Thursday, September 24, 2009

County Fair

Mallaika in motion (perpetually)

Just take the bus and get off at Tom Nevers. You can walk the rest of the way. And that was our plan for Sunday afternoon on Nantucket Island. Just a few little problems:
  • The "you" in this case meant seven people including a three-almost-four year old, an almost two-year-old, and a seventy-year-old using a walker, as well as four able-bodied adults.
  • "the rest of the way" was probably a couple of miles.
  • It was then early afternoon and we had to be on the returning ferry at 5 P.M.
We naively began our walk after leaving the bus. We walked and walked and Tom would nervously consult his GPS and say vague things like "it's either just around this bend or its way on the other side of that hill." But, it was a pleasant afternoon, no rain, neither hot, cold, nor windy, so we just kept trudging, and no one complained.

Finally, a nice big Lincoln Navigator made a U-turn in front of us. The driver rolled down his window and asked, "You folks heading for the fair?" Salvation! "Yes!" "Pile in, " he said, and we did.

Nantucket has a permanent population of 6,000 -- like a small town and it is an island. Crime on an island is kind of hard to get away with when the ferry only goes three times a day. So we felt safe. What we didn't consider is what 6,000 people do on a gray wind-swept island during the long off-season. I can tell you -- they drink. And this kind fellow was getting a head start on the off-season. Four empty beer cans and one in progress decorated the interior of his SUV.

Regardless of the risk, we got there safely. The fair was held at Tom Nevers -- a former Naval Station. The landing strip there is washing away and falling into the Atlantic as Nantucket erodes and shifts slightly toward the mainland. Also at the Station is a bunker intended for use by John Kennedy if he were at Hyannis Port in the event of an attack.

The fair was sweet and low key. It consisted of a food concession, an exhibit of monstrous pumpkins, a couple of bouncy houses for the kids, a few farm animals (goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks, all supplied by the same family), a dog show in which every dog won a prize (shortest, whitest, noisiest, etc.), and a few exhibits promoting good works: save the whales, prevent domestic violence (very high during the long drunk winters on Nantucket), etc.

All in all, it was a good day. We took a taxi back to town.

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