This weekend marks the important date, October 12, 1492, when the Indians first discovered Columbus.

It was by all accounts a sunny day, as it generally was in those parts of the Bahamas, this island known to the heroes of our story, members of the Lucayan, Taino and Arawak tribes, as Guanahani. They had no idea whatsoever that they would go down in history as an ethnic group called Indians, and this only happened because the Spanish captain they came upon, this Christopher fellow, was so pig-headed that, in spite of two more voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, he never would admit that he’d found a new (to Europeans) continent. No, this was the Indios he’d promised his Spanish monarchs back home, and, if he circled all this land standing so inconveniently in his way, and continued over another small body of water, he’d hit Japan, sure as day.

The Guanahani dwellers were thrilled to see these odd men in leather boots and layers of this and that — long-sleeved camisas covered by heavy quilted jackets and chain-mail vests, strange-looking dudes, and sporting enough facial hair to make the natives think they resembled throwbacks to earlier, less refined ancestors. Because the Spaniards brought so much excitement to what would have been a normal, boring day, the natives were super nice and friendly, little knowing that Christopher was summing them up as mild and easy to capture. “I could take them with fifty men,” he was thinking.

Later Columbus parked 39 men to begin a settlement at the site of what is now Mole-Saint-Nicolas in Haiti.

You know . . . I’ve long had a theory about how a few historic elements could have been combined on this special occasion that might have solved some of our world’s lasting problems. It just so happened that the year 1492 was when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella decided, not only to deck out the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, but to expel the Jews from Spain. In grade school when we learned about these monarchs giving their blessings — and a not inconsiderable amount of coinage — to Columbus’s trip, we were taught a highly specialized affection for Ferdinand and Isabella. The Spanish Jews affection for them? Not so much. Ask their descendants and even today they’ll probably tell you that the reigning couple of 1492 were not without their faults.

But here’s what I’m thinking . . . what if Columbus’s voyage and the expulsion of the Jews could have been thrown together as a sort of two-fer? Sure, it would have involved a few more ships — maybe a few dozen — but what if those Spanish Jews had been deposited at Mole-Saint-Nicholas? The Jews could have established a whole new nation, maybe coming to terms with the natives with less machismo than the Conquistadors (and later-day Israelis), and all manner of future problems involving Jewish families with no place to go could have been averted.

Perhaps we study history too much as battles won and battles lost instead of missed opportunities.

Anyway, happy Columbus Day weekend.

ACE MV is offering 43 classes and seminars starting Oct. 11. Thanks to Martha’s Vineyard Family Center, all Thursday evening classes at the high school offer free child care. Go to acemv.org or call Lynn Ditchfield at 508-693-1033, extension 240 or e-mail her at lynn@acemv.org.

The 21st annual Crop Walk will take place on Sunday, Oct. 16, beginning at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church in Vineyard Haven at 2 p.m. and progressing to Trinity United Methodist Church in the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs and back again.

Forms and information are available from Alden Besse at 508-693-3930. The event will be held rain or shine. Please sign up or plan to sponsor a walker.