Rob Benchley

Observations From “the edge of the world”

by: John Stanton

photography by: Rob Benchley

Rob Benchley met his wife Carol at a Fourth of July party thrown in a Codfish Park house that has since washed out to sea. The house is gone; the Benchleys have been married for close to 30 years. The story is emblematic of his life in the little village on the east end of the island.

Benchley is at his kitchen table one June afternoon, between the outskirts of the village and Sankaty Lighthouse, talking to a visitor about the two souls of Sconset. He pulls out one of his photographs. The ocean is flowing into the garage of the home where that Fourth of July party took place. The house itself had been ripped off its foundation and swallowed by the power of the sea just moments before.

“Talk about life on the edge,” he said.

Sconset is a place awash not just in summertime, of kids waiting for ice-cream cones, lunch at the Chanticleer and the sound of tennis at the Casino, but in the unrelenting winds and thundering Atlantic of winter.

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