I started building sand castles about fifteen years ago while on vacation in Galveston, Texas. Each year our family castles became larger and more detailed as we experimented with different carving tools, mostly scavenged from the kitchen and garage. Yes, we started with Dixie cups and plastic knives.
In the summer of 1998 a woman strolling down the beach stopped to look at our work and suggested we enter the sand castle competition at South Padre Island. Quite surprised that such an event existed, my wife and I set off the following October to find fellow sculptors and to learn.
The following year we were back with better tools, a pounder, and a theme. What we didn’t realize was the category we entered was not really for beginners. Fortunately, our second place finish provided the confidence to return and to attempt other categories such as small team, family, and finally master solo. There are even events for children and youth, the future sand sculptors.
This special weekend is the highlight of every October and we have not missed one. Even when the bridge to the island collapsed in a terrible accident, it didn’t keep us from joining friends and families to help support the island.
I’ve competed in contests along the Texas Coast, in San Diego, CA. and Ft Myers, Florida. In 2008 I will be competing in Solo Masters events, which means I work alone, but I’m counting on family for moral support, and the most honest opinions.
In 2008, I was invited to South Padre Island, Texas and Parksville, Canada to work as a solo master sculptor. I will return to Canada this August as a solo master and participate in the summer festival.
While winning a place in the top tier of a Master event is still a goal for the future, I truly enjoy all aspects of the master division and hope to continue.