Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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On Saturday evening, the Nantucket Historical Association hit a home run. Their first (and hopefully annual) Nantucket History Quiz Bowl took place at the Whaling Museum. I had seen a notice for the event, though wasn’t planning to attend until I ran into John Manning while having lunch at the airport.

When he walked in, it made my day. Having not seen him since he’d left for Marstons Mills, I had almost forgotten him. I asked him, why the visit, assuming he might be visiting family and he said he was participating in the history quiz. I kept thinking it might be interesting to watch some old-timers show off their island knowledge.

Arriving at the Whaling Museum, it was readily apparent that almost 300 people had decided to spend a couple of hours trying to answer questions being asked the teams. I hoped to be able to get a few of them right and learn much in the process.

The moderator (who was perfect for the job), was Nat Philbrick. Besides having the right credentials, he was funny and kept the show moving along at a good pace. A number of the teams were comprised of well-versed people, though many of them missed questions that were obscure and few people might know.

In the end, a group of three young guys (comparatively) took home the stuffed whales. Steve Sheppard, James Grieder and Harvey Young had the right stuff and blew away their competition.
The audience was on the north side of 60 for the most part, but it was entertaining and enlightening for any age. Next time, as wonderful a location as the Whaling Museum is, a larger venue would be nice. And, selling tickets or asking for donations would mean additional income for the NHA.

After what seemed like months without sunshine, this past weekend, plus the next few days were just what we needed. Blue skies, with warm temps and not too much breeze made it feel as if spring was almost here. I noticed that downtown streets had few vehicles parked, while most people headed for open areas and made the most of the fine day.

Sunday was another beauty, with even more sun and less wind. Driving out along Polpis Road, I observed happy people walking, biking, horseback riding and a brace of motorcyclists. At one point, I almost rear-ended a sightseer, who’d stopped in the middle of the road, to look at something. The next time, I hope he’ll do it on a straightaway, not a tight curve.

On Saturday I worked in the morning and while in the neighborhood of the airport stopped in at the Habitat for Humanity home that’s being built. As I mentioned earlier, most folks were enjoying the day and the new house was practically devoid of helpers. It takes very little to help finish off this house and some extra bodies would be nice. To volunteer, call Craig Spery at (508) 228-7892, or e-mail him at craigspery@aol.com .

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead by an hour, before you retire for the evening Saturday. Daylight Saving Time begins and we’re heading towards ever longer daylight hours. I’m ready!

Tomorrow, ACK Bosom Buddies is having a bake sale at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, in the living room, from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m. It’s your chance to load up on sweet home-baked confections. There will be coffee and tea available. We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Here’s a way to contribute to the cause and grow out your belt line at the same time.

Last, but not least, Nantucket High School is presenting “The Pajama Game.” The director of the show is the talented Laura Gallagher Byrne. On Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20, the shows are at 7 p.m., and Sunday the 21st it will have a 2 pm. matinee. The students always do a terrific job, so this is well worth attending. Tickets are available at the door.
“Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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