View Finder: Serene Shore Setting
By Mike Lauterborn
The surface of the Sound was still and a barely noticeable tide lazily rolled in. Seagulls ruled the beach, bunched in small colonies, one posted near the water as a lookout. Lifeguard chairs were still unoccupied, waiting for their sentries to check in.
It was a perfect Wednesday morning at Penfield Beach, one of the last of summer before children return to school and the days become markedly shorter and cooler. A tractor had passed up and down at first light, pulling a device behind it that “swept” the beach, combing up any dreck that had been left behind by the previous day’s beachgoers. Its application resulted in smooth undisturbed sand that dared those that ventured near to mark it.
A woman came and sat cross-legged in the sand, stretched and peacefully meditated a while before strolling off along the shore. Another stepped out of a robe, slipped into the water, paddled about and retreated the way she’d arrived.
On the horizon, a fishing boat, its metallic trim reflecting the sun, was anchored. The odd sailboat playfully carved the water nearby.
On the deck of the new pavilion, which enjoyed an official opening during the past week, a workman balanced on an A-frame ladder, using a screwgun to secure white trim to roof eaves. This minor flourish was one of only a few punch list items remaining to officially complete the project.
Documenting the work by circling the building and snapping photos with a pocket-sized digital camera was Linda Crowley, on the Penfield Lighthouse Commission. The photos would become part of a historic record.
Gradually, beachgoers with the prime intent of setting up on and spending the day at the beach, like a pack of kids and their moms from the Osborn Hill area, began arriving. This particular crew got slathered in sun lotion, grabbed shovels and set off for the shallows to hunt for sea creatures.They would soon be joined by other mobs of moms, cadres of kids and cavorting couples, all come to while away the day.