Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seaside and Clams

As kids frolicked on the beach, as lovers smooched in the surf and as a guy carrying both a digital camera and a pair of binoculars stood there as if waiting for the bus, a man walked up the beach at Seaside. The beach, let's face it, is a bit cruddy. Cigarette butts and bits of plastic bag and candy wrappers everywhere. But the man walking on the beach with his mesh bag and dwarf posthole digger didn't care. He walked, scanning the sand. Once and a while he would stop, examine the sand a bit more closely, then dig into the sand with his digger. He took out a few scoops of sand, reached into the hole or kicked the sand he brought up, then put an object into the bag.

Finally, he started digging right by the gear-endowed one. "What are you digging for," I asked.

"Clams," he replied. He dug and pulled a clam out of the sand. It looked like a dirty ice cream sandwich, the clam inside spilling out of the shells like a muffin-topper on the bus. He asked my daughter Lexie - the only child whose attention I could grab - if she wanted to touch it. She refused.

To dig for a clam, he said, you look fir the air hole they create to the surface. Dig there, down a foot or two into the wet sand, and you have your clam. And later, clam chowder or fried clams or whatever you want.

So amidst the hubbub of a touristy town, the life of a seaside dweller goes on, clams and all. Made me forget the bumper cars and the Columbia Street arcade and remember it's nature we're visiting, where there just happens to be a city in the way.

1 comment:

Holly Christensen said...

Hey! It's Holly Christensen and Michelle's phone called me from Monmouth Falls??? or something like that. It's at the ranger station. I very nice man named Dillon tried to track you guys down.... then I tried to track you guys down. Now.... I am leaving a comment on your blog and hope you update it soon so you'll see it.