April Dean Goodman has been beachcombing for the last 25 years, but it took a crushing experience before she considered creating anything out of her treasured collection. When April moved to the Bay Hundred, acquaintances recommended beachcombing, which she enjoyed with her toddler daughter. She also sold sea glass creations in her St. Michaels gallery.
Years later, it was April’s second husband, Geoffrey Goodman, who created small sailboat necklaces from sea glass and driftwood. She recalls fondly that he would sit outside their retail store on the sidewalk cutting the driftwood into small chunks, using the sanding drum to shape the hull, gluing the sails together and twisting the wire.
But a tragic accident claimed the life of her husband, who was also her best friend, while she looked on in horror. April explained, “In a deep state of grief and suffering from PTSD, I could not keep my retail store going after his passing.” She started to run low on money and briefly considered making more of Geoffrey’s sailboats to help make ends meet. But she couldn’t bring herself to even look at the sea glass and driftwood that they had collected together.
Soon after, a “cut-off notice” appeared in the mail and suddenly she had a change of heart. “A voice spoke to me and told me to go get the glass…and my husband’s Dremel…and his carving tools…and the dirty little scrap of dish towel that he used to wipe excess glue away. And I sat down and tried to make my own boat. I had never made ANYTHING in my life. But something told me to pull from the images in my mind’s eye,” she explained. “As I worked on my boats, I felt him there with me…guiding my hands.”
The beach treasures, which had once been a source of immense pain, now comforted April while she worked. While her first attempts were “ridiculous,” she exclaims, they have since become very popular at festivals, shows and galleries.
Six years have passed since she lost her husband. “Memories of my husband still sustain me. I wake up every single morning anxious to make my sea glass sailboats, knowing that every time someone buys one…that my husband’s memory remains alive. That our love story continues to send ripples out into the vast sea that is humanity!”
April looks forward to the future when she can return safely to sea glass festivals and art shows to sell her sailboat necklaces, which each carry a fond memory of her beloved husband.