Beth Kanter, a leading voice in social media for nonprofits is known worldwide. She is a prolific writer and the nonprofit community benefits everyday from her ideas and information sharing. I am fortunate to consider Beth a colleague and a friend. Beth grew up in Margate, NJ which is right next to Ocean City where I have vacationed with my family since my kids were very small. We always had dinner at least once in Margate and drove past the famous statue of Lucy the elephant as a ritual part of our trip to the Jersey shore.
But I digress……
Beth keeps a busy schedule traveling around the world and training nonprofits in the merits and intricacies of effectively using social media. But for several weeks she camped out in Margate while her beloved Dad was dealing with the final stage of Parkinson’s disease. She posted upbeat pictures of him and she savored these last days with her Dad. I can tell from everything she has written about him that he was one terrific guy. Besides being a MD, he was an avid surfer – the first to bring surfing to the Jersey shore. She has set up a fundraiser in his memory and asked us all to participate.
Today, July 3rd, Beth is asking us all to participate in a “Virtual Paddle Out for Earl Kanter” by sharing our favorite story of the ocean with the hashtag #oceanloveearl. So here’s my story.
I am a New Jersey girl and having been going to the Jersey shore for my entire life. I love the ocean and the beach. I love to sit on the boardwalk in the early morning and at night and listen to the waves. There is no better way to appreciate the vastness, beauty, rhythm and power of nature than by just sitting there and watching and listening. I spent a lot of time today looking for a favorite picture of me with my Dad (Taken in the 50’s) playing in the sand at Asbury Park but unfortunately I couldn’t find it.
I do have two pictures to share though. One of the things I love to do at the ocean is build a boat in the sand. It has to be far enough from the waves coming in so that it doesn’t quickly wash away but is close enough so that you can build a wall and moat to protect it as the tide does come in until finally it is all over and disappears into the sea. I love to walk at the ocean's edge and see all the building projects going on. Later they all fall as the tide comes in. It is a gentle, graceful slow fall - and makes think of the way Earl Kanter passed.
I built this boat with my kids in Ocean City, NJ in 1988 - about 2 miles from Earl’s home. He could have been surfing within sight of where we were at the Ocean City surfing beach.
Here you can see that I’m still into building boats in the sand at the ocean’s edge almost twenty five years later with my grandson. Although perhaps not quite as good as I used to be at sand boat building.
It may not be exciting, but that’s my ocean story. I love the ocean and want generations to come to enjoy it. My grandson loves to be at the ocean with me and I hope that he gets to build a boat in the sand with his grandchildren and tell them where he got the idea and learned how to do it just right.
If you’d like to contribute to making sure that generations to come will also enjoy the ocean, give to the Surfrider Foundation in memory of Beth’s Dad. Click to donate now.
Use the hashtag #oceanloveearl if you post about this on facebook or twitter.