June, I just got done reading about Bob Breen at the tidepools, and the hordes and crowds at low tide:
I can hardly believe it! I was usually the ONLY person out there around 1972 – 1977, climbing over the rocks at low tide, watching the sun come up over the shining waters, and I would go help Bob with whatever I could many a time since he was the ONLY person hired by Parks & Rec to work the entire stretch of the coastline. I always wished I could have had a job like he did; even all these years past I have remembered the wonderful times I spent at the marine reserve.
On those days that others would show up saying “there’s nothing out here, what are people talking about?” I would show them how to find life under the sea and most importantly, to return the rocks to their original position so the life growing underneath them would not die. I am so sad to find out that this has not been the case, with so many incredible numbers climbing over the area. My, how times must have changed! I specialized in studying the nudibranchs of the coastside, which are exotic and beautiful beyond belief. No one would ever guess these small animals could have developed and exist hidden in the rocks, yet so close in the sea.
I will have to write to Bob and send him my photos and drawings, since I did them when he was there (or perhaps pass them on the the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve; how wonderful that this group has been started). Who would have guessed that he would still be there, all these years later? What a treasure that Bob was to the tidepools and to me. He was always so nice and such a well-educated gentleman. There weren’t too many of them back in those days. He treated me so well, and showed me that kindness, conservation and respect for all life forms really did matter.