I didn’t get a chance to peek inside this outdoor cupboard by the beach at Lutherdale when I visited but I suspect it’s a newer version of the buddy board we used many years ago. Outside the gated entrance to the beach was a large board lined with rows and rows of cup hooks. Each hook held a tag with a number from 1-300, and they hung in sequential order. If you were a camper, you were assigned a number at the beginning of the week. Every time you went swimming, you moved your numbered tag to the board inside the gate and hung it on the same hook as the person with whom you were swimming.
A familiar sound on summer afternoons was a long blast from the lifeguard’s whistle and the order to “Buddy up!” It always seemed to come in the middle of a game of water tag or when you were preparing to go off the diving board. You’d have to stop what you were doing, find your buddy and hold their hand in the air until the lifeguard released you.
“Thou shalt not swim without a buddy” was not only wise, it was the first commandment of the beach. At one time, the lifeguards painted a sign that stood in the sand at the bottom of the steps leading to the beach.The sign listed 10 Commandments of the Beach. Besides the buddy rule, other commandments included “Thou shalt not run on the pier,” and “Thou shalt not enter the water when no lifeguard is present.” With so many ‘Thou shalt nots,’ the commandments left a rather stern impression on anyone hoping to have some fun. So the last commandment facetiously stated, “Thou shalt not have any fun.”
The Tenth Commandment was rarely enforced.