Dumpster Chronicles 16: Waiting for Earl

The Dumpster Chronicles: A Whimsical and Irreverent Guide to Nantucket, Being Part 15


By Kerry Hallam

I am sitting in my kitchen still wearing an array of foul weather gear, galoshes and my crash helmet surrounded by candles, bottles of water and bevies of flash lights. My two ton generator in the basement is greased and ready to go into action at my command.

Most of my windows are boarded up so it’s hard to see outside, but I have the distinct feeling that the sun is shining.

It’s 7.30 a.m. After forcing myself to stay awake and on high alert for most of the night, this is somewhat anti-climactic.

There was a a brief thunder shower around 8.30 last evening. Although I waited and waited until the early hours of the morning, he was a no show. Not once did the power go out and as far as I can gather, the strongest gust of wind clocked in at forty five miles per hour which, on the island, goes down as merely a strong breeze. All in all it is most disappointing.

It occurs to me that in this age of technological miracles, it is possible that the TV stations worked a deal with the major department and appliance stores to help in off-loading their over supply of candles, batteries, plywood and bottled water.

The swirling red radar arrows seen on the weather channels were in fact computer generated images simply superimposed over the satellite map of the North Eastern United States. Earl was just a name picked from a hat.

Judging from the number of boarded up store fronts and the hourly emergency warnings and tracking updates, it would appear that the exercise was a complete success. I’m sure that the shelves at Stop & Shop, Cumberland Farms and Marine Home Center are bare.

For my part I have to say that I feel a tad gypped. I now have to spend the day taking down all the plywood, reinstalling the air conditioning units, replacing the outdoor furniture and storing my emergency gear.

I suppose I should be thankful for small mercies.

Earl, however, will not be well remembered as would be the case if it was in fact a real hurricane.

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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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