Monthly Archives: February 2011

Adventures in Dumpsterland Chapter 3

Adventures in Dumpsterland, Chapter 3
Kerry Hallam

Chapter 3

Captain Collywobble the pied-billed Grebe rose to take the stage.

“Things aren’t what they once were and it is my considered opinion and that of my colleagues at the Center for Dumpsterland Development that the crux of the issue can best be summed up in the words of a song by the well known diva Jeanette the Vocifourous Cockatoo: ‘I’m just looking for a loving gland’. Well, I mean aren’t we all.”

“Well, I think we have made a good start and now it is time for desert and after dinner drinks. This will afford us all some time to discuss matters before we take a final vote.”

With that, Sarah the White Rabbit Moderator hopped back to her table and the general hubbub resumed.

Soon the house lights dimmed as Rocky the Fox jumped onto the stage.

“Fellow Dumpsterlanders. As a special treat for this special occasion we have with us a special surprise. Fresh from their recent tour of our Cape cousins and the release of their latest smash hit CD, “One Man’s Trash”, it gives me great pleasure to present the legendary rock group “The Beagles”.

The crowd went wild. Articles of underwear were thrown onto the stage; a couple of Pomeranians passed out and General Pandemonium had to get back up to settle the situation.

The band struck up with one of their big hits “Kelp”, followed by “I Want to Hold your Paw”, “Fixing a Mole”, “Juicy Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, (written of our own Juicy Lucy), “Nantucket Wood”, “Why Don’t We Do It with the Toad”, and the grand finale, a selection from “Sergeant Toadstool’s Looney Dumpsterland.” They did three encores and left to a standing cacophonous ovation.

Denis the Red Throated Wineloving Loon, enthralled and gobsmacked on this Saturday night, was sweating profusely from the heat of the crowd and the excitement of the evening when he was approached by Harpo the Canine Scentmaster.

“Would you care for a little splash of fragrance?”

Denis thanked him but assured him that he was all set for the moment.

“Right Sir” said Harpo “Will there be anything else I can do for you?’ Harpo tugged at the brim of his hat whilst holding out a small plastic bucket.

“It is customary to show one’s appreciation in the usual fashion, sir”.
Denis dropped a folded dollar bill into the bucket.

“Thank you Sir, see you on your next visit.”

Denis decided to find a quiet corner and take a break from the evenings festivities. He found an old but fairly comfortable settee and stretched out. In a few minutes he was asleep. Well, you can imagine the tapestry of dreams that accompanied his snoozing.

At one point he found himself in his pajamas in the boudoir of Anna the Antelope Mixologist, sharing a bottle of Australian Cabernet. Sally the Electric Squirrel, her lady in waiting, played soft lilting madrigals on her mountain dulcimer.

Upon awakening, for a fleeting moment he wasn’t sure where he was. Then he remembered he was somewhere in the subterranean caverns beneath the Refuse Disposal Facility with a collection of extremely strange animals. The evening’s festivities were still in full swing, but he decided to explore a little, and so wandered off, away from the Grand Hall and down a winding corridor, at the end of which he came upon a small cottage. From within came the sound of a Brahms nocturne. On the door was a sign “Piano Lessons”.

Denis had always meant to learn the piano and this seemed a good opportunity. He tapped on the front door.

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.


Nantucket Headlines

Headlines from local publications, and links to the full story. Sources: Inquirer and Mirror, PlumTV, Yesterday’s Island, Cape Cod Times, NAREB, and others.




  • The Postmistress | Plum TV
    Author Sarah Blake tells Plum about her inspiration behind writing this year’s One Book One Island selection, “The Postmistress.”





Adventures in Dumpsterland Chapter 2

Adventures in Dumpsterland, Chapter 2
Kerry Hallam

“I do not need to tell you that things are bad and getting worse by the minute. Our balance of refuse has been dwindling for the past few months and it is rapidly assuming critical proportions. Our supply from topside is simply not keeping up with demand, what with the crumbling of the economy up there. Something has to be done. It will not be easy and it will require all of us to tighten our belts – or whatever we have to tighten – and buckle down to some stringent sacrifices.”

