Aquinnah: discussion group and transportation for seniors
The Aquinnah Wampanoag Powwow did not disappoint. While Saturday was remarkably warm, people came out in droves to celebrate. There were many familiar faces among the regalia-clad dancers, singers and musicians, but there were others who had traveled from other regions to perform and participate. My favorites were the children in full dress who danced traditional dances with confidence and authority. The food was on point, with Sly Fox from Mashpee serving bluefish, salmon, and scallops, among other delicacies. Theresa Manning was in charge of serving a lunch to the Wampanoag elders, which looked lovely. It was wonderful to see so many generations of Aquinnah families come together.
Although some things have closed, there is still life at the cliffs and in the town. The Aquinnah boutique is closed for the season. Cliffhangers is still open, but could close by the end of the month. The Gay Head Store is expected to remain open until November, along with the other Cliffs stores. The Outermost Inn closes October 9, but hopes to reopen in late October for lunch and brunch. The Orange Peel Bakery is open year-round, and evening and dinner specials change seasonally. The Chilmark Tavern’s final night will be September 24, and the home base will be open over the Indigenous Peoples Day weekend. The Chilmark Store will also be open until early November.
At the library, the next reading group meeting will be Tuesday, September 20 at 3 p.m. to discuss “True Biz” by Sara Novic. The group will stand on deck; email [email protected] to register.
At the powwow, I met David and Saskia Vanderhoop. They had a great summer of camp, their new barn is complete and they have a strong staff helping them. They will start their Sassafras youth program on Friday and Saturday on Friday September 23 and Saturday September 24. Registration is open to all Island youth; you can register at sassafrasmvy.org/youth-programs. They will be in Felix Neck for the second annual celebration and commemoration of Indigenous Peoples Day in October; more details to follow as they become available. They also offer “Native Awareness Training” for organizations and individuals. This training is done in groups of 12.
The City of West Tisbury is about to undertake a major renovation of Howes House, the headquarters of the Up-Island Council on Aging (UICOA) which provides superior services in Aquinnah. The city’s building committee is asking volunteers to participate in a focus group to share their thoughts on what the building’s space needs could or should be in the coming years. Focus group meetings take place during the week of October 3-8, with a variety of morning and late afternoon sessions. If you have any opinions on this topic and would like to participate, please email [email protected]
On Tuesday, September 20, at the MV Film Center, there will be a senior transportation summit, with many nonprofits participating to help create solutions for the island’s seniors. Meet at the Film Center at 7 p.m., or register via Zoom; email [email protected] for the link.
The Gay Head 10K road race takes place on Sunday October 2nd. There’s also a fun race option for kids around the Aquinnah Circle this year; registration is online at gayhead10k.com.
You never know what you’ll see in Aquinnah. Over Labor Day weekend, as I sat with friends enjoying the last perfect beach days of summer, Juniper Ezanno said, “I think that guy over there is going to propose.” Sure enough, just past the Rusty River, a well-dressed young man (who we later found out was named Jeremy) got down on one knee and proposed to a lovely young woman named Phoebe. Fortunately, he didn’t drop the ring in the sand, and even more fortunately, she said “Yes.” The people around them cheered, as did we when they came down to the beach. Jeremy had the foresight to hire photographer Randi Baird to document the event, so we were able to witness most of their “just hired” time. We found out that Jeremy chose the ring himself (he did well) and that Phoebe suspected he was going to propose, but we didn’t learn what tipped her off. Certainly, getting engaged on Philbin is a great start to any marriage.
Sophia Welch and Kyle Colter’s new son has a name, and it’s Clay Colter. I heard that everyone was fine and big sister Ocie was taking her role very seriously. Happy birthday to Ona Ignacio, who celebrates Friday, September 16!
If you have any column suggestions for Aquinnah Town, email Molly Purves, [email protected].