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Nantucket Essays

Essential Nantucket

In September, the Members have arrived. They may have dawdled through the summer in Florida or Colorado, but now when the Albies are schooling, the wind is fresh, and the crowds have gone, they have flown up, settled in, and are enjoying the evening on their porches. For everyone else, Labor Day is that cruelest of holidays, when school and office call just as the island is at its best. The corn, the tomatoes, the surf, the sky—everything peaks just as the summer people are leaving. For the Members, their sunlit time has come.

Ebb Tide of Summer

They walk by each night at six thirty. He wears a UConn sweatshirt, a Bill Fischer Tackle hat, and lists to starboard at each step. She sports movie star sunglasses and pink sneakers. They trudge by, smile, wave, and keep going. My Boon Companion has stopped giving them warning barks and now wags.

The End of Something

by Robert P. Barsanti By now, we can see the end of something. The Yukon from New Jersey, with all of the Cisco stickers and the roof rack is number three on standby and is ready, finally, to head back. The lines are shorter, the parking is easier, and the …

Summertime Drift

The sky announces the end of summer.During my solitary walk to the trash can late at night, I saw a long streak cross the southern sky before it disappeared behind a low rolling cloud. The Perseid meteor shower lights up the middle of August and calls out “last call.”

Shouting Down the Status Quo

The moon surprised us.
The marginal fog had simmered away until the beach settled clear and blue. We were lolling in our chairs on the south shore before an insistent, distant, and muttering surf. All around us, pink skin stretched over towels, under umbrellas, and in front of phones.

Lines | Nantucket, MA

Considering Consideration

Nantucket sings and swings on consideration. You can’t act without thinking of others because the others are thinking of you. You must drive with your eyes up and your windows open, because the guy in the Miles Reis truck has to see you before he turns. Your Freedom To runs smack dab into Freedom From, then gets a load of garbage on the hood. You have to look, you have to wave, you have to wait.

surf | Nantucket, MA

Privilege of Surf

The storm missed.

It formed off the coast of North Carolina and, instead of following the time honored path of the Gulfstream, it hooked left over New Jersey and New York, leaving us with fog, a stiff breeze, and some rolling surf.

The Game of Hope

by Robert P. Barsanti The seventh hole at the Sconset Golf Club rumbles down hill, over an irrigation ditch and up to a shaggy green for 150 yards. In the fog of history, you can see some smart fellow in plus fours swinging a niblick and dropping a ball, with …

Centuries of Silence

Two years ago, Someone spray painted racist graffiti on on the front of the African Meeting House on Nantucket. Two years later, that Someone is out there drinking coffee and waving at the cops when they drive by. The police department “will vigorously pursue the perpetuators of this hate crime,” which, I suppose, they are still doing.

Sound of Silence

On Saturday afternoons, I have been driving around the island and taking pictures. While the weather continues to be stuck in a damp June-uary, the season has begun. I drove down to Straight Wharf to photograph the boat basin, then out to Cisco Brewers, Cisco Beach, and then back to the head of Main Street. At nine o’clock, in May, with trees laden with leaves, cherry blossoms clustered, and absolutely no cars. Aside from people like me, memorializing the absence and remarking at the silence.