It’s exciting to live on the avenue and observe firsthand what’s coming and going. The latest arrival, between the fun froggy shop and the essential daRosa’s, is Trader Fred’s. This past Monday evening, the lights were on and Fred Mascolo himself stood in the doorway alongside his massive German shepherd, Natty, a long-ago present from Jim Belushi.

“What a great spot for you, Fred!” I called out.

“I’ve been in business for 27 years, so hopefully I know what I’m doing.”

Fred has sold darn near everything in those 27 years, from mud boots to night-vision goggles. An old Island pal once noted, “Whatever you ask for, Trader Fred tells you it’s coming on Tuesday.” A geode opener? Eldridge’s tidal charts? Formula for baby hippos? “We’ll have it on Tuesday.”

Some kind of major upgrade is going on in the former L’Elegance building. The integrity of the exterior will stay intact, but it looks as if, on the inside, they’re excavating Hadrian’s Tomb. It’s all to the good, because a fantastic yoga studio will open its gleaming floors in the spring. Might as well perform a few sun salutations while we’re waiting.

Also, this is official, so I’ll tell you more about it as details emerge, but master chef Christian Thornton and caterer Greer Boyle Thornton of Atria in Edgartown will be taking over the enormous venue formerly known as Lola’s. Greer confided over cups of latte at that new secret-handshake, Starbucks-but-not-Starbucks-Starbucks coffee joint in Edgartown, that she and Christian will be busy renovating over the winter. They’re going for a comfy, lodgey, New England fish-specialty atmosphere, and plan to call it Hooked. Cool, strong name. Greer will oversee two hopping restaurants, with two feisty tots in tow! Man, I’d be looking online for a nunnery! A very remote nunnery, maybe tucked high on a Greek mountainside?

Remember a few weeks back, during one of my rants against the rotary, how we debunked the theory that the Vineyard can never have a stoplight because we’ve never had one before? A few Bluffers with long memories had informed me that there was once a light at the intersection of Circuit and Lake.

Now we have proof! Almost immediately after that column was printed, I received an e-mail from Bert Owens, an Oak Bluffs native now living in Mashpee. Bert recently acquired an old postcard on e-Bay and, sure enough, a traffic signal sits, sedately, discreetly, on top of a pedestal mounted just a few yards northeast of the Flying Horses.

Bert provided a late 1940s/early 1950s memory scan of the surrounding buildings. Where the ATM machine is now installed, Bert’s grandfather, Charlie Fuller, presided over a lunch boite serving burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and frappes. A movie house stood on the spot of the present movie house. The fire station, which some of us remember even stretching back only as far as the 1980s, used to send out a horn blast so devastatingly loud that Bert, who lived only a block away, would wake up “scared to death” at the sound.

There was a joint called Big Belly’s Deli & Doughnuts — not a place you could litigate against for chubbing you up without your knowledge and consent. Ben David’s gas station grand-fathered the gas station that lingers on the spot today, and Bert fondly recalls Marshall’s Fish Market and the beach behind, a simple sandy cove without today’s fencing.

“We played and fished some. The big pile of scallop shells on each side of the market were really smelly. Kids don’t care. We used to drop milk bottles on a string with bread on top. Minnows would swim right up in there until you dumped them out. It was fun.”

And the young today wonder what anyone did before the invention of all the digital toys and i-thingies!

Friends of the Council on Aging are hosting a Holiday Bazaar at the Senior Center on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Your donations to the money tree will benefit the Red Stocking Fund. There will be a 50/50 raffle for gift baskets and lunch awaits you à la Bob Blythe’s homemade minestrone and sandwiches. Twelve vendors will be on hand with gifts, greens and baked goods.

At the Oak Bluffs Library on Thursday, Dec. 8th, at 6:30, the Book Club will present Below Sea Level. Michael Wooley will take you on an underwater spectacular with photos and film. The event is free, all ages welcome. Bring a snorkel. (Kidding!)