A View From The Beach

by Chuck Randall

When I arrived on the beach a little more than ten years ago, one of the first events I attended was a fund raiser for the beach school.  The Island had just come through Hurricanes Erin and Opal and things were in disarray, but here was a group of people who had come together to share in support for the Beach Elementary School.  It was a cohesive group of people, who had survived these two devastating hurricanes, reaching out to help in a project dear to their hearts.  Since that time, I have seen the beach community work together on many projects.  I remember going to the beach soon after Hurricane Ivan had devastated so much of the Island.  As I was walking down Via De Luna in the sand, someone coming from the opposite direction offered me a bottle of water, which I gladly took.  Soon some people in a jeep offered to give me a ride.  As I thought of those little acts of kindness, I couldn’t help but think that disasters do bring people together.  Last Friday evening, over 300 people gathered at the Beach Church to remember and celebrate the life of Andrea Brunt, an active person of the beach community.  There were no distinctions as people from all walks of life sat next to each other and laughed and cried, and hugged each other.  I thought of the many people who come from many different places to enjoy our beautiful beach.  They come for a few days and leave and do not have the opportunity to know this close knit feeling that exists among our beach community.  For my first article to this new publication, I wish to encourage our “Snow Birds” or as some prefer, “Winter Visitors,” to get involved with our beach community through the various activities offered.  I think you will find it interesting, rewarding, and will give you insights into the reason so many think of Pensacola Beach as a very special place.  I haven’t lived in many places, but this is truly the greatest community of which I have ever been a part.  I hope you will find that true, too.  And congratulations to Karen and her staff for providing this magazine for your benefit.  This is “A View From The Beach.”