There was a smattering of tail wagging, wing slapping and paw thumping as the first speaker rose. Seated atop a six foot purple mushroom was the unmistakable smile of Jay the Harmonizing Cheshire Cat.

“Evenin all”, as he bathed the room with an enormous grin. “Well, we seem to have reached a significant underpass and I for one applaud the many and generous contributions that have been forthcoming and it is my ernest hope that, notwithstanding the segmentation of the irregular hubris that so often mars assemblies of this nature, there will be a resolution to eradicate the polemic screed that has been evident of late in the warrens of government. I must now sit down before I fall off my toadstool.”

“Thank you Jay for those few kind words. We will try to work out what they meant after the meeting. I am going to mark that as a pro” said the Moderator. Libby the Lioness was the next speaker.

“Friends, it is high time that we stopped messing around and return to the tried and tested ways that have served our community since the founding feathers. Personally I am getting a bit teed off with the way we are being treated down here and I for one am considering returning with my colleagues topside unless there are steps taken to increase our supply of restaurant left-overs. I think that Kevin the Laughing Hyena had the right idea when he spoke last week at the gathering in chamber four: “Whereever you go, there you are; whereever you are, there you go.”

There were a few here-heres on the left and mumbles over by the water cooler on the right.

“Should I put that down as a con then?” asked Sarah.

“Bollacks” replied tuxedoed Johnny the Bartending Penguin who helped himself to a nibble on the paw of Juicy Lucy the Siamese.

“Can we have the next contestant, sorry I mean speaker?”

Squeaky Clean the Field Mouse edged forward. “What about our cheese and shouldn’t we be addressing the Health Care issue?”

This brought about a kerfuffle. It took the moderator a good five minutes to restore order.

“It’s taken a good five minutes to restore order and that’s just a conservative estimate. Any further outbreaks of this nature will leave me with no option but to issue a red card for intentional grounding. This will mean no Christmas pudding for the offenders.
Now, let us resume, observing Flotsam’s regulations and avoiding congestion on the lateral. Decorum friends.”

Hadley the Mesmerizing Mermaid arose, her long hair cascading from gills to dorsal.

“Blimey” muttered Doug the Foraging Raccoon, eyes on Hadley. “That’s a sight to make one’s tail twitch; leaves little if anything to the imagination.

“On behalf of all young and desirable ladies in our community, I would like to know what is going on at the Silver Scallop; they are watering down the booze and it’s getting so that a young mermaid doesn’t know if it’s hell or breakfast time any more. Where are all the hot young mermen these days?” cooed Hadley.

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.

Nantucket Headlines 2.18.11

Headlines from local publications, and links to the full story. Sources: Inquirer and Mirror, PlumTV, Yesterday’s Island, Cape Cod Times, NAREB, and others.

Fourth of July fireworks saved by fundraising efforts (Inquirer and Mirror)

Plum Daily Nantucket: February 19, 2011 (Plum)
Tour of the new Nantucket Police Station; author of “The Postmistress,” Sarah Blake, Nantucket Historical Association’s Second Annual History Quiz Bowl.

Plum Daily Nantucket: February 12, 2011 (Plum TV)
Interview with the Nantucket Community School, a look back at some of our favorite Winter moments.

Vineyard Nursing Association will take over home health (Inquirer and Mirror)


Civic League team wins ninth annual Spelling Bee (Inquirer and Mirror)

Island attorney Rhoda Weinman’s dachshund shines at Westminster show (Inquirer and Mirror)

21 students inducted into National Honor Society (Inquirer and Mirror)


Theatre Workshop opens season with “I Hate Hamlet” (Inquirer and Mirror)

Library ramps up cultural programs (Inquirer and Mirror)

Kit Noble, Director of Nantucket By Nature (Plum)

Artist Profile: Barbara Toole (Plum)


National Grid files subdivision plan for waterfront (Inquirer and Mirror)

Developer files plan for Sparks Ave. property (Inquirer and Mirror)

TD Bank, eager to unload Point Breeze, gets some help (Inquirer and Mirror)

I&M wins 29 awards from press association (Inquirer and Mirror)


