The Dumpster Chronicles Part 18: Reflections on 2010

The Dumpster Chronicles: A Whimsical and Irreverent Guide to Nantucket, Being Part 18

Reflections on 2010

By Kerry Hallam


“It’s all over bar the shouting” as the actress said to the bishop. It has arrived; the first frost which heralds the onslaught of winter and the virtual end of life as we know it!

At best, the days when the sun appears will be few and far between and we will be at the mercy of the biting cold and storms that will sweep across the island and render life an interminable misery. Relatively speaking, that’s the good news! I guess it is something of an eternal ritual which we accept with reluctant but stout hearts, a liberal supply of the beverage of our choice, fully operational heating systems and an account in good standing with Netflix. At least it is predictable to a degree or two.

We are heading for the grande finale of 2010 at breakneck speed. Thanksgiving closely followed by Christmas, which has somehow never had the track to catch up, will be upon us all too soon which will signify the traditional merchandising madness – the erection of large inflatable (but owing to the overnight freezing temperatures, usually flaccid) plastic Santa Claus, elf and raindeer figures on the front lawns; overflowing garbage bags brimming with discarded boxes and wrapping paper, and the remnants of the mandatory seasonal food binges. This is usually closely followed by a period of depressing calm as people recover from the festivities together with mild cases of alcoholic poisoning until New Year’s Eve when the whole thing is repeated and another year begins.

Well, I suppose this is as good a time as any to take a look back over the year of 2010 which is fading as we speak – the highs and lows, ups and downs, bumps and bruises, and what it is that we are more than likely going to try to forget.

For the most part, the weather was exceptional. We were treated to a dollop of sunny days and warm temperatures, and that was in May! The outstanding summer and fall will no doubt be referred to in hushed and reverential terms in the years to come.

Business began to pick up and generally people were able to wear, if not a smile, then a slightly less somber attitude.

On the political front, the grass root emergence of the grass root party’s move to encourage Nantucket to succeed from the state has once more encountered a defeat. This time round, the problem was trying to reach an agreement on a new name for the island, who would become King and Queen, and how many more rotaries would be needed.

But “A” for effort.

Next came the proposal to annex Martha’s Vineyard. Once again it was a case of too little too late. We had the chance and blew it.

So now we are left with the more recent and certainly more enterprising scheme, that being to invade Rhode Island. I think this has a certain appeal. The general idea will be to use the same approach as that of the recent invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, which seems to have worked pretty well from what we are told. It would indeed be a sure fire way to create badly needed income for the island’s labor force and, more over, since Rhode Island is in fact not an island, it would provide a ready made new name. “Nantucket North” does have a certain ring, don’t you think?

It will also afford us the long awaited opportunity to build the undersea tunnel to the mainland. The same company that designed and constructed the Chunnel connecting France and the U.K. have been retained and it is now just a matter of time and resources.

What this will mean in terms of Nantucket Island is any one’s guess. It is possible that everyone will up and move to Nantucket North leaving the island to be converted to a refuse disposal facility and a staging post for the shipment of discarded New England waste to China.

So, we will await the New Year and all the blessings which may attach.



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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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