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February is a favorite month of mine. The weather isn’t that terrific, but the shortest month makes it feel as if winter is going quickly and spring is in the foreseeable future. There have been a couple reports of green shoots coming up through the ground, so we re on the right track. I’m more than ready for March!
If you’ve been in the Federal Street post office in the past few weeks, there are now slips hanging over dozens of the boxes. These slips are want-ads for empty P.O. boxes. When I first moved here, I had to get on a waiting list until a box became empty. That took several years to come to fruition. I remember feeling as though having Box 1263 made me an official island-dweller.
Seeing so many boxes sitting empty made me a little sad. Not so long ago, the post office removed a couple of tables where people could sort out their mail, so as to add additional, portable boxes. Now they have a surplus of cubicles and there are but two places to figure out what goes home with you and what ends up in the round file.
I fully understand why this has taken place. Parking is often a chore downtown, primarily in the peak season. I’ve found the way to avoid the problem is to go early, late, or after lunch on sunny beach days. Then there’s the Post Office by the roundabout.
I’m not a big fan of this spot for several reasons. The parking is nonexistent at times, even in the off-season. You have to traverse bank traffic by first entering their parking lot on the way to the P.O. The final problem with this USPS facility is the hour the window is closed down in midday. Any time the window is closed (at any island P.O.) there’s bound to be a yellow slip awaiting you, announcing you have mail or packages behind the counter.
Last week I wrote about island characters, or should I say, the lack of them these days. One nice lady, who wasn’t particularly taken by my words, asked a question for the first time, that everyone else came forward with afterward. While there were a number of names bandied about, the name most inquired about was animal-lover Billy Dexter.
There were at least two dozen people that could have easily been included in last week’s story. At some point, I had to make the call for several reasons, one of which was length. Some time in the future I’ll return to the subject, as it seems to have hit a chord with many readers.
Stop & Shop employees have voted to go on strike (I&M story here), but they’re willing to keep speaking to management for a few more days before physically walking off the premises. One of the workers when asked about the strike told me she was on her way to Florida for the week and wasn’t going to think about it for now.
I found it unsettling to see there were already help-wanted ads for clerks well before the strike date. Shopping several times a week means I’ve gotten to know many of the workers there. The people working there aren’t getting rich, though the Stop & Shop appears to be on solid financial footing. In a short while, it may be time to think about whether to cross a picket line, manned by our friends and neighbors, for food.
Nantucket’s 2010 Junior Miss, Georgie Morley, walked away with two awards at the Massachusetts Junior Miss scholarship competition last weekend (I&M story here). Over the years, the island’s young women have done very well, considering this is a small community. One reason is the support they’re given from boosters and former Junior Miss contestants. It doesn’t hurt that we have some very special young women living here.
TD Bank now has the true “White Elephant” on island (I&M story here), as the new owners of the Point Breeze. I wonder who’s going to get Bob and Mia’ s house on Cliff Road?
“Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror