A magical day at the beach.
By Teresa Blakely
It was a beautiful sunny California day on the sandy Del Mar beach. No one would believe it was the first day of winter with a warm temp of 77 degrees. Channel 23 News Producer Nick Slater decided to send their new reporter, Jackie Chow out to get her first story. She'd been begging for a story, so why not? It would get her out of his hair for at least a couple of hours.
Eagerly, she and her trusty cameraman Jeff Placer went to Del Mar Beach. As the news crew pulled up, Jackie noticed couples walking, holding hands. Families were playing with their kids. She noticed a bunch of kids all gathered around, playing in the sand. She told Jeff, "Let's go see what they are up to." He nodded his head and grabbed the camera as they went.
"Camera rolling?" she asked Jeff. He gave her the thumbs up, indicating yes. "This is Jackie Chow here at Del Mar Beach on this beautiful sunny December day. With the weather forecast at 77 degrees, we want to show you some of the activities going on here. We have a pleasant breeze here with a few kites flying around." Jeff panned out the camera for everyone to see behind her. "Over, here we have some children. It looks like they're fixing to build something, maybe a sand castle? Let's go take a look and see what it might be."
As Jackie walked up to the kids, she asked if she could speak to them. Jeff was panning the beach and ended right at little Joey Turner, just as he chimed in, "I will. My name is Joey Turner, Ma'am. But people call me Little Joey." He grinned from ear to ear, whistling through his missing two front teeth. "How can we help you, Ma'am?" he whistled again.
Jackie smiled at him as she asked, "What are you doing here, Little Joey Turner?" He smiled again and politely said, "Well Ma'am, we are fixing to build us a snowman." Jackie and Jeff laughed at the thought of a snowman on the beach in the warm sun. "Little Joey, you do know that snowmen are made of snow?" she asked him. "Yes Ma'am," he whistled again as he proudly smiled at her and the camera.
"You see Ms. Chow, we have it all figured out. Ours is not going to melt, so he'll be around forever." Jeff laughed as Little Joey whistled out his answers. It reminded him of his little brother when he was about six years old. He figured that was about how old Little Joey was. Jeff panned the camera out to get a good shot of all the kids that were helping Little Joey.
Jackie decided to talk to some of the other children. As she walked over to them, one of the older girls decided to talk. Jackie asked her name as she got closer. "My name is Bonnie Turner." Her strawberry blonde hair swirled around her face. Jackie asked her, "So who came up with this idea?" Bonnie told her that they had watched Frosty the Snowman on TV last night and wanted to build one.
But being there was only sand around, they decided to make him out of sand. That way, he wouldn't have the chance to melt. Jackie looked into the camera and said, "Well folks, there you have it. Children building not sandcastles, but a snowman. Or is he a sandman?" Joey politely said, "He is a snowman. You'll see!"
As the children mixed water and sand, the snowman started to take shape. Jackie and Jeff decided to stay and see where this story would take them. Jeff told Jackie, "Isn't it great that kids have such great imaginations?" She agreed with a nod of her head. "Who knows? We just might be interviewing next future President," she laughed. Jeff nodded in agreement.
They decided to keep the camera rolling, watching the kids build their snowman. Jackie decided to ask the other kids different questions. She asked a dark haired little boy his name. He told her, "My name is Jim Killian." "Jim, have you guys picked out a name for your snowman?" "No, Ma'am. We haven't! Hey guys, we need a name for our snowman." They all stopped building the snowman. Looking around at each other, they all started saying names. Little Joey yelled out, "QUIET..."
As it got quiet, he whistled out, "Why don't we just call him Sandy because he's made of sand?" Everyone agreed and went back to building Sandy the California Snowman. As they were busy, another little girl jumped up and ran over to her things lying on the beach. She came back and presented her things. "My name is Hanna Downing. I have sunglasses and a Santa hat for him to wear." She had in her tiny little hands a pair of sunglasses, which were probably her daddy's.
An older boy ran to get his things. He told Jackie his name was Jacob O'Brian. He had in his hand two sticks for Sandy's arms and a carrot for his nose. Another girl ran to get her seashells for Sandy's buttons. Then they all went back to work on Sandy. The bottom layer and the middle were finished. Now all they lacked was Sandy's head.
They each put their offerings on Sandy. First was the girl with her seashells. She placed them carefully in the middle. Jacob was next with his sticks for arms, then he placed the carrot in the center of the head. Hanna stood there looking up at Sandy. He was too tall for her to place the Santa hat on him. She couldn't even reach to put the sunglasses on him. Jackie offered to help her and lifted her up. Little Hanna placed the sunglasses just above his nose. Then she looked at Little Joey and handed him the hat. "Little Joey, you have to put the hat on Sandy. He was your idea."
