Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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Malachy Rice versus Paul DeRensis is holding my interest. Now, they’ve both stated their “facts” and one has to wonder who’s the most accurate. I believe both have good and bad points. Sadly, we’ll probably never get a true picture of this battle of words, and the BOS is never going to release enough information for a true take on the situation. Mr. DeRensis is likely to win the war, since Mr. Rice is going to be leaving his job next month.

Here’s an update to the above statement. At this evening’s BOS meeting, Chairman Michael Kopko announced that the board had held a meeting on this subject earlier in the week. I’d love to tell you what transpired, but it sounds as if all it was was more talking. To me this means that all of the parties, Mr. DeRensis, Mr. Rice and the rest of Nantucket have been left twisting in the wind.

I was informed that the water between Esther’s Island and Smith’s Point has now filled in with sand. The man who told me last weekend had recently returned from a drive out to the new/old point. I’ve now seen Esther’s Island in 1970, and then it reconnected years later. A few years back the ocean broke through once again and it became an island. Now, it’s back to being a part of Nantucket.

If you’ve looked at old maps, there was a time when Smith’s Point extended all the way up along the coast of Tuckernuck. The water (I was told) wasn’t much more than waist deep between the two bodies. People used to take their wagons out along the sand and then wade over to Tuckernuck to picnic or visit with friends.

The coming and going of sand and how our island is formed and reformed is part of what makes Nantucket so interesting. Just as what happens in our lives is uncontrollable in many instances, so is the shape and form of this sandbar at sea. Human beings cannot stop the shifting sands, try as they might.

I have been accused of harping on the Sconset folks for trying to save a bluff that won’t allow itself to survive. I’m adamant about the beaches here and elsewhere staying untouched by arrogant people who believe that dollars and heavy machinery can hold back the waves and accompanying wind.
Look at the damage out by Sheep Pond. Caused by a couple of selfish homeowners, their sandbags doomed a good chunk of beachfront to wash away like some child’s sandcastle when the tide rises.

Having said that, I like the idea of artificial reefs placed offshore in spots where the bottom is barren. Put some manmade structure a half mile or better from shore and it helps abate wave action that eats up the shoreline, plus it will help draw more fish for anglers to tackle.

Attempting to mail a couple of packages at the Federal Street Post Office earlier this week was frustrating. When I walked in from the side door, there was a line of six or seven people ahead of me, with only one window open. The problem was a couple who were holding up the entire line because they hadn’t thought (or cared) to address their packages before getting in line.

The clerk who is very good at the job was too accommodating to the couple. She spent an easy five minutes with them, when she should have sent them back to the end of the line. One man who stood behind me was simply trying to turn in a yellow slip and pick up the rest of his mail. Why is the work on the Post Office front door area taking so long? Soon there will be graffiti spray-painted on the plywood barriers blocking the steps.

Over this past weekend there was an article in the Boston Globe about our sheriff, Richard Bretschneider. Basically it was a rehash of many articles we’ve read or heard in the local news media (I&M coverage here). Actually, it was news “lite.” I say that because there was little substance in the piece and I doubt there was any impact, much less outrage on off-island readers. It was a waste of ink and paper.

There are a plethora of island activities to sample over this weekend. On Saturday, the 17th, from 2– 3:30 pm the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce will be holding their Annual Chowder Contest in the parking lot by the Grand Union.

From 4-10 pm that same day the Nantucket Teen Center will host an Open House on First Way (by the high school parking lot). There will be burgers and hot dogs, along with sodas. You may bring other grilling items as well. The food is free! Along with the food there is going to be badminton and Frisbee outside, and inside they have video games, a pool table, board games and computers. This is a great place for our children and they’d like everyone to see what’s there. All ages are invited.

Then there are two more events that day, starting with the last day (this season) for the Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market. The market occupies two blocks on N. Cambridge Street between the Federal Street Post Office and St. Mary’s Church. The hours are from 9 am-1 pm. There are some wonderful things for sale there.

Last but not least is a Community Celebration held from noon until 3 pm on the Dreamland Theater lot. There will be a couple of bands performing, and you may purchase food next door at Cy’s. Try their fried clam or oyster rolls; they’re outstanding.

The Boston Red Sox, Bruins and New England Patriots didn’t fare well last weekend. For Sox fans, there’s always next year. For the Bruins and Patriots we still have a long way to go before their seasons come to an end.

I’d like to thank readers who replied to this blog, and others that wrote me e-mails. These electronic missives mean a lot to me. I always want to know your thoughts, be they pro or con.
Now, I’d like to apologize to Whaler football fans and Geno at Channel 17. I thought I had taped the game, but I did something incorrectly and the video record isn’t there. I’ll be the first to admit I blew it, and am sorry. Whaler fans missed a very good game because of my ineptitude.
– Catch Goodman’s Gam weekly at and monthly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

5 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Greg Garber Says:

    You are right, David. Hard revetments scour the shore on both sides. I will gladly take any doubter on a mainland coastal tour as proof. I was intrigued by the ConCom hearings about the Geotube back in 1995, but I’ve seen the light.

  2. Clemento Says:

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  3. **David** Says:

    Thanks Greg, I knew you’d be right on the money. Clemento, if you’re asking if I’m paid to write, then I am a professional. Really, I began writing the Fishfinder column the I&M as a two week stint and have done so for the better part of 17/18 years. **David**

  4. David Glidden Says:

    Hi David, I found you here,but didn’t see your gam in the I&M.Neither did I Marianne’s new column -the “Here and There”.What is up with that.I am disappointed.At least as far as the current issue is printed.

  5. **David** Says:

    Hi David, I’ve explained this to you when we bumped into each other on Main Street this afternoon, but now I’ll lay it out for anyone else who reads this. I write a column on the Op-Ed page once a month, Fishfinder is weekly (mostly in the warmer months), and this blog is posted every Thursday. **David**

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