Operation Shore Patrol Sep 2005

On Vacation this year, there was one thing I DID feel compelled to do – and that was to cruise up and down the beach in Moosenstein – getting a little quality time in with my Jeep , while letting what was left of my brain otherwise flow out of my ears. I thought it would be very nice.

But what intruded upon my wheeling idyll was what even I felt were almost incomprehensible amounts of crap on the beach this year. I know the last few years, the beach has seemed to be reasonably junk free – or at least the trash was decreasing in amount from what was seen previously. Not so this year! I found the leftovers of full fireworks set ups on 4′ x 4′ pieces of plywood – all the cardboard shells and launchers just left behind. I saw 4 rows of either bus or airplane seats – probably used for fireworks viewing – and then just left behind. I saw a number of fold-a-sofas drug out on the beach, and partially thrown into a beach fire – leaving only their ugly, rusted steel frames behind. And – almost the ultimate insult – there were some places where the remnants of the party (food, diapers, cans, bottles, leftovers) had actually been placed in trash bags – but then left behind on the beach. And let me tell you – between the shore birds and the crows – the avian population makes quite an efficient trash spreader over the general vicinity. And once that trash is out of the bag and strewn about – it is UG-LEE!!! The apparent stupidity, or lack of caring, or filthy, boorish ignorance, or whatever lack in character of the perpetrators – just floored me. If you can bring it out to the beach with you – why can’t you take it back in? I was really disturbed at the sight, and the amount of the trash on the beach – far more than any of the last 6 or 7 years I’ve been heading out for Shore Patrol.

So – at Operation Shore Patrol – we have our work cut out for us this year. The beach was fairly clean way north near Pacific Beach. And it wasn’t too bad south of town. The worst of the worst stuff was to be found in the stretch north of town between Ocean City and Ocean Shores.

So – hike your skirts, gird your loins, snap on your rubber gloves, git yer ya-ya’s out, or whatever you need to do in order to be ready to yet again accomplish the task this year – it looks like a bigger job ahead this time than in others past. We will be doing good work picking up on the beach. It is too bad it comes to this – but I am appreciative for every person that takes the time and energy to make a difference. Like it is said – if not us, who will do it? If not now – when? I personally thank you for rising to the task, for making a positive mark – for exhibiting the better, finer side of being human.

See you on the beach!!!!

PS (Sing this to the tune “That’s Amore'”)
“Picking trash from the sand,
and an eel bites your hand –
thats a Mor-aayy-yyyyyy…..”

I don’t know what the secret combination is to teach people about self respect and personal responsibility – but that’s where this starts. And I think its true – there are too many groups that would like nothing more than to lock us all into “urban villages” with no opportunities to trail to the woods or the beaches – because somehow – they believe that keeping us away from nature and divesting us of our vehicles and jamming us into little communities is a better, higher goal than who we are and what we do. We certainly don’t fit into the “urban village” mould, but certainly the Tamers are a quality community even so.

I am willing to do my part to clean trails and beaches – because it is right; because I choose and believe in tolerating and supporting a world outside of myself (whether it is worthy of my support or not), and because my spirit will only tolerate living in a world where the possibility of at least some untrammeled personal freedom still exists. The day you see me live in a covenanted, gated community that won’t allow my Jeep to sit on my trailer beside my house – will be the day you know I have become so ill, or so demented that I have ceased to be, at least in any meaningful way. No – I will tolerate the ones who make the mess and hope I can change their minds, and hearts. But the core of that lays in the fact that I will not give myself over to short sighted, small minded people who have a greater need to have control over someone else, than they do in actually creating their own life for themselves.

See you on the beach………

Moose (Tom James)

Photos by Ilene and Troy