Don't Be Sandy on the Shore
Beach Blogs Volume 1
Back in the spring of 2009, I was in Charleston doing stand up for Piccolo Spoleto. It was the third or fourth and ultimately final installment of Skinny White Comics, the show that started my run of shows at Piccolo. It was truly a great chapter of my life, and has without a doubt made my career what it has become today.
Whatever that might be.
Piccolo Spoleto opens the same time each and every non-Covid infected year—noon on the Friday before Memorial Day. 2009 was particularly um, special for me. Is special the right word? Different? Life changing? That Friday before Memorial Day I found myself about eight weeks out from my ex-wife telling me she wanted to be my ex-wife, so while I was obviously sad and full of feeling, two and a half weeks of telling jokes and hanging out with friends was exactly the doctor ordered.
The last weekend of the festival, two old friends came into town. After the Friday night performance, this group decided to go and see the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Terrace Theatre on James Island. After the show the air was charged with sea. You know what I’m talking about? When the air is just charged. The sky is a different blue, the air has a different smell, a different feel. I’m sure this happens everywhere, but I am also willing to bet money that there is some sort of magnet underneath Folly Beach that makes the pull that much stronger, so when the show was over me, my friend Isaac, and these two old friends who had come to town, made our way to Folly Beach.
With one odd exception. There was another person in the car.
I have zero idea how any of us knew her. The more I think about it the less I know.
But she made her claim to the fifth seat in the car and it was a claim none of were choosing to challenge.
Her name was Sandy. I’ll never forget that. Because when we got to the beach round about midnight, four of us took off our clothes and jumped in the water.
Everyone except for Sandy.
We tried to get her to join us. Again—no idea why, none of us knew her. But she didn’t. She made it all the way way to the beach with a car full of strangers on one of the most beautiful, majestic, beachy nights of the year, and decided not to go all the way in the water.
She decided to be a Sandy on the Shore.
Don’t ever be a Sandy on the Shore.
One of my favorite things about writing this blog is the places that it takes me in my mind. I literally haven’t thought about Sandy on the Shore in twelve years. Yet here I am, about to go into another round of radiation, sitting on the screened in porch of the family of my dear friend Becca Anderson, a hurricane about to hit where exactly where we are.
And here I am. About to take off my clothes and get back in.
I truly hope that Sandy on the Shore has gone on to have an incredible life. One full of spontaneity and adventure. But she has played an important role in my life, a role I only thought about this morning, twelve years later.
She taught me to not say no. To not be a Sandy on the Shore. And for heaven’s sake, take off your clothes, get in the freaking water, and embrace the freaking storm.