MV Agricultural Fair is Aug 15 – 18, 2013… CLICK HERE for information.

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On Friday, Aug 18 you truly won’t want to miss the Oak Bluffs fireworks at Ocean Park…  CLICK HERE for information and to view fireworks finale from a few years ago.

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These are just three of MY favorite things to do on MV in August…  CLICK HERE to check out the MVOL.com calendar of events to see all the other fun and interesting things going on.

As a summer kid on the Vineyard August was always a special month for me.  Although my mom and I would arrive for the summer in June it wasn’t until August that my dad joined us until Labor Day when we’d all come home to New Jersey.

In the 40’s and 50’s August was filled with days at the beach, nightly rides on the Flying Horses, ice cream at the Frosty Cottage on Circuit Ave, popcorn bars at Darling’s also on Circuit Ave, trips to my mother’s cousins home in Indian Hill, band concerts in Ocean Park and community sings every Wed at the Tabernacle.

In the 90’s and 2000’s it was about introducing my grandchildren to August on the Vineyard.  Days at the beach, rides on the Flying Horses, ice cream at any number of places in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, bicycle rides,  miniature golf, and being together.

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August on the Vineyard is truly awesome.

– by Joan –

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