Monthly Archives: June 2010

Nantucket Dumpster Chronicles 12: Nantucket Film Festival

The Dumpster Chronicles: A Whimsical and Irreverent Guide to Nantucket, Being Part 12

Nantucket Film Festival
By Kerry Hallam

The Nantucket Film Festival happens in June each year, which is still technically winter but, somehow, it has always fallen into the category of a spring event.

This year the weather has not been at all co-operative. According to the people at Weatherisus.com, May this year was in fact July and there is every likelihood that June could well break all records by becoming August. But enough of this weather chat because it is once again time to brush shoulders with the glitter of the silver screen.

Cranes and earth moving equipment have been working round the clock to complete the erection of a 500 ft screen over on Coatue and if the weather holds it will be ready for the big week.

The Nantucket Film Festival has been a staple event for ten years give or take, and has chosen to “give the bird” to the big boys in Hollywood by focusing the affair on screenplays, screen writers, silver screens, silk screen printing and occasional giclee.

Every now and then an out of work celebrity gets nailed to present an award and this is always a ton of fun. I remember one year Marisa Tomei was the guest of honor and I had a long conversation with her. Since she had no idea who I was, the conversation was somewhat one sided but I have to say that she ignored me with the consummate skill of an accomplished actress.

Big sycamores from little acorns grow and nowhere can this be found to be more apt. What was once a fledgling idea in the mind of Jill and Jonathan Burkhart has escalated into a world renowned event, apart from parts of Mongolia and certain suburbs of Los Angeles, but hey, you can’t win ’em all.

The NFF has been fastidious in their insistence on the highest quality film presentations, immaculate catering and T shirts, together with script writing and fishing workshops. They lead by example. When the Festival was in it’s infancy, it was Jill and Jonathan who held a white bed sheet taught for almost an hour to provide a screen on which the movie could be projected.

Little has changed but the bed sheets have been replaced by a mixture of polyester and cotton which is drip dry, resists wrinkles and has a more agreeable hang. There is nothing more rewarding than a well hung screen.


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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Nantucket Dumpster Chronicles 11: Figawi

The Dumpster Chronicles: A Whimsical and Irreverent Guide to Nantucket, Being Part 11

Figawi
By Kerry Hallam

This past weekend saw the beginning of our ‘season’. With careful husbandry and application, the coming months will be heat-warming. Once again we can use our ‘almost forgotten during winter’ deposit slips. If you recall, these are used to put money into your account rather than the brightly colored decorative checks at the front which we have been using in abundance since last September, to take money out.

Memorial Day Weekend and the Figawi Sail Boat Race Kick Things Off

‘Figawi’ is a race for ‘Blow Boats’ with ‘Stink Pots’ in a kind of parasitic attendance. Apparently, as the story goes, it all started many years ago when a group of well lubricated sailors decided to race from Hyannis to Nantucket for a lark. Half way over they were hemmed in by thick fog at which point some worthy soul uttered the phrase ‘Where the xxxx are we’ This seemed to epitomize the general demeanor of the other boaters. With the clever exchange of the offending syllables, that phrase was adopted and became the official title for the race. Over the years there have been no really serious problems resulting from the general merrymaking and as yet there have been no boats lost at sea. Not, however, for want of trying.

I have to say that I have always found it somewhat baffling to have the island inundated for the weekend by raucous groups from far and wide (some extremely wide) who, it would appear, have one sole purpose; that of drinking until they pass out. There is little if any connection to the rather elegant and precise business of sailing, which is what the Figawi race should be all about. (Can I mention the Opera House Cup as a good example?)

Well, there has been a good deal of concern over the years about the excessive alcohol consumption. I used to own a gallery on Old South Wharf which was right in the trenches. On one occasion a gentleman came into the gallery and after a cursory glance at the paintings, slowly and irrevocably slide down the wall and passed out on the floor, taking several painting with him. After we ascertained that he was not dead, we decided to leave him there until a group of his friends came by and hoisted him into a cart to take him back – presumably to start over. After a few years, we decided that discretion would be the better part of valor and closed the gallery for that weekend.

The carousing continues until Monday, at which point the race back to Hyannis resumes and the sailboats glide out of their berths and head for the Sound, followed by the power boats that head off in whatever direction their boats choose. Quite a lot end up on Coatue.

Peace returns to the town

On Monday, there WERE services and events and cenotaph in remembrance of the soldiers who gave their lives for the freedoms that we used to have.

I saw Charley sitting on his bench on Main Street on Sunday morning. His dad was killed during the Great War and Charley survived action in the Normandy Invasion during WW2. He gazes in silence at the straggling gangs of revelers sporting reverse baseball hats, reverse cleavages, reverse mentalities and language that would knock a buzzard off a dung cart. They wobble down Main Street which is now dotted with beer cans, bottles, the occasional item of underwear, the remnants of last evening’s meal and a general detritus.

I feel sure that Charley, like all the other veterans, is wondering why his old comrades gave their lives.


Previous Dumpster Chronicles Here

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.

Oran Mor

Nantucket Dumpster Chronicles 10: Signs

The Dumpster Chronicles: A Whimsical and Irreverent Guide to Nantucket, Being Part 10

Signs
By Kerry Hallam

Signage has always fascinated me. I remember when I was young seeing a sign on a local farmer’s land which read:

DO NOT THROW STONES AT THIS SIGN

Another beauty was the sign posted on a ford (not the make of a car, but a road crossing a small stream). Well, of course the stream became a gushing river in the rainy season which, in England, is most of the time. The sign read:

DO NOT CROSS WHEN SIGN SUBMERGED

The odious sign in a boarding house in London during my University days read:

ROOMS TO RENT, NO NORTHERNERS NEED APPLY

The sign in a local pub read:

NO BLIND DOGS ALLOWED IN SALOON

It does make you wonder about the mentality of the people who dream up this kind of signage.

Railways were always a good place for hunting:

PLEASE LOWER YOUR HEAD WHEN LEAVING THE SEAT (Why?)

TICKETS MAY BE OBTAINED AT THE TICKET OFFICE

THE TRAIN NOW STANDING AT PLATFORM SIX IS THE TEN THIRTY TO ALDERSHOT WHICH WILL LEAVE FROM PLATFORM EIGHT

Road signs can be hilarious:

SLOW WORK ZONE

But I think I have found one that takes the cake at our Local Building Department’s offices on Washington Street. It’s actually two signs on a post just inside by the roadway. It reads:

ENTRANCE ONLY

DO NOT ENTER


Previous Columns

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.

Grand Opening of Millie’s on Nantucket

The Grand Opening of Millie’s out in Madaket took place on Monday, June 21, 2010. Photos by Gene Mahon. Click on any photo to see more photos from this event or an archive of past events.

Pumpkin Pond Farm



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Millie’s 2

RopeWalk


Millie’s 3