In my youth, I was a pioneer of “extreme sandcastling”, a sport which was almost included in the Olympics! Just kidding. Here is the first set of ancient box camera photos from my sandcastle archives. These sandy structures were all made in our sandbox in Hinsdale, IL.
These photos date from when I was in HS. Unfortunately, I can’t find any from when I was younger.
Other kids thought I was crazy to spend my time in a sandbox. I remember getting out there at dawn, even in early Spring when the sand would be so cold as to freeze my fingers; I had been planning sandcastles and sand cityscapes all Winter. My Dad, an electrical engineer, built the sandbox for me, and later made a plywood roof over it so that rain would not deform the sandcastles! But other kids used to knock them down while I was in the house, and one kid set even blew up the sandbox with a cherry bomb during dinnertime one Summer night.
This shows the Asian pavilions in front of the skinny tower. Some of these sand castles would be destroyed in play “wars” using golf tees for soldiers and marbles for cannonballs. If your golf tee was knocked over by a marble, he was “out” and removed from the game.
Normally I made the overall shape of a sand castle first, packing wet sand very firmly, and then carving the forms with popsicle sticks. This was an experimental sandcastle made of sand “stones” formed by hand, and placed one upon the other to make the shape of the temple, the portico, and finally roof shaped pieces. Then decorated with the little spires.
This shows the devastation of a war game between Beth and me: ruined apartments on the left, a sort of “no-man’s-land” in the middle, and on the right at the bottom tanks and military trucks. WWII formed a major part of our consciousness in those days, I remember seeing bombed out sections of London and European cities, even long after the War.