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Twelve years ago I moved to HMB. I felt that I just landed in paradise. But shortly I became disenchanted with the amount of trash left on our streets and beach. So, I resolved to do what I could, by picking up trash on my daily walks. According to my wife, I became obsessed with this deed. On a holiday weekend I could spend a couple of hours picking up and on the weekend that followed the 4th of July, my wife and I would spend whole morning picking up. I can say that the thank you'sĀ  were nice but that was not the reason I was doing this. Unfortunately there were a great deal of negative side effects that came with this job. At times I felt like the only fool out there, but the real encouragement was seeing on a few occasions, another person out there picking up. About a year ago, I learned about the Nextdoor community website. I signed up, usingĀ  my personal name, because I believe in getting to know our neighbors is always beneficial. However, my situation has changed, I had something that was more important than my need to clean up my neighborhood. This was only a temporary sideline, but I thought meantime, a public service was needed. So, I opened another account with the name "Save The Ocean". This lasted almost 6 months until my account was deactivated. The reason was someone filed a complaint, the "Save The Ocean" was not a real name. This account was to thanked people that utilized their time to do something good for our community and to let people know that they are not the only one that is doing this. After 12 years I've paid my dues and maybe I am getting too old and cranky, but this has made me realize that my cause is not as important as I thought.




Thank you for everything you have done for our community. I understand too well that my thanks has nothing to do with why you have and continue to make an effort.

In the abstract it is important to realize that none of our pet causes are "important" to the world at large. My own cause- the Main Street Bridge is obviously important to me, but for most people it's just a hunk of concrete. Yet that doesn't alter my passion for making a small change- one that will hopefully outlive me- in my local community.

At the same time there are copious people who are disenchanted with my work- and they are never shy about putting in their two cents worth- although they always do it anonymously- funny how that works. I have learned to take perverse joy at the work of the naysayers- the louder they screech the more effective I know I am being, and the more joy I get as a result.

You have no idea how or in what ways your work has changed our world- possibly forever. Take pride and joy in the fact that you tried, you might have succeeded, and sadly: Most of the people out there will remain oblivious to everything you have (and continue) to do.

And never give up- unless that is what you personally wish to do. Don't let the nincompoops out there who will carp at your work distract you for one moment from doing what you feel is important to you and your community. Just think of how much better HMB and our world would be if more people actually stood and got involved in the things which are important to them and to their families.

And finally: Whatever you do make sure you do it for yourself. As long as it brings you joy- and gives you hope for the future, then don't regard what others think or say- they simply do not matter. You, me, and every one of us has the power to change our world- if only we are willing to set aside our fears, ignore the idiots who will shout us down, and take action for what we believe in.

Warmest regards- I hope to see you out on the beach again one day!!



Thank you for the words of encouragement. You obviously understand what it feels like. I need a break for now, maybe in the near future I will get past this.

I wish you luck with your cause.

Hold on STO I hope you don't mind me using the pseudonym STO in shorthand when addressing you,


you are my hero, a true patriot, a love song in a mean world,

you are the hummus on my falafel, the nearest thing to truth there is in the lies we all navigate each day-the devil wins if you give up.

But don't worry STO, the devil only wins really if you give up AND I give up, and my SO gives up, and DCE gives up and UT gives up and even in his weird way FD is proof no one is giving up.

I just want to say if you do give up, I will miss your support-

Thank you STO for what you have done for me and for our community.

If you hang in there any longer we may soon meet...

Wow, what a beautiful and poetic note from BigSea to honor the selfless volunteerism from JJTC / STO and his wife.

Hopefully others will be inspired to pick up where you left off (unintentional pun, honest). I'l will take some turns with the trash bag in addition to the Coastal Cleanup Day (but won't pick up after dog owners who conveniently "forget" their plastic bags of momentos by the trail. A major pet peeve (another unintentional pun, lol).

Anyway, thank you for your 12 years of beautifying the Coast.

^^^ dog owners who conveniently "forget" their plastic bags ^^^

They tick me off, too, but I pick them up anyway. We already have a problem with the purists closing off more areas to dogs and we don't need to give them any more ammo.

That's nice of you to pick them up. Good point and I guess I'll try too.

JJTC - keep up the good work.

Funny how some people immediately change the subject to themselves. Well, not really "haha" funny, but "yikes" funny. Egos are amazing.

First, I want to thank all of you for the kind words. It made me feel less alone in this.

It is hard to figure why someone can pick up after their dog, but too lazy to dispose of it properly. This seems to be a fairly new problem. It makes me wonder if it is a new family that has moved here. The dog poop bags are almost as puzzling as finding dirty diapers on the roadside and on the beach. Now we know what to expect from their kids. I still love living here...

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