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Socker on the Beach

Counting myself, Rocky (my wife), Michael Pliskin (my friend the photographer), the photographer from the Los Angeles Times, and four passers-by I collared into the games, there were a total of eight participants in yesterday's world premiere of Socker on the Beach. The reporter from the LA Times was almost there, but, from a distance of more than two feet, it was rather difficult to tell there was an event going on, and sadly, she missed it.

It wasn't, as we had "planned," a true game of Junkyard Beach Soccer. The only thing anybody (I) brought that was anywhere close to Official Junk was my extensive singleton sock collection. Despite the goodly press from local papers, and probably having something to do with it being a Wednesday at 2:22 p.m., no one had brought any junk for us to play with. Nevertheless, a truly auspicious world premiere it became.

We never actually played anything that you'd call soccer, either. But we did play with socks. We really did. Hence, the name "Socker on the Beach."

For me, personally, and I mean "personally," as a participant, there were three events that made the world premiere of Socker on the Beach truly monumental in scope:

1. First, there was playing with socks, the beach, and Rocky. If it weren't for her, I might've never noticed how the sand is really part of the "junk," and that you can dig holes in it for Socker Golf, and even dig trenches and lay tracks for a game of miniature golf-in-the-sand-with-socks. Nor would I have ever dreamed of playing See if You can Get the Sockball Stuck in the Volleyball Net and then See if You Can Use Other Sockballs to Knock it Through to the Other Side. Nor would I have had the chance to see, so vividly, after knowing her for 42 years, what a wonderful, fun, spontaneous, responsive, brilliantly creative player she is.

2. Second, there was playing with these strangers - two women and a pre-adolescent boy for whom English was clearly a second language. We were using sockball-stuffed knee socks as hockey sticks, sometimes swinging, sometimes whirling them around like propellers, trying to hit other sockballs into a sandpit.

3. Third. Playing with the wind. The game of Air Socks that we created, following the discovery that the wind was so constant and strong that if we kinda tossed a single sock into it, towards, the volleyball net, the sock would sometimes just get stuck, and, with sufficient skill and luck, it was possible to get a sock stuck very near the very top of the net. We played this with someone who was about to continue running with friends, whom we cajoled into joining us after our other friends left. (They did feel like friends, those people whose names I never learned, with whom I barely spoke, but played so innocently intimately.)


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