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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Beach Day Reckoning

Beach Guy, jpeg
I am the man!

Sitting on my Tommy Bahama sand chair, the grandkids are directly in front of me crashing about in the ocean.  The warm, bright sun shines down on paradise.  The slight breeze, and calming sound of the waves breaking near shore, add to the serenity

Does it get any better than this?

The kids are jumping, screeching, skimming, body surfing, and boogie-boarding.  They love every moment on the beach.  Their energy never wains.  Every so often I hear my name yelped out, with pleads to join them.

As I contemplate getting in the water with them, I spy an old guy to my right, walking tepid toward the water’s edge.  Dressed in an old, faded, too-short bathing suit pulled up much too high, sporting a Gilligan hat, he walks to the water’s edge.  He stops short of the water so not to  get his black dress shoes, and black socks wet.

He waves to his family out in the water.  After a Johnny Weissmuller chest pump, and a couple arm slaps, he returns to his chair and removes his footwear.  After rubbing some zinc oxide on his nose, he picks up a boogie board and walks to the water.

He slowly wades in.

Good grief, this outta be good.

“You need me to hold your COVID mask, Gramps?” I think to myself.

Grandpa stops about waist deep in ocean water, contemplating his next move.  He scans the horizon.  Looking out to sea, he spies the next series of waves rolling in.   He turns.  Holding the board in front of him, he awaits the incoming wave.  He readies himself to push off.

Time to ride.

He jumps onto the board in the curl of the wave.  The wave’s momentum breaks, and pushes Grandpa to shore for a long ride.

Yee- Haw!

The boogie board runs aground on the sand to a complete stop.    Not moving, Grandpa lays there, head down.  Still no movement.  The clock ticks.  Will he get up?  Or is it nap time?

Better call the shuttle van to Sunshine Acres and get him home.

After fighting the laws of gravity,  and forces of balance, the old man moves.  In slow motion, he stands, each arm out for balance, and then slowly bends over to pick up the boogie board.   Noting a slight breeze behind him, Grandpa pulls his bathing suit up in the back to prevent further half mooning.  His clown hair is soaked, and clinging to the sides of his head.

As he stands there regaining his senses, I think to myself, “come on Grandpa.  You can do it.’

He wipes away a few pieces of seaweed from his belly, hair, and from within his bathing suit.

With his senses back, he looks toward the ocean for acknowledgement, and approval.  He waves his right hand high in victory.

No one in his group saw his feat.  “Grandpa’s Wild Ride” has gone unnoticed.

“Have a seat, Pops,” I think to myself. “Happy Acres is on the way.”

My thoughts are broken by squeals from my own grandkids in the water.

“Com’on Pap!  Come in the water!”

With a nod of my head, I stand and pick up my board.  I wade in slowly as the water temperature is colder than anticipated.

As I make my way out to the break water, I start looking for waves to ride in.  I see one.






Whooo- Hoooo!

I.. am… THE… MAN!!

My board bottoms out at the water’s edge, to a complete stop.


Flat on my stomach,  my head down, I try to remember where I am.  Water, seaweed, and sand, flow off my body.   I try to lift myself up.  Nope.  I feel weak.  I can’t get up.

Let’s try to roll over first.  On my side, I sit up slowly.  I reach out with my right arm to push up.    I struggle to balance. I’m dizzy.  The last ten or fifteen seconds, feels like an hour.

An image of Bambi taking her first steps, rushes through my mind.

I fight all the laws of gravity to stand erect, unsure if I will stay upright, or fall over.  Realizing I am now half mooning those behind me, I pull up my bathing suit.

As I stare out at the kids in the water, they haven’t taken notice of me.  All that effort gone, and no one witnessed.

I have got to find my chair, a towel, my Cheerwine, and maybe some applesauce.

And then it dawned on me……

…could it be?  Wait.

…No…It can’t be…



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About the Contributor
Bill Cavanaugh
Bill Cavanaugh, Contributing Writer
Bill Cavanaugh is a contributing writer for Cape Fear Voices.

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    Chuck B.Jun 10, 2024 at 1:07 pm

    A fun ride, full of froth, though I got that sand-in-the-pants feeling at the end. 😉