For a year full of bumps and errors I must say I had the best birthday of my life. Greetings came from as far away as Taiwan, Australia, Italy, England, Ireland and Uruguay. I went out to lunch with Chris Hulbert, including a stop to see Uta Kloss at Island Art Gallery and the wonderful staff at Rainy Day where Chris had purchased a gift for me. Unexpected friends and stopovers made appearances at my house after lunch. Thank you to all. Same time, next year.

Another highlight of this week was hearing from old college friend, Doug Grant. Doug is living in the South Bronx. I still hope to see him and his children there someday. No birthday would be complete without hearing from my buddy at Dunne’s Pub, Jeff Petre. He did not forget to call. Neither did Brian Conway, Irish fiddler par excellence who has held the Wednesday night music spot there for 30 years.

A birthday bonus was getting my dear friend, Gail Becker, back on Island for the month of August. Her daughter, Sharon, brought her. They are safely quarantining at the family’s Island home. Welcome.

The author series is in full swing. Try for the lineup. Two of my favorite authors are involved, Erik Larson and Amor Towles.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has re-opened with an amazing lineup of exhibits and events. Check it out.

Art, art and more art! Our good neighbor, Steve Bernier, has funded the Vineyard Playhouse for the month of July. A group show is mounted featuring Marston Clough, Kate Feiffer, Nancy Shaw Cramer, Barbara Cassel, Gwen Adams Norton and Sandy Pimentel. All works can be viewed online and are for sale. If you are downtown and walk by the Playhouse, be sure to view Gretchen Baer’s Mask Up posters in the windows.

Mary Korba of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services announces that the auction for low M.V. license plate numbers begins August 7 at 9 a.m. and runs through August 14 at 9 p.m. I am car-free right now. Perhaps I’ll get one for my red wagon.

My cousin, Tom Spiconatdi, called to tell me our cousin, Susan Gardella Shean of Forest Hills, N.Y., passed last week. Susan was a dear girl and the most beautiful person I ever met. I am so sorry.

With great sadness, I report that Suzanne Fischer of Chilmark passed this week. Suzanne was one of the first people I met on Island. Always beautiful, always a lot of fun. My condolences to Albert, her brother and all her family and friends.

Get well wishes to Tom Spiconardi recovering from knee replacement.

May I be condemned to a stalled car at five corners on Labor Day weekend for neglecting to mention Chris Cimeno’s birthday on July 29. Gerry Franzago shared that date with Chris.

And on August 5, the birthday bandwagon pulled along John Doble and Wayne West. Many happy returns.