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Michele Thomas Voight: Clock stoppers

Published July 3, 2005

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's another favorite submission from our Summer Essay Contest about a memorable day at the beach. Essays will continue in Floridian through Monday.

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The dilapidated blue van rolled up in front of us in the sand. Heeding the call of the lazy, green Gulf of Mexico, we had driven out to the Dunedin Causeway in hopes of catching the majestic sunset while feasting on drive-through Subway sandwiches. My husband and I sat content in our folding chairs next to our sport utility vehicle, with its popped hatch containing our two young sons.

This was our spot. We always enjoyed watching the myriad of boats and water scooters whiz past while the boys frolicked in the water. Time, it seemed, stood still.

Many land vehicles of all the various breeds would come and go as well, so on this evening the blue van did not draw our attention - until it stopped. The disheveled, dark-haired man behind the wheel turned his head, looked directly at us and asked in a gruff voice, "What day is it?"

My husband, with a mouthful of lunch meat and veggies, repeated the question back to him followed by, "It's Saturday."

The man then simply drove off toward the sinking sun. Apparently, the peaceful serenity of this place had caused time to stand still much longer for some than for others.

- Michele Thomas Voight lives in Clearwater.

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