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Nantucket Essays

bedside books | Nantucket, MA

Teaching Habits for Life

by Robert P. Barsanti We were all out of the water, while the sharks swam with the jellyfish. They could have been swimming with killer whales and mermaids, the fog was so thick you could only see one wave out to sea. On the other hand, the air remained warm …

sunset | Nantucket, MA

The Salvation of a Nantucket Sunset

by Robert P. Barsanti Even at 6 pm you can find sandals at the beach. They remain paired and herded at the base of a dune, or underneath the Rosa Rugosa, or at the foot of the stairs. All the brands are represented, from Nike to J.J. Newberry’s to L.L.Bean …

Cranberry Harvest | Nantucket, MA

They Aren’t Wrong

by Robert P. Barsanti I have become blind to phones. I understand that we live in a time when people can enter their own digital bubble, mentally recline on the electric curve, and watch the fun swirls—I know the attraction of Words with Friends. But, on a Saturday afternoon in …

Sunset | Nantucket, MA

With Each Sunset

by Robert P. Barsanti Not surprisingly, I was stuck in traffic on Quaker Road. A sprinkler had been left on out in Madaket, and I was making my way out there in the late evening. My boon companion and I had had a hot day, but we were without air-conditioning …

The Two of Them

by Robert P. Barsanti The grandson’s plane left at three. They had waited with the young man at the airport, whiling away a couple more hours as the airline people shrugged and smiled. The air conditioners were buzzing away, and neither of them had been inside the terminal in ten …

Replacing Island Fun and Folly

by Robert P. Barsanti The carnival used to come here. Sometime in the middle of July, the rides would come over on the freight boat in the middle of the night, assemble at the Steamship Wharf, and then parade out to the field in Tom Nevers. It was not quite …

Carter Stewart | Nantucket, MA

Beach Party

by Robert P. Barsanti Two days ago, we cancelled a beach party. We had one of those days that only happens on Nantucket or in Maine. In the center of the island, or in town, or anywhere more than one hundred yards from the beach, the air hung and dripped. …

photo by Tom Griswold

Finding America in the Moonlight

by Robert P. Barsanti At four in the morning, a sliver of a moon rises out of the mists of the Atlantic. It hangs over Cliff Road, obscured by a bank of clouds, then illuminating the elms, oaks, and eaves. In the purple night, the road contains rabbits, deer, and …

Well Kept Hedge | Nantucket, MA

Learning To Be a Nantucketer

by Robert P. Barsanti Close friends of mine are lucky enough to live in one of the right addresses. As a result, nine months out of the year they have no neighbors within a well struck two iron. In the summer, the street is a hive of activity. They tell …

cyclist | Nantucket, MA

Campagnolo Clan on Nantucket

by Robert P. Barsanti The Professors of the Peloton passed me at our new stop sign on Surfside Road and Bartlett. I eased to a stop, adjusted the radio, then looked up at sixteen middle-aged and older men swooping past me like starlings. They pulled out into the oncoming traffic, …