Sunday, June 27, 2010

Open Beach, Closed Beach

In the airport on the day down to NOLA I overheard a group of four college students complaining that it was going to suck going to the beach and not being able to swim. I made a point to go and have a look. I drove east out of town June 9th and made it to Florida within five hours. The sand was white, the water turquoise. There were no people. They stayed home and watched the news, I suppose.
I felt like one of the last people on earth watching the white sand blow into the air and the waves lapping the shore. It was like no one came to the funeral. It could have been like a second line, a mad rush to enjoy the last days it was still beautiful.

On the 12th I drove out to Grand Isle. There were hardly any people there either, but the oil had hit and the clean up crews were huddled in the shade of massive white tents and driving their ATV's and National Guard Trucks up and down the beach.  The unmotorized helps was busy sweating into their knee high black rubber boots and their smurf-blue hand gloves. There was nothing high tech about the shovels and rakes they used to remove the oily sand, packaging it for removal into clear plastic bags.

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