Written By: Sinead Yelle | Photography By: Brian Sager

A local boy overcomes impossible odds to become Nantucket’s next man about town.

If you told Bobby Planzer’s doctors that someday he would star in his own television series on one of the world’s most exclusive resort islands, they might have greeted you with a look of total disbelief. Born fourteen weeks early and weighing just over a pound, Bobby endured a brain hemorrhage and a chronic lung disease. For the first four years of his life, he was unable to eat, speak or breathe on his own. Yet despite such monumental challenges, Bobby is going strong today — a freshman at Nantucket High School and the island’s newest media personality.

After being longtime summer residents on the island, Bobby’s parents moved to Nantucket from Washington, D.C. eight years ago to give their son a jump-start at life. They were looking for a school system that would not only work one-on-one with his learning disabilities, but also provide him with the same experience and opportunities as his peers. Today, when he’s not attending high school, you’ll find Bobby volunteering with veterans, working with the Stand Up & Learn program at the Dreamland, keeping the time at the town meeting, playing the drums for MusiCorps — a band made up of wounded warriors — and starring in his own television series, Bobbin’ Around Town.

Chris Wendzicki, the former station manager of NCTV, remembers Bobby first approaching him to pitch the show. “He was one of the most kind and gentle-hearted individuals I’d ever met,” Wendzicki says. Working together, Bobby and Wendzicki developed Bobbin’ Around Town into a full-fledged series for NCTV in which Bobby interviewed various members of the community. The show’s premiere was so well received that business owners and community members started reaching out to be included in the next season.

“People are people to Bobby,” explains Wendzicki, who has seen him interact with all walks of folks while taping his show. “Bobby judges you — if he does at all — by the person that’s inside, and not by who the world perceives you to be.”

For someone as inspirational and aspirational as Bobby Planzer, Nantucket has proved fertile ground for his talent and ambition. The island has allowed him to transform and mold his life into what he wants and seize the opportunities around him. But Nantucket has benefited even more so from the presence of this truly rare young man. His infectious optimism and positive spirit exemplify how life should be lived. Whether volunteering, playing music, doing stand-up comedy or hosting his own television show, Bobby Planzer is ready for whatever comes next.

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