Beach Glass Bill

By Kirsti Scott

great lakes beach glass

One of the best parts of beachcombing is meeting new people, and meeting Bill MacLaughlin, aka “Beach Glass Bill,” was no exception. A few local beach glass collectors and I had a fantastic day in May after the Great Lakes Beach Glass Festival, collecting treasures along the shores of Lake Erie. Our group of five got to know each other while sifting through the pebbles on the beach, wading through the waters to reach remote parts of the shore, and enjoying perfect beach weather. 

great lakes beach glass beachcombing

As the day was coming to an end, a friendly-looking beachcomber passed by and we asked if he could take a photo of our group. He did so, and then slipped away for a bit, returning with a small tube and a bag. He showed us a handful of his favorite beach glass—beautiful, smooth pieces in deep, rich colors. And, then he unrolled a sheet of paper and recited The Sea Glass Collectors’ Creed to us. There was not a word from our otherwise talkative group while he spoke.

beach glass bill sea glass collectors creed cleveland

Everyone agreed we had to share this with others, and Bill said he’d be happy if we could include the poem in Beachcombing and in our online shop. “I’m sure it will reach a much wider audience than the folks here in Cleveland,” Bill said.

As we said goodbye to Bill that day, we reflected on how great it is meeting people with a shared passion of beachcombing. “Sometimes the best things in life can happen serendipitously,” said Bill.

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine September/October 2019 issue.

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