Concerns raised about wind-farm leasing plan (Inquirer and Mirror)

Cape Wind foes file another appeal (Inquirer and Mirror)

Sen. John Kerry urges feds to OK loans for Cape Wind project (Boston Herald)

Brown’s call for added Cape Wind review called “delaying tactic” (Boston Herald)

Fishermen object to offshore wind turbines (Cape Cod Times)

Laux: Ecuador fine place to spend the winter (Cape Cod Times)


Election field set (Inquirer and Mirror)

Dunton drops out of BOS race; Papers due Friday (Inquirer and Mirror)

Airport bonuses come under scrutiny (Inquirer and Mirror)

AG clears selectmen in Open Meeting Law complaint (Inquirer and Mirror)

Tradesmen worried consolidation plan could delay inspections (Inquirer and Mirror)

Wreck of a Nantucket whaleship identified in Pacific (Inquirer and Mirror)

Jane Bonvini Surprise Party

During her 27 years at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Jane Bonvini personally attended to or directed her fellow nurses in the care of hundreds, perhaps thousands of patients who have lived on or visited Nantucket. On Saturday, January 22, her colleagues at Nantucket Cottage Hospital celebrated her years of service with a surprise party at Nantucket Anglers Club. NCH nurses, doctors, friends and family joined the celebration at the festively decorated club on Old South Wharf. Photos by William Ferrall. More at

Nantucket Headlines 2.5.11

Headlines from local publications, and links to the full story. Sources: Inquirer and Mirror, PlumTV, Yesterday’s Island, Cape Cod Times, NAREB, and others.

House-move from Brant Point nears completion (Inquirer and Mirror)

New restaurant to open in Jared Coffin House (Inquirer and Mirror)


Deadly frog virus detected on Nantucket (Inquirer and Mirror)

Quentin the Quahog: Six more weeks of winter (Inquirer and Mirror)

Vern Laux: Harsh winter takes heavy avian toll (Cape Cod Times)


Keating, Wolf and Madden meet with islanders (Inquirer and Mirror)

Amid controversy, board adopts Town Meeting warrant (Inquirer and Mirror)

Town government consolidation plan draws concerns from tradesmen (Inquirer and Mirror)

Police unveil two new community programs (Inquirer and Mirror)

Read the 2011 Town Meeting warrant (Inquirer and Mirror)

Cinco’s Michael Sturgis Takes Over the Jared Coffin House Restaurant on Nantucket

Michael Sturgis, former owner of Cinco, will be opening a new restaurant this spring, the Brick House Bistro, at the Jared Coffin House on Broad Street.

Michael describes the cuisine as “sophisticated comfort food with a little twist”. The wine list will be “moderately priced and well crafted”. Though it’s too early for Michael to talk about specific menu items, he does say that half orders will be available for dinner, and some Cinco favorites will migrate to the new menu.

The Brick House Bistro will be open Daffodil weekend through at least Columbus Day weekend, serving breakfast (8 am – 1 pm), lunch (11 am to 2 pm) and dinner (5 pm to 10 pm) seven days a week.

In season, there will be a raw bar on the patio from 4 to 8 pm, with $1 oysters from 4 to 6.

The restaurant includes the first floor main dining room, lounge and bar, as well as two outdoor patios. (This is the former location of the Harbor Wok, not the Tap Room.)

Chef Alex Sigeti will be the Executive Chef – Alex worked as the Chef de Cuisine at Queequeg’s last summer, and in restaurants in Buffalo, N.Y and Telluride, Colorado.

The patios together can seat about 90 people. Michael is working with the HDC to bring back an awning over one of the patios, as it had been in the 60s.

“When I first came to the island in 1981, the Jared Coffin House was the heart of the island. I’m thankful to Steve Karp, Khaled Hashem and the Nantucket Island Resorts family for this opportunity to revitalize the restaurant at the JC House.”

Michael was head bartender and manager at The Opera House, 21 Federal, and the Brant Point Grill before opening Cinco, and for most of his time behind the bar, was known as the island’s best bartender.

