pam clark Rambo New York Times

A Florida Island Draws An Array of Seashells And Their Hunters“….

The “Island” is Sanibel. “Their Hunters” are Super Sheller Clark (aka Mr Rambo- heehee), me, and YOU in the top National story of the New York Times! Wahoo!


How did this happen? Well, first of all, let me introduce you to the talented folks that made this story happen.

The brilliant writer/reporter (17 years with The NY Times) Lizette Alvarez who threaded this beautiful piece together with her gift of words and Angel Valentin top notch photographer from Puerto Rico and South Florida  

lizette angel new york times

I’m still boggled by the whole thing but… Out of the blue we got a call from Lizette to introduce herself and tell us that she would like to do a story about shelling on Sanibel. She said she’d like to come to Sanibel to interview us and she was hoping to get a photographer to cover the story. Heck Yay-ya! Two days later we were hanging out at Lighthouse Beach showing Lizette and Angel the treasures of Sanibel.

lizette angel clark shelling

It was a gorgeous low tide evening with lots of shells for collecting as well as exposed live mollusks. We couldn’t have placed an order for a more perfect evening to share the wonders of our island.  Hunting along side us was my new BFF Isabel (which happens to be Lizette’s daughter) perfecting Sanibel’s signature stance… The Sanibel Stoop.

isabel sanibel stoop

It turns out that Isabel is an excellent sheller. Within minutes of being on the beach, she found a nice sized unbroken ANGEL WING…

isabel angel wing

In the article, Lizette wrote about a 13 year old boy that found a STARFISH. This is the BRITTLESTAR STARFISH that Hunter from Mulberry, Florida found…

brittle star sanibel starfish

Hunter and his sister Audrey showed us all of the other STARFISH and CRABS they were finding and learning about too.

audrey hunter star fish crab

Shelling Sistah Denise Kisko from North Carolina made it in the story too!

Denise in new york times

This next photo is Denise being interviewed by Lizette… meanwhile, “a 13 year old girl” got curious about her abandoned shell pile she had been digging in.  Okay, this is funny… Denise was quoted saying “Don’t find anything in my pile” kiddingly to a 13 year old girl. That 13 year old girl was Isabel! LOL Isn’t that so cute?

denise with lizette

If you haven’t read the story yet, a black-and-white photo in our house was mentioned (well, Mr. Rambo’s “shell-festooned house” was mentioned- hahaha). We have a wall in our hallway with photos of our families and special memories.

rambo wall framed photos

In one of those frames is a photo of Clark’s shell collection on his bed at age 7.

framed shell collection

He arranged all of his favorite shells on his cowboy bedspread then asked his mom to take a picture of it. A-dor-a-ble.

Clark 7 shell collection

 After 3 hours of laughing, learning, sharing and seashell hunting, we had to say goodbye. It was an evening that we will never forget especially because we really had a fantastic time. I’m not saying I wasn’t nervous…because I was totally shaking in my flip flops at first. But then after being with such fun down to earth people…

lizette alveraz angel valentin

Who genuinely love life…

isabel lizette angel sanibel

It was easy to relax and share what we love… Shelling. Thank you Lizette, for contacting us.

sanibel beach conch seashell

To read the New York Times story, CLICK HERE or on this next image….

Featured new york times

Note to self: remember to get a photo of me too with the gang when something big happens … like being interviewed by one of the biggest publications in the world.  ;)