Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Isles of Shoals

This unlikely couple met at a little island hotel on one of the rocky islands divided along the border of New Hampshire and Maine. She was a waitress and he was a scholar and Shakespearian actor from a prominent family. Fortunately, opposites attract, because this pair are my great-grandparents (that's Dar on the right!).
My Grandmother told the best stories of their adventures together... she being the one to change a flat tire when the car broke down, and her mother-in-law scolding him because his wife preferred the company of "the help" in the kitchen to that of the high-society guests at a dinner party.
I have their wedding silverware, and I use it every day. The thought of her standing over a sudsy sink, laughing with the servants (she had such a servant's heart) makes me smile and makes washing my own dishes a little more pleasant.
Maybe this Spring I'll make it to this place that was so special to all of them... I've always wanted to go. It's not so far from Brooklyn...


Unknown said...

That's a great photograph and a lovely story.

ravenpi said...

Hi! My name is Ken D'Ambrosio, and I'm one of the co-chairs of the Natural History Conference that takes place on Star Island, in the Isles of Shoals. Very likely, Star Island is where that picture was taken, because that's where the turn-of-the-century Oceanic Hotel was (and is today). Many relationships have begun, or been cemented, on Star; perhaps it's the sea air. Please *do* feel free to come visit! As a former NYC-area person, I can say that it really isn't that far -- a zippy flight into Manchester, then an hour's drive to Rye, hop on a boat, and you're there. [We can arrange transportation from Manchester to Rye, if required.] Star Island is a very special, wonderful place. Check out for more info -- and do feel free to consider the Natural History Conference, which occurs the last week of June. This year's topic is global warming, though (and this is one of the cool things about Star), you can attend the seminars, or not; you can do art stuff, or not; you can read on the front porch in a nice, comfy rocker, or not; you can row one of the rowboats, attend church services, circumnavigate the island, go to a bonfire, play board games, watch the sun set over the ocean, take a creative writing course, practice calligraphy, play tennis, learn the islands' history... or not.

In a nutshell, the perfect vacation.

If you're interested, drop me a line. I'd love to fill you in with more info. You can also visit our soon-to-be-up website at (expect some real content by April 6 or so).

Ken D'Ambrosio
Merrimack, NH