Today marks the 50th anniversary of Oregon’s famous Beach Bill. Undoubtedly, many of us will commemorate this visionary law by going to the beach and cutting loose or taking a nap in a driftwood fort. Either way doesn’t cost a cent.
Besides celebrating, we might also considering educating others about this important anniversary.
To that aim, I have a somewhat guerrilla teaching method to help.
The telephone number in this photograph is from a pay phone at Oswald State Park. This park is nothing less than holy ground in the creation of Oregon’s unprecedented legacy of publicly-owned beaches, one of the greatest spots to surf in the state, the site of the Matt Kramer Memorial, and a perfect place to observe how free beaches enrich our lives.
I would like everyone reading this who cares passionately about Oregon’s beaches to call this number. Someone will answer because the park is sure to be mobbed and the phone is located at the beginning of the trail to the beach and adjacent to the restrooms.
And what person wouldn’t pick up! Hearing a pay phone ring represents an utter novelty in American life and is sure to intrigue park visitors on their way to and from the beach.
Below is a suggested script to use to use with people who answer. Or you can just wing it on your own.
You: Hello, did you know today is the 50th anniversary of the Beach Bill, a law which forever ensured that Oregon’s ocean beaches would remain publicly owned and free to use?
(The person may or may not know about the Beach Bill.)
If the person answers “yes,” then ask: “How are you celebrating the anniversary today?”
If the person answers “no,” then say: “Well, now you know. Spread the good word.”
I encourage readers of this blog to share this post on social media. Get that phone in Oswald West State Park ringing off the hook!
(If you found this post enjoyable, thought provoking or enlightening, please consider supporting a writer at work by making a financial contribution to this blog or by purchasing an NSP book.)