By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
Chris Beach working as a PHC Journalism major on "Soundboard Radio," their podcast
In the piece, Beach takes us on his surfing adventure to Costa Rica and introduces us to “Robert, the resident traffic guard” at the local bus stop. This apparently hung-over vagrant “makes his living by standing at the bus stop and helping tourists get tickets, who in turn tip him 100 or 200 colones.
“Not a bad life for an alcoholic bum,” notes Beach wryly.
Once a construction engineer in Chicago, “Robert” left everything in the U.S. and moved to Costa Rica, quickly losing himself in the country’s cheap drugs, drink, and pervasive party culture, writes Beach. And while observing the gloomy results of this man’s choices—drunken addiction and a life on the street—Beach doesn’t judge but tells a clear, succinct story, leaving readers to draw their own conclusion.
Finally riding away on the bus, Beach reflects:
“We couldn’t be further apart in life, but for one coincidental meeting, we shared a glimpse of each other’s world. Mine a world he once knew, and his a world I never want to know.”
Chris Beach, a 2010 Journalism major, is currently working as the full-time producer for Bill Bennett’s daily radio show, “Morning in America,” where he interned during his senior year. One day, he has ambitions to work “behind the microphone” in radio himself.