Category Archives: Nantucketers

Nantucket: Where Are You Now?

Earlier in the week, we sent out a query: “Where are you now?” Nantucketers have always been known for traveling far and wide, and February is the time when most of us get off the island. We wanted to know where you were, and the following maps answer that question.

Some of the more interesting comments in the responses:

  • No need to ask, they’re all in the Keys.
  • would rather be on Nantucket
  • Keene, NH & New Bedford, MA. Exciting, huh?
  • On the beach in Stuart, Fl Not missing the snow
  • Enjoying the M. A. T. emails from the Nob Hill area of Portland, Or
  • in Provence! sorry to be missing that Wed. storm
  • In the middle of no where, Abadania an hour or so south-west of Brasilia
  • A small town inside an extinct volcano two hours west of Panama City, Panama on the Pacific coast
  • In OH waiting to get dumped on again. 2 feet on Friday and 2 more to come tomorrow – what was I thinking?
  • Charlottesville, VA – believe what you read and hear about Friday’s storm!
  • Hoi An, Vietnam! cool experiment Gene!
  • New Orleans, La. There is a lot of excitement here due to the Saints’ victory, the new mayor, and the Mardi Gras season.
  • We’re in Vero Beach, FL – along with a lot of other Nantucketers!
  • Freezing in Sarasota, FL!!!!
  • Heading to Reykjavik, Iceland tomorrow. Not much snow here.
  • Can’t WAIT to see the map w/ all the Nantucketers that travel the globe! I’ll never forget meeting an elderly couple who turned out to be fellow islanders at baggage claim in Orly, Paris back in the 90’s. And do you remember Cary’s summer slide show with the story of the woman in Greece carrying an ACKbasket./purse and the narrator asked her if she was from Nantucket……and her reply was “My dear I”M FROM S’CONSET!” Ha

Nantucketers in the News

Curtis Barnes was presented a Massachusetts Hospitality Award at the 21st Annual Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism on February 29th, given to Baystaters who have had a positive effect on the tourism industry through outstanding service to visitors. Nominated by the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, Curt was awarded for his role as Nantucket Town Crier for over 25 years. To no one’s surprise, Curt attended in full regalia, bell and all. Pictured with Curt are Governor Patrick and Chamber Director Tracy Bakalar.

Albert L’Etoile has resigned as Executive Director of the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum as of April 8. He will be relocating to Maine with his partner. Sorry to lose him.

Jamie Howarth won a Grammy for his restoration on “The Live Wire – Woody Guthrie In Performance 1949”. Jamie is best known on island for being able to play any song ever recorded, and holds forth at The Summer House and The Club Car. He’s pictured here with Katie Couric at The Summer House.

Jamie was featured in an article in the February 2008 edition of Boston Magazine entitled “How a Small Nantucket Company Turned a Forgotten Woody Guthrie Recording into a Grammy Nominee.” The original 1949 bootleg recording was on 3 miles of hair thin wire. With nothing available to play the antiquated wire recording, Jamie rigged a reel to reel recorder, feeding the wire in by hand. Jamie’s Plangent Processes calculates and then compensates for the speed of the motor on the original recorder, correcting the natuarally occuring stretching of audio tape over time.

Jamie has also done work for Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, and the movie sound tracks of Young Frankenstein, West Side Story, and Close Encounters of a Third Kind.

Independent article from 2005.
Independent article from 2007.

The Palm Beach Post of February 6, 2008 had an article about summer resident Mia Matthews entitled: “A day in the life of a Palm Beach socialite; Mia Matthews hosts a charity cocktail and fashion show at her mansion.” The event was to attract attention to the Caron’s Renaissance Institute Lifesaver Gala on March 6, and to thank past supporters. Pictured here are Mia and Bob Matthews. The full story.

Tim Madden has filed with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance as in Independent running for State Representative of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket County, following the announcement that Eric Turkington (D – Falmouth) will not run for re-election. Tim has been serving as legislative liaison for the island.