Kathleen Hay Designs is making over the interior, adding a contemporary touch to the historic rooms. Kathleen is a Nantucket-based award winning interior designer, recognized three times as one of the leading designers in the world in the 2010 International Interior Design Awards.

New Owners at 21 Federal on Nantucket

New Owners at 21 Federal

Scott Fraley, Amanda Lydon, and Gabriel Frasca at the 2010 Nantucket Wine Festival

The management team of Straight Wharf Restaurant has taken over operations of 21 Federal restaurant. Chefs Amanda Lydon and Gabriel Frasca, along with General Manager Scott Fraley and Jock Gifford recently signed the new lease, and expect to open in time for the Nantucket Wine Festival, then open at least through Columbus Day.

21 first opened in 1985 as a year round fine dining restaurant under owners Chick and Mary Walsh, Michael Maloney, and David Fine. Nelson Doubleday became the majority owner sometime in the 90’s, and did not to renew his lease this year.

I asked Gabriel if he knew yet at which restaurant he and Amanda would be spending most of their time, or more to the point, who will be the chefs at both restaurants?

“Amanda and I will have a strong chef de cuisine at all three locations (Provisions, Straight Wharf, and 21). Mayumi Hattori, who has worked with me for eight-ish years, is already in place at Straight Wharf, and we have started to target a few candidates for the other two positions. Amanda and I will spread our time amongst all three places. One piece of the puzzle that fit so nicely when we were considering 21 was that this coming year we are very fortunate to have almost all of the Straight Wharf kitchen returning. That will prove incredibly helpful given the attention and energy necessary to get 21 to where we’d like it to be (or at least close). Straight Wharf is not a baby anymore, and though it still needs parenting, I think it will be good for it (and our incredible, dedicated staff) to take some steps on its own.”

I’d been hearing that the new 21, whatever it will be called (the name may not be available), was to be an “Italian restaurant”, which would increase the number of Italian restaurants from 2 in 2010 to 4 in 2011, so I asked Gabriel to clarify.

“21 will not be just an ‘Italian restaurant.’ It will be a Nantucket restaurant, seasonal, local, hand-crafted and modern, filtered through an Italian lens. Calling it an Italian restaurant will not be a limiting factor at all.”

“Italian cooking to me is the least humble of the peasant cuisines. One of its gifts is coaxing the best flavor and texture out of a secondary cut of meat, or often overlooked fish. In other words, roasting a pork shoulder instead of a chop, or a lamb belly instead of its loin. And, with the help of today’s cooking tools (circulators and planchas, for example), we hope to be able to fully realize those techniques.

“I never think of us as being in competition with other restaurants on the island – Italian or otherwise. Enough diners will come into our restaurant once, and if we do our jobs well enough – provide great service, warmth, genuine hospitality, good and interesting food, offer value, and leave our guests with the feeling that they’d like to come back – we’ll have a successful season. If we do that for a few seasons in a row, hopefully we’ll become a part of people’s lives and of their traditions.”

It’s too early in the process for Gabriel to name any of the dishes that may appear on the menu, but he did talk about his general concept.

“I think you’ll see sharable tastes of things as cheap as five dollars, pastas in the low double digits that could be doubled and turned into entrees, and some fish and meat items priced as high as the low-mid thirties. If we can find a great, local, humane steak that we feel good about serving, it will probably come with a low-interest loan.”

Will you be baking your own bread on the premises?

“As at SWR, 21 will be a scratch house where we make everything on premises, including (as of this writing), all of our pastas.”

Dinners are a given. What about lunch?

“Lunch and brunch are definitely possible. I would love to see the back patio filled with happy diners as much of the day as possible.”

Bartenders. Any thoughts?

“21 has a wonderful tradition of great bartenders, and we’d certainly be interested in working with people like that in the future. I’d be very disappointed if there weren’t lots of familiar faces smiling back at you this year.”

And the back bar?

“It’s fair to say that we are interested in making the back bar more open, not less.”

Do you expect to attract the same clientele as 21, or would you be looking change it in any way?

