Thursday, August 28, 2008
I went to Nantasket beach in Hull yesterday with all the good intentions of a relaxing summer outing. And it was..My friend Lisa, her daughter Alex and myself piled the beach chairs into the back of her loaner Volvo station wagon and off we went. The ride was pleasant, going thru historic Hingham and its mix of new and old sprawling architecture with perfectly manicured landscapes containing summer's color blooms abound. It was a bright and happy feeling. I hadn't been to Nantasket since I was a kid and the anticipation of what I would find once there was intriguing. Once we reached the seaside town of Hull, we immediately felt the presence of the beach. Its not something that I could smell or see, it was more of a feeling that I had made it. This was it. We turned the corner onto Nantasket Ave., the boardwalk of sorts on the beach shore and immediately parked at the first parking lot, lured by the cheap $3.00 parking fee. Parking spaces were abundant and we pulled into a space near a small bath house and the ramp to the beach. Lisa and I spent the pleasant car ride discussing one of our favorite topics, food. By the time we reached the beach it was not summer beach squatting were interested in. No, we had begun the beach foreplay with discussions of food and now we were ravenous. Alex went directly to the beach equip with only her towel and her ipod and no interest in food, while Lisa and I set out on our hunt for lunch. Nantasket beach, the one of my childhood, used to be sprawling mecca of action with a big amusement park, (Paragon Park) penny arcades, ice cream shops and clam shacks aligning the coast line to bring in the tourists. What I saw yesterday was a bit eye opening. With Paragon Park long gone to make way for what was at one time brand new beach side housing, I saw most buildings in disrepair and abandoned shops boarded up almost as if in shame. There were two or three trendy restaurants that looked oddly out of place among the chipped paint and boarded up shops that just didn't make it along the boardwalk. There were a few arcades open, ice cream shops, convienience stores and a pizza joint all with walk up service. We immediately headed for the sign reading PIZZA. The glass case holding scrumptious large pizza pies to view proved to be too much to resist so Lisa and I ordered a slice of pepperoni each and complained to each other about the three to four minute wait for the slice to be re-heated. Once we piled on the accoutrement's for the enormous slice, we crossed the street and sat on the closest picnic table on the boardwalk-lest we would have to wait a second longer to eat- in full view of the ocean. The summer sun was warm and relaxing and we enjoyed our pizza and the local sights. Then, in plain view for all to see, a older man, probably in his early 70's in pretty good shape, god bless him, wearing super short, tight candy apple red running shorts and not much else, rolled down dangerously low to reveal his tan line and quite prominently the crack of his BUTT. Lisa commented it was enough to make you loose your appetite, although judging by the empty paper plates in front of us it held no effect on ours. Once we made it to the beach, chairs and beach bags in hand, we were ready to sit and enjoy the rest of the day. The relaxing breeze and the hush of the waves provided the perfect backdrop for the book I was reading. Occasionally I would glance up to observe the children crying and playing, the seagulls, the brightly colored beach toys on the hard matted down sand and the people who had all come to enjoy a day at the beach. The tide was out and the blue water calm only for the white crest of a few waves coming into the shore. I was content and although I was disappointed at the changes that had occurred around the beach, sitting on the the sand looking out at the water was what the trip was all about. There is a soul renewing that takes place when you sit on a beach, humbled by the splendor of the ocean. All life's problems and earlier observations become insignificant and the lure of the water takes over, a baptism of sorts. It is renewal in the simplest of forms. Chicken soup for all the souls and I left my beach odyssey full of hope and a renewed spirt. I had experienced a wonder of the world that day and been part of it just by sitting on my beach chair. It was so simple. Most of the good things in life are.