Sandy MacDonald has been selected for a small chorus that will be part of the New York City premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “White House Cantata” at Lincoln Center on March 31st, to be directed by Roger Rees. Sandy thanks Paulette Allemand for her voice lessons, coaching, and her encouragement. Sandy is pictured here at the recent Un-Valentine’s Cabaret.

Nantucket on Video

Some videos worth a watch:

First up, Michael Maury. Michael graduated from Nantucket High School where he was in the band and chorus, and sang in the Naturals. He graduated from Ithaca College as a music major and theatre minor. When on Nantucket, he was sang in the Cobbletones, and was in Theatre Workwhop and Actors Theatre productions, beginning at the age of eight. Michael is now in LA, acting, singing (waiting tables and bartending) and doing everything he can to get his name and face out there with networking.

Michael is asking for your vote for Rock Star 987 from an L.A. radio station, 98.7. Only 1 vote per email address is allowed, and voting ends 5pm (PT) on January 2nd. Your votes will narrow it down to the Top 25. Round 2 voting will begin on January 3rd where one artist/band will win $25,000, a record deal with ATO Records, and go on tour. The details are here. Here’s his video entry.

And if you can’t play it, click here.

Next, a promotional video for the Atlantics.

Click here if the video does not appear above or you can’t play it.

A look at the Nantucket Sound Wind Power Debate from The Weather Channel. Click to watch. This one is slow to load.

Nantucket in the News

Catching up on articles that have appeared over the past few months about Nantucket:

Conde Nast Traveler has announced the results of the 20th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Nantucket placed third in Best Island in North America, behind Vancouver Island, Canada, and Kiawah, S.C. San Francisco remains the #1 U.S. City, and has been for 17 of the past 18 years. The poll is considered the largest independent poll of consumers’ preferences, second in size only to the U.S. Census. Over 28,000 people voted this year. The complete listings can be found in the upcoming November 2007 issue.

The Daily Show broadcast a piece on the Cape Wind Farm in August.

In June, Travel + Leisure published an article entitled A Shore Thing: Nantucket on a Budget, leading with “Nantucket is not just for preppies with deep pockets. To enjoy this classic getaway, all you need is a pair of wheels and a sense of adventure.” Mentioned are the Sherburne Inn, Young’s Bicycle Shop, cocktails at the Wauwinet Inn, brunch at Black-Eyed Susan’s, Even Keel Cafe, L’lle de France, Gypsy, Eye of the Needle, the Juice Bar, Nantucket Gourmet, a sail on the Endeavor, Nantucket Wine & Spirits, Straight Wharf Fish Store, and Nantucket Lobster Trap.

More Foreign Workers Chase Dream on Wealthy Nantucket; Poor Immigrants Find Way Among the Rich, The Boston Globe, August 25, 2007. Excerpts:

Many immigrants work two jobs, ride bicycles to get around, and live two to a room to cut costs. Many of those who employ them inhabit sprawling mansions, travel by private jet and yacht, and do not work.

“Rich people leave things there, all free,” said Maria Peña, a legal immigrant from El Salvador who runs a housecleaning business. “We can’t buy clothes here — they’re beautiful, but so expensive — so everyone goes there. That is our place.”

But the immigrants say the opportunities to make money and build better lives are worth the struggle to adjust to life in this privileged enclave.

In interviews, foreign workers voiced little resentment of the leisure and luxury that surrounds them. If anything, they say, the excess provides inspiration.

“Here, you sit next to a multimillionaire and you’re treated the same,” said a 34-year-old man from Ireland who was drinking beer at The Muse, an island nightclub, and declined to give his name because he is in the United States without proper immigration documents. “There are a lot of success stories of people who came here with nothing.”

Islanders say the newcomers provide labor that is vital for the isolated island and have infused the place with cultural vibrancy. Stories of immigrants who have started their own businesses and bought houses are savored by natives and newcomers.

A Philistine in the Shingle Museum, By Sasha Issenberg. Boston Magazine, October, 2007:

“The bumper stickers read ‘Gut Fish, Not Houses.’ And as the Nantucket homeowner who helped inspire them has learned, in some historic neighborhoods, your remodeling team had better include a good lawyer.”

