s a n d y f e e t . e x p o . e u r o p a . 9 8

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the beach

Jesolo is a beautiful seaside tourist destination on the Adriatic Sea - home to about 20,00 residents but with rooms for many visitors - much like where I live. I am here to compete in their first big sandsculpture contest and my first impressions are very good.

Upon arriving in Jesolo, I finally was able to leave a message for Dennis on how to reach me at the hotel. He called as soon as he could and the news was not good - my bestest old buddy Dune Dog had passed away in my absence - almost 13 years to the day after he first came into my life.

I took some comfort in the fact that he had been given all the love and care anyone could hope for right up to the end (thank you Dennis) -- as well as a well-attended memorial service at his burial in my garden. I had left him in the best of hands but still can't help but wonder if my absence hastened his demise. It is very hard.

A couple days later I received word that my grandmother, Beatrice Raper, had passed away in Michigan. She was 90 years old and has not been in good health for many years, so it was not unexpected. I was sorry to have missed her funeral - she and grandpa had a lot to do with why I came to live in Texas in the first place and they were a great help and comfort to me the first few years that I taught down there.

I hope this is the last bit of bad news from home.

dune sculpture

I got up early my first morning in Jesolo and built a sculpture in his honor.

Russell at work

Our rooms at the Svezia & Scandanavia Hotel are very nice with balconies overlooking the well-tended beach. However, it was disappointing to discover that I would not be able to connect to the net from the room... couldn't get the modem to work with the switchboard.

Fortunately, our hosts have tried very hard to provide alternatives and I have been at least able to collect and answer my e-mail. Am still having problems uploading files but really hope to have that worked out next time I get a chance to connect.

At left is a picture of Russell (fruitlessly) trying to make everything work.

the sculptors

LucianoAt left I am posing with two of my competitors - Rich Varano of Orlando, FL and the local specialist, Leonardo Ugolini. Our first mission was to construct a demo castle in the roundabout leading into town.

At right is Luciano - our amiable chauffer/gofor/engineer.


Waiting for Water

Above: We got off to the usual flying slow start as all the preparations were completed

Right: This is Massimo - the city's English speaking representative who would make sure our every need was met - his lovely wife Dawn and their son, Lorenzo.

They made us feel right at home in record time.

massimo & family


The Start

Midway through the first day in town we were able to begin the job of organizing a pile of sand into something that would make passersby look twice and three times.

At right is a photo of Francisco - the city's director of Tourism and the guy who pulled this whole thing together - and Massimo. Francisco & Massimo

clean feet

Feet in the Barrel

Silly Sandcastle Trivia: This is the way we wash our lower extremities at the end of the day.

It was a good start.

next... demo castle day 2

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