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Girl Meets Boy on an Island Beach

THEY met quite by chance on an isolated beach off the coast of Massachusetts, where the tranquil waters of an inland pond kissed the protected shoreline on a late August day.

He was bending over, intent on his quest to catch a few skittering crabs.

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She walked toward him, hesitantly, and with her fetching smile, said, ``Hello.''

Without straightening up, he turned his head toward her and asked, almost shyly, ``What's your name?''

Their eyes met for a moment, and there was an instant bond between them.

``Sophie,'' she replied. Her golden curls, damp in the salt air, were plastered against her forehead; her cheeks crimson.

``What's yours?''


Then he stood, towering above her, and they talked. His smile was warm; he seemed open and friendly.

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``Have you caught any crabs?'' she wanted to know.

``Six so far. How's it going with you?''

``Not so good. I've got a hole in my net.''

``Here, take mine,'' he offered. ``Do you go to school around here?''

``In Connecticut, where I live.''

``Well, you're sure pretty.''

``Thank you,'' she responded, looking down at the sand in embarrassment.

With that, they spied a tall barefoot woman, walking slowly across the beach in their direction.

``That's my mom,'' said Sophie, pointing.

The tall man grinned broadly.

``Say,'' he told her as she approached, ``Your daughter, Sophie, is a real piece of work.''

``We know,'' replied my daughter.

IT had been a chance meeting on Flynn's Beach, never to be forgotten by my granddaughter, Sophie Cole, then a few weeks shy of her sixth birthday, and her mother.

``Bill'' was the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, who was putting aside the burdens of his high office for a few days of vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard.

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