You know summer is here when: the days have reached peak length, the tube is seen flying around the Island behind Choppy C, a few lightening bugs shine over the pond, and, of course, the parking lot is full. Yeah, the stubborn rains have finally begun to move on out, and the sun to shine. However, standing water has remained supporting a population explosion of mosquitoes. Those pests which along with the hairs of the brown tail moth caterpillars have led to folks smelling like repellents and creams, scratching and complaining about itchiness.
The Island Opening Party at the Casino held June 29 was a celebratory gathering formally marking our summer’s beginning. Thanks to Jeannie Reed and her team for setting up and making it such a success. Also, thanks to Pat Ridlon and her team for getting the beautiful new Casino stage curtain hung just in time.
Sunday, June 30 had two events: First, Jeanie Reed and Patsy Mackenzie initiated Line Dancing instruction at the Casino. The activity has drawn a large crowd of enthusiastic dancers. Sunday Service led by Rob Reece, began with the good news of our new Islanders: John Thomas (Emily & John), Isabella Patten (Juliana & Ethen), Leo Burvill (Ashley & Kyle), Miles Vayda (Serena Vayda), and Zephyr Ramos (Sarah & Alex). The service theme was ‘Messages from the Island’ (in concert with the exhibit at the NeKrangan II). He read portions of memoirs written by Islanders over the past 80 years. He also read a poem written by Harlan Stetson in the 1930s called, “In Rustic Mood.” Its relevance to today was striking (bemoaning the possibility of modernization, change, and the loss of a simple life). These are all on exhibit.
Peter Burvill organized the first work party of kelp trimmers, trench diggers, painters, and brush workers. Then came Independence Day: With a blast of the canon our annual Isle of Springs July 4th Boat Parade took off. Competition was stiff. At least nine boats followed Ole Commodore Matt Bogart. The parade swung by the crowded pier of onlookers and continued over to Sawyer’s to give the Morrell family an opportunity to see the competition. Boat participants were Choppy C., Hot Ticket, Island Hopper, Scuffy, Ginger, Abigail Swett, Susan Jane II with R Pieces and the Duct Boat. The prize for outstanding creativity went to the Olsen’s entry, Abigail Swett which had in tow a decorated Tiki hut float with musicians (live) playing Caribbean pieces. Second went to the Millers’ Island Hopper. She carried members of the family dressed as George Washington, Betsy Ross, Alaska and Hawaii. Third place (no prize) was given to Susan Jane II which was decked out as “July 4th Picnic (Picnic Boat) with Reece family members costumed as hot dogs, French fries, bananas, and chefs. The R Pieces followed carrying three members dressed at mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup. Despite the heat, the bake sale on the pier went off successfully. For many, it was a treat to stop by at Sawyer’s to visit with Dick and Eleanor Morrell, Sandy Rooney and Betsy Niven. That was a much cooler spot for watching the parade display. Our busy Independence Day concluded with a picnic to with shared desserts and without mosquitoes on our beautiful West Shore.
We also know that summer is here when the tennis courts are full. Thanks to Kim, Scott and their team for beating the odds of all that rain and making them playable by the holiday weekend.
Sunday morning’s All-Island meeting led by Rob Reece and the BOD provided a forum for discussion of some of the proposed updated rules and upcoming challenges facing the Island. That evening, the Sunday Service was given by Brenda Bowen (with Michael Smith at the organ). These two stepped up to the plate at the very last moment and provided a fabulous service. Brenda, also pulled from the museum’s exhibit, and she focused on post card messages from long ago. How little has changed over 110 years from when the first Island postcards became available. Their message topics sound familiar: weather, coming and leaving, activities, and “please write soon.” In that context, please consider checking out this year’s exhibit. In addition to the memoirs and antique postcards on display, there are the opportunities to create your own postcards (that the museum will stamp and mail) and to try your hand at using a vintage typewriter. Finally, also on display are the postcards sent by many of you ‘from home’ over the past 10 months. Check out where everyone spends their off-season! Finally, don’t forget to take photos of all the females in your household (young and old) while they’re here. Email them to Susan Reece for next year’s Island Women album.
Upcoming events: LIS Meeting Friday, July 12 9:30 Casino, Wharf Party, Saturday, 7/13 5 PM. Line Dancing on Sunday, 9:30. Please consider writing a column so that we may archive what life is like now. These columns will become history down the road. All are welcome to write. Sign up on the Library Bulletin Board.