Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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While I managed not to enter the downtown area after early Friday morning, there was no way to entirely miss Stroll Weekend. Shopping in the Stop & Shop on Saturday, I ran into two women in expensive fur coats, replete with their impatient husbands who were sporting Nantucket Reds. If you think that seeing mink on Main Street is unusual, try the Stop & Shop for off the wall. Maybe I should have tried The Box later on to see if there were some jackets made from four-footed creatures hanging on shoulders. Nothing at The Box is out of the norm.

I missed the so-called flash mob on Main Street, which took place Saturday afternoon. Two different videos have been sent my way showing the “mob.” I had thought that these happenings were somewhat instant and that much of the excitement came from the immediacy of the event. The news of the Main Street mob was on the Internet by Friday and a couple of folks notified me again on Saturday morning.

Watching the two videos, I was struck by a number of things. Seeing that this entire episode was sponsored by corporate types took away the local feel of it. There appeared to be local people dancing and the audience was (mostly) local. When I saw the sign noting that Dreamland and CITI sponsored this, I was instantly drawn into my Scrooge mode.

So why did I feel that way? No big deal about Dreamland, they are doing good things. CITI was one of the financial corporations that almost put this country into bankruptcy. Now they’re trying to buy their way into our hearts by giving us a couple of minutes of ersatz Christmas joy. If you were there, or watched the video, it was obvious that someone had brought in a sound system ahead of time.

The next time, it would be nice to have the “mob” be a true mob, not sponsored by outside businesses, with sound coming from a boom box, not a company on salary. This would be spontaneous, a lot of fun and a real event, organized by unpaid island folks. Does everything need to be about money at Christmas? Let’s not forget the “red ticket” drawing on Christmas Eve. That’s totally about filthy lucre and the bottom line.

So now we’re pretty much out of any touristy things until Daffodil Weekend. We will still see a few extra visitors over Christmas and New Year’s, then there’s Valentine’s Day. I look forward to the lull that’s coming. If you find it’s difficult to hang out with friends, read, watch television or pay on the web, Nantucket is going to be a very long haul for the next four or five months. Most of the people I know have been waiting for this time of year.

I understand going over to the mainland for shopping, taking a vacation, or seeking medical attention. Having the wherewithal to make a day/weekend a big one is a good thing. If going to Hyannis of Boston is a way to cure winters ennui, I’m afraid this could seem far longer than you may have dreamed.

Today’s speaker at the NHA’s “Food for Thought” brown-bag lunch is former Brant Point Coast Guard senior chief Sheila Lucey. At present, Sheila is the assistant harbormaster for Nantucket. Her presentation this noon is on “Navigation and Nautical Knots.” To enjoy this, show up by noon at the Whaling Museum, preferably with a sandwich and a beverage. That’s all there is to it. There is no charge to attend. It’s the best deal in town.

There have been some cool days recently, but in general, we have done well, so far. I’m not expecting a perfect winter. We’re not far into December and January, February and (the worst) March are yet to come. All I want to see is that the harbor doesn’t ice up this year. Cold is all right. Frigid isn’t.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror

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