The debate regarding tents on the beach has now moved from the realm of the sublime to the ridiculous. In his Aug. 2 letter "Tents work for family togetherness," Steve Penland suggests his beach tent is "an extension of the family unit" and "a part of our heritage." Give me a break.
These canopies have their place, but that place is not cluttering up the beach to the point of being dangerous. While they have been around for a while, only in the past few years have growing numbers of selfish people decided it is OK to abuse these tents in order to stake claim to "their" beach. In doing so, they are content to completely disregard the inconvenience and safety issues they create for others around them. In the past, a single tent may have been used during the time a family was on the beach. Now, family "castles" are created, consisting of four or five adjoining tents with no travel space between them, often erected at dawn and sitting unused for hours.
There is no question these canopies need to be banned during summer months. This action will ensure all visiting families have equal opportunity to enjoy our beaches. Since Penland has been "coming to North Myrtle Beach for over 50 years," one must assume he was able to enjoy many days on the beach without one of these devices, and it is very unlikely that those who love Myrtle Beach will be driven away by their regulation.
For the inconsiderate few who have more attachment to their tent than to Myrtle Beach, we will be better off without them.
The writer lives in Pawleys Island.