Students of the Nantucket Lighthouse Middle School, with assistance from Georgen Charnes and Gail Clark, interviewed several Nantucketers with positions related to the waters of Nantucket in the spring of 2011. Copies of these interviews are archived at Nantucket Historical Association Research Library.
"It may seem strange to you people, but when I say rarely went to the mainland, we had students in school who were in the graduating class who had never left the island. That was a big experience for them."
Malcolm Francis Soverino was born in 1926, in Nantucket, Massachusetts, at the old Nantucket Cottage Hospital on West Chester Street. His parents lived at 43 Fair Street, where his grandparents occupied the first floor. His grandfather, Herbert Jones, was a native Nantucketer, born on the corner of Pine and Lyon. During a period of economic downturn, both his grandfathers sought employment on the mainland, with Herbert Jones moving to Brockton, the shoe manufacturing center of the United States, and William Soverino moving to Fall River, a heavy textile manufacturing place. They returned to Nantucket around 1912-1914, with the Jones family purchasing a house in 1920 and moving back in 1921. Malcolm's father, the youngest in the family, returned to Nantucket as a young man fresh out of Fall River High School. Malcolm Solverino is a retired Madaket and Nantucket harbor master and former Steamship Authority employee. He is one of the most experienced seaman on Nantucket and has an amazing knowledge of the ocean. He now lives a peaceful life in Madaket with his wife and cat.
Scope and Content Note
The interview with Malcolm Soverino, conducted by Georgen Charnes and students from Lighthouse Middle School, provides a rich account of Soverino's life and experiences in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The interview begins with Soverino's personal history, including his birth, family background, and the migration of his grandfathers to the mainland for work during an economic downturn. Soverino also shares his experiences growing up in Nantucket, including the unique tradition of high school students contributing weekly to a fund for a trip to Washington, a tradition disrupted by World War Two. The interview also delves into Soverino's work experiences, including his time as the Madaket harbor master, a position he took because no one else wanted it. Soverino also shares anecdotes about the sense of community in Nantucket, contrasting it with his friend's experiences in Florida. The interview provides valuable insights into the history and culture of Nantucket, as well as Soverino's personal experiences and perspectives.
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