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sandy feet,

Did you know that soon your name will change to the Son Of the Padre Balli Beach.......The Balli's will win there lawsuit (sic) -so get ready to move or payup.
- anonymous, via the internet

So now in addition to worrying about the inevitable Big Hurricane (this could be the year!) you want to give me nightmares of a vengeful clan of repo-persons and their army of lawyers storming the island -- armed to the teeth with overdue bills and eviction notices?

I don't know enough about the particulars of the case to presume to predict what the outcome of this trial will or should be. But let's say just for fun that the descendents of Padre Balli do win their suit and take possession of the Island. One can't help but reflect upon how this would affect the center of one's personal universe....

Will the new landlords wish to return the Island to its natural state and effectively get rid of everything that makes SPI a hot property? Unlikely. Will they close the hotels and restaurants and place a "Your Tourist Dollars No Longer Welcome Here" sign up on the Queen Isabella Causeway just before they close it? Doubtful. Is there any chance they will tear down the condo complexes, raze city hall, and strew garbage along the beach, just because "it's my island and I'll trash it if I want to"? I don't think so.

No matter who owns the island, there is always going to be a need for waitresses and bartenders and silly clowns and guys who set up umbrellas and web-wizards and massage therapists and sand castle instructors who pay their rent mostly on time. How much fun is this place going to be if you kick us all out?

And then I suppose it is just a matter of time before some self-proclaimed descendents of the Karankawa Indians (and their lawyers) materialize with a court order instructing the Ballis to vacate the premises.

Wonder who THEY stole it from?

Where in the World is sandy feet?

I just got back from Humbeek, Belgium where I, three other Americans and a dozen or so Dutch sand sculptors labored through wind and rain and cold for two weeks on a very large sandpile. Boy, was that fun! Not much time for sight-seeing, but due to the fact that the whole country is about the same size as the lower Rio Grande Valley, I was able to see a lot, including two big old cities - five hours in Brussels and two in Antwerp. I reckon that makes me something of an expert. For example:frite stand in sand

• Something you may not have known about Belgium - the things we call "French Fries" actually originated in Belgium. The Belgians call them "frites" and they taste way better over there - I was told it is because they double fry them. I was so impressed that I contributed a tiny frite stand to the sand sculpture.

• Something you thought you knew about Belgium - Contrary to the rumors I heard prior to my departure, you can in fact find Belgian waffles in Belgium.

• Something you should know about Belgium - even if you are not a beer drinker, you must drink beer in Belgium. And even though the first one you try will be be the best beer you ever drank -- your new favorite! -- you must try a different beer every time someone takes your order.

• My final word on Belgium: Chocolate.

Next column's subject (tentative): How to lose all the weight you will inevitably gain if you visit Belgium. (See the whole Belgium story and lots of pictures here.)

There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (sandyfeet@unlitter.com). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

See some more sandy feet columns


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