Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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A friend gave me a hard time about my comment in last week’s column. I mentioned that the Memorial Day Weekend was “fairly low-key.” He said town was hopping each evening after dark. I have no doubt that’s true.

For most of us with knowledge of what tends to go on after dark on that weekend, it was an area to be avoided. Spending an hour downtown on Saturday morning, things were tranquil. There weren’t many people on Main Street and parking spaces abounded. That was my take, and my friend had another experience.

The worst pavement in town was repaved last week. Starting in front of Cumberland Farms down Lower Orange Street to just in front of Hatch’s package store, the beat-up and often-repaired asphalt way was totally paved, and may I say, done nicely. Drains in that stretch were sunken to a point where I worried about front-end damage each time I went through there. The drains are now pitched correctly and now there’s no longer a thud as one goes over the spot.

Perhaps the rainy weather from early spring is the culprit, or it could be my memory is failing, but poison-ivy growth has progressed beyond what we would normally expect for early June. If there is one thing that Nantucket excels at, it’s our verdant crop of three-leafed shrubbery.

Getting rid of this noxious weed is very difficult. The best way to rid your yard of it is to pull up and cut the vines as low to the ground as possible. Then, carefully put a drop of poison-ivy weed killer on the stump. It works beautifully, though it requires patience and a long pair of gloves. Never burn poison ivy, as the oil dispersed into the air could cause more problems than if one was to roll in a patch of the stuff.

Then there’s another itchy problem we live with. Some years, when little spring rain falls, we have a less active population of mosquitoes than others. This year isn’t looking good so far, but if the rain stays away, the numbers of the winged nuisances should be lessened. There are some areas on-island that are and always will be breeding grounds for the nasty little critters. Living near a body of standing water is a surefire way to learn about how many buzzing menaces are hovering around day and night.

One way to help reduce the problem (no matter where you reside) is to make sure there’s no standing water lying around. Bird baths, water bowls for pets, open trash cans and even an upturned Frisbee are able to support a colony of mosquitoes. I have found that not scratching the bites (not easy to do) reduces the welt and lessens the itching.

Our weather is still a bit cool for June, though it is warming up slowly. At least we aren’t experiencing temperatures in the 80s. From Boston heading south, people all down the Atlantic coast are sweltering. When we have weather such as that, it’s no problem to take a dip in cool water to bring us solace from the heat.

The Board of Selectmen did the right thing by not falling for a pilot parking program last week. We live in a town where the streets were created a couple hundred years ago. There is no way to make them wider or more modern. The so-called parking problem lasts a couple of months each year. We do not need meters on the street, in vehicles, or parking garages.

Nantucket has an outstanding shuttle-bus system, if only people would avail themselves of it. Another problem is people working in town that continually move their cars to avoid a ticket. Then there are others that accept tickets as the cost of doing business in town. That’s the best reason not have meters. It would make all-day parking in town cheaper than paying for individual tickets. You’d never find a parking space should that happen.

For people who would like to impart their take on this column, or have other subjects to discuss, here’s how to register your thoughts. My phone number is (508) 228-4325, e-mail me at and my mail goes to Box 1263, Nantucket, MA 02554. As always, I welcome your thoughts and criticisms.
 David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this spot and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror

3 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Katie Says:

    a good treatment for any kind of bite is Meat tenderizer. you make a paste and put it on the bite. It gets rid of the foreign protein which is what you react to and stops the itch and reaction. It even works on Fire Ant bites.

  2. David Says:

    That’s interesting Katie. I had heard it worked on jellyfish stings.

  3. AckBoater Says:

    Salt works as well. Meat tenderizer is nothing but salt.

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