Birch Bay Fun
Dogs in the Park
The dogs around Birch Bay are hoppin’ happy that the New Park is open to them for an off-leash area.
Jack, the dog had a great time entertaining his cohabitant, Tory. Bobby showed up and threw some spectacular pitches for Jack to retrieve and Pat enjoyed the event. It can’t be said the park is actually opened, but the fence is down that has been blocking the access.
Marley, the dog has pointed out that an area is a fenced place and this place would be a great spot for local and visiting dogs. Marley has pointed out that most all dogs have trained their human companions to retrieve dog divots and there is a doggy doo station nearby.——————————-
Birch Bay Drive
Probably should have
Sandcastles at Birch Bay
(70’s. 80’s, & 90’s)
As I have said before, about 1971 or 72 Paul Gaudette (who had been doing sandcastle contests at Birch Bay for several years) handed the responsibility of organizing and conducting the sandcastle contests at Birch Bay over to me.
As I organized the sandcastle contests, they evolved. We did not have sand castle contests on weekends or holidays. Businesses were already busy and at capacity on these days. Having an event midweek encouraged people to come when it wasn’t so busy and made sense (& dollars) by boosting a mid-week gross. We did not choose the first place, second place, and third place castles. My argument was that you get mediocrity by choosing the first prize because then everyone copies it and that’s the mediocrity. Actually, it is a little presumptuous of me to think I could pick a first, second and third best of anything. But even more importantly, it meant we didn’t have to require the contestants to be in one spot so the judges could compare castles.
Participants could build anywhere between Shore Acres Resort (now Jacob’s Landing) and Bay Center Resort. (I always believed in a decentralized Birch Bay.) We did go through the beach in an organized fashion so we knew which areas of the beach we had covered. The judges carried a pole with a flag (big blue trash bag) on it so the participants could see the judges coming. If there was a large crowd, there were 2 sets of judges, one going north from the lanes area and one going south from the Bay Center area. When they met in the middle they knew all the castles had been covered.
We did not limit the number of people building each castle. (That way we did not have to police it.) Larger and better-executed castles got more valuable prizes which were sometimes shared by their builders. Every castle got at least one prize (even a little kid with a pile of sand in front of him), but nobody got a huge prize and there were no money or trophy prizes. Even though we did not assign a specific area for the castles, we did keep a count of each castle or sculpture and how many participants built it. We did talk to the participants. We particularly worked to encourage the children to tell us about their castles or sculptures. Each participant got a couple of prizes–usually a small toy and a coupon for an item at a Birch Bay business. The businesses chose what to give. They might give 1 or 2 larger prizes (especially for groups) and several smaller prizes. Either they provided the coupons or I made the coupons for them.
It was a fun way for families to enjoy the beach. The Chamber (originally the Resort Association) did spend some money on the small prizes and the event was not a fundraiser except for the added sales it brought to the businesses. ——————————-The idea was an instant reward that would last, and a reward that the participant got by going into a Birch Bay business. After all, we wanted to promote the business at Birch Bay.
Ethiopia and Sand Castles
This summer I met a man and woman from Ethiopia on the porch of The C Shop. I was excited to meet them. Because, back in the early days of The C Shop when I took over Birch Bay’s sand castle contests from Paul Gaudette, it resulted in a challenging experience that involved royalty from Ethiopia. The C Shop was in our third year at Barb and Ernie Jacobs’ Shore Acres Resort which was located where Jacobs Landing now stands. I had done one sand castle contest with Paul’s help so I knew how they worked. I was ready to do another. The idea was to do the contest in the middle of the week when things were not that busy at Birch Bay. With Paul’s help, I picked a low tide and I also made a 3 by 3 poster saying “Sand Castle Contest Tuesday.” I also made badges for most employees at Birch Bay that said, “Sand Castle Contest Tuesday. Ask Me.” When that Tuesday arrived Patricia was sick. I took our two small boys to The C Shop so they could be in the sand castle contest. I opened the shop. I had my prizes for the sand castle contest in a bucket. Things were going OK at the shop. Then we had surprise visitors. A small bus pulled up in front of The C Shop. Patricia’s older cousin, Gladys, piled out of the bus with 21 grandchildren of Emperor Haile Selassie. Gladys had brought the children from Ethiopia and she was showing them the North West. The children were excited to tour The C Shop and I was excited to show it to them. Their eyes danced with excitement as we moved quickly about the small shop. I had to move quickly–judging time was near and I knew I was cutting it close on the tides. It was the second Sand Castle Contest of the season and the tide would be coming in faster than the first contest two weeks earlier. I had sent our two young children to build their castle. I ushered Haile Selassie’s grandchildren out to their bus, gave Gladys a couple of bags of candy for the children, bid them farewell and turned my attention to the beach. The beach was packed with people and sandcastles. I felt it was like a mall at Christmas time packed with people. I threw myself into the fray. I was judging sandcastles left and right fighting against the rising tide and ignoring Keith’s and Burton’s castle until the last. The tide made it to my boys’ castle before I did. Their eyes were awash with tears. I felt completely inadequate as a father. On top of that, a well-dressed lady on the beach reprimanded me for allowing those two little boys’ castle to be swept away by the tide. I sent the boys up higher on the beach to build a second castle which I judged. That Sand Castle Contest was a learning experience for me.——————————–
How Swim Suits Evolved
Evan at Birch Bay
——————————-New ParkThe dogs around Birch Bay are hoping that the New Park, until it becomes a park could be an off-leash area. Marley, the dog has pointed out that an area is a fenced place and this place would be a great spot for local and visiting dogs. Marley has pointed out that most all dogs have trained their human companions to retrieve dog divots and there is a doggy doo station nearby.