It’s time for the near-annual presidential visit that focuses the world’s attention on our already bustling Island. The roadside signs will go up and those who are not too blasĂ© will journey to the airport for the First Family’s arrival. Fourth of July bunting will be located and re-hung, and all around the Island merchants will head to their storerooms and out will come the presidential swag that didn’t sell out in years past. The hats inscribed “Summer White House Martha’s Vineyard” will be dusted off. T-shirts will, as always, abound. Some, emblazoned with the presidential visage, will exhort one and all to “Relax, It’s All About the Vineyard/Summer White House.” Others will crow: “Martha’s Vineyard, Home of Presidential Vacations.” Another, my annual favorite at C’est La Vie on Circuit Avenue, will offer its hypothetical presidential to-do list featuring possible vacation plans.

We now know that those plans are fairly predictable. There will be multiple rounds of golf at Farm Neck and occasional sightings. A surprise trip to Nancy’s for something fried is virtually mandatory. A date night or two at State Road Restaurant or the Sweet Life CafĂ© is pretty much also guaranteed, as is a basketball game somewhere. (To my great dismay, never on the courts across from my house in Oak Bluffs!) The girls are getting older, so some of their activities will certainly change. Things will be added or eliminated, but I suspect it’s unlikely that the First Family will show up at Sharky’s Cantina to knock back a round or two of Obamaritas. I, however, will continue my annual ritual of dropping in to hoist a glass in salute. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re liberal or conservative, Republican, Democrat, or Tea Party. As long as you’re not a teetotaler, it’s a perfect way to signal August’s arrival.



Created for President Obama’s first visit in 2009, the drink offers a mandarin orange twist on the classic margarita.

Adapted from a recipe created in 2009 by Sharky’s Cantina bartender Rebecca Clark.


Makes one drink

• 1 ½ ounces tequila

• ¾  ounce Triple Sec

• 1 ounce sour mix

• 1 ounce freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice

• Splash of pineapple juice (juice it fresh if you can)


Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with five ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a chilled margarita glass. Garnish with a mandarin orange slice.