The article is a look at the work of the HDC, particularly involving the 300-year-old house at 105 Main, Starbuck-Kilvert House, and dealing with the question of whether walls are part of the house’s interior or exterior, how one defines a demolition, as well as the coining of ‘Gut fish, not houses’ by the Nantucket Preservation Trust. Well researched and reported, with attorney Bill Hunter and HDC chair Dirk Roggeveen as the protagonists.

Town Appreciation Day

Town Appreciation Day took place at Jetties Beach on Thursday, August 30, honoring all Town employees, and celebrating years of service milestones.

If you see someone you know in any of these photos, please forward the newsletter to them, and encourage them to subscribe. Go to the very end of the newsletter and click the “Forward email” link.

For more photos, go to the Mahon About Town Photo Pages.

Town Appreciation Day 2

Friends in Need

Two of our friends need our help.

First, John Billings is dealing with the effects of cancer with chemo and radiation treatments, and needs reconstructive surgery in a Cleveland clinic. He’s been living with his daughter in Florida, taking care of her two children, but has not been able to work for some time now. John does have partial health insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything, and it doesn’t cover housing in, nor transportation to and from Cleveland.

Friends will be gathering on Wednesday, June 20th, between 5:00 – 9:00 pm at Jetties Beach Restaurant for great food and a cash bar, a live auction with auctioneer Billy Santos, and music by Sheppard’s Pie. Tickets will be $25 at the door, or in advance at Even Keel Cafe and the Rose & Crown.

Save the date and plan to attend. More details later on that, but for now, we’re asking for you to donate auction items. It could be your house in St. Barth’s, flight time on your airplane, your artwork, a shopping spree, your chef abilities for a dozen people or so, meals in your restaurant. Be imaginative. Contact Jenny Garneau at 508-325-0048, or

Rachel Parrotto Budzynski is a young mother, daughter Isabella, who has led an active and healthy lifestyle, and was a practicing acupuncturist here on Nantucket. Rachel is in the biggest fight of her life. She was diagnosed in January with a rare form of cancer: high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoid. Her prognosis is highly uncertain and she may require some form of chemotherapy every year for the rest of her life. Rachel has had to go on medical leave due to her illness. As a result, her income has been eliminated and with that the Budzynski family needs our help.

Rachel’s friends and family have come together for “Raise It Up For Rachel!” at the Rose & Crown on Sunday, June 24th, from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. The money raised will supplement living expenses, transportation to and from Dana Farber Cancer Institute, lodging in Boston during chemo treatments, daycare expenses for Isabella, and the option for additional treatment and rehabilitation.

Tickets are $25 – $50 per person (sliding scale). There will be a silent and live auction, as well as raffle(s) and mystery prizes in balloons for purchase at $20, $50 and $100. Debba at the R&C will be the auctioneer. DJ music, cash bar, and food.

For tickets, information, and donations, send an email to “” Volunteers will be checking in to answer any questions. Or call Mindy Levin at 325-4777, Laura Wasserman at 325-0562, or Virna Gonzalez at 917-494-0187.

That same day, mentalist and hypnotist Paul Carpenter will perform at Bennett Hall in a benefit for Rachel. I’ll announce the exact times and ticket prices here as soon as I know.

Readers Write

I often get emails from friends and subscribers who appreciate the newsletter, and others who are just checking in from off island – sometimes far off island. Here are some of the most recent.

From Karen Szahun:
Still love being kept in the loop with your newsletter – thanks! So, after a winter of moving around, I have finally settled down here in New Orleans. I LOVE it!! I’ve been down here for a few months & am having a blast! Funny thing…driving over the street car tracks a few weeks ago I stopped for a man on a bike to go across, he stopped for me, we exchanged a look of confused recognition & then moved on. Later on that same day I was going out of my front door and that same man was stopped in front of my house on his bicycle. I said…is your name Barry??…from Nantucket?? He smiled & said “You’re in the band!!!”. We both laughed. It was Barry Donovan – a contractor out on Nantucket. It was surprising & wonderful to see a familiar face on the street down here! Anyway, still playing music (got to play with Charmaine Neville a few weeks ago!), teaching music at a summer camp for 2 to 12 year olds, and am in the process of starting up a sports-based youth program in the city. Exciting times down here!

