James Hardison, the dedicated Carousel restoration artist, has been named Human of Nantasket Beach of the Year by a Facebook group. Founded five years ago, the group boasts 4,672 members.
Hardison was chosen as the HONB of the Year from the many Hull residents and Hull visitors featured in the group because of his dedication to the Paragon Carousel. His restoration work is considered world- class. One horse at a time, one chariot at a time, he is making the carousel better than new.
Hardison has been working on the carousel since 1993. Before that, he restored liturgical statues, such as those depicting the Virgin Mary and St. Michael slaying the dragon.
During the summer, he is quite busy making sure Paragon’s carousel works for children of all ages. The winter is a time for restoration.
The About section of the Facebook group also has much to say about Hull’s famous beach and its other “humans”:
“Welcome to Humans of Nantasket Beach. We celebrate the sunbathers and the bikers, the day trippers and the Bernie-King-Pavilion dancers, the muscle bound and the round, the surfers and the swimmers.
“We appreciate those who remember steaming to town on the Nanny boat, riding the creaky roller coaster at Paragon Park, and dancing until dawn at Uncle Sam’s.
“We salute the vacationers, who reside somewhere else 51 weeks a year but only feel alive when they come to this amazing little place and leave all their troubles behind.
“We document the year rounders, the families who have lived in Hull for generations. For once the salt air of Hull gets in the blood, it never leaves.
“We salute the walkers, the runners, the sand-castle builders, the sea-glass collectors, the tide poolers, the youngsters with shovels and pails and the old guys with metal detectors.
“We respect the senior citizens who don’t so much sit upon the same spot of sea wall every day of the summer as much as they own it, in this life and the next.
“So pull up your favorite beach chair, have a look at the photos, and ‘like’ those that strike a chord with you. Hull is a place where all are welcome, and so too is this group.”
The carousel and Hardison’s work are made possible by the Friends of the Paragon Carousel. Donations from $1 to $1 million are welcome at paragoncarousel.com.
Submitted by Joe Berkeley