Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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There were tons of people here over Memorial Day weekend. Then, the week afterward, things and numbers of people abated. No more than a week following the apparent fade, we are back at what feels and looks like larger crowds than we’ve seen so far this season, including the holiday weekend. I’d say things are shaping up for a decent summer season. Whatever happens this year has to be superior to 2009.

For a little over a week, most of my travels have been in the mid-island area. Judging from the traffic along Old South Road to the Stop & Shop, this is bound to be the worst place to travel, at least in the near future. I don’t include rainy days on our downtown streets. Nothing is as agonizing as heat, humidity and too many cars on narrow ways.

But, let’s return to the Old South route . . . I still believe that the four-way stop at Lovers Lane is the problem, which is bottlenecking traffic along that stretch. With vehicles having to stop and start at the octagonal signs, there’s a continual stream of cars and trucks. Then, this perfectly-spaced traffic makes it next to impossible for cars trying to turn on Old South Road. People try to help out by slowing, or stopping, which then further ties things up. (Editor’s Note: The Board of Selectmen voted Wednesday night to remove the offending Stop signs by July 1).

I have yet to drive this route without encountering long lines of traffic. Whether it’s early, late, or, in-between, the crunch is on. Direction I’ve traveled seems not to matter. You’re going to be moving slowly and employing the brake pedal continuously. My hopes are that this is the worst scenario I’ll be encountering in the upcoming two and a half months.

Driving into town last evening, shortly after 5, it was easy to find spaces to park on Main Street. I was surprised at how few people were on the sidewalks, and how many of them were locals. Should that take place a week from now, I’ll be shocked. The “I’ll see you in September” mode is almost in full swing. I do look forward to catching up with returnees coming back for the summer. I ran into my first on Tuesday night at dinner. Welcome back Jean!

Is anyone else wondering why a majority of the Board of Selectmen spent tax money on a study of our legal services and then decided to pass on (negate, in my mind) the report? Yeah, yeah, I know they sort of think that they’ll use the information for something.

What it is, no one seems sure of. Here’s my take. Town manager Libby Gibson isn’t going to have a final say on the situation. Once again, we’re seeing more BOS micro-managing matters that shouldn’t be their domain. I never expect changes at Broad and Federal streets. This is a case when I hate being correct.

I realize this next vignette is going to make me sound as if I’m becoming soft and cuddly. Perhaps it’s true, but I prefer to believe being observant has always been my strong suit.

Pulling up to Orange Street Extension by the Marine Lumber offices and appliances building the other morning, I spotted what looked like earth-colored lumps poking up from the lawn. My first reaction was that someone had been on horseback and the animal had dumped a load of manure on the lawn. Sorry, that’s what it appeared to be, to me.

Stopping short of the roadway, I had a better view. The five lumps turned out to be a mother duck and her ducklings, which gave me a much more pleasant story to relate to you. What struck me most was the sight of wild animals, within five yards of a busy street, sleeping soundly. It started my day in a most pleasant way.

Another pleasant sight has been the plethora of beautiful days we’re continuing to experience. Sure, there have been a few clinkers, but compared to most Junes this is far beyond the norm.

I’ve always likened the sprouting of Day-Glo orange tickets on windshields in the core district to that of springtime flowers. When these phenomena began, I’m not positive, though my suspicion is early this week. Seeing this municipal progress makes me quite pleased. The khaki uniforms the Summer Specials (or whatever their new title is) are wearing look better than their old duds.

Tonight, we’ll see if the Boston Celtics will pull themselves together, play as the team they’re capable of being, and bring home the NBA championship. Tuesday’s debacle was painful to watch.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space.

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