The Extinction of the Middle Class on Nantucket

(Though this is non music related, I felt I had to defend beautiful Nantucket, after the front page article in today's NY Times. (NATIONAL / CLASS | June 5, 2005 Old Nantucket Warily Meets the New By GERALDINE FABRIKANT (NYT) News) I am writing in regards to Geraldine Fabrikant's article on Nantucket. As a folk singer, mother, and part-time graphic designer for a non-profit, I feel sad and embarrassed to have my town portrayed as a magnet for people who have nothing to talk about beyond money. I live here despite the odds, because of the striking beauty and serenity of Nantucket, not to mention the amazing history. I realize this is why many power moguls wind up here too, perhaps looking for solace from the chaos that money can create. Why then I wonder are they doing all they can to ruin this island? SUVs plow down our narrow streets. Historic homes are razed as McMansions are built. Our beaches just now experiencing a red tide, eutrification caused by the herbicide run-off from their golf courses. I am a year-round Nantucketer who falls into your article's last-to-be-mentioned (and as usual, overlooked) middle class on Nantucket which incidentally makes up about 85 % of the people who live here year round (aprox.10,000 people). The article hit on many valid points, but is still hard to swallow as it skims over such a large percentage of true Nantucketers. My husband, our new baby daughter and I rent an apartment subsidized by my employers. We will probably never be able to afford a home here. It hurts, that those of us who live here 365 days a year, are being squeezed out by people who take up more than their fair share of the space, boldly bragging about how little time they spend here. Though we are thankful for the money they throw around, we are happiest when at the end of August we can wave goodbye, knowing that those visitors to Nantucket who are only interested in money would never be able to appreciate the beauty that comes with the first Nor'easter of the year. Here's a good quote for us Nantucketers... - If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. -- Samuel Adams

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