Tag: Robert P. Barsanti

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.

Built of Ghosts
Nantucket Essays

Built of Ghosts

Snow shovels didn’t get much use this year. They sat at the ready in the front of the shed, poised for action in the snowy New England weather. The ghosts of my childhood clustered around them, holding hands and looking to the sky. Back in the golden age of youth, I shoveled driveways for a few of the neighbors in my childhood home north of Boston. Patterns are useful, I would begin up at the door to the garage, and then heave the snow into a pile, square by square until I came to the snow plows berm. Mr. and Mrs. Boysen would watch from a big picture window while my youth burned their driveway clear, and then they gave me a glass of orange juice and a windmill cookie. And cash. Behind the idle shovels, their ghosts stood with my father and looked at the sky. They may still be there now, but the shovels have retreated to the back of the shed, amid the volleyball nets and historical artifacts from the old Henry’s. The golf clubs have replaced them, with a similar pair of eyes focused on the sky.

Nantucket Events

Myth of the Star & Truth of the Constellation

The great lid of winter has been sliding over the island. Over a few days, the last visitors of summer danced and tumbled, but then they slipped away and left us with the gray, the cold, and the damp. The leaves have fallen and blown into drifts and piles, then to be stomped, soaked, and frozen. Behind the bare limbs, the neighbor’s windows glow. They have a new TV set and, starting at 4:30 in the afternoon, Fox News dances through the glass and across the stone patio. The R months have emerged as the blossom and bloom of summer has fallen away; the brown and gray foundations reveal themselves again.

What the Heart Needs | Nantucket, MA
Nantucket Essays

What the Heart Needs

In my early years on Nantucket, when cable was new, the movie theaters were closed, and the Internet was a rumor, dinner parties were an adult entertainment where you could talk to each other without shouting. We met on Thursday nights, when everyone was on-island and the chaos was coming to a close. Sarah and I made lasagnas, apple cakes, chowders, and any other page in the cookbook that is currently stained. Even in some tiny galley kitchens, tucked into guest houses and rental basements, Sarah and I made some nice meals.

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.

Nantucket Essays

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.