09 Apr 2013

Roll The Dice on Nantucket

Roll the Dice on Nantucket

Las Vegas and Atlantic City had nothing on Nantucket Island on a recent blustery Friday evening. The third floor of the Dreamland Theatre was transformed into a Vegas style casino complete with Craps Table, Roulette wheel and Blackjack tables…all to raise money for the Montessori Children’s School of Nantucket. Guests were treated to passed appetizers, their favorite libation and my favorite part…a $1000 chip (play money of course) to commence the gambling.

The event was fun and festive, sometimes loud and boisterous as guests celebrated a sizzling roll of the dice or their friends winning Blackjack hand. I’m not much of a gambler (although I love an occasional turn at the slot machine), but this was a fun occassion to learn some different games and socialize with people we don’t often see. My husband and I spent the majority of our night around the Craps table attempting to make sense of the complex bets and uncertain odds. Early on we played it safe and stuck to the “pass line,” but as the evening progressed and the table heated up we began taking chances on something called “The Horn Bet.” The table dealers explained to us this was risky and our odds were low, but we decided to take our chances. The shooter was hot and the dice were in our favor and we cashed in. Every now and then a good bet and the willingness to take a chance pays off.

As I gazed out over the pristine Nantucket harbor from the third floor Dreamland party room, it occurred to me that virtually every major accomplishment Nantucket has achieved required somebody or some organization to take a gamble. The enormous undertaking of restoring the theatre itself came with huge unknowns and no guarantees…but as I stood there enjoying the facility in its completion I was confident it was a risk worth taking. I considered the gratitude I owe, not just to the Dreamland Foundation, but to every person and organization with the foresight and courage to take a leap of faith and invest in the restoration, preservation and modernization of our island.

Frequently I hear Nantucket homeowners…even those preparing to sell…say their investment in Nantucket was the best decision they ever made. Beach picnics at Jetties, July 4th water fights on Main Street, surf-casting off Madequecham, ice cream in ‘Sconset and families gathered together for sunsets in Madaket.

As I pen this article, it’s the eve of my daughter’s 21st birthday. I’m in LA with her having a “coming of age” girls weekend to commemorate the big event. I’m reminded that our Nantucket home was purchased when she was just one year old. The first time her tiny toes touched ocean water was on Cisco Beach. Her first ice cream cone came from the Nantucket Pharmacy. Her first little pink bike, complete with neon pink training wheels, was ridden on Woodbury Lane. This May she’ll come “home” to Nantucket where she’ll get to play on the island as a big girl while enjoying her first Nantucket Wine Festival. Nantucket is part of our family legacy and a gift to our children and grandchildren. There is no question…investing in this island was the best decision we ever made. Why not consider your own investment in Nantucket memories – either with the purchase of your first summer home or a family vacation to the island. The pay-off will amaze you.

Double down.

Shellie Dunlap

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