“They call this a floater,” says Stephen Fletcher, executive vice president of Skinner, Inc., and owner of the circa 1815 three-quarter Cape house located in Provincetown. “It came over from Long Point.” Fletcher is referring to the tip of Cape Cod, where a thriving community—centered on a salt works—was established and more than 200 houses and a school were built between 1815 and 1850. Once the salt works went out of commission, families would float their homes across the harbor over to Provincetown’s West End. Today, many of these houses wear ceramic blue plaques depicting a house being floated on a boat. A bit of a history buff, Fletcher is well-versed in most things old. For 30 years he has been a chief auctioneer and appraiser for Skinner, Inc., heading up the company’s Americana Department—he is an expert on early American furniture and folk art. He appears regularly on PBS’s Antiques Road Show, making or breaking a participant’s dream of owning a priceless heirloom or national treasure. And he also sits on the board of trustees for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
Fletcher not only works in the antiques field, but he also lives it. His weekend house has become the perfect backdrop for his personal collection of antiques and artwork.
A career with computer giant IBM brought John Crawford and his wife Suzy around the world, with assignments in exhilarating cities including Paris and Tokyo, but when they realized retirement wasn’t too far off, they had to consider where they would plant roots. “For a number of years we started taking our regular vacations to places people retire to down South, here and there, and each time we’d come and see my folks here on the Cape,” explains John. “Then we said, ‘You know? We find the Cape to be the place we like the most.’” Read more…
Like Russian nesting dolls, each figure tucked into the next, almost everything in the Osterville home of custom-builder E.J. Jaxtimer is a story within a story. Beyond every inch of the polished wood floors and airy rooms is an ambience that reflects touching stories of E.J., his wife, Terry, their three sons, and the extended family. Even the furnishings—from pieces the couple restored when they were young newlyweds to mementos, art, and handmade crafts—represent pages of family history. Read more…
On any given morning, you’ll likely find Audrey O’Donnell working away in her studio, nestled in the lower level of her East Falmouth home. Tools in hand, she patiently sorts her materials in preparation for the day’s project. Though these may sound like the everyday tasks of any ordinary artist, O’Donnell’s creations are anything but ordinary. With steady hands and whimsical vision, she takes shells from the sea and makes art. Read more…
Watch for the new Cape Cod LIFE Gardens edition appearing in April 2011 featuring:
- In-depth features on Cape and Islands gardens with superb photography
- How-to advice and schematics from experienced gardeners
- Columns by horticultural experts in landscape design, vegetable and perennial gardens, water features… and more!
This special issue will be sent to all Cape Cod LIFE subscribers, and will be available on newsstands nationwide. You can also pick up a copy at this year’s Boston Flower Show Flower Show Book Store!
For editorial information, call Susan Dewey at 508-419-7381 x19 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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May your 2011 be filled with all the good things in life!
Some people have a hard time sharing their stories. They need to be questioned, maybe interrogated. It’s like when a parent asks their pensive child what they did in school today and they answer with a reflexive, “Nothing.” That really means they need to be asked some more questions, a line of inquiry that becomes more specific and more pointed until there’s a satisfactory answer.
Then there are the people who can tell stories at the slightest provocation. Good stories, too. The folks who seem to have the beginning, middle, and end in mind before they open their mouths. They remember the sights, the sounds, even the smells of their deﬁning experiences. And though they remember everything to the smallest detail, they have the good sense to leave out the dull and the extraneous.
John Murphy from Land Ho! in Orleans ﬁts that second description. He is a restaurateur, an accomplished artist, a family man, and a classic raconteur. When I asked him about the origins of the restaurant’s stuffed clams, I thought he might have a story to tell. I didn’t know I’d end up hearing my favorite anecdote involving a heartfelt apology from a rowdy ﬁsherman.
Whether we convey them easily or through effort, we all have stories to tell, and in this issue you’ll ﬁnd stories from folks who live all across the Cape and Islands. You’ll ﬁnd out who they are, what they do, why they came here, and why they stay here. The excellent photography shot by Dan Cutrona and other contributors proves that the words are only part of the story. But if you want to read more, visit www.capecodlife.com for extended cuts of interviews with a few of the most interesting characters.
Also in this issue, we are fortunate to feature an essay by Jay Allison, founder of WCAI, our region’s NPR station; the producer of The Moth Radio Hour, one of the great downloadable conduits of the oral tradition; and a Woods Hole resident. Elsewhere, contributor Donna Scaglione gives us an insider’s view of the best places to eat, beaches to visit, things to do, and hidden secrets of each town. Follow the guide and visit someplace you’ve never been. Afterward, you’ll probably have a few more stories to share.
Jeff Harder, Managing Editor
- Posted in Philanthropy
When I was three, we moved to a French Norman-style brick house with leaded glass windows situated on a level bit of land halfway up a hill. The house was surrounded by mature trees and long-abandoned gardens. My mother, though pregnant with my brother, took it upon herself to bring back the formal perennial beds and rock gardens as best she could. She weeded out low rock retaining walls revealing Hens and Chicks, Candytuft, and Creeping Phlox. Read more…
“In 2010, the kitchen is the heart of every home,” says Rebecca Brown, Design Manager for Classic Kitchens and Interiors of Hyannis, the kitchen design and installation company of choice for the highly regarded Cape Cod architecture and construction firm Polhemus Savery DaSilva (PSD). The firm’s President, Peter Polhemus, says “For more than ten years we have engaged Classic Kitchens and Interiors for the majority of our projects. They are our preferred kitchen company because they provide consistently high quality design, products, installation, and service. As a firm that insists on working with consultants that share our commitment to thoughtful design and well-crafted construction, we find the relationship with Classic serves both us and our clients very well.” Read more…
It’s not that interior designer Lindsey Miller has anything against traditional baby colors. It’s just that there are so many other gorgeous shades to dip into—rich reds, burnt umbers, deep browns—that bring interiors to a new eye-pleasing level, even if the room is Baby’s.
“I’m a huge fan of color,” Miller says. “When people think of a nursery, they think it’s pink or blue, male or female. They think it has to be all baby style, toys everywhere. But it can go beyond that, while still being a baby’s room.” Miller has three big reasons to know: she is owner of Lindsey Dann Miller LLC, a design firm in Los Angeles; cofounder of Former Furniture, an online marketplace of previously owned and new designer pieces; and the mother of Max, born in June. Read more…