Saturday, September 28, 2013

The House on Rock Harbor Road -- Thursday, Sept. 21 + Monday Sept. 25, 1961

The Saga of Hurricane Esther continues. (Read the first part, in case you tuned in late.) I've combined a couple of shorter entries. Also, I've transcribed my father's rather challenging handwriting and also included scans of his typed pages. [To enlarge each scanned image below for a better reading experience, right click and select Open Link in new window. In the new window, click the image to make larger or smaller.]

Thursday, Sept. 21

The eye of the storm is 40 miles SW of Nantucket. I walk down the road to the harbor. (Editor’s note: They lived down the street from Rock Harbor.) The rain let up and the wind was fresh from the east in gusts probably up to 40mph.

Mrs. Lambert is not in her cottage. She must have gone to Mrs. Gibson’s house. Striding along the road the wind pushes me along. Small land birds fling them themselves suddenly into the air as though thrown and land downwind as quickly as they appeared. The pigeons pattern the lee side of a rooftop. When the wind does to a (?) they circle about in the air in scattered confusion. Only the gulls seem at home in the storm. Flying almost lazily against the wind, they swing windward in wide arcs that carry them far out across the meadow where others can be seen on the ground white against green.

The wind guests lash at small isolated trees when all around there seems a lull. These brief blasts of air lend the wind a temper, a personality given to outbursts of anger. Such moments call attention to the vulnerability of a tree. Rooted, it must always stand its ground against all elements and all forms of attack.

While I watched that single tree—a silver poplar—in the grip of a terrier wind, I thought of the photographer Edward Steichen who in his eighties is devoting himself to taking hundreds of pictures of the small tree, a shad bush, in all its phases, in all seasons and in all kinds of weather.

Monday, Sept. 25