Among the welcome sounds of silence in September in Oak Bluffs, the ones I miss most are the songs played on the 1921 Wurlitzer band organ at the Flying Horses. It was called the Carousel until previous owners, the Turnell family, renamed it the Flying Horses in the 1940s. They chose this in a paean to the one in Watch Hill, R.I., where horses suspended from chains fly outwardly as it goes around, compared with ours; a platform carousel with stationery horses. With assistance from my wife Karen and her magna cum laude degree in math, I computed that our horses travel about three miles per hour, certainly flying to a five or six year old. Operating 12 hours daily during the season, each of 300,000 annual rides of 15 revolutions takes about four-and-a-half minutes accompanied by music — mostly waltzes — that are timeless. The Preservation Trust that operates the historical landmark Flying Horses has 50 perforated rolls that play music similarly to tiny wind-up music boxes. Each roll has about 10 songs or a collection of about 500. The old Stimson wind organ played only 12 songs, over and over again when I worked there back in the 1960s. Executive director Chris Scott’s favorite is A Bicycle Built For Two. The horses operate seven days a week from the day Island schools close until Labor Day, and on weekends from Easter and until the official closing on Columbus Day. That means we’re three weekends away from the sad sound of silence at that joyous triangle between Lake, Oak Bluffs and Kennebec avenues. We can look forward to the barn doors opening next Easter and the ring of the bell heralding the magic that sparks the imagination of kids young and old. Along with the sound of that bell starting the ride, my favorite song is Juventino Rosas’ Over The Waves.
Island born and raised Nancy Giordano’s On Kennebec clothing store had a good year this season — not the best ever — but a good one, having built a solid following over the past five years. Nancy’s fashion-forward clothing is prized by 16 to 35 year-old ladies who like to accessorize affordably in a boutique with middle class values and without boutique prices. On Kennebec closes for the season Columbus Day and usually reopens weekends the first week of May and starts staying open seven days in the third week of June. Asking if that reflected the school year, Nancy laughed and said no: that’s when she gets to spend quality time with pizza mogul, hubby Richie Giordano.
Tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Featherstone Center for the Arts presents the third annual Artists Studio Tour with Oak Bluffs’ Renee Balter, Harry Seymour and 14 other Island artists. Tickets are $30 and RSVPs are requested at 508-693-1850.
Primo’s Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Center on Circuit avenue across from Conroy Apothecary brings back a men’s beginner yoga class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The five-week session costs $125 and starts Monday. For more information call 508-237-1861.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, my buddy from our days at Northeastern University, Priscilla Douglas, will be at Renaissance House at 7:30 p.m. speaking about her book Getting There and Staying There. In addition to having worked at several Fortune 500 companies, Priscilla earned her doctorate at Harvard University. Renaissance House is at 31 Penacook avenue — closer to Seaview avenue — which you can tell as it is spelled “Pennacook” at the Circuit avenue end.
37 Ink’s publisher Dawn Davis announces the publishing of an eBook of Twelve Years A Slave, the new movie based on a memoir published in 1853 by Solomon Northup, a citizen from New York kidnapped into slavery in 1841. The movie debuts Oct. 18 and Oak Bluffs’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. is credited as a consultant to the film.
The Apple Store is running a 99 cent special this week on Mrs. Davis’ newest title (so is Kindle) that you can get on your iPad or tablet. Remember also 37 Ink’s email@example.com to learn about new books.
In perspective, 1853 was 18 years after our Camp Ground was established in 1835 and 13 years before the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company was founded in 1866.
The new landscaping on Lake avenue in front of the Camp Ground on the harbor is going to look great. Thanks.
Keep your foot on a rock.