After our Saturday runs at Johnny Kelley Park, Tom indulges me and takes me on a tour of the Dennis Port beaches. I love Dennis Port, Glendon Beach and Campers Haven. These are some of the few Cape places that haven’t undergone drastic change over the years. The area still looks like the Cape Cod of my childhood and remains a catchall of characters. And for those of you who know your Cape Cod history, the Wharf Road section by the beach has been called Snatch Alley since the ’20s.
This past Saturday, we took our usual route. I’ve shot hundreds of pictures in Dennis Port, and many of my favorites at Sea Street Beach. The beach itself is low, the parking lot above. The two are connected by a series of wooden stairs. It’s one of the few beaches on the south shore where you can view the beach from above. On clear days it provides sweeping views of Harwich, Monomoy, and if you eyesight is better than mine, Great Point on Nantucket.
We parked the car and I hopped I out with Sam my dog. I had no intention of taking pictures, but I saw this woman with reddish hair in a green bikini floating on the gray water. The sky was overscast and ominous. I ran back to the car to get my camera and charged down the stairs to the beach.
I was in my running clothes and waded well into the water. I passed a bunch of pastelly Chatham types, who gave me the hairy eyeball. These meetings with strangers are never easy and I blurted out something about who I was, my project, where I was from and garnished it with a touch of flattery.
These speed photoshoots are tough, I don’t want to spoil the scene by spending too much time conversing and explaining. You need need to compose and shoot quickly. I shot maybe 10 frames, and chose the two on this page for my project. As always, after the fact, I wonder whether I made the the best choices, but I was happy with these. The light was uneven, but the idea was there.
September is a beautiful and sad month as the summer fades and fall arrives. Each time I put a toe in the water I wonder if it will be for the last time.