Guest Post by Ellen Van Buren
I worked three summers as a life guard at an upscale hotel on Cape Cod. Part of my job was raking the beach at 7:00 AM and again at 5:00 PM, with the help of just one other guard. We had long wooden rakes. The beach was dirty. Mother nature delivered sea weed and drift wood–also some beautiful shells.
The hotel guests left remains from half-eaten lunches. We had no plastics back in the late 40’s and early 50’s. But we had lots of wax paper coated with peanut butter and jelly–and brown paper bags–and glass bottles…lots of glass bottles. There were also abandoned beach towels–sometimes “unmentionables” from late night rendezvous.
The beach had to be sparkling clean by the time the guests began to arrive at 8:00 AM. I would already be tired when I climbed into my chair high in the air. I was able to look down at the “raked sand”. I then looked out into the ocean and was ready for the day. There was always some form of chaos that needed cleaning up at the end of the day. However, we brought out the rakes, sifted through the sand and agreed that we had the best job ever!