Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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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

7 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Greg Garber Says:

    David, what’s on the short list of issues for the Stop & Shop employees?

    Traded e-mails with Bruce (T.) Miller the other day…..

  2. Kenny B. Says:

    Hi there David – Nice to read your BLOG this evening. Talking about weather, we were certainly lucky today. The barometric pressure (for all you geeks) hit 28.76 early in the a.m. This is incredibly low. That was an awful storm. And fortunately it went up the Hudson River before reforming and dissipating near Long Island. NYC got 17 inches of snow.

    There was a time when I would have told you that Nantucket and NYC WX were much the same, but not this week – anyway.

    Your Post Office comments were interesting on so many levels. Yes – there are people leaving Nantucket. Too many of them are the really neat people that cause us to find Nantucket life so fulfilling. Are Queen Catherine’s numbers dropping? Perhaps. But I think many of the ‘difficult to count’ people don’t have the flexibility to go elsewhere. They are stuck here. What does this all mean? I don’t know.

    You may have noticed that I wrote our President again this week. Total strangers have come up to me and said that they thought my letter was good and that it reflected their own thoughts. Unfortunately, none of the people to whom I wrote the letter have even dignified my work with even a mechanized response. It’s like the trees are falling in the forest and no one is there. So … is our President – and our Senator – and our Congressman – listening at all to the people who elected them? I don’t know. VERY Sad.

    And your comment on our Island’s newest White Elephant. This was an awful idea from the get-go. Yet – the bank loaned Mr. Matthews big bucks to proceed. Of course, THE BANK probably believed that plan was feasible. The fact that the area floods just inches below ground level was probably not brought up as an issue of concern.

    Now the Point Breeze seems to be worth not more than a little more than $6 million. Sure the TD Bank covered it for over $20 million, but these are the same folks who put up 40 earlier. I wonder what amount they have it insured for. I hope the FD is watching the place closely.

    The good news for the S&S employees is the the CENSUS is hiring.

    Thanks for keeping Nantucket thinking — Ken Blackshaw

  3. David Says:

    Greg, there’s link in my column to the I&M story about the S&S. It appears to be money, mostly. Ken, loved your letter. We’re going bankrupt fighting an war that cannot be won. Our soldiers are being killed and killing people for no real gain. This isn’t going to stop terrorism. **David**

  4. Greg Garber Says:

    Based on The Boston Globe reports, S&S management wants to go from offering 100% employer-provided health care to 90% in year one, and 80% in subsequent years.

  5. David Says:

    Greg, I’d say that’s about money. Not paying 100% health care, by dropping it 10% in a single year reads as a cut in wages. **David**

  6. Greg Garber Says:

    let me play devil’s advocate… many employers offer 100% paid health?

  7. David Says:

    Mine does, because my employer is me. If you are hired for a job and the benefits are 100% (or 80% or 50%) of health care paid for by the employer, then cutting those benefits is a decrease in pay. Period. Benefits are part of the package. The percentage is 100%, because that’s what was agreed upon. Now, it’s up to the two sides to come to an agreement, or not. **David**

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