• May 16, Devin Northrup: “Sandy the Sandman, Hukilau Beach”

photo of the week

May 16, 2011, Spotlight


Devin Northrup: “Sandy the Sandman, Hukilau Beach”

Devin Northrup

I built the sandman December 1, 2007. I was nearing the completion of my first semester at BYU-Hawaii. It was a Saturday, and for whatever reason, I didn't have anything to do. I called a few people, but my friends were busy, so I was left on my own. As I sat in my room bored, my mind wandered to what I might have been doing if I was with my family in Utah. I could be snowboarding, drinking hot chocolate, or building a snowman. I remember laughing at the thought of a snowman in Hawaii. Then I got the idea to build a snowman . . . out of sand!

I ran to the grocery store in Laie, picked up the flower lei, and headed to Hukilau Beach on my moped. I brought along the garbage can from my room to use in carrying sand and water.

It turns out building a sandman is much harder than building a snowman. The sand crumbles easily. I had to continually bring water from the ocean to get the sand moist enough to stick together. People walking by gave me crazy looks, obviously clueless to what I was building. My mound of sand collapsed several times, but I eventually got it big enough that I could start carving out the shape of the three sections. I then looked around for items on the beach I could use to decorate the sandman. Once it was done, I was extremely satisfied with the result.

Several other people and students saw my work and wanted to come take pictures with the sandman (I was thinking, "Where were you when I was building this thing?!"), and I was happy to oblige. I took several photos myself and sent them out as Christmas cards. They were a hit.

Later, people saw my pictures and wanted me to help them build their own sandman, so a few days later I was out with a larger group of people, making another one!

Looking back, seeing the sandman picture reminds me of my fond memories at BYU-Hawaii. I just graduated in December 2010, and I am now working for the Church doing web design. After 6 years of living in the islands (mission and BYU-H), I'm back in the cold, a long way from the ocean.

That's the story behind the picture!