(Somewhere near Destin, FL)–The old hippie stood on the steps and held a half-smoked cigarette between his lips. He clapped slowly, a lazy waltz beat on his hands.

And I thought, “What? Is this guy screwing with me?”‘

See, that’s what you think when you’re somewhere you’ve never been before and someone starts clapping at you for no reason. This guy watched me with my camera on the beach and was giving me a condescending golf clap. Way to take some pictures, Yankee.

I thought he would stop, but as I walked up the steps with my camera and looked around for anyone else that might be the subject of the hippie’s taunting, I realized it was just him and me on this section of beach–I with my camera, him with his cigarette and a wry smile.

“Whatever,” I thought. “Old damned hippie isn’t going to ruin my mood.”

When I got next to him, he nodded to the subject of my trip to the beach. “Another good one,” he said, and clapped a little more before laughing softly and walking off.

The old hippie wasn’t being supercilious. He wasn’t giving me hell.

He was clapping for the sunset.

Another good one.

This is where I’m spending my Thanksgiving.

I can think of a few more reasons to be thankful, but this one will do for tonight.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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2 Responses

  1. Pauly says:

    I miss the beaches of the Florida panhandle… enjoy every second of it!

  2. Da Goddess says:

    Happy Thanksgiving weekend!