Tag: Robert P. Barsanti

Nantucket Essays

The Oldest Member

They brought the Oldest Member down to the beach after his nap. He didn’t want to go.
They were all there and he knew why.
The Oldest Member was turning 98 today. The number was absurd, as is any number over 75. His mother had had the consideration to give birth during the month of August, so that his family always had a good reason to visit when the water was warm, the surf was high, and tomatoes were plump. Had the great blessed stork visited her a few months earlier, and had he been born in March, he suspected that his birthday would not be quite so well attended.

Nantucket Essays

‘Sconset Rules

Only one person used a cell phone.
Over Sconset, God sealed his covenant in cerulean blue. A light breeze shuffled the scrub oak leaves in Larsen Park and shifted the straw hat on a woman who had turned down a job offer because it began in August and she just couldn’t go right now.

Bartletts Farm Truck
Nantucket Essays

Say “Yes” to Little Adventures

She had been here a month.

From an Ivy League school, emerging from two years of pandemic college education, she stopped off on the back of the vegetable truck on Main Street. By this time in the morning, she was only selling zucchini, broccoli, and a few odd wildflowers. But it was a good day. She was wearing a tie-dye work shirt, white sneakers, and a big smile. “Everyone has been so…nice.”

Nantucket Traffic
Nantucket Essays

Nantucket Traffic Gives Me Hope

“Do you want a piece of me?”

He did not look tasty.

He was well over seventy, bald, with a gray Van Dyke beard, a yellow Vineyard Vines shirt, and a visor. He was standing behind the hood of his white-and-gold Mercedes SUV. His wife had just backed into a Jeep and was ready to drive away until they saw me. I had started recording the two of them.

True Value During The New Normal
Nantucket Essays

True Value During The New Normal

We went to the movies for the first time in a year or so. The superheroes were on the big screen, the sound shook the seats, and no one looked back at the explosions. In front of us, a string of teenagers needled each other and glanced at their phones. We were glad to be there, glad to be maskless, and glad that they were making popcorn again.

Well Kept Hedge | Nantucket, MA
Nantucket Essays

Green Retreats

The backyard has grown in. When we first moved in, the backyard inched up to a stone wall, and then expanded into a low bushes and a marsh before it rose into paddocks and a ridge. The ridge, of course, sprouted houses sometime just after the turn of the millennium. The low brush, on the other hand, was once a place where I stood up the old Christmas tree so that the boys could see it through the spring and summer. Now, those bushes have grown to eight feet or so, and the houses on the ridge are hidden.

The Gift of Privilege
Nantucket Essays

The Gift of Privilege

She parked her dented pickup in the loading zone for the Hy-Line. Then, she left it with her friend and her luggage. Her landscaper’s pickup truck, redolent of hydrangea and dirt, sat half in traffic, half in the loading zone while a row of cars built up behind her. The rest of us had luggage to drop off, people to bid farewell, and business to conduct. But we were stuck behind her.

Land Shark
Nantucket Essays

Nantucket’s Land Sharks

Everything you need to know about Nantucket is in the classifieds. The stories may not stand up, grab you by the collar, and shout at you; but if you sit down next to them, hold their hand, and listen quietly, the truth will come out. Then, if you stand up, say thanks, and look around, you can see the world from where you stand.

Nantucket Essays

“Disney World” After the Pandemic

My mother wanted to go to Disney World.
For most of my young life, she had expressed this wish, although in her own Irish tongue and manner. My father was a skier and felt that any trip in February had best be about snow and chairlifts, not sand and roller coasters. As a result, our vacations tended to involve heading north instead of heading south. Even after her sister took my cousins to Disney World three times—a normal, middle class rite of passage—my father would not relent.

Sanford Farm | Nantucket, MA
Nantucket Essays

We Are Born Lucky

My boon companion and I make a habit of walking Sanford Farm out to the barn, at which point, I sit down and he surveys the scents and smells. In the “R” months, he is able to travel around unabated; those who come walking by are familiar with an unleashed dog, or, at least, they are familiar with this unleashed dog. He tolerates a scratch on the head, or if he is in the mood for something more intimate, the travelers can scratch him on the hindquarters or on the belly. As they leave, his eyes follow them. Then, like a philandering husband, he returns to his longtime partner; he knows where the treats are. I was born lucky.