Basket of Shells

This is a basket of shells from somewhere; I don’t recall where exactly but I am thinking it was one of the towns on the Jersey shore.  Seashells are always fascinating for me, they represent so many things:  the ocean, other life forms, distant places….


I remember getting a basket of shells at an amusement park in Lake George when I was a kid.  It was called   “Gaslight Village” which, well as a kid I don’t think I even got the idea that it was supposed to be some village lit by gaslight, i.e., before the advent of mass electricity so in the late 1800s.  And really, it is rather absurd to base the idea of a village with no electricity and then have tons of blaring neon lights and electric rides all over the place, but some people just love their false nostalgia. In fact most people do.

They were all these different colors and shapes and they also came in a basket but it wasn’t until years later after the basket of shells had been abandoned for what I thought were more adult  pursuits that  I noticed on the bottom of the basket it clearly said it was from the Philippines.

Well, by that point in my life I was already so used to being disillusioned I just laughed.

I don’t think I ever did think all of these marvelous shells were somehow found in Lake George, New York which maybe has a few snails and the like in it but nothing to fill a basket of shells, but I don’t think I processed that there was an industry devoted to sending baskets of shells around the globe so people could buy them as mementos, either.



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