I’ve written about it off and on for the better part of a decade – but sadly, had never participated.
But I’m all about participation journalism these days, so I planted the seed last week and told my wife that I’d like for our family to help out with Saturday’s state-wide Beach Sweep/River Sweep, hosted by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and the Surfrider Foundation.
The reason we had to take a wait-and-see approach is because my one-year-old son had the dreaded ear-tube placement/adenoid removal surgery on Thursday, so we didn’t know what his state of being was going to be like come Saturday morning. But in a scene bordering on the theater of the absurd, we rounded up the troops and made it to the designated meeting spot, Village Surf Shoppe in Garden City Beach, by 9 a.m. Saturday, got our marching orders and hit the beach just south of the Garden City Pier.
My five-year-old daughter started out gangbusters helping us fill our trash bags with litter that we immediately encountered at the public beach access, while my son sat in the sand, in only his second outing to the beach, he appeared to be trying to figure out what the grainy stuff was all about. Then, he decided to take off for the ocean – after a few dips it was apparent he was hell-bent on going in the water, so my wife had to carry him as we slogged down the beach picking up trash.
So my wife played rover, spotting items and Ava and I would pick them up. The sheer amount of cigarette butts were too much to pick up – or we’d still be there – so I started focusing on bigger items, which were mostly remnants of fireworks and random things such as plastic container tops and straws. Then my daughter got sidetracked picking up shells.
Heading into this, I didn’t know how it would go with the two young’uns in tow, but we were able to volunteer for about an hour and mostly fill up one trash bag, so hopefully our little bit helped. But more importantly, I think we were able to instill into at least our daughter that we need to keep the beach clean, but she already knew this because she learned about the threat trash poses to loggerhead turtles at our church’s vacation bible school and at her kindergarten where the turtle is the school’s mascot. She may leave her toys and stuff littered about the house and trash the inside of our CRV, but she’s not really a litter bug and I’ve taught her how to recycle, too.
Team Surge collected trash south of the Garden City Pier on Saturday, Sept. 15.
By a large margin, the most-littered items we came across were cigarette butts, fireworks and peanut shells – we didn’t pick up the peanuts because I figured they are biodegradable. According to our clean-up captain, Bruxanne Hein of the Surfrider Foundation, my little crew contributed to the 200 pounds of trash collected on Garden City Beach's beaches, Withers Swash in Myrtle Beach and between 15th Avenue S. and 29th Avenue S. in Myrtle Beach.
As for the rest of my weekend, it included some watching some college football with neighbors and friends, watching some NFL action on Sunday, and watching very nervously as my N.L. Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves somehow swept the division-leading Washington Nationals. But I’m not going to smacktalk…
Follow your nose?
Oh yeah, and have you tried Three Olives Vodka’s new Loopy? Tastes exactly like Fruit Loops cereal – I can imagine some drunk pouring it on his Cheerios in the morning…
THIS WEEK IN SURGE
And speaking of morning, it’s Monday in the A.M. again and we’ve got bloggage to file and a new edition of Weekly Surge to work on. And speaking of Surge, we’ve got some good stuff coming up again this week, including an On the Fly report that’s bursting at the seams with cool stuff to partake in this coming weekend, Beerman, Riding with Big E and Gut Reaction columns return, and we have the big reveal of the winner of our 4th annual Surge Summer Snapshot Smackdown photo contest, with the winning selection appearing on the cover.
But before the ink dries, let’s set the table for the early part of the work-week, which can seem like a complete drag, but remember: we live at the beach, and there’s always something to do.
As I stated previously I am reserving my smacktalk, although I really want to needle Cowboys, Patriots, Redskins, Ravens, and Saints fans for yesterday’s losses. The main reason I’m holding off is because my team has yet to play in Week 2 of NFL action. Yeppers, my Dirty Birds, the Atlanta Falcons, are in the national spotlight tonight, taking on the new-look Denver Broncos on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” I’ll be honest - the Peyton Manning-led Broncos have me nervous as hell.
Anyhow, the kickoff is at 8:30 tonight at the Georgia Dome, and as mentioned, the game is being broadcast by the self-proclaimed “World Wide Leader,” but your significant other doesn’t have to know that. Tell ‘em it’s only available on satellite so that you’ll have to go your closest local sports bar to check it out. You’ll be getting out of the house and stimulating the local economy – that’s a win-win. For more information, go to www.nfl.com.
Sadly, the free Sunday afternoon Summer Concert Series at the Boathouse has ended for another year, making way for football. But the venue has added a Wednesday night series for fall, and on deck is Weaving the Fate, the band formerly known as Villanova, until it got threatening letters from the university of the same name.
Hair? Or Weave?
Anyhow, here’s a link to our recent Music Notes column about Weaving the Fate: www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2012/08/08/2988013/music-notes-for-aug-9-2012.html.
There is no cover charge for Wednesday’s show, which begins after the sun goes down...
The Boathouse Waterway Bar and Grill is at 201 Fantasy Harbour Blvd., Myrtle Beach. Call 903-2628 or visit www.boathousemb.com.