Way aback when the world was much younger and so was I, my very first visit to a coast, any coast, was to Galveston Island, Texas. I went with friends who were older than I was, and much more traveled, in fact just about anyone would have been much more traveled than I was then. And the thought of going to a real island, of seeing the ocean (actually of course, the Gulf of Mexico), just the drive there and back were unimaginable adventures for me. And it was all wonderful, but the very best part of all was that when we walked down to the beach along the seawall after it began to get dark, there were lots of people having small parties here and there, there were small huts where you could get something to drink (I was strictly a soft drink kid at that time, alas), and best of all, there was a man named Catfish who played the steel drums. Right at that moment I fell in love with the scent of sea air, the sound of the surf, and the magic of steel drum music, and to this day the sound of music being played on a steel drum evokes for me everything we all love about tropical areas, the sense of relaxation and being in some sort of paradise where there is sea and salt air and moonlight on the water and laughter.
Since then, I’ve seen the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico from several other vantage points, the Ligurian Sea, and the North Sea and the English Channel, and so on. And they’ve all been wonderful, but for me, the memory of that first encounter with a beach and sea air and surf and laughter and music are the essences of adventure and of being young. It’s lovely remembering being that young.