Keith Hansel Listens to Shells by the Lakeshore


Have you ever used a sound shield? Sound shields are whirling type noise makers that make it difficult to comprehend what is being said in a room if the sound shield is just outside that room. To a lesser degree sea shells are much like sound shields. But instead of a loud noise one hears a low whirling type sound within a particular shell. And on this day at Lake Michigan, Keith Hansel was listening to those very sounds with a shell he had found on the beach.

Oceans have many more shells than can be found around the five Great Lakes but they are there if you look hard enough for them. Keith let me listen in on his and that soft whirling sound is very relaxing. I find it similar to the purr of a cat as to how it can relax you.

I asked the boys of the Marion Boys Club to have a half hour sea shell gathering contest with the winner getting an extra mug of A&W Root Beer when we stopped in Ludington for lunch later that day. Needless to say the boys scurried about faster than a jack rabbit in order to gain that prize.

Surprisingly enough, Calvin Little found three shells so he was proclaimed the victor. He didn’t care much about listening to those shells as his only purpose for gathering his total was to gain an extra root beer. Yet those boys that did find some shells, like Keith, checked them out by putting them to their ears to listen for that slight whirling sound. Not a bad way to spend a morning in Ludington on a day that was too cool for swimming.

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