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Nantucket Essays

Privilege Wears Waders

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ The tide was draining out of Madaket Harbor in the early afternoon under the incandescent winter sun. Safe in waders, six of us stood in the cold water that lapped around our waists. Aware of the present danger and recent past, we watched each …

1st PlaceWinner in the Yesterday's Island Photo Contest: Ward Vogt

The Judge

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ As you get older, your life becomes a lab experiment for doctors and nurses and a math problem for bureaucrats and insurance executives. I go off-island, from time to time, to confer with the young people who pick at me like a frog transfixed …

The Hope Chest

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ Nantucket scars us. We are stewards to an island in the sea of time. The cobblestones remain as they always have, as do the moors and the gray buildings. The years seem to slide by us. History happens on the other side ot the …

September on Nantucket

Mondays in September

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ By September, Monday leans back, gives himself a scratch, and looks around the backyard for a few minutes. It has all the time it needs. Nothing presses it. The phone doesn’t ring, the e-mail only contains spam, and the coffee is ready by the …

Books

Storing Life

~by Robert P. Barsanti ~ You know who you are in a storage locker. When you open the padlock and the shutter goes up, all is laid out in front of you at the cost of $125 a month. Every one that I never became is stacked and stored in …

Brant Point, Nantucket

Keeping Time

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ On Friday afternoon, just around quitting time, I stood in a line at Old South Liquors with a dozen cold beverages in my hands. It was a good time to quit; the air was warm, the fog distant, and the winds favorable. The men …

Autism Speaks | Nantucket, MA

Getting So Close – Autism Speaks

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ I am trying to get my son to shave. Ever since he was in seventh grade, he has grown a phenomenal beard; a dense thicket of wiry red bristles. After eight hours, a shadow appears. In two days, a low growth spreads across his …

Nantucket Essays

It Isn’t “the There”

There are not many left. Certainly, not many left on an acre of oceanfront in Squam. It isn’t much. It had been a shack for fishermen to spend the weekend, then it became something you could bring the wife and kids to, then it became a place for the grandchildren …

Nantucket Essay

We’ll Keep Digging

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ It’s a good summer to give up on watching TV. Most of the good shows have called it a season, and every sport, save baseball, has finally sent their players home to their families and their countries. Baseball rolls on, of course, but baseball …

Yesterday's Island, Today's Nantucket

We Came Here Because of Here

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ The rain continues to fall. Heavy rain does funny things to the island; there is no place for all of that freshwater to go, other than the ocean. But before it gets to the ocean, it puddles in the parking lots, cross streets, and …

Nantucket Essay | Yesterday's Island, Today's Nantucket

The Deference of Consideration

~ by Robert P. Barsanti ~ At the corner of Pleasant and Main Street, near the Three Bricks and in the shadow of the Hadwen House, a Silver Yukon took the privilege of making an unsignalled right turn in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and touched the …

Quaker Meeting House | Nantucket, MA

Mending the World

by Robert P. Barsanti Every Sunday, at 11:30, I realize I am late for church. I come by this feeling honestly. My family came to St. Marie Goretti’s late as a regular habit, so much so that the Pastor had the wise idea that if he made my father a …