Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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I was surprised to see how many businesses were open on Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day). In past years there were closed signs everywhere you looked. Several years back, I was working on a job and needed supplies. The two places that would have held what my job required weren’t open for business. By that time it was clear that I should enjoy the day off.

When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, I was in school in North Carolina. In Charlotte, by police order, traffic wasn’t allowed from sunset until daylight. I remember watching news of the tragedy, all the while thinking that we had lost one of the finest orators of the century, not to mention that he was a true peacekeeper.

Sunday afternoon was a shocker. Other than some New York fans, were there any people that believed the Jets had a shot of defeating the Patriots? When the second half began, most people, including myself were positive that New England would come back and whip the Jets into mush. No such luck, so we’ll wait for next year.

Over the past year I’ve heard from dozens of Nantucket folks regarding the soon to be opened police station. Most have been harsh critics of the size and so-called opulence of the new cop shop. I have to disagree with their assessment. If the economy was in better shape, this would be a non-issue. Remember when we approved the high school? People were furious that parts of the school were practically barren. A few years later the school was overcrowded.

The same goes for the new police station. In addition to bringing our peace officers into this century, it won’t take long before the building is fully engaged and filled up to the rafters. I am waiting to walk through the facility and see it up close. I know several cops here and they are trying to perform their job(s) with outmoded and below-standard tools. Remember, we voted for the new station.

I’m pleased to see that the Grand Union (I still call it the A&P) is going to stay in place for the next couple of years, if not longer. Living in town back in the 1970s and 1980s, the A&P was a nicer place to shop than the Finast. Time passed, and the A&P slid downhill. It looked beat.

The Finast was refurbished a couple of times and added amenities that brought many islanders in. Should the Grand Union get a long-term lease and clean up a bit, I’d love to have more of a choice when grocery shopping. Having some products that the Stop & Shop lacks, I go by the GU, mainly in the off-season.

I’ll miss Connie Voges when she retires from town government. Her job is a thankless one. Connie was always candid with me when we spoke, though she was careful to never give away information that wasn’t on the public record. It helped to have a pro explain what and why our town’s finances are what they are.

Nantucket has missed most of the heavy snowfalls that have fallen on the New England mainland. So far. While we have less snow than other spots, our wind never stops howling. Thus far, the storms visiting this area have mauled locales from New Jersey all the way north to Maine. We have missed all but a few inches of snow, with rain and wind being the main culprits.

With the Pats’ season ending early, we’re now free to focus on the Boston Red Sox. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in slightly over three weeks. It’s exciting to speculate how the team will do, though this year the lineup looks formidable. One good thing about baseball is that the beginning of regular-season play signals that spring isn’t far off.
– Goodman’s Gam appears regularly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror

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