Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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By this coming Sunday, we should see a marked decrease in bodies and automobiles. Schools are opening their doors and vacations are ending, as is August. There was a time when Nantucket began filling up at Memorial Day and the sidewalks were rolled up by Labor Day.
Today, schools open earlier and close in early May. Beginning with Daffodil Weekend, people begin arriving. The population rises and by June, we’re not full, though there are many visitors who have made their way to the island. After June, any thoughts of privacy when out driving or walking in public have vanished.

Sean Hannity recently made another of his ridiculous calls last week in Florida. First he began by dumping on Michelle Obama for spending time in Spain and then followed up by saying that the family was heading for Nantucket. Sorry Sean, Nantucket Sound (Martha’s Vineyard) isn’t Nantucket.

Lately a number of conservatives have used the Grey Lady to knock Democrats that visit our lovely spit of sand. Some of them seem to forget that several very wealthy conservative donors and right-wing politician’s vacation here.

I’d love to tell you the crazy maneuvers I’ve seen that have taken place while driving and walking around town and beyond. Let’s recap some of my favorites. Walking or riding bikes two abreast on roads. Then there is the baby carriages built for two, same thing. I could have sworn that cars and trucks weigh a couple of tons, even on Nantucket. Many visitors believe that island vehicles are made of foam rubber.

On many occasions I’ve come around a bend in the road and faced people taking three to four feet along the asphalt. Usually, there’s a car coming from the opposite direction, so then I get to stand on the brakes to avoid running pedestrians over.

Then there are people crossing a street and are unable to make up their minds. I call this “the deer in the headlights” mode. They walk up to the curb, determined to cross, then can’t decide whether to continue onward. Just when you think they’re not going across and begin to go forward with your car, they suddenly walk out into traffic.

One frightening thing I’ve seen at least a half dozen times, mostly at the crosswalk by Main Street and Federal Street, are parents with several young children in tow. The adult (I use that term chronologically) walks across with the kids trailing behind.

Monday of this week, I watched a parent walk through with three children, all well behind her. Then out of nowhere a fourth child ran through, almost getting clipped by the auto that had stopped to let mom cross. None of the kids were more than 8 and the trailing child was the youngest of the bunch. I could go on, but I’m getting a headache just by rehashing this stuff.

Here’s some great news for a lucky family. The Habitat for Humanity House at 46 Okorwaw Avenue is just about finished. There will be a celebration on Saturday, Aug. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. Over 200 volunteers gave their time to help out Katie Deras and her three kids have a new place to call home. Please stop by and see the “green” house.

Pleasant Street has sidewalks all the way from Main Street down to the mid-island Post Office. There is one exception, and the short stretch looks beautiful, but there’s no longer a sidewalk. Traffic along there makes walking extremely dangerous should you step onto the street.
Beginning at West Creek Road, down to Chin’s Way, what used to be a sidewalk has been gentrified with large planters and mulch. As I said, it looks great, but a sidewalk, it’s not. I’d hazard a guess that we (as in all of us) own the frontage and two businesses have taken it for their own purposes.

I’m happy to see MVP Dustin Pedroia back in the Red Sox lineup, and disappointed that Jacoby Ellsbury is back on the DL. We need the speed of Jacoby back patrolling the outfield, leading off the batting order and stealing bases.

The Patriots play their second pre season game tonight. The first tilt against Super Bowl champion New Orleans showed the Pats looking better than last year’s team. So far, so good.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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