Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Beach Zamboni

Beach "Zamboni", Ogunquit Beach, ME

Beach “Zamboni”, Ogunquit Beach, ME

My favorite time at the beach is very early morning, like when the sun is just coming up.  The crowds are a couple of hours away and the place is generally empty.  The only ones around are a few runners, some walkers, the seagulls, and maybe a photographer or two.  Oh, and if you’re lucky, the guy driving what I like to call the “beach zamboni”.

A zamboni, of course, is a machine used to smooth the ice on a hockey rink (or a rink used for any kind of skating).  If you’ve ever been to a hockey game, you know that they come out between periods to clean things up.  Everybody loves zamboni’s.  There’s even a great song about the danged things.  If you’ve never heard it, go on YouTube and listen to the “Zamboni Song” by the Gear Daddies (here).

The guy on the beach is smoothing out the sand, obviously, and not ice.  But it kind of has the same effect.  When the first folks arrive to claim their piece of sandy real estate, they can be confident that all of yesterday’s bumps and grooves are gone, that it’s once again a virgin beach.  If some kid dug a hole in the sand that’s 3 feet deep, well that’ll be gone, too.  It even picks up some of the trash.

Then tomorrow morning we can do it all again.  Me, the runners, the seagulls, and the zamboni guy.


4 Responses to “Beach Zamboni”

  1. Paul

    Well, I guess that presentation is everything. I’ve never seen one of these in North or South Carolina. Not to say that there aren’t, I’ve just not seen them. The smoothing of the beach is handled by the tides. A lot less expensive and all natural! 🙂

  2. Paul Maxim

    Now that you mention it Paul, I’ve never seen one at Folly Beach (near where you call home for a good chunk of the time), and we’ve been there a few times over the years. Nor have I ever seen one at any of the beaches on the Outer Banks. But I have seen them at Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach and I think at Ocean City on Maryland’s eastern shore. You also make a good point about the tides. This guy, for example, only does his thing on that part of the beach that never gets touched by the water, even at high tide (this image was taken at high tide). Areas that the water covers every 6 hours or so he doesn’t bother with.

  3. blovius

    I’m about to head off to the Jersey Shore / Stone Harbor where they do have one of these things or something like it.

    That said, if you want to know all about Zambonis give a listen to North America’s Favorite ALL-HOCKEY Band – The Zamboni’s – – They lay claim to the fact that they are world’s only rock band influenced equally by Wayne Gretzky and The Beatles.

    They have quite a few Zamboni songs but my favorite is “That Great Zamboni of Devotion” –

  4. Paul Maxim

    Thanks for the links, Mark. I liked all the songs, but especially “The Greatest Season” (the tribute to Johnny Cash). Man, who knew that the zamboni is such an important piece of American pop culture? Not me, apparently. Thanks again, and enjoy your trip to Stone harbor.


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