A romantic evening on a Nantucket beach almost turned into disaster… By Fran O'Connor, DeKalb, Illinois
While honeymooning in Nantucket, Tom and I drove to an isolated beach and parked on a narrow strip of land to watch the sun set. The sky’s vibrant reds and oranges turned to violet, and in one big gulp the ocean swallowed the sun.
“We should get back to the inn,” Tom said. He stepped on the gas. The tires spun in the sandy mud and reeds. Each time he revved the engine, we sank deeper. Finally, Tom jumped out to push while I tried my hand at the wheel, but the car wouldn’t budge. Darkness blotted out everything but the phosphorescence of crashing waves. The tide was coming in!
I scanned the beach. We were far from the main road. God, I asked, send someone our way. In the distance I noticed the dim outline of a dilapidated shack.
At that moment a faint light went on inside. Then a glow moved toward us and I saw the bent figure of an old man in a battered fisherman’s hat, lantern in hand, nets slung over his shoulder. “Here, try these!” he shouted, tossing the nets to Tom.
After packing the nets behind the tires, Tom got in and gunned the engine. With a whoosh the tires gripped the nets and Tom backed out. We turned to call our thanks to the old man, but he had already picked up his nets and left. How had he moved so quickly?
Back at the inn, we told the proprietor about the fisherman who came to our rescue. “Old man?” she asked. “That fishing shanty has been abandoned for years.”