All my life I've always loved the ocean and the beach. Ironically I first saw the ocean when I was 24 years old. I talked Bill into taking me to Ocean City, New Jersey. That day was a disaster (this was the Jersey beach after all) but I was hooked. A few years later we made a three hour trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The year was 1964. I remember that day well because the temperature was 102 degrees.
Me at Rehoboth Beach 1964 - my first visit
Bill hates the beach. I didn't go to the beach again until the 70's. My good friend Big Bob bought some land and a used single wide trailer without plumbing. Bob hated the beach too. So my access to the beach was very limited.
During the 80's I began taking my vacations to Provincetown, Massachusetts. I immediately fell in love with Cape Cod. It was quite a trip to go to Provincetown. I had to catch a plane out of Philadelphia and switch over to a commuter plane in Boston which would take me to Provincetown.
Me at Herring Cove, Provincetown, Mass 1974
At first I spent a week each year. I gradually increased my vacation time in Cape Cod to two weeks. My last vacation in Provincetown I took four weeks. I loved it. Unfortunately, when I returned to my job at the bank where I worked in Philadelphia, I was job eliminated. I got a new job but didn't have any vacation time because I worked as a consultant.
Me in Provincetown, Mass 1980
I remember well on one of my days in Provincetown walking about the town I came across a tall, young, thin guy who looked a lot like me. He was watering the flowers around the bed and breakfast where he worked. I was thirty seven years old when I saw my look-a-like watering those plants. I thought to myself, "That should be me. What am I doing chained to a desk managing the back office operations of a trust department?"
Another time I was on vacation I saw a guy much like me walking the beach early in the morning. Again, I thought "That should be me." But it wasn't me. I was even offered a job in Provincetown on one of my vacations. The owner of Angels' Landing (the rental complex where I usually stayed) offered my a job of managing the housekeeping of her rental units. I was shocked by her offer. I asked her why she offered me the job. She said "You're the only guest I've ever had who left his apartment cleaner that it was when you checked in." She also told me that the young guys would respect and listen to me. She needed a manager. That would be me.
Me on the bay in Provincetown, Mass 1976
I have to admit I was tempted. But I was to brainwashed by the corporate mentality of having an "important job" at a bank and all the prestige and money that went with the bank job. I turned down her offer. Over the years I've often wondered how my life would have changed if I had taken her up on hr offer.
Over all these years I've often fantasized about living near the beach and wasting my days away as a beach bum. Well folks, I think I've arrived. It's a little late (I'm 68 years old) but I'm there now.
Me in Lewes, DE (where I work at a hotel) 2010
For the past two weeks I've gotten up early every morning and drove myself down to Rehoboth Beach by 7 am in the morning. I'm hooked now. Yesterday the rain prevented me from making my daily run to the beach. I missed it a lot. I'm hooked.
This morning I went back to the beach. I felt like I had returned home.
Me on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach earlier this week 2010
It took me a long time but I have realized my dream. I'm now a beach bum. A well dressed beach bum but still a beach bum. I have arrived.
Me on the beach in Rehoboth earlier this week 2010