Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Letter to The Free Market News Network - 12/13/2006:


Editor – I notice that a number of friends of James Taylor and Carly Simon have emailed to explain that Simon and Taylor do not live on Nantucket but on Martha’s Vineyard. Correct. Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are twin islands off the coast of Cape Cod. I grew up about a day’s sail away in Tiverton, Rhode Island. We generally bunched the two islands both together which is why I mentioned Nantucket in the one paragraph and Martha’s Vineyard in the next. Both became dominion of the very, very wealthy in our time; generally New Yorkers with corporation money, who were looking for a place to call home. Bill Clinton regularly vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard and as I recall Carly Simon would greet him at the airport. Today liberal Harvard professors, New Republic types, New York editors and even Gordon Brown, who hopes to follow in Tony Blair’s footsteps, all vie to see and be seen among the Beautiful People on these islands - preferably quaffing a tall boy with Bill Clinton. It is perhaps a weakness of character on the part of those of us who are from the coastal region in not seeing a differentiation between the residents of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard; always the curse of the provincial, indigenous people. They all seemed to be from somewhere else, come up to occupy our humble little fishing villages with big bags of corporation money. I should add that our own charming Portuguese fishermen in their grey, flat-bottomed quahauggers, (outfitted and tweeked with twin Mercs to outrun the Coast Guard) who we would hear before dawn and see early every morning standing in the bows of their boats heading out to sea, have now fled. Even our quaint, little villages like Little Compton and Nanaquaket have been colonized and the fishing shanties sold at astonishing prices; amounts of money the former occupants – Yankee, Portuguese or Irish - had not seen in a hundred generations. We are kind of mystified and amused that places like Fogland and the Gut are now occupied by the same class of people you would see at Elaine’s or even Les Deux Magot!

Bernie Quigley

Haverhill, NH

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