I have been lucky enough to call Coronado my home for all of my fifteen years. Part of being a Coronadan, I’ve come to realize, is understanding and appreciating the small idiosyncrasies and uniquities that make this town our own. Namely, I think that the Sandman adds a special vibe to Coronado with his artistic contributions that better Coronado in an authentic way.
My running routine generally takes me down the Boardwalk by the beach. In between the Hotel del Coronado and the Shores, there is a small, asphalt lot where beachgoers park their cars in a roundabout fashion.
As I approach this parking lot, I generally slow down partially to be watchful of cars, but also to look out for the Sandman’s new artwork, or even the Sandman himself , as he frequently uses this land as his canvas. This artwork ranges from political messages (he brushed “I still love Romney” in the sand the day after Obama won the election) to American flags, from smiling faces to simple words (“Love”) scripted in the sand-created cursive — I can’t even begin to wonder how the Sandman goes about sculpting sand so artistically in a two-dimensional way.
Though I’ve yet to engage in a conversation with him, Coronado’s Sandman, has this uncanny ability to uplift my spirits through his art in a nuanced way on days that are hectic or stressful or difficult. Because of developments in technology, social media, and overall reliance on electronics to live, the speed at which we live our lives drastically accelerated, and often we are so focused on Instagram pictures or Facebook statuses that we can’t look up (or down to the asphalt) to enjoy what is around us.
As a community, I think we need moments like this — moments just to slow down in a parking lot adorned with the sand art and appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and unique place. Although I am aware of certain controversies that have surrounded the Sandman in the past years, I think he is an invaluable asset to our town. In personal experience, I haven’t seen anyone – Coronadan or tourist – view his art without a smile. He is, and will be for years to come, a Coronado legacy.
So thanks, Sandman, for brightening up my day when I run. Thanks so much for being a signature character to the Coronado culture.