You are not going to believe this but early this past Sunday I pulled into the parking lot at Lighthouse Beach (Sanibel FL) and while parking the car I heard a helicopter buzzing over head and wondered what was going on. I grabbed my shell collecting gear and headed down the ramp to the beach and not 50 yards from the end of the ramp this is what I saw. Now I have seen what is called “The Sanibel Stoop” thousands of times before but not with a profile like this one! Back on Feb.17 of this year The Guinness Book of World Records was broken on Bowman’s Beach (Sanibel FL) with some 800 people doing the Sanibel Stoop, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im1dwxYWI9k,so I have seen more than my share of the “stoop” but this setting was………WHAT AM I LOOKING AT and that’s when the lady turned around!
I was speechless to say the least and she was not alone in total there were five of them in all, “Sea Shells Collecting Sea Shells,” this is not possible but there they were.
So I began a conversation with one of the ladies and she said her name was Dinocardium Robustum but told me to just call her Mrs. Cockle for short which I assumed was because that was her basic makeup. I did my best to be as polite as possible but finally had to ask the question, “Why in the world are you Sea Shells collecting Sea Shells”? Well I got my answer right away “The Sanibel Stoop”, “if humans can set the Guinness Record why not us and I do hope they show up soon because the Helicopter Pilot we hired can only hang around for so long to take the aerial photo”.
I think it best for me to stop right here because if I go any further with this story more than likely I will be locked up in you know where and key will be thrown away.
The truth is these are the culprits who brought the Shell Ladies to life in the form of the Sanibel Stoop, Clair and Betty Gardner and in the center Sue Ross who painted them. These are top Shell Artists who volunteer their time every Monday at The Sanibel Community Center in a group know as the Shell Crafters. After the Guinness Record was broken they went about using there creative ability along with humor and apx. 90 shells and created the five ladies. As for me, I just had to take all the Shell Ladies to the beach and I can tell you they really enjoyed the outing along with the small crowd I gathered lying face down with my chin in the sand doing the photo shoot, but we all had fun, why not we were at the beach!
Well as you can see all the ladies are back safe and sound at the Community Center waiting for you to stop by and take them on another trip to the shore and by the way Dinocardium Robustum asked me say hello, sorry, I mean Mrs. Cockle for short. Hope to see you soon in Sanibel !
______________________________________________________________________The Sanibel Shell Crafters of Sanibel Community Association
Come Join the Shell Crafting Fun that provides the perfect opportunity for Florida Snowbirds to turn to Show-birds!
WHO: You and all interested men and women who would enjoy working on Shell
Creations, no experience is necessary. Instruction and assistance are available.
WHERE: The Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel FL 33957
WHEN: Every Monday from 10:30 a.m.-Noon (11 months of the year) – we rest in March.
• Dessert and coffee are provided, but bring a brown- bag lunch.
• You make flowers, jewelry, animals and other creations all out of shell and other sea life.
• All materials are provided.
• You have an opportunity to learn new skills, and expand your creative instincts in a relaxed atmosphere.
• You will meet interesting people, some amateurs and some skilled professional artisans, all of whom are willing to instruct and eager to help.
• You will enjoy fun and fellowship.
COST: None! All shell creations made by our volunteers remain at the Community House.
HISTORY: The Sanibel Shell Crafters have been meeting weekly since the late 1920’s. The group was created in order to prepare for the Annual March Shell Fair. The items created by this fun loving group of volunteers are sold at the Sanibel Shell Fair each March. The proceeds from this sale go toward maintaining the Historical Sanibel Community House.
SHELLS: Since we are largely dependent on donations for our supply of shells, we welcome your collection.