Seeking the American Dream – Fort Lauderdale Beach
Text & Photographs by Jeremy Wade Shockley
Foreign visitors, American tourist, students and local residents all seek to full fill an ideal long established with the American vision of surf and sand. A classic image of fitness, relaxation, and lifestyle all blend together as each individual pursues their personal role, seeking their own dream in the Florida surf, set against aging palms and retro architecture, established in a past era, the dream continues on.
Ed Richardson works for a contract company paid by the city of Fort Lauderdale, setting up shade structures. Richardson is a Florida local. College students work for NOVA patrolling the beach, interning with an organization that helps facilitate the protection of nesting turtles along the populated coastline. Two young girls take a break from schoolwork and their neighboring community to catch a tan on the city beach – a favorite among local youth. Bob Amis scours the ocean floor for lost treasure during an annual vacation from his Midwestern home state of Oklahoma. “I helped find a man’s gold wedding band yesterday, he said, “ I always try to return things I find to their owners”. Weekend mornings are filled with the sounds of heckling on a seaside basketball court, the players come together weekly to compete. A group of Colombian women celebrate a birthday on the beach with friends and family. A friendly atmosphere, and an eclectic mix of cultural diversity proves that the idyllic beach still has the alluring power of if origins, which are now only visible in the aging coastline. Life fills the scene.