Tall Beach Chairs, Nibbling Sharks, Mount Dinosaur

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2012

MYRTLE BEACH — They looked like Hatteras lighthouses — tall sentinels on the sand — with shiny new aluminum legs and gaudy plastic webbing.
Having bought them, vanity wouldn’t allow me to sit in the new “Hi-Boy” beach chairs.
“Granny chairs,” I called them.
“AARP chairs,” Elizabeth corrected, offended at my lack of gender sensitivity.
Our old traditional beach chairs sit just inches off the sand. When the tide shifts, the chairs sink even lower, leaving us squatting flat on the ground.
Getting up has been an increasing problem — what with aging knees beginning to creak and strain. I no longer bounce up like I once did.
The old chairs are rusty and don’t have another summer left in them. Remembering the indignity of having a beach chair collapse under me — a dieting incentive like no other — we shopped for new chairs before going to the beach last week
Who knew there were so many options?
Forgetting the nifty colors, we concentrated on the practical: Ease of standing.
We should have given more consideration to weight. We bought heavy chairs — twice the weight of the old ones, but the walk to the beach is the same distance.
There was a mid-sized model at the store, but I argued that chairs last five years. By then, we will wish we had the tall chairs. So that’s what we got. Only later did we consider how much trunk space the big chairs require.
There were plenty of “Hi-Boys” on the beach last week, all occupied by geezers. Without my emotional baggage, our children gladly sat in my tall new chair while I slouched low in Old Faithful.
The tide shifted and my chair sank lower. I fairly sprang up when I dropped my kite string, showing there is still life in these limbs.
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Sharks were nibbling at feet and toes in Myrtle Beach last week. There were several reports of something biting swimmers in the surf.
Having breakfast on the beach Thursday morning, we saw a fisherman pull in a three-foot shark. Fishermen like nothing better than getting their pictures taken. The angler allowed granddaughter Cayden to get as close as she dared to be in the photo.
Then he threw the shark back, showing more charity than the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce might prefer.
The mothers of our grandchildren — the entire mushrooming family gathered at the beach — kept the kiddies in the ankle deep water for the rest of the day … just to be cautious.
• • •
The old editor spent the week building sandcastles, flying kites and chasing children. Monday morning back at work …