Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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I’ve been up in Boston for the past couple of days, as I have to have a minor medical procedure today (Thursday). It’s taken more time to get checked in and do the preliminary tests than the actual event will take. Having spent time hurrying up and waiting, I visited a couple of Nantucketers that are ensconced at Mass General.

Unlike years back, when hospital patients’ names were showcased in the I&M, now that sort of thing is verboten. So names will be withheld, but many islanders are aware of neighbors that are up at MGH.
One of the nicest men I know had heart problems and was flown up by helicopter last week. Several days after that, he underwent triple bypass surgery. The week prior to his hasty departure from Nantucket, he and I had been admiring a beautiful, restored, old-model Ford Mustang.

When I visited him yesterday, he was sedated and hooked up to a roomful of machines. His nurse explained that while he was unconscious, he was aware of people speaking to him. I was at a loss for words and hoped that he was dreaming of the Mustang we had both coveted on a bright, late-summer afternoon.

Then there’s a lady, well known to many of us, who also had heart troubles, was flown to MGH within a day of the gentleman above. She too had a triple bypass. I came up to her room and said hello, and we ended up talking for better than an hour. Not to say that she had looked ill on any occasion I remember, but on that day, her complexion was positively pink.

As we spoke, I was impressed at how happy and upbeat her mood was. I knew she ought to be feeling well, having gone through an ordeal. After major surgery, people are often drained and not as high-spirited as she was.

As I was about to leave, she asked to walk me out in the corridor. There on the wall, just outside her room, was a poster of the three Nantucket lighthouses, rendered by Greg Hill, a close friend of hers. I remarked that there are Nantucket pictures, posters and paintings all about MGH. We both laughed about how islanders feel superior to people who live elsewhere. So much so, that they have reminders of what we live with every day.

At long last, there’s the promise of a new sheriff in town. Jim Perelman won’t have to do much to convince local voters that he’s less likely to be defending himself in front of the State Ethics folks in Boston, or spending our tax dollars on wiffle-ball bats. What is sad is that several deserving candidates who could have done a better job than the present office holder, didn’t. But, we knew that.

I think most of Nantucket was disappointed that Rob O’Leary was defeated in his run for Bill Delahunt’s seat in Congress. When I saw the news about Bill Keating chasing a purse-snatcher and helping capture him over the past weekend, I knew he’d get a huge boost in the polls. Having your name mentioned and being interviewed on all four major network TV stations in Boston was a dream come true for any candidate.

Gene Ratner’s house is now in the process of being taken apart and carted away. The damage done is forever. Even though the timbers and other construction debris are being cleaned up, not all has been contained. Some pieces floated away and pose hazards to mariners. Sandbags, the most offending part of the equation, are not only a problem, but indeed caused much of the scouring done to the surrounding beach. Rest in pieces.

Our summer (it officially ends next week) weather was spectacular. Over the past 10 days, temperatures have been below what we would like, though most days are sunny and bright. That and the wind has come out of the north and east on too many days. We have a ways to go before it gets cold, so make the most of your time outside.

Judging from the sale signs in stores around town, now might be a good time to go buy holiday gifts. You’ll pay a fraction of the original price and in turn, help local merchants head into the fall and winter more financially secure. That’s a two-fer.

The Patriots looked great on offense last week, shredding Cincinnati in Foxboro. This coming week is going to be tougher. A final note involving Pats quarterback Tom Brady and the driver he ran into (who had run a red light). How long do you think it will take the offending driver to file suit against Tom, just because he’s well-known and has deep pockets?
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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