14 Jun 2016

It’s Showtime On Nantucket

There’s a great and memorable recurring scene in the 1979 Box Office hit “All That Jazz.” Each morning, the star of the movie, Joe Gideon (played by the multi-talented Roy Scheider), pops a couple Alka Seltzer in a glass, squirts a few shots of Visine in his eyes, looks himself in the mirror and with a sarcastic lilt to his voice chimes, “It’s Showtime Baby.” Granted this guy is nobody’s role model with substance abuse and other real world troubles. But at some level, many of us can relate to his stoic determination to get up, clean up and show up. Nowhere is that more important than on Nantucket during our busy tourist season.
What, you might be wondering, does a photo of beautiful Iris in bloom have to do with being prepared for a busy summer? All over the island…and certainly at my house…the many springtime perennial plants and flowers have served as a reminder that ready or not, summer is upon us. Just two weeks ago I recall noticing the buds appearing…even as a chilling wet late spring nor’easter whipped us sideways for a couple days straight and made us wonder if summer would ever debut. And then, somehow almost overnight everything changed. The sun appeared, the temps warmed and I arrived home from work one evening to the scene in the photo. The buds had blossomed, the garden had its summer attire on and I was jarred into the reality that it indeed is “showtime” on Nantucket.
It’s fascinating to live on the island year round and witness the topography and the people segue from one season to another. The most dramatic transition definitely happens between late spring and summer. Not only does the island itself awaken from its winter slumber, but the population also experiences a major shift with the arrival of seasonal workers, summer residents and starry eyed college kids embarking on their first Nantucket summer employment experience.
As with any major production where the goal is excellence, nothing in the island’s summer preparation happens by accident. Months of thoughtful planning and organizing have gone into ensuring that this season will be the “best one yet.” With so many high-end establishments that pride themselves on the highest level of service, the pressure is great to guarantee every detail is attended to so guests, visitors and friends will feel welcome, appreciated and compelled to return to the island we love.
If you’re returning to Nantucket this summer…welcome home. You’ll be delighted to discover the red carpet (or cobblestones as it were) are rolled out and waiting for you. If you’re planning a first time trip to the island, we hope you’ll feel the same giddiness many before you have felt as the ferry rounds Brant Point and brings the Grey Lady into full view. And if you’re some of the lucky ones who call this island home here’s a newsflash – the Iris are in bloom, the ferries are arriving and the Stop and Shop has a fresh supply of Visine and Alka-Seltzer.
It’s showtime baby!

.  Shellie Dunlap 

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