“We’d of course like better-looking diners, big tippers, and perhaps an aging philanthropist looking to adopt a mid-30’s father of two. All kidding aside, we are not presumptuous enough to try to choose our clientele. Hopefully the new 21 will still appeal to guests who have always liked it, and maybe pique the interest of those who haven’t been in for a while. We will work ridiculously hard, hew closely to what we believe in, and hope to find like-minded individuals who dig what we do. Clearly, there are a lot of 21 regulars who will be justifiably disappointed that a place they love is not coming back. That just makes it more imperative that we provide true hospitality from the moment we open our doors, as we try to convince people that change can be a positive.””

Any planned changes down at Straight Wharf?

“There are always refinements and improvements planned for the mothership, but nothing terribly drastic. In fact, this year, more than any other, I hope that no one will notice a difference.”

Any other thoughts?

“Just that we are thrilled, scared and humbled by this opportunity. We weren’t hoping to see 21 Federal leave, but once it became clear that that was the case, we jumped at the opportunity to write the next chapter.”

Nantucket Talk of the Town

Talk of the Town

Bill Hourihan
Quint Waters
Zona Butler

Cape Cod 5

Greta Feeney
Nantucket Island Academy of Music

Flash Parties

Peter Brace

Jonas Baker

Kit Noble

Doug Foregger
Bruce Percelay
Russell Simmons
P. Diddy

Trattoria Isola

4th of July Fireworks

Miss China

Paul DeRensis

Paul Waggoner

Bob DeCosta

Brian Chadwick

The J.C. House

Dave Provost
The Shep Cats
Buzz Williams

Zofia Waig and Mark Crosby

Empty Storefronts

Public Safety Facility

Eric Schmidt

Bruce Beebe

Letter from Tucson to Nantucket

Many of you know Will Conroy, a summer resident of the island for most of his life. He’s a screenwriter of “Transsiberian” along with Brad Anderson, and the director of “Catalina Trust”, both of which were shown at the Nantucket Film Festival. Will now runs the Arizona Inn, which has won numerous awards including AAA four diamond status, Conde Nast’s Traveler Gold List, Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels in the World, Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award for Best Service in the United States, the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and many others.

Will is pictured here with his wife Julia. I asked Will if he would share his feelings about the recent shooting in Tucson.

Hi Gene,

I find the death of the 9 year old girl too difficult to consider, and my thoughts have been centered on Gabrielle Giffords, who I can say first hand is an absolutely lovely person. The intensive care unit at the University Medical Center is just a couple hundred yards from where I sit.

Like many other people in Tucson, I’ve taken my own young daughter to see Gabby speak, because she’s the kind of woman you’d love your daughter to grow up to be. I feel certain my friends on Nantucket would like Gabby a great deal if they knew her. She’d fit right in, whether at the Flake or the Company of the Cauldron.

A few years ago, in 2006 or whenever it was, Gabby announced her first Congressional candidacy one sunny day here at the Arizona Inn, where I am now. She did so partly because Isabella Greenway, my great-grandmother who opened the Inn in 1930, had been Arizona’s first ever Congresswoman. Gabby knew all about this of course, since she’s always tremendously well-informed about all things Arizona, whether current or historical, and she mentioned the Gutzon Borglum statue of Isabella’s husband, the mining pioneer John Greenway, which, at the time, represented Arizona in Statuary Hall in Washington.

Maybe a year later, a few weeks after she’d returned to Tucson from her swearing-in ceremony in D.C., Gabby came in (alone, in a sweatshirt) to Ike’s coffee shop while I was reading a paper there one morning. She came over, cheerful as always, and flipped open her phone to show me some pictures she’d had taken beside the Greenway Statue in the hours immediately after she was sworn in. The statue was fine, you know, but as she enthusiastically recounted her first day in Congress, I promise you it was Gabby who was most impressive. So very smart, energetic, moderate, thoughtful, practical, empathetic and happy. I remember thinking I couldn’t imagine anyone I’d rather have representing me in government. Then, suddenly, she got up to go to work. “I’m so glad I ran into you!”, she said.

This is what occurs to me Gene – I just now wrote it out, which felt good actually – I’ve been carrying the memory around in my head for quite some time.