We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. There were the usual crowds of returning seasonal residents along with a flood of people ready to spend three days partying. On Friday, I drove down Whale Street after visiting a couple of friends on Old South Wharf. Coming up to the Grand Union parking lot, a horde of baggage impaired visitors were exiting Straight Wharf.
A number of the younger members of this mass exodus from the mainland were carrying suitcases of beer (familiar red and white cans), or in some cases, Styrofoam coolers. Very large coolers. The gazebo at the Tavern was so packed; it would have made a sardine claustrophobic.
From everything I’ve heard, there were few problem partiers or parties over the weekend. I have to believe that a combination of Figawi warnings to the crews and police having a presence around town helped keep the lid on. A couple I know was carded at a downtown bar. They’re both over fifty-five years old. The week before, that wouldn’t have taken place.
I’d like to congratulate James Grieder for organizing a last minute Memorial Day March to honor our veterans. Whether or not you believe in some of our recent “wars,” the men and women who serve and have served us, deserve every bit of support we’re capable of. Thank you, James!
Another unique touch to the weekend was a bank robbery. I’d have said attempted, but the alleged thief got money from a teller. Evidently, her getaway was a bit more problematic. Walking into the post office next door, in order to blend in, was bright move, though from what I’ve read in the I&M, none of this larcenous behavior was well thought out.
Back in the early 1970s, some friends and I used to sit in The Sandpiper and shoot the breeze. For some reason (it may have been a movie we’d seen) we began fantasizing about digging a tunnel under the Pacific National Bank and grabbing the loot. We had fun thinking about it. Daydreaming about ridiculous schemes is best suited to bored 20-somethings, which we were. When I heard of the bank robbery, it brought back a long lost memory of foolish times.
Problems at the MSPCA didn’t surprise me. Over the years, there have been many good people who’ve worked there. Sadly, a few bad apples have spoiled the barrel. Since Gus Thornton’s passing as the head of the Massachusett’s MSPCA, things have rapidly declined. Gus was our veterinarian on Crooked Lane, back in the 1960s, and he had a special fondness for the island. Now, that’s long gone.
A former vet who almost brought the practice to its knees a little over a decade back, too many personnel changes to count, and animals lost for no good reason is the biggest knock most pet owners have with the facility. I remember a woman whose cat died from anesthesia during a dental cleaning, about 20 years ago. I realize these things happen. What was unforgivable was when they brought her frozen cat to her, wrapped in a black garbage bag. If you’re like I am, pets bring out more empathy (within me), than most humans do. Notice I said, most.
The passing of Ann Killen marked the end of another chapter from my early memories on Nantucket. When I first moved here, the only way for younger people to find rentals was word of mouth, or to go visit Ann Killen. Other real estate agents would immediately shine you on. Not Ann. She went to bat for us, and probably at a financial loss in many cases. I’ll miss her, though I’d have to stand in line behind the many others she took care of.
Now that the big weekend is past, many of the crowds have returned home. Our population has risen and will continue to do so until Independence Day weekend. By then we will have hit our peak and the season will be in full swing. Get ready, there’s a month until blastoff.
We are enjoying nearly perfect weather this spring and should it stay that way, this summer could help bring more visitors to vacation here. After the past couple of years, we could all stand a summer of warmth and sunlight.
You may easily e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also available at (508) 228-4325, or post me a letter at Box 1263, Nantucket, MA O2554. Be well.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space