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TOYS AND GAMES: Beach Week, Really?

Business must have really been bad for cottage owners along Indian Rocks Beach in the 1970s. That or the cheese had slid off the cracker for most. How else can you explain renting their properties to kids clad in jams, flip flops and pucca shells? Particularly when they packed beer instead of clothes for “Beach Week.”

And please, please, don’t look in the glove compartment…

Waves at Indian Rocks Beach Waves at Indian Rocks Beach

Prior to one year’s Beach Week departure, my house became a holding bin for the beer we planned to drink (For some reason we didn’t think about packing food, too). Though most everybody I shared a cottage with was an adult — 18 was the Florida drinking age — their parents were not as tolerant as mine.

Burned in my memory is my mother’s tightened jaw upon first glimpse of the cases of Old Milwaukee, PBR, and Busch stacked in the living room ready for deployment to Indian Rocks. Reminded me of a military display for some third world power.

Beach Week held a Vegas-like status, so the experiences gathered at the Gulf Sands Cottages shall remain forever sealed. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Funny how much longer the leashes extended in the ’70s — were all of our parents nuts? Alas, to my knowledge “Beach Week” no longer exists. Thank goodness I never had to deal with that one with my kids.

Can you imagine how far Andy Dufresne would have gotten had he received as much assistance escaping from Shawshank as the guys did from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York?

Speaking of escapees, I’m re-reading one of my favorite books, The Last of the Breed. The author is Louis L ‘Amour, who is renown for his countless Western novels, but this one isn’t set in the old west with cowboys and Indians, rather Siberia with an escaped American pilot. While I love Last of the Breed — and highly recommend if you’re looking for an enjoyable quick read — I’ve never felt compelled to try any of L ‘Amour’s Westerns. Perhaps that will change.

bchastain19@gmail.com

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©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography