Founder of the Falmouth Road Race, Bartender with Mileage on his Wheels
Longnook Meadows Farm, Harvesters of Renewal
PETER STAATERMAN: Thomas Paine and a few others approached the town of Eastham and asked if they could buy a piece of land from the town for farming and whatever else they wanted to do, so they purchased from Bound Brook Island in Wellfleet all the way up to Pilgrim Lake—all the land which is now currently Truro—back in the 1600s. Each guy drew a line from the bay over to the ocean. This section of Truro belonged to the Paines. Read more…
Author, Wordsmith for the Wilderness
State Senator, Cape Air Co-Founder
Front Street Restaurant, Culinary Adventurers
In the closing moments of a conversation with Senator Dan Wolf, after we had talked about planes, public office, and family, he very directly touched on something obliquely addressed in the rest of these pages: our identity as Cape Codders. In our travels abroad, we’re Americans and New Englanders. Within the confines of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties, we are Vineyarders, Wellfleetians, and all the rest. Where we’re from depends on where we are now.
The inverse is also true: Where we are now depends on where we’re from.
For this issue, I talked with folks from all 17 communities across the region. I doubt many of them thought too deeply about their biographies until I put a tape recorder in front of them. In the course of recounting the beginnings, turns of fate, struggles, and legacies that comprise a life story, I learned from people who arrived here by design and by serendipity, from natives who came home again, and those who never left. For whatever reason, each decided to plant roots here. Each decided to identify as a Cape Codder, a Nantucketer, or a Vineyarder.
There’s a lesson here, and maybe I’m only paying attention because my wife and I finally moved over the bridge last April. Cape Cod is forever in flux, forever being pushed and pulled by its citizens. Today’s staunchest, surliest locals are usually yesterday’s washashores. But whether you head here for a few weeks in the summer, take flight at the first sign of snow on the doppler, or take the good with the bad and call this land your home year-round, there’s room here for all of us. (Eastham’s John Knight offered up this nugget on “Tourists Go Home” bumper stickers: “They go home, and shortly after, we all follow them.”) We are all fortunate to have a relationship with this place, no matter if it’s permanent or fleeting. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.
In this 2012 edition of our Annual Guide, Cape Cod Life is fortunate to once again have Dan Cutrona cast his unmatched eye and express more with pictures than I could hope to do with words. Freelance writer Tracy Hampton—who you might occasionally hear filling in behind the microphone on WCAI—explores the best, the brightest, the can’t miss, and the rarely seen in each community on the Cape and Islands. This issue also features wonderful contributions from ace Vineyard photographer Alison Shaw, our tireless (and very employable) intern Erinn Boon, and several others. We’re proud of it, and we hope you enjoy it.
Jeff Harder, Managing Editor
I got my first freelance gig before I even had a car—I had to borrow my brother’s car. This was up in Fitchburg for the Sentinel and Enterprise. I freelanced at the newspaper while I was majoring in photography at Fitchburg State College. I didn’t even touch a digital camera all through college—it was all film. I did an internship with an interior photographer and he got me into more of the magazine editorial side of things. I met my lovely bride from Falmouth, and when it came time to decide whether to be a full-time photojournalist or to try my hand at full-time freelancing, I jumped at the chance to freelance and we moved to Cape Cod.
When I first moved down, I was painting houses, grabbing some Cape Cod Times freelance work here and there, trying to make a living. Cape Cod LIFE was my first regular magazine gig—I was living right down the street from the old offices in Pocasset. I dropped off my portfolio, but I didn’t really know how it all worked. I was on a Cape Cod LIFE shoot assisting another photographer and the staff said to stop by the office. I stopped in and got my first assignment back in 2004.
I can’t specialize—I love everything I shoot. I do a lot of interiors and architectural stuff for homes, and I love that. I love doing weddings. But my true love is the environmental portrait type of assignment. Honestly, I look forward to shooting the Cape Cod LIFE Annual Guide every year.
In editorial stories, you have a little leeway—you can do a nice shot of somebody, you can do a little detail shot, then get an action shot, a nice overall shot. But in this issue, you’ve got to knock it out and tell the whole story in one shot. That’s an incredible challenge and I love doing it.
Before you even pick up a camera, you have to be comfortable with the person. Make sure they trust you, and make sure they’re willing to have their photo taken. Just chat with them for a minute. I never walk up to any of my subjects while carrying my camera. People hate getting their picture taken. You have to make sure it’s not a miserable experience for them in order to make the picture look good. Once everyone’s comfortable, you can toss out some ideas and get a good picture.