As Little Joey stood there, he could not believe that here was his dream come true, his very own snowman made out of sand. He knew he couldn't reach Sandy's head, so he turned to ask Jeff to help him. Jeff had already handed Jackie the camera. Little Joey whistled his thank you as Jeff lifted him up into the air. Little Joey placed the Santa hat on top of Sandy's head.
Just as Jeff placed Little Joey back on the ground, something began to happen.
The sunrays and the wind began swirling the sand around Sandy. Suddenly, the sand fell to the ground and to everyone's surprise, Sandy stood there stretching his stick arms. Jackie yelled at Jeff, "Your getting this, right?" He gave her a thumbs up with the camera rolling.
As Little Joey stood in front of him, Sandy began to speak. "Hello, Little Joey. How are you today?" Little Joey's mouth dropped wide open and his eyes were as big as oranges. He whistled his reply. "YOUR ALIVE!" as he swung around to tell everyone. "HE'S ALIVE!" Everyone stood there with amazement on their tiny faces. Sandy started to laugh at all their faces.
As Jackie was nudged back to life by Jeff, she sprang into action. She had dropped her mic while starring at Sandy in disbelief. She swept it up as she ran over to him. Standing in front of him still stunned by his being alive, he looked down at her from his 6'4" frame and said with a smile on his face, "Hello, Ms. Jackie. How are you today?" "I'm fine, Sandy. How are you?" she managed with a small giggle in her voice.
Everyone began to cheer and ran around with great joy and happiness. The children begin to sing, "He's alive. Little Joey's Sandy is alive." Sandy looked at Little Joey and said, " I know you have a million questions, along with Ms. Jackie. Let's play awhile so I can feel the sun on my face. Then we can talk." Everyone rejoiced as they played in the sun with their new friend.
As they played in the sand, the wind began to blow and before they knew it, Sandy's hat was blown off his head. It all became quiet when they realized that Sandy was no longer moving. He was still as a mouse. Jackie yelled, "It's his Santa hat that keeps him alive." The children started running for the hat, chasing it down the beach. Jeff was filming as they ran after it. He caught it all as Little Joey caught the hat.
They ran back to Sandy to put it on. Little Joey looked up at Ms. Jackie and asked her, "What if this doesn't bring him back to life?" Jackie looked into his little brown eyes and told him to just believe. As she lifted him up and he placed the Santa hat upon Sandy's head, he sprang back to life and asked, "Why is everyone staring at me?" Everyone begins to laugh out loud. "You lost your hat and wasn't alive anymore," said Hanna in her sweet little voice. Sandy looked at her and started to laugh. "Why, Little Hanna do not fear. As long as it's on my head, I'm alive!"
"Now Ms. Jackie, I know you have lots of questions to ask me." She nodded her head and began her questioning. As she rattled them off one by one, Jeff realized the tide was coming in and started to yell. Everyone was too close to the water and a big wave was coming.
Everyone ran for the shore except poor Sandy. He had been hit by the wave. They turned to hear Sandy say, "I forgot about the water!" They all ran back up to him. He looked down at Little Joey and said, "My poor Little Joey, I have to say that you're the best friend I've ever had." Everyone had tears in their eyes as they watched the water wash Sandy away, a little at a time. Little Joey started to cry, "But Sandy, you can't go away."
Sandy reached up to wipe his tears away. "I'll return one day. Just remember what you did this day. Just watch and see. I'll be here for you on that day."
The water began to rise as the tide came in. Sandy disappeared into the blue ocean. Everyone returned to the shore as the water continued to rise.
Jackie turned to the camera and said, "Today we witnessed a miracle here at Del Mar Beach. Little Joey Turner made his first California Snowman out of sand and it came to life. I'm saddened to say that Sandy the California Snowman is no longer alive. We all witnessed his demise as soon as the tide came in. These children believed in something and it all came true. This reporter can say that she now believes in miracles. Live from Del Mar Beach, this is Ms. Jackie Chow, sorrowfully signing out."
As they all stood there watching the ocean blue, Sandy's Santa hat and sunglasses washed ashore. Little Joey picked up the hat and shouted out, "Remember what Sandy said? Remember what you did this day and I will return!" Everyone started to gather up Sandy's things and put them in a beach bag. As the last piece was put in the bag, Jackie hugged Little Joey and said, "Next year we'll return on this same day. We'll all build him again, and you'll see him come to life for all to see."
The camera faded to black...
Word count: 1943
Entry into Short Shots: Official WDC Contest
Photograph of the Month of December 2017