Caspersen Beach is a little known stretch of Florida sand nestled quietly in between the more popular Venice and Nokomis Beaches along the Gulf.
While it'll never boast of bringing in Siesta Key's tourist numbers, it does provide it's visitors with something more impressive than any other beach I've stumbled across...and I've walked many.
Hidden within it's rocky alcoves, and often times buried under several layers of sand, shark teeth by the hundreds can be found with minimal effort. Even more astonishing, if you manage to walk it's course shores following a storm, or when the tide starts rolling in, you can literally reach down and snag shark teeth right out of the water as it rushes by your feet.
The above picture shows roughly 2/3 of our collection we gathered over the course of a few days. Several measured over an inch wide, and one was so impressive, we had it wrapped in silver in order to be worn as a charm around one's neck.
Hunting shark teeth can be as addictive as drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, with far healthier results. By week's end, literally everything I spotted in the sand, regardless of what beach we were visiting, resembled a tooth in some form other.
In fact, many local Floridians spend their evenings scouring the sands of Caspersen in search of whatever treasures may lie only inches below the surface. And one such local, I'm sorry to say, is Nut-Hugger Ned.
We had arrived at Caspersen shortly after a heavy rainfall, with hopes of finding some monster teeth with the stormy tides. We weren't disappointed. In a half hour's time my family had managed to find several handfuls of shark teeth, when I decided to go back to the Dodge in order to get a bucket to hold our many findings.
As I approached a nearby dune, I neared an elderly gentleman, six foot three at least, with skin like tanned leather, and the physique of a flagpole. He may have weighed 110 soaking wet.
Just before he caught me completely off guard with his actions, I was able to notice that he was wearing khaki trousers and a matching collared shirt with "Caspersen Beach Patrol" stiched across it's lapel. With his handful of stringy bleached hair stretching to the rumbling clouds above, I figured him to be a runaway beach bum lucky enough to find employment on Florida's shores.
Then, the unthinkable.
Regarding me as if I weren't even there, he suddenly unbuttoned his pants and dropped them to the sand, exposing a maroon-colored G-String which just barely managed to cover his loin.
Acting as I would imagine most heterosexual men in my position would do if caught in such a predicament, I said something to the effect of, "Aagh!" and stumbled backwards in the sand.
Throwing me an irritative glance and mumbling something under his breath having to do with stupid northerners, Nut-Hugger Ned pulled off his shirt, slipped out of his shoes, and glided past me in nothing but a G-String, en route to the beach, where he began jogging along it's shore.
We later found out that Ned, which I'm sure isn't his real name, but one I found quite catchy, jogs the shores of Caspersen every night following his shift. I just happened to be the unlucky one to stumble upon him as he disrobed.
By week's end he actually tossed me a grin as he loped by my family...with his happy package bouncing to and fro under what can only be described as a modern day loincloth.
Ok, so I dramatized the scene a bit, but you get the point.
Out of fear of starting rumors, I failed to snatch a picture of Nut-Hugger Ned while jogging along Caspersen Beach. Perhaps in this case however, the memory of that account is more than enough.