Today's strip brings back a vivid childhood memory.
When I was eight or nine, my parents took me and my two younger brothers, and two of our cousins on a camping trip. They pulled a small silver camp trailer with our brown, faux-wood-paneled station wagon. On the way home, they decided to take us to the beach along the California coast. Dad set up the trailer atop a cliff overlooking the ocean, and June Brigman has captured the setting perfectly. It was a gray, chilly day, and the beach below the cliffs was utterly deserted.
Dad was with us boys down on the shore and asked me to go up to the trailer for something, where Mom was caring for the baby. I climbed the cliff trail, and as I approached the trailer, I could see mom engaged in conversation with a man who had arrived at the beach after us. The man walked away as I approached, and mom took me into the trailer and very calmy handed me a note she had written. "Wes," she said, "Please take this note to your dad."
I returned to the beach and handed Dad the note. Dad read the note, and his eyes got huge with alarm. His expression was just like Mary's in panel 2. "Okay everybody! We're leaving! Come on! Right now!"
We didn't know what was going on, and we were disappointed to leave, even if the weather was bad. Dad rushed us up the cliff, tossing all of our gear quickly into the trailer. As Dad hit the accelerator, the car bumped over the dirt parking lot, and my cousin Rod looked out the window and screamed, "That man is naked!" There at the top of the cliff was a middle-aged man, buck naked, watching us drive away. All of us boys laughed hysterically at that crazy man without any clothes. My parents explained what a nude beach was, and we thought it was the stupidest thing we'd ever heard.