Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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(Dec. 22) There are but three shopping days until Christmas. I’ve always wanted to say that. From the activity I’m seeing on downtown streets, people are buying up a storm. From reports on the national news, it appears that sales are going to be up by several percentage points. One may hope that islanders kept as much money as possible in our local economy by buying locally. Your neighbors could use some extra income at this time of year.

Every year, I make a recommendation for a route to drive that will expose one to the best Christmas decorations around Nantucket. I’ll qualify this by saying that my tour is set up so you can see the most yard decorations in a fairly short time. That and it won’t burn much gas in the process.

Begin at the Rotary and drive to Fairgrounds Road. After going up Fairgrounds, turn right at Surfside Road and head for Hooper Farm Road. Once you reach the end of the road, there’s a traffic circle. Go around it and backtrack down Hooper Farm to Surfside Road. Make a right on Surfside Road and go back toward town. Your next turn will be a left onto Bartlett Road, going along until you reach Friendship Lane, which will be on your right. Not far and you’ll see a house that Clark Griswold would envy.

After taking in the electric company’s Christmas present, turn around and retrace your route, until you reach Bartlett Road, where you want to go right and then left on Mizzenmast. Mizzenmast and the small streets leading off of it hold quite a few yards that are decorated. Once again, drive back to Surfside Road and take a left. Turn left, across from the elementary school, and take a quick look on MacLean Lane, Tashama Lane and Washaman Avenue.

I always end up the tour by driving up Main Street. Though Main Street isn’t as decorated as much as some of the other streets, bouncing along the cobbles is beautiful and feels like a true New England Christmas scene.

Once Christmas is over, the interminable television and radio ads should cease. Within a week, we’ll probably begin seeing Valentine’s Day commercials beginning. There isn’t much time wasted between sales these days.

To hear selectman and wind-generator advocate Whitey Willauer talk about opposition to a wind machine by folks in Madaket, you’d think the opposition was against mom and apple pie. Whitey says the west-enders have a $50,000 war chest to fight what they consider a hazard in their back yards. Don’t these people have a right to be concerned? Mr. Willauer has his own support and some of it emanates from town resources he has access to.

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was released as a movie a couple of days back. Many islanders read the three books and were as taken by it as I was. I went on to view the three Swedish movies and was surprised at how close they were to the books. That’s unusual to see. I’ll be interested to see if the American version is true to the story.

Whenever I drive by Fifty-Six Union restaurant, the decorations Wendy has by the front of the building make me smile. Sometimes they’re gaudy, even tacky, but they show artistic purpose and are original design. I appreciate them more than the off-the-wall art out on Hummock Pond Road, not that it isn’t interesting. They’re just too near a sharp curve to stare at for more than a split second.

Over time, the photos shot by Nicole and Jim in The Inquirer and Mirror have often been impressive. Now, seeing the color shots in the online version, they’ve taken on a new light. More crisp and artistic in nature, the pictures are every bit as talented by subject than many private photographers on-island.

Next week’s edition will be out shortly prior to the end of 2011 and right before 2012. I’m not sure how to characterize the year that’s run its course. How do you feel about it?
– Goodman’s Gam appears regularly in this space and in The Inquirer and Mirror

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