A product of the 1970’s, Cape Cod, and a large, wonderful family, I have made my way through this crazy world we all share by combining a realistic free-form liberal stance that only the 70’s can imbue, a kicked-back beach-comber lifestyle that most native Cape Codders embody, and the stability that only a loving and present family can instill.
Born to James and Deborah Fulcher on October 13, 1973 I joined my sister Sharon and myriad cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in a most unique neighborhood, in an equally unique beach town, one not often found today – let alone yesteryear! Chatham is a neighborhood in and of itself, with the ocean deciding where the boundaries are. Lorenzo Buck Way, named after my great grandfather and dubbed “little Buck village” by others, was all family and all about family – the mere thought of which might make some shudder – but this was different. Very different. In understanding how I grew up, you might understand who I’ve grown to be. Allow me to expound…
As siblings and cousins, we all enjoyed unlocked doors and free passage through front & back yards. There were no fences or gates and lots of woods and wetlands to traipse and wade through. There was little traffic to interfere with our bike riding, ball games and general mischief, and no street lights to call us home at night. We built forts, maintained our individual plots in my grandfathers garden, set booby-traps that nobody ever ‘found’, had dry-docked boats to imagine as space ships and nobody complained if we lit off fireworks in their mailbox at 7:00am. Tool sheds were always open if you needed that rake or spark plug wrench (often the case with all of the various buggies and contraptions around) or a dry place to duck from water-gun-toting hide-and-seekers. Houses were typically unlocked should you need some brown sugar, a pie plate or medical treatment.. or to just visit. If the house was buttoned up, everyone had a key.
Visiting was daily and filled with laughter and learning. Get-togethers were often and filled with cheer, food and lots of love, and continue to this day. What makes this so different though is the unobtrusive presence of our parents. We were allowed to go where we wanted, when we wanted – so long as someone knew when we’d be back and who we were with. Our privacy as kids and as individual families were respected by our neighbors, but folks noticed if something seemed out of place or time. When (not if) my cousins and I were doing something dangerous it would be suggested by our father or uncle how to achieve the desired effect, perhaps without lighting the house on fire. We were allowed to fall and fail and learned of consequence and owning up to a poor decision. I learned about community. I learned to share, celebrate triumphs… support in times of need. Most importantly though, I learned how to love, respect, appreciate living and know my own truth.
So, that’s the canvas on which my life continues to be painted. Between then and now I have experienced the sudden loss of a loving father in 1993, thereby learning a true definition of “stress” and in doing so, tested my very moral and emotional fiber. I earned a degree in the visual arts, and have pursued without abandon a career in television production. I love the outdoors and being a good steward to it. I love all its various adventures and curveballs and weather patterns, and am prone to “bold journeys”, as was my father before me. I would perish without music, culture and the company of friends. I cherish my heritage and consider it a part of the future.
Reflecting back upon my thirty-something some years there is really nothing I would change, devoid of regrets, as the events that have shaken me have in turn shaped me. I feel fortunate and thankful, but not necessarily lucky. Fortunate, for my family and its deep roots. Thankful, for my health and happiness, and consider “luck” to be equal parts preparation and timing. Life is, after all, 10% what happens and 90% what you do with it.