Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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This is it. Memorial Day isn’t the full-tilt rush into summer. That takes place in another month. Unless you’re entirely out of touch, the local scene has started moving at an ever faster pace. More bodies are on the sidewalks and vehicle traffic is up. From now until Labor Day, this pace will continue to build. Brace yourself.

It feels as if spring has been here for a couple of months. We have been beneficiaries of sunshine and fewer rainy days than our average April and May. Nantucketers deserve a good spring and summer season this time around. Last year was anything but wonderful. Well, perhaps July and August were, but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be every summer?

One sign of spring are NRTA buses, which seem to be everywhere of late. I’m happy when one goes by, because it means a few less cars are clogging up our (now and soon to be more so) busy streets and roads. It’s unfortunate more people haven’t figured out what a pleasure it is to have an easy ride to town and not have to search for a parking spot. Then, eat dinner with a glass of wine (if you choose) and you’ll not have to worry about driving home with alcohol on your breath.

On that same subject, there seem to be fewer driving under the influence cases in the court report over the past few months. Maybe stiffer fines and penalties have helped people smarten up, or a slow economy has put a damper on alcohol abuse. Then again, bars and restaurants have been put on notice by our police department to stop serving inebriated customers, or else they could face legal consequences.

The report concerning Nantucket having an in-house Town Counsel piqued my interest. An immense flow of dollars from town coffers to Paul DeRensis and the firm he represents had to (eventually) draw significant attention from fiscal and political watchdogs. Every year when the sums we pay for legal advice are made public, many folks are shocked. I got over that, years ago.

I expect this fiscal fiasco by now. What the figures do show is that we have a litigious society, that’s more than willing to take on the town and its legal eagle. Sometimes, it appears that we have a sparrow, rather than a majestic bird of prey to defend us.

You can’t always please the Board of Selectmen and do the job of town counsel properly. Some of our present board members like yes-men. This BOS habit isn’t limited to the job of our town counsel. There are other department heads that kowtow to the BOS at most opportunities. The difference is that these top dogs aren’t raking in big bucks. Well, not to that extent.

There are plenty of places to have lunch on a beautiful, bright day. There’s no where more pleasant to enjoy an oversized sandwich on house baked bread than Something Natural. Sitting at a picnic table, under open skies is perfection. Yesterday, driving out to the west end to look at a job, I experienced a sudden pang of hunger. Pulling into the driveway, I was quickly ensconced with beauty between a couple slices of herb bread.

We have an intrepid group of folks (The Clean Team) who get together on Saturday mornings in warmer months and gather trash from the sides of our roads. This is volunteer work. The DPW picks up the many bags of refuse they pick up, so Jeff Willet and his people deserve a pat on the back as well as the volunteer civilians.

This weekend, The Clean Team will do a second morning of clean-up, in order to accommodate what’s sure to be a glut of discarded beverage containers, from the holiday weekend festivities. On Saturday morning at 8 a.m. they meet in front of the Grand Union and go out to pick up litter for an hour. This Sunday morning, there will be a reprise of the previous day’s work. The more helpers, the merrier and the cleaner we’ll be.

Now, the Celtics are worrying me. Up three games to none over Orlando, the men in green seemed invincible. As of last night, the margin was three to two and one has to wonder if they’re going to pull a “Bruins.”

The Boston Red Sox seem to be hitting their stride. Winning three games in a row, against a team (Tampa Bay) with the best record in baseball, has to make Sox fans a little giddy. Below are a couple of lines from this column, dated April 15 of this year.

“I’ve heard all the boo birds moaning about Big Papi’s lousy average. I’m not worried, yet.”

At present, my feelings were/are justified. Be well.

– Goodman’s Gam can be found weekly in this space

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