On Nov. 2, 2002 - when the ground was already thoroughly saturated from higher-than-average-fall rains, it rained and it rained and it rained some more. Pictured above: Padre Blvd. before and after the officials closed the road to traffic. (Click on images to get larger versions) Photos by Fred Mallett
This road closed!
The streets turned into rivers and like all rivers,
this one finally made to the ocean.
Here a boat launching ramp did what our island drainage system couldn't.
Photo & report by Dennis Barrett
(photo by Suzanne Altamare)
(photo by sandy feet)
(photo by Dennis Barrett)
The 15th annual Sand Castle Days Festival has come and gone...
The older I get the more I feel the need to appreciate and enjoy each day . . one day at a time. My health is good, I don't fear death and I don't want to be fatalistic but the end is much closer than the beginning! It becomes increasingly important to me to try and make each day count for something.
This morning I started my walk on the beach before dawn in a light rain. I arrived at the site of sandcastle days just as the first rays of light were breaking. After the heavy thunderstorms of yesterday, I didn't expect to find much. Suddenly I saw the sculptures rising up in the mist. It took me by surprise. I felt as if I was approaching a cemetery, or maybe an abandoned village. The sculptures took on a ghost like appearance . . . a very sharp contrast to the fun and laughter that had taken place just one week ago.
I looked at each piece and visualized the people that worked on it. I thought about what it felt like to be totally consumed, you for three days, me for seven hours in something that could easily be lost at the first high tide . . But wasn't! A bonus! I got to see our piece one more time . . Not nearly as recognizable as yours, but enough to remind me of a very good day.
I was crouching down to take a picture when a fellow winter Texan came up from behind and asked if that was my work that I was photographing. I thought sure one of your sneezers had come back as a ghost! When my heart settled down we had a nice chat and shared similar feelings about Sand Castle Days.
On my walk back, I thought about the "bonus" and how important it is to create and cultivate memories, even more than creating the piece itself and how we need to take advantage of every opportunity to reinforce the good things of life. The one thing I worry most about is losing my memory and even worse losing my unique identity. I no longer want to tuck any memory into the back of my brain . . . I'm afraid it will get lost in all the clutter of life. I want it floating around near the top where it can be quickly recalled!
-Don "Dad Feet" Wierenga 10/25/02
There aren't many who are happy about the recent mosquito population but this little guy is having quite the feast with no complaints except for sharing this buffet table with 3 of his other buddies on W. Campeche.
Photo & report submitted by Dennis Barrett.
Who could resist these sad-eyed puppies? Happy Halloween!
"Pancake Man" 09/02
SPI sand sculptor Amazin' Walter is shown hard at work on his piece at the World championship Sand Sculpture Contest in British Columbia last week. Amazin' and partner Kirk Rademaker of Oakland ended up winning the "Best Architecture" award in the team division.... congrats to you both! Watch for more pictures coming soon at amazinwalter.com.
Your humble web-wiz and partner Fred Mallett also competed at this event. We didn't win anything, but we built a really cool sculpture - click here for pictures.
15 years ago...
SPIMA (South Padre Island Merchants Association) was hard at work organizing the town's first sand castle contest - the one that would later evolve into SPI Sand Castle Days. Pictured above was the 1988 event t-shirt -- a wonderful design by (then local) artist Alan Carrington.
For a stroll down memory lane (if you were here that long ago!) check out the new "archives" section of the Sand Castle Days website.
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