Sara K. Taylor –
It all started because Heidi Blake’s tantrum was interrupting Bing Crosby’s golf game. “My brother pushed me out of a cypress tree on Pebble Beach,” she said.
She was screaming bloody murder to try to get her father’s attention, who, too embarrassed by his children’s behavior to acknowledge them, slouched behind his newspaper.
That’s when the crooner came over to Blake, dusted her off, scolded her brother (who is now a pastor) and shut her up by pulling what looked like a small rock out of his pocket and haning it over to her.
It did the trick; it stopped her screaming while sparking an immediate passion for collecting.
The rock was actually a piece of sea glass — glass that has been battered by the ocean currents for sometimes hundreds of years before it washes up in bits and pieces on the shore where treasure hunters can gather it.
After the day Bing Crosby restored order, Blake and her father would spend the weekends, “glassing,” combing beaches for whatever they could find.
The glass can come from ancient shipwrecks — pirate or ordinary ones — from factory or family dumps, or any one of a hundred ways glass ends up in the sea.
“The tsunami … there is a mass of trash headed toward California, cars, windshields, windows, pottery, anything that was in houses; it has been churning for a couple of years,” Blake said.