Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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I’ve already heard people mentioning that we’ve now entered “Hate Month.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I hold that August is truly a time for enmity on Nantucket. Give me a hot day, with a traffic jam on Main Street, Steamboat Wharf, the Rotary/Roundabout, or the Stop & Shop parking lot and you will observe some barely (though not always) repressed, loathing of others.

March is a time for closing ranks, not opening up wounds with neighbors. At present, there are only a couple of months left to us, before seasonal people begin to appear on-island. I appreciate the influx in many ways, though there are limitations to every situation. Traffic and bodies are two of these.
Speaking of traffic and hate, right now is when drivers are at their most charitable to one another. People tend to yield the right of way to other motorists, rather than seeing if they can finesse it, by sneaking out in front of an oncoming vehicle. That’s for warmer weather. Right now that seems further away than it really is. It won’t be long until you’ll look around and ask where did winter disappear to?

For the time being, most of us will be dealing with dirt roads in one fashion or another. Whether you live on a muddy track, visit friends living there, or in other cases, work along one, it’s something to bear up to. Between snow, rain and the in-between stuff, precipitation has wreaked havoc on these narrow thoroughfares.

Having little else to occupy my mind while slowly slogging down the ruts, my mind tends to wander (as it usually does). Most drivers have their own theory as to the most efficacious way to traverse the bumps and puddles. I try to wend my way in a snakelike fashion, trying to avoid the worst changes in altitude between miniature hills and valleys.

There are those people who try to split the difference between ups and downs. When I see tracks that came before me appearing to go through the middle path, I mentally shake my head at that notion. Just to be sure, every now and again, I’ll follow suit. It doesn’t take more than a few yards of that before I return to my tried and true. Is my way better? Probably not, but it is my way.

The worst practice I’ve seen (and experienced) are drivers, foot hard on the gas, practicing their mogul skills in a mud-slick, dirty-water ballet. Not only is this uncomfortable on the seat, but it mostly puts money in repair-shop tills as mufflers and shocks are quickly beaten into submission. It’s a faster and rougher way to get to one’s destination. Saving 30 seconds can’t be that important, unless you’re driving an ambulance.

Since driving and roads are on my mind, I’d like to thank the DPW crew that trimmed along the sides of Hummock Pond Road a couple of weeks back. For now, the chopped look on the brush they cut back is raw. In a couple of months when vegetation starts turning green, it’ll be less noticeable. The important point is drivers having a better and longer view of oncoming and merging traffic. For a while, overhanging brush was almost on top of traffic.

I was pleased to hear that the Finance Committee voted in lock step to ask the Board of Selectmen to fund the town’s Human Services Department for another year. The BOS idea to outsource this to a private contractor might be a terrific idea. I don’t know and evidently there are many more folks who feel the same way. For a possible savings of $30,000, we need to be sure, beyond a doubt, that people in need don’t end up suffering for a decision that feels thrust upon us.

At the BOS meeting Wednesday night, the board made a Solomon-like decision, splitting the difference and approving the Human Services Department funding for six additional months. At least there is now sufficient time to sort out this whole situation more rationally. People spoke up and the BOS listened. Well done, everybody!

The Red Sox played an exhibition game against the Boston College squad last night. The Eagles were outgunned 15-0, though some errors on their part might have kept the tally a bit closer. For me, it got my juices flowing. I’m ready for some more baseball!
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror

3 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Richard Cromwell Says:

    I truly enjoy your Blog Posts. I grew up in a small town on the water on Long Island NY . I very much identify with Nantucket sentiments about the “Bodies, Fast Drivers and general lack of manners” imposed upon Nantucket during the “Season”. I watched my small beach town slowly discovered and attacked by armies of SUV’s filled with “Big Ego’s and no manners” that know the Price of everything and the value of nothing. Although it brought income to many small business’, it was always a delicate balance. When we come to Nantucket, we bring our manners and try to promote and preserve Nantucket’s way, its beauty and goodness of its people. I had to eventually move from my home on Long Island to a “better environment” that echo’s those of Nantucket. We need to keep Nantucket and the Islander’s Life preserved for the next generations. Thanks for all the great articles.

  2. Tuna Nacion Says:

    A think something written from a young person’s experience or perspective on the island would be very interesting. Expand the readership.

    Lets make Nantucket worthwhile for everyone, not just for the old timers.

    God bless.

  3. Richard Cromwell Says:

    Long Live Nantucket! Brace yourself! as the season of “The Hordes” are upon us and I and my family will become jumbled in that mass. Oh, God… my boat is so small and the ocean so big translates in 2010 to “Oh Insurance Agent, my car so old and small and the Ranger Rover’s so many”. My wife and and I would welcome the opportunity to become the “Hermits of Nantucket”, but until then…we vistit seasonally and try to keep the manners and ways of the Island and pass along to our children. Hopefully it won’t be “lubed” with oil next season.. Truly, I try not to be lumping all in one bag. I just ask everyone to leave your ill ways on the coast… bring only your good will, and happiness to the Island.. Its a small grain of sand…we need to cherish it, preserve it for ALLL the reasons why we come here: Family, memories, and even status…. have a great summer all… and take that extra moment to be a tad “better to one another” on Island.


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