by Jim Moore, special to The Oregonian ~

It was the quintessential day at the beach on the Oregon coast. My 3-year-old son and I raced the waves while my wife wandered the beach with her camera. Our two friends tried their hands (and feet) at surfing. Dogs chased Frisbees. Kites soared briefly and then plunged earthward. Children built sand castles and then destroyed them with glee.

But something was vaguely missing. The coastal vibe I grew up with in Oregon was somehow absent. I pondered a moment … and then I realized: There wasn’t a T-shirt shop in sight. My only-at-the-beach craving for saltwater taffy wasn’t flaring up. I wasn’t fighting the temptation to buy a cute creature crafted of tiny seashells for my knick-knack shelf back home. To read the complete article, click here….