Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Time to Chill

WARNING: The following post has little to do with TV News and should be avoided by all readers leery of vacation slide shows and other meandering screeds....

Happy FeetWe're Back! After six days, four boogie-boards, three books and a couple of grains of sands I can't talk about, the Pittman clan has returneth from the shore. As always, the continent's edge has left me refreshed, rested and as tan as the son of a redhead can ever hope to be. Think Howdy Doody with dermatitis. Or don't - I wouldn't. Just know that as I stumbled through the surf, muttering platitudes, I thought not of cameras or deadlines but of you, dear reader - for I am a man possessed, an otherwise well-adjusted suburban Dad who's found a way to pound his every other frustration into highly therapuetic late-night keyboard sessions. There was no such release mechanism down at 'Cain's Eden' and though it took some getting used to, my new batch of family memories is the fresher for it. Now that I'm back in the Piedmont however, the floor is mine. I have no great news of import to share, but that's never stopped me before from yammering for a few too many paragraphs. So kick back while I clear my head, would ya? I'll be back to bitchin' about smelly live trucks in a day or two...

Sunset Beach BridgeMind you, we didn't just go to any beach. We went to Sunset Beach. North Carolina's southernmost shore, this small barrier island is just a short drive from Myrtle Beach, but it's several worlds removed from that comparatively garish blight. No head shops here, no strip clubs, no chain-smoking mothers with faded armband tattoos. Just pristine shoreline, enchanting wildlife and a veritable buttload of family cottages. But the quietest of the South Brunswick Islands is known best for it's rustic ingress - its aging pontoon swing bridge. One of the last of its kind in operation, The Sunset Beach Bridge is a pleasure to watch and an honor to cross. Sure, traffic backs up to Iowa every time it opens to let a boat through, but dammit it's a monument; a clattering marvel of old school ordinariness that's served as a gateway to vacations since 1961. I'm no weeping preservationist, but the day it's replaced by a gleaming, high-rise span will be the day I stop raving about this three mile stretch of sand and sanity.

Sand DollarThing is, once you cross that rickety bridge, there ain't alot to do. That's fine by me and the Missus, but we got tweenagers, don't ya know? I've feared for years they'd grow tired of searching for sand dollars and demand to be driven to the hipper confines of nearby Wilmington, or the neon-soaked squalor that is Myrtle Beach. So far though, not a word. Last summer's foray into the lesser of the Carolinas left them stricken with the Zen-like qualities of Sunset. That will change someday, but until it does I'll drag my nuclear brood here every June and spend the week people-watching ... Dads in bermuda shorts and knee socks, hefty moms in clingy swimwear, great uncles in flesh-colored speedos - there's one hell of a coffee table book waiting for anyone who wants to document the Great American Unwashed on Holiday. Why, I myself squired about the island clad only in electric blue surfer shorts and a mangled straw cowboy hat. I was eyeing one of those nifty seashell necklaces when my rather urbane 13 year old informed she would no longer acknowledge me in public if I insisted on dressing like a frat boy on Spring Break. I suppose she's got a point...

Dunescape Then again, I always knew my girls were smart. They get it from their Mom, a spitfire of a woman who's withstood my dark moods and silly demeanor for the better part of twenty years. Why exactly, I'll never know but I think her secret is in never taking me very seriously. That's probably wise, as I too often dwell in melancholy. Maybe that explains why she only rolled her eyes when I launched a hard-target search for neighborhood wi-fi, only to return to the cottage with a fifth of contentment from the ABC store. That's a good woman, one that will no doubt be up for another reach for the beach this time next year. Where else can a family of four entertain each other by merely walking? Where else can offspring wince at the lobster tank and order a veggie burger while their parents gorge on southern fried shellfish and sweet tea? Where else can an insatiable communicator come to grips with his internet addiction merely by knocking back shots of Makers Mark? I'll tell ya where: The Beach. It certainly took the edge off this embittered lenslinger...

Don't worry though; I'll be disgruntled and numb by lunchtime Monday.

3 comments:

Emily said...

Y'know, in this particular instance I'd much prefer "boatload" to "buttload".

It's much more punny.

Glad you had a good time!


The chick who always reads but rarely comments....

jimmy hill said...

Now that's what I've been looking forward to reading from you my friend - a slice of non-work life.

Nice writing.

turdpolisher said...

There's something about a family getaway that puts things into perspective.

Like a good buddy always says, "If your family ain't first; they're last."

Tip a glass of Makers to all the photogs minding the shop in your absense . . . poor bastards.