NOT JUST FOR SUMMER ANYMORE
These Washingtonians’ Isle of Choice is Definitely Nantucket
Washington Life spent Labor Day weekend on Nantucket taking in the cool island breezes and visiting with many of our readers and friends. Chris and Kathleen Matthews and Barbara Harrison and her husband John Chester Pyles, III recently purchased houses on the island, joining the swelling ranks of prominent Washingtonians who summer there, including: John Kerry and Teresa Heinz, Tim Russert and Maureen Orth, Bill and Alison Paley, Bob and Carol Foley, Robert and Marion Rosenthal, David and Alice Rubenstein, Robert and Mary Haft, Evan and Cindy Jones, Bob and Laurie Monahan, Smith and Elizabeth Bagley, Terry and Margaret Lenzner, Max and Heidi Berry, George and Evelyn Constable, and Molly Raiser
But, as Barbara Harrison explains, Nantucket is “not just for summer anymore” (see an insider’s tour of the new Harrison-Pyles’ compound).
It’s hard to imagine that Kathleen and Chris Matthews, who purchased Joan Bingham’s modest Nantucket-style shingled house on the dunes, ever have time for weekend getaways. Still, the broadcasting power couple somehow manage to regularly retreat to their new home away from home, a major feat given that Kathleen anchors ABC-7 news at Five, hosts “Capital Sunday,” and is working on a new prime time news magazine while her husband is busy with his new “Chris Matthews Show” in addition to hosting MSNBC’s “Hardball.”
When we caught up with the busy couple, Chris was being quizzed on American History poolside by his 16 year-old daughter Caroline who has turned their mutual love of history into a “friendly competition” that makes Advance Placement preparations a wee bit more fun. Whew! No rest for the weary. Meanwhile, in between photos, Kathleen managed to entertain Wayne and Catherine Reynolds and Gahl Burt who stopped by for lunch.
While Kathleen was teaching her course, “Tower of Babble: Making Sense of News in the New Millennium,” at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she and Chris, a native Philadelphian, rediscovered Nantucket where they honeymooned 25 years ago. Asked whether they have animated political discussions at home, Kathleen responds, “We have our sparks that fly.” The couple certainly keep the sparks flying on the Washington social scene while helping their many charitable causes, including the Catholic Charities Foundation, Shakespeare Theatre, Black Student Fund and Girl Scouts, among others…
There once were men from Nantucket, “Native American that is,” Alice Rogoff Rubenstein says. After many years of traveling to Abrams Point (named for Abram Quary, Nantucket’s “last Indian,” according to Francis Karttunen’s “the Other Islanders,”) Alice and her husband David Rubenstein, the founder and managing partner of the Carlyle Group, fell in love with the beauty and Native American history that surrounds their house there. Inspired by the historical geography of Nantucket and her passion for the environment, Alice, along with other mothers from the Potomac School in Washington, organized the first ever Alaska Native Art and Culture Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of History, scheduled for November 4-7, 2005. “Alaska Natives live on the edge of the world, creating this extraordinary artwork, which is a tribute to their innovation, strength and tenacity,” Alice explains. At their annual summer’s end dinner guests including Harvard President Larry Summers, historian David Halberstam, Lou Gerstner, Daisy and Paul Soros, and Maureen Orth listened to her relate how the earliest impacts of climate change are being felt by Alaska’s Native people, whose way of life remains dependent on the land and the sea for survival, particularly their fisherman who are literally falling through the melting ice. “We must listen to their stories,” she says, “so that people around the country can be part of the solution to help them preserve their culture, artwork and way of life…”
For over 25 years, Terry and Margaret Lenzner have traveled to their Nantucket retreat to escape the frenetic pace of Washington. When we caught up with them, daughter Emily, who works with George Stephanopoulos at ABC News, had just thrown a birthday fete for Margaret with the help of her siblings and family friends. The Lenzner house sits on the shoreline with a spectacular view of the harbor and easy access to their sailboat. Terry, who is an avid sailor, runs the Investigative Group International, Washington’s “primo private eye firm.”
Known for unearthing hard-to-find intelligence on certain former presidents and major corporations, he is pictured here next to a wall-hanging of Richard Nixon, Robert H. Abplanalp and Bebe Rebozo on a boat in Nantucket (adapted from a NewYork Times front page photo by a local Nantucket artist). The tapestry was given to Terry by his wife Margaret, a painter and art lover, to commemorate his role as assistant chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee and his investigation and subpoena of the aforementioned trio in the Nixon-Howard Hughes illegal campaign contributions scandal…
For the past 25 years, Robert M. Rosenthal, Chairman of Rosenthal Automotive, and his wife Marion, a strong supporter of the National Galley and NSO, have journeyed to their beautiful New England getaway for rest and relaxation just steps from the island’s quaint beaches.
When we joined them for tea in their sunroom overlooking beautiful Nantucket Harbor, the Rosenthals, who try to play nine rounds of golf per day, explained that they just haven’t had enough “Shore Leave” this year as Bob who has built an empire of 15 Washington area Rosenthal automotive dealerships, has been busy preparing for the opening of his new ultra-modern Jaguar/Land Rover showroom in Chantilly, Va.
Bob, along with his friend John Pohanka, Chairman of the Pohanka Automotive Group and member of the Washington National Opera Board of Trustees, have also been busy with the $3.4 billion sale of the Capital Automotive REIT, a company they founded and took public together in 1998. On island Bob and Marion keep an electric car as well as their classic 1946 Woodie dubbed Shore Leave.