In the summer of 1977, my best friend, whom my family and I affectionately called “Pamela P. Poopsie-Pie,” and I were frolicking in the ocean on a spectacularly sunny, August day. Suddenly, we noticed our curmudgeon of a neighbor, charging down the seawall stairs and frantically flailing his arms like a wild person. We were decidedly not bright beyond our years, but we knew enough to know that old Ollie was signaling us to get out of the water, FAST. So, we hopped on our rubber raft and began to paddle-in, fairly certain that Ollie was going to “rip-into us” for trampling his precious tomato plants during a neighborhood whiffle ball game, earlier in the day. Instead, he helped us drag our raft onto the beach, and made sure we were wrapped in warm towels. Then, he pointed at the shallow water, to a small fin that was clearly swirling around in circles. Having been completely consumed by the Jaws hype of the mid-seventies, this vision was surreal, terrifying and exhilarating; it turns-out, the fin belonged to a very small and harmless sand shark, which was no longer than 2 feet. None-the-less, Pamela P. Poopsie-Pie and I had a fish tale to last an eternity, and we never looked at our old neighbor Ollie in the same way again. He became our “Boo Radley,” a powerful symbol of goodness swathed in an initial shroud of creepiness; he emerged at an opportune moment to save us from Jaws.
This very encounter is what I thought about when I decided to call my company, Sharks On Shore. Sure, I was definitely drawn to the powerful image of sharks, as kings of the ocean dwellers. After all, sharks have that aura of being “cool,” whether you are a young boy, or an old fisherman. There is a reason that Shark Week has soared in popularity since it’s debut twenty years ago. Also, there is no doubt that the English lover in me adored the alliteration of the words: Sharks On Shore. Ultimately, however, I chose the company name because I wanted it to be a call to action; when beachgoers see a shark close to shore, they come together as a community, they alert swimmers, and they get up out of their respective beach chairs. By choosing the name, Sharks On Shore, I hoped that our little company would come to symbolize community, dynamic energy and motivation.
All of us at Sharks On Shore were absolutely heartbroken to hear of the tragic death of Arthur Medici, the 26 year -old boogie boarder who was the victim of a fatal shark attack on Cape Cod over the weekend. We were, however, heartened to learn of the outpouring of help and emergency support that the beach community had given Mr. Medici at the time of the incident; an off-duty lifeguard helped at the scene, and beachgoers jumped up to provide towels and other first aid assistance. Emergency personnel acted quickly to get Arthur the urgent care that he so desperately needed; unfortunately, this teamwork was not enough to save Mr. Medici, and he passed away at Cape Cod hospital. This is the first fatal attack seen in Massachusetts in more than 80 years, and we hope and pray that is will be the last one for another 80 years.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Arthur Medici.