Yesterday's Island Today's Nantucket
Volume 40 Issue 3 • May 20-26, 2010
now in our 40th season

Celebrating our 40th Anniversary!
Island Memories

This season is Yesterday’s Island’s 40th year publishing on Nantucket.  We’ve seen many changes on the island in those four decades, and over the years we’ve made many changes to our newsmagazine.

As part of our anniversary celebration, we’re printing memories of the island in 1970 that have been shared with us by readers.  Jo Ann Hubbard saw our request on the Yesterday’s Island Facebook page and was the very first to respond.  We’d like to thank her for sending in her story, and we hope that it jogs some memories of others on-island 40 years ago.
If you have a memory of Nantucket Island in 1970 that you’d like to share with us and our readers, please email it to or mail it to us at P.O. Box 626, Nantucket, MA 02554.

Straight Wharf Theater

In Nantucket in 1970, we were poised between Woodstock and our ‘preppie’ past, as my friends and I prepared to enter our senior year in high school. My mother, who had acted in a number of plays at the Straight Wharf Theatre under Mac Dixon’s directorship, encouraged me to become involved in the theater during the summer of 1970. Too scared to get on stage, I helped paint scenery that summer and loved it!

I worked at the A&P, driving a used car (station wagon!) plastered with peace stickers yet still shopping at the Country Store, attending pines parties in the winter and beach parties at the ‘4oth pole’ on summer nights. We never went out to eat unless it was for an ice cream at the drugstore or breakfast at the Sandpiper on Main Street. No teens had “discretionary income” we were all saving for college. My Dad was a policeman in ‘Sconset and once in a while I drove there to visit him, as there were lots of cute summer boys, especially caddies.

1970 was an idyllic time, uncomplicated and simple. We formed lasting friendships with summer kids. We didn’t need much money to have fun - we had our beaches and our friends. We were grown up, or thought we were, and still young enough to be idealistic about the future.

Susan Fernald


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