LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Kindness on the flats

Sat, 07/23/2022 - 2:15pm

To the Editor,
Below is an incident that occurred on the clam flats early evening, July 18, that I wanted to share:
Today, with low tide at the late hour of 6:30 p.m., along with a steady rain and stiff breeze, the clammers were few and far between. About 5:30 p.m. a couple of 12-yearold boys arrived and excitedly exited their grandfather’s car with rakes and a small bucket. When they saw me they both paused and exclaimed in unison, “we forgot our measuring rings,” I said no problem, and lent them a couple with a few words about immediately burying any undersized. They
thanked me and off they went, the grandparent hanging back due to the weather conditions and his infirmity. About an hour later I saw from afar that they were returning towards me so I started towards them. Just before I reached them I interviewed a father with his three young children in knee deep water. They had five or six clams in a bag that could hold five hundred clams. It looked a bit comical.
After speaking with this family I intercepted the boys who eagerly handed me back the measuring rings, thanking me again, and proudly announcing they had 37 clams. All the clams were of legal size. We all strolled along the beach towards the parking lot, including the father with three children in tow. The boys, who were in front of me, suddenly stopped and were talking in low voices. As I passed, I asked if everything was okay. They answered affirmatively and then told me they noticed the father with the kids didn’t have many clams. They had decided that they had some at home and didn’t really need 37 more and wanted to offer all of them to the father and asked me if they should. I encouraged it. The surprised gentleman hesitantly but graciously accepted about 10. I told the boys it was a wonderfully kind thing to do and that it made my day. I also let their grandparent know what they had done and offered
my praise for their virtuous behavior. With permission of the grandparent, and the boys, I requested their names and hometowns: Charles Doyle from West Hartford, Conn., James Jacobson, Nyack. N.Y.
There is hope yet.
Bill Johnson
Harbors Department Shellfish Warden
Please remember you need to have your Town of New Shoreham license and gauge with you and rebury all undersized clams you find. It is a 4-quart limit per license.
Our office is open daily 9-2 at the New Harbor Boat Basin.
And remember to be kind.
Kate McConville