Crocuses are flourishing in gardens around East Chop as the pinkletinks croak down at Crystal Lake. We forced forsythia to bloom inside, with stalks stuck in a vase.

Like the crocuses, Nora Nevin, Media Coordinator for the League of Women Voters, tells us the League will hold its annual Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. at the library. Twenty-one candidates vie for openings that range from moderator to selectman, from board of health to cemetery commissioner and half-a-dozen other positions. Each candidate offers opening remarks followed by questions and answers.

This Saturday, March 21 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Oak Bluffs Public Library hosts a free Technology Fair in the library’s meeting room. Attendees who sign in will be entered to win a free MP3 player. Learn the technologies related to business, entertainment, energy, personal computers and home networks. The library has a “technology sandbox” table where you can test out the new Amazon Kindle 2, Nintendo Wii, an MP3 player and download programs. More technical gadgets and gizmos are on loan from the Southeastern Massachusetts Library System.

Songwriter/podiatrist Dr. Jay Segel offers a four week course in songwriting at Featherstone, beginning March 24. This program may be the impetus to induce a songwriting state of mind. Learn to turn your thoughts and musings into music. Dr. Segel will also cover copyright protection of music you compose. Call Featherstone at 508-693-1850 for more information.

The public is invited to the opening reception of Works in Clay and Paper at Featherstone this Saturday, March 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. See the art of high school students Janice Frame and Scott Campbell. You’ll be amazed!

Lights Out Martha’s Vineyard is on March 28, from 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., writes Suzanne Slarsky Dael from the Vineyard Conservation Society, Felix Neck Sanctuary and the Vineyard Energy Project. “The more people know, the more can participate, the more energy will be saved, and the more impact we will have.” She adds that even Boston plans to join the campaign this year.

Oak Bluffs School News: Laurie Jennings joined the staff as an assistant in fifth grade last week.

Donations sought: washer and dryer and a desktop PC; please see Gina Patti.

In other school news, as warmer weather settles in, the Oak Bluffs school finds some students linger around well after dismissal. Unsupervised students can get into mischief, so they are urged to move on.

Tonight from 6 to 7:30 p.m. is Games Night at the Oak Bluffs School. This is a fun-filled family frolic where teachers open their classrooms for a night of game playing, such as chess, bingo, snowball fights in the gym and more.

Town Profile: Olive Tomlinson

Eager to savor the inauguration of Barack Obama, Olive Tomlinson still had to deliver hot food to her Meals on Wheels clients. Imagine her chagrin as she found her patrons docilely watching Jerry Springer or The Price is Right! She did find one person diligently watching the inauguration, her peace bracelet securely on her wrist.

Olive says, “I wish Obama the best and hope it stays bipartisan for the good of the country, and that we regain the good will of the international community that was squandered after 9/11.”

When Olive got to see the replay of the inauguration that night, it brought back memories of Reverend King’s March on Washington in 1963. Olive was there. “We went because we wanted to be counted. We wanted it to be successful. No one knew it would be historic.” She rode a bus with her father, her husband and his best friend, who later was her children’s godfather.

On the outskirts of Washington, Olive recalled the upturned faces of the people along the side of the road. “They waved slowly and tentatively. They did not know what to make of the parade of buses that streamed by.” Closer to the city, more and more people lined the streets. “We began to realize the impact of this day.” National Guardsmen lined the road, “so young and so frightened.” Olive said with King’s march, the momentum built slowly, but with Obama’s inauguration, “we knew what to look forward to.”

Growing up in New York, Olive was a reading specialist and teacher trainer, later a coordinator for a teaching network.

Olive’s husband Forrest (Joe) enjoyed fishing on the Vineyard and kept a journal of his favorite haunts. “He didn’t care if he caught a fish or not,” she says. “He liked the process.” Joe was the first African-American stockbroker at Merrill Lynch. Friends and family refer to his place of business as “the scene of the crime,” because the pressure and stress brought on two heart attacks and led to his untimely death at 62.

Olive and Joe raised two boys, John and Peter. She speaks proudly of her late mother, Olive (Cutie) Bowles, an accomplished artist who won awards which brought her great joy late in life.

Olive is a dedicated tennis player at the Island Country Club. She works diligently on her watercolors with Carolyn Daniele at Featherstone, is a participant, “not active,” in her church and a faithful advocate of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society. She enjoys Susan Klein’s Memoirs Writing Group, working on her life story. “I love Susan,” she says. “She taps your memories.”

This time of year she hibernates in Mexico until late March to enjoy a warmer climate and another stimulating environment. What she likes about Oak Bluffs? “I love downtown, seeing everyone in the post office.”

Book of the week: We’re reading David McCullough’s Pulitzer prize winner Truman. This is not his most recent tome, but typically well written, with Mr. McCullough’s insightful passion for detail. It’s a joy to read.