From Kerry Flynn:
Best wishes on two years of great writing. Mahon About Town is the must-have go-to to know what’s going on on island and afar. I love your missives from home while away on the other side of the world. I am currently in Vietnam for two months as a volunteer caregiver and English teacher at assorted orphanages around Da Nang, and love reading all about what’s going on at home. My weekdays are spent in Da Nang working at several orphanages around the city.

Besides my hearty congratulations to you on your landmark anniversary, I wondered whether you might entertain a little PR work for me on behalf of my mission here. I haven’t been in Da Nang quite long enough to know what I might do to help the people here, but I was thinking that a little column in Mahon About Town might be a good introduction to islanders and summer visitors who subscribe so that more people might be familiar with what I was doing before I hit them up for money or donations or whatever for the lovely people here.

Anyway, here’s the website that describes the work I’m doing. It’s just wonderful here, and the children are just amazing. I will definitely make this organization a part of my life for years to come. The children need so much, and westerners could really offer so much without even breaking a sweat.

And here’s the website I set up t chronicle my time here.

From Greg Bourbeau:
Thank you very much for your help getting the word out about Arm Chair last night. 50 people showed up at Beverly’s house and the evening was a great success.

From Susan Fernald:
Mahon about Town is an incredible service/pleasure/resource! It is great for folks on-island, but really really important for Nantucket ex-pats (or should we call them ‘ex-acks’?). You have near instantaneous response time, an ear-to-the-ground for getting the word out on impromptu events and, on a sadder note, for sudden losses.

From Kim Cooper:
Moved out to Sonoma recently and if I didn’t have your Newsletter, I don’t think I’d remain grounded..even if I couldn’t party with the dolls til lingerie, i can share their fun thru your pix..thanks

From Wesley Morris:
CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes for your continued success on this, your anniversary of the newsletter! Martha and I hope to see you “about Town”, doing your thing, for the next fifty or so years at least !!! And if I ever do actually bring my law practice to Nantucket, whether in “semi-retirement” or full-time, yours will be the first door I knock upon for advertising and advice.

Nantucket Wine Festival Opening Reception

The 11th Annual Nantucket Wine Festival opened last night, a kind of soft opening for the
Festival itself.

For more photos, go to the Mahon About Town Photo Pages.

Nantucket People

Newly elected Nantucket Selectman Allen Reinhard received the Massachusetts Travel Industry Hospitality Award at the 20th Annual Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism on March 22nd in Worcester.

Outgoing Selectman Doug Bennett, not one to miss an opportunity, posted his “Farewell Address” on his blog on April 3rd. In it, he addresses issues such as housing, transportation (I support the construction of a well-designed, historically appropriate parking facility as part of a downtown transportation center on the former electric company property), alternative energy (I urge the further examination of not only wind energy, but tidal and current energy in the general area of south of Tuckernuck), and the citizenry (We should focus our energy on the positive, welcoming new residents of different ethnic backgrounds, encouraging young people to be involved in political life and sharing the wealth of our island community). He lists 17 “accomplishments”, and says “I’ll always be available to you or the incoming board members to share my advice or experiences.” Bennett was recently named campaign director for a Republicans running in a special election in the 11th Norfolk District

Seen in the April issue of Boston Magazine: Jack Hynes and Natalie Jacobson at the Rising Stars Gala in Boston.

Seen in the latest issue of Boston Common Magazine: Kim and Jim Pallotta and Angela and Seth Raynor at the Boston Boys and Girls Club benefit, Bob Crowe, Natalie Jacobson at the Boston Go for Red for Women Luncheon; Dionne and Paul Palandjan at the Betting on a Cause and a Cure benefit.

Mentioned in the latest Improper Bostonian: Bob Crowe at the American Ireland Fund benefit; Pictured was Jim Pallotta in drag for a Boston Boys and Girls Club benefit.