Sunday, August 5, 2012

Photo-of-the-Week #66 – Worshiping the Sun – Padre Island, Texas, October 2003

Here we see an isolated example of the water-cooled, common American Sun Worshiper basking in the rays of Old Sol while cooled by the surf of the Gulf of Mexico. October is a great time to head to Padre Island in Texas. This photo was taken at the natural beach on the northern part of the island near Corpus Christi. There was almost no one on this entire beach where it seems you can drive for miles on the sand and park wherever it suits you.

My first visit to this part of Padre Island was in April of 1970 while stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. I was “figmo” at the time, for those who are in or were in the military, I’m sure you know what that term stands for. The military is great for using acronyms for everything. Figmo is another military acronym, though not found in the official list. But, it meant that I had orders to depart in a couple weeks for my new and permanent assignment in Washington, DC. So, basically, I didn’t have much to do and my supervisors wanted me to make myself scarce while I was waiting to depart on a day specified in my orders.

I went to Padre Island with a young captain and his wife and infant child for a day trip. The captain had completed his military obligation and had resigned his commission to return to civilian life. So, like me, he was also in the state of being figmo. So, he asked my supervisors for permission to use me for a “special assignment.” And, since they really didn’t want me sitting around the office looking bored, they readily agreed to his request. I don’t think it was too hard for them to figure out where I was on my special assignment when I returned to the office the next day, nicely sunburned. Thankfully, not uncomfortably sunburned, but I sure wasn’t my normal white self.

I’ve never been to Padre Island or any of the Texas coast during the summer, so I don’t know if they have large crowds like the east coast beaches. The Jersey shore where I went as a kid when I was growing up in New Jersey was especially crowded. The Padre Island beach is quite beautiful and I’m sure it must be quite busy in the summer.

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