Each morning I put up a blue umbrella in the cool white sand before allowing myself a tomato beer. The dampness of my shirt and swimming suit dries as I watch the slow arrival of the people and the red and yellow and pink and green of t-shirts and bathing suits and towels dotting sand and the blue of the Gulf.
I take photographs as I drink a second tomato beer and continue watching the growing activity on the beach. The old couple from
. The family of rednecks—men who take off shoes and shirts to reveal muscular beer bellies like barrels—their women in one-piece suits with ruffled material from waist to thighs, like fat legs behind a table cloth. They have umbrellas but no chairs, preferring to sit close mornings and evenings on one quilt like massive seals on a rock. Occasionally one or two of the men walk to the edge of the surf like sentries guarding the women. A couple from Omaha with their young daughter plant their patio umbrella, the white fringe waving in the constant breeze like plastic flags at a car dealership. I drink beer and watch them, the pink of their umbrella joining my own blue one and the gold of the ones from the Hotel Point Breeze. Brightly colored sea mushrooms against blue sky and deeper blue and green of the Gulf. Louisiana
The girls on the beach are incredible.
Long, tall, tanned, hair sun-bleached, most unaware of being photographed. While thinking about the girls/women I have known, the distinct pictures of each one, moments stilled like photographs caught forever in my mind, the 300mm lens is capturing only framed portions: beads of sweat on upper lips and white grains of sand sticking to long painted fingernails or the brim of a hat shielding a face or the slope of a dark shoulder.