With 2013 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to reflect on the year that’s finished and look ahead. 2013 was an interesting year, highlighted in part by a Roundabout project, the annual President Obama vacation, a Vineyard-based TV reality show, and talk of an expanded supermarket.
The now famous “don’t call it a rotary” Roundabout was a bigger story here than Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, the worst to first Red Sox, and the near extinction of Twinkies. Depending on what side of the issue you were on, it was either going to cause a traffic-pocalypse or bring about peace on earth. Wisdom was imparted, with stats and stories quoted from Norway to Nobnocket. Opponents to the project seemed ready to lie down in the road to stop construction, and the hysteria was as if a Walmart wanted to open on Chappaquiddick. By November, I took driving through it for granted and now admit it functions fairly well. It was and always will be too much money spent on something needed seven weeks per year, but it’s done and time to move on.
Last summer brought us “The Vineyard” TV show, reality TV displaying Vineyard life for the world to see. Researching it extensively on the Internet, the only positive thing I read was that someone had nice abs. Seriously. Even the Teletubbies got better reviews than this show. For our Island, this show is the antithesis of “Jaws.” The multi-generational appeal, pride, and well-documented history from that film has been replaced by episodes entitled “Hook Ups and Let Downs” and “Player Beware.” A casino in Aquinnah might be received better than a second season of this show.
Our most famous annual visitor’s vacation, as well as her husband the president, always creates quite the hubbub. A month or two before the visit is announced, some locals claim to have detailed knowledge about the vacation. Does anyone else feel like those responsible for his security have the least idea what he will do? If they did, I can imagine there would be tantrums thrown by the Secret Service that rank in magnitude to my five-year-old daughter when she displays her nearly inhuman strong will. His desire to brave Oak Bluffs traffic and crowds to go to Nancy’s on a bustling August afternoon and the fireworks that Friday night must be a security nightmare.
Obama seems to get what the Island is about, though, and appears to enjoy his vacations. Sometimes I wonder if he reads (but yet denies reading) the comments on The Times website. I’ll keep an watchful eye out for something posted online by username Potus1600 next August.
I live in Vineyard Haven and make my fair share of trips to the local Stop & Shop. Who knows how or when it will be expanded, but I often imagine what the additional 43 parking spaces will be like. This occurs as my kids hear Daddy hurling verbal insults that their ears shouldn’t hear, directed at cars taking “my” parking spot. Fighting the expansion of this supermarket is what some put their energy and money into. I put my energy toward making enough money to actually buy groceries here on Island. My most vivid memory of that location came one February night after our dog Betsy and I went for an ill-advised walk. Betsy startled and lunged at a skunk, which responded by saturating us in eau de skunk. I drove to get an assortment of liquids to make a de-skunking blend, but inadvertently aromafied the entire store. It took the 15 shoppers in the store that night only a few minutes to realize that I was the source of a stench so strong it induced heads to jerk backwards when fully experienced. It was one of those moments when you have nothing left to do but laugh at your own situation. Those of us at the store that night will forever have our “after it was A&P but before it was a Super Stop & Shop” story. As long as the new supermarket has as many aisles as hearings it takes to get the project approved, we’ll be in good shape.
Whether we experience casino gambling by the Gay Head Cliffs, a somewhat completed permanent drawbridge, or perhaps yet another stop sign in Vineyard Haven, I hope everyone has a happy, healthy 2014. We live on a quirky, yet highly desirable, Island and need to remember to laugh at ourselves, even if we get sprayed by the occasional skunk or stuck in presidential motorcade traffic.
If anyone is looking for me this spring, I’ll be working off holiday season desserts to prep my abs in case the casting company calls for a computer geek to be in season two of “The Vineyard.”
Adam Darack is the information technology manager for Edgartown. He began coming to the Vineyard as a child in 1980 and has lived on Island since 2005. He is a self-proclaimed quirky computer geek who fills the other end of life’s spectrum by running off to to do Tough Mudders. He lives in Vineyard Haven with his wife, Ruth, and their two children, who are Derby obsessed mini-juniors.