Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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(Dec. 1, 2011) We now have a month left to go in 2011. This year went by in record time. Every year, time feels as if it goes by more rapidly, but 2012 is upon us in a trice. Having enjoyed a warmer than usual fall season, it’s entirely possible I was fooled into believing that January was nowhere near. As long as our weather stays nice, I don’t care what date the calendar says it is.

What is vexing to me is the selling of the upcoming holiday season. Ads on television are especially disgusting. The day following Thanksgiving should be spent taking life easy, not braving crowds of crazed shoppers. Admittedly, we don’t have a real Black Friday here on Nantucket. There are no big-box stores to be seen on island.

One commercial I watched showed a woman shoving an older woman out of her way as the doors to a store opened. Later, she snatched something out of another woman’s cart. What does this say about us as a nation?

On Friday, national news reports led with violence among shoppers, people were maced and there were a couple of gunshot victims as well. I was always taught that this time of year was all about peace and goodwill to others. What I see are scads of cheesy Chinese goods that have a shelf-life of a few months. Most are forgotten and broken in no time at all. This is why a handmade gift is so very special.

I hope that most of you are thinking about shopping here. Money spent on-island goes back into our community, for the most part. Spend your buck at Wal-Mart and it will never, ever touch Nantucket. Instead of going shopping off-island this weekend, reroute, and head up to the Super Bowl game to watch the Whalers do their best to beat Boston’s Latin Academy up in Taunton. A win for the team would go a long way toward erasing the heartbreaking loss to the Vineyard.

The Cold Turkey Plungers were lucky, in that they had a warm day, with above-average water temperatures in the harbor. I remember the initial plunge. It was as cold a day as I’m able to remember in November. I was bundled up to stand there and watch, and even then was freezing. Some of the swimmers told me the frozen sand felt like cut glass under their feet. Ouch!

Originally, I liked the idea of a wind generator out by the dump, but once the size was disclosed, that brought forth dismay. Whether the machine would affect people close by is up for speculation. The visual aspect would be horrendous for all of us. The dump site isn’t on anybody’s list of beautiful vistas, but this sight would be a blight on the horizon for miles around.

I’d love to see local folks take over the MSPCA animal shelter and hospital, then run it the right way. My belief is that the Angell people won’t make things easy. They’ve made it clear that this is all about money. I wonder if islanders could pony up the money needed to take it over, much less have enough to run it.

Another subject that’s somewhat similar is the group trying for seal abatement. Again, something needs to be done with these pesky seagoing mammals, though I doubt it will happen. I’d be willing to bet that most people regard gray seals as cute (they do look cute).

Try fishing around them and you’ll soon change your mind. Not only that, it won’t be long before they will “own” most of the beaches along Great Point, Tuckernuck and Muskeget. Other areas are sure to follow as their population continues to explode.
– David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears regularly in this space and The Inquirer and Mirror

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