Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo
As beachgoers trickled onto Clam Pass on a recent morning, Loraine and Jerry Stiehl and their 17-year-old daughter, Jena, stood in disbelief.
The family had planned a relaxing day of fishing at the beach, yet one of their favorite spots greeted them in disarray. Beer cans, bottles, cigarette packages and other rubbish littered nearly every corner of the south side of the pass.
It looked like the aftermath of an MTV Spring Break party.
“What inconsiderate little punks,” said Loraine Stiehl.
Other joggers, beach-walkers and fishermen also shuck their heads in disgust as they passed the mess, leaving it for someone else to clean up.
On this day, the Stiehls became those “someone elses.”
Without hesitating, the mother and daughter set down their beach gear and fishing poles and got to work cleaning up the garbage as dad started rounding up the bait fish.
“This is my beach. I don’t want it looking like this,” Loraine grumbled as they topped off the single trash can. “That’s so uncalled for they shouldn’t be allowed back here.”
Loraine and Jena overfilled both the trash can and a discarded ice cooler. Beads of sweat collected at their brow as they finished up by picking bits of broken glass out of the sand. Within 10 minutes, the pair repaired hours of neglect and disrespect.
“There should be more trash cans. It’s worth a shot,” said Jena as they looked at the mound of garbage.
The two take a brief second to relish in their accomplishment before moving onto more pressing issues of scarce bait fish.
“Very nice job, Jena,” said Jerry as he hands her the bait casting net. The 17-year-old glows as she shows him a better method for throwing the net.
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Connect with David Albers at www.naplesnews.com/staff/david-albers.