Dumpster Chronicles 7: Nantucket Tourists

The Dumpster Chronicles: A Whimsical and Irreverent Guide to Nantucket, Being Part 7

A Tourist Encounter

By Kerry Hallam

Despite all the contrary indicators, you throw caution to the wind and decide to take the wife and kids for a two week vacation on Nantucket. It will be one of those holidays the memory of which will live on in the family for years to come. You will never forget it, at least not without an extended course of serious therapy. O.K. There are a few things that you will need to bring with you. Here”s an abbreviated list.

1. Money

2. Credit cards (the black or silver variety; gold may present a certain reluctance at most shops and restaurants)

3. Sensible footwear (galoshes are a must; large mountaineering boots, one for each foot; dancing pumps; chocolate covered sneakers; and flip flops, laces optional.

4. Your capacity for deductive reasoning – even though you are officially on vacation which means that anything goes, there may be occasions when you are called upon to make a decision or two. Bring your brain with you.

Last July I was driving down India Street (named after a major motion picture). It is both narrow and one way, and one has to drive with caution. I was dawdling along when suddenly out of nowhere appeared a family on bikes coming straight at me in the wrong direction. There was a lady, presumably the mother, with one little fellow on the back of her bike, followed by a little boy on his bike, followed by dad with a training bike in which there was a other child.

I screeched to a halt with a dull thud as my head hit the windscreen. The cycling party halted and gazed at me openmouthed. The husband got off his bike and walked towards my car and tapped on the window.

“You should drive with more damned care and for Christ sake slow down” He had beads of perspiration on his top lip and foam at the corners of his mouth. He was evidently rather perturbed.

As calmly and quietly as I could, I tried to point out that he and his brood were driving the wrong way down a one way street, none of them wearing helmets, and that I was driving at about five miles an hour.

This seemed to infuriate him even more and his tirade continued, casting aspersions as to my family heritage, my mother, my father and cousins twice removed.

I gave up.

“I think I understand” I offered, “You decided to bring your family to Nantucket and kill them all, right?”

Well, no one was seriously hurt but it does throw light on the importance of another issue that you have to bear in mind when you visit.

To be continued . . .


Kerry Hallam was born and raised in the North of England. He was elected to the Royal Society of Artists and later established his first studio in the South of France. Kerry has lived and painted on the island for the past thirty years. He is represented internationally by Chalk and Vermilion of Greenwich, and has held extensive one man shows in the States, Japan, France and the U.K. His autobiography ‘Getting to Nantucket’ was recently published, and in the past few years, he has issued seven C.D.’s of own written and performed music. All illustrations are by Kerry Hallam. This column will appear regularly.

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