Gunk’holing: Letter From A Friend

Cape Cod Life  /  September/October 2023 /

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

I have been friends with Nancy and Brian Donohoe for about 50 years. Nancy’s daughter Heidi and her great-grandmother are in the cover photo of the second issue of Cape Cod Life (Fall, 1979). Nancy sent me this letter after she and Brian visited Cape Cod a few weeks ago in August. ~ Brian Dear Brian, I just had lunch overlooking Falmouth Harbor with you, my old friend. We lost touch 40 years ago when my husband’s job took us away from Cape Cod to New Jersey. gunk’holing is the art of getting a boat into any small shallow cove, forbidden to boats of deeper draft and out again, without running aground much over a dozen times. — J. Benjamin We reminisced about the time we sat at our dining room table in West Barnstable while you told us about your new idea for a business. You wanted to start a magazine only about Cape Cod and the Islands—personal stories about every nook and cranny of the Cape. You called it Gunk’holing and I never knew anyone that loved to explore and tell more stories about the Cape. You said you needed help, and I thought I could get everyone I knew to buy ads for the magazine. Well, I sold, and you wrote.I was so happy to see you still have that great smile and a love of writing. The second issue shows my daughter, Heidi, seated with my grandmother, Evelyn Hall. Later issues also featured my son Doug Donohoe and other family members, which now numbers close to 70.  Recently, my family, 13 of us, went to the Melody Tent for a sold-out performance by Tyler Hubbard. I remember my first visit there as a youngster to see Liberace with my mother’s family and three sisters, all accomplished…

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Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.