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Newspaper Page Text
The *San Francisco Sunday Call
Feminine Society Enjoys the Surf at Palm Beach PALM BEACH in the season! There are all sorts of diversions at this resort, for now is the climax of the season for happy crowds of visitors, fine frocks, romances and carefree gayety. There are tenuis and motoring, dancing 4 I golfing, but surf bathing is always the favorite pastime of Palm Beach, and now as much as ever the beach is nature's , drawing room, to which she calls all who hope to be In the fashion. American girls are at their best in swim ming togs, and now at Palm Beach there are so many attractive women among the dally bathers that some one has called the assemblage "the pretty women's congress." Lithe, strong figures, slender and straight, characterize the Palm Beach bathers as a rule. Their black or dark blue silk suits fit to fashion's perfection. Set off with collars §Jk cuffs of lingerie, they are infinitely be coming; and to finish the costumes there are the chic, coquettish caps, arranged to show a roll of sunburned golden hair or a thick dark braid. They are tied dashingly over one ear, their flaunting ends adding the last touch of daring to a perfect costume, or de murely in front, where they are finished with choux or bows, if more becoming. Here and there on the beach one sees girls practicing "the debutante's slouch." In the unrestricted freedom of the bathing suit tlary can attain that willowy bend which is Just now the desire of all who follow fash ion's lead. The Junoesque proportions which used to be so much admired on the bathing beach of several seasons ago have now given place to sinuous, graceful sil houettes that suggest the lines of early girlhood. Everybody races on the beach and goes in for all sorts of impromptu gymnastics, for the girl or woman who is recuperating from a season of strenuous social duties is de flftmined to get as much benefit as possible iir:he way of augmented strength and vital ity -4bt of the bathing. Water stunts are very popular. The Palm Beach girl is usually a good swimmer, and she is by no means content to have her morning's surf bath include only a prome nade on the sands and a frolic on the ex trcme edge of the surf. She wants a real plunge and a swim of respectable propor tions, and she knows perfectly well also that nothing is so beneficial to her health and her appearance as a long daily swim. It makes her eyes bright and dewy, and if they be blue eyes all the charm of the sea seems to be communicated to them by the daily plunge in the waves. swim also makes the figure slender and firm and gives vitality, which makes the step springy and Mght. The Palm Beach girl finishes the morning's beauty treat ment with a little sunning on the sand, which warms the skin and adds , a touch of gold to the hair if it be brown, or burnishes it into an astonishing brilliance if it be gold or red. "Ever so much better than a beauty par lor," says the Palm Beach girl, "for it's a lot of fun allthe time, as well as being more effective in a beautifying way." "Surf bathing washes away all one's trou bles," says the Palm Beach girl. "One for gets that 'Jimmy' likes Mabel too well and that ones new frock is a failure. One even forgets that it mayn't be possible to go to Paris this spring if father continues to put all his money back into the business. It takes years off one's age; it's almost like being 10 again." There is a riot of color on the beach dur ing the bathing hour. Persons , who have just come from the north, where they haven't seen anything very bright except the electric lights for a good many months, are often quite blinded for a moment when they go down upon the beach for their morning plunge and see what the old sun can do in the way of making a bright place. The brilliant sky and the brilliant sea, the bright little waves and the sparkling sand, the gaudy sun umbrellas and the laughing bathers make iin assembly of color that is hearten ing" even to the most depressed of visitors who have forgotten to leave behind their troubles in the north. Then there are lots of social gatherings on the sands, among which the good old arts of building sand palaces, forts and underground passages are just as popular as they were when Palm Beach was still the wilderness. Laughter and gossip and amusing inter ludes of flirtation vary the social program. Some of those who don't know what endless diversions may be gotten from the proces sion on the beach and the antics of the bathers bring their books and papers to the sands, but they are soon laid aside in the interest of the human drama which is con stantly being enacted. Affairs which have seemed of momentous importance recede quickly into oblivion on the beach; trifling things become of tremendous interest. The girl with auburn hair dives very well and every one runs to see her do it. The girl with black hair runs better than the little blonde. The lady with the striped blue suit has a mission with.which everybody sympathizes. She is trying to take off weight, and every body knows it. She hasn't told them. They have all guessed the reason for her faithful dafly dip into the brine and the runnhif stunt she does along the beach. "Hooray! She's down to 140," says the stout gentleman who doesn't bathe, but looks on every morning. "I heard her tell the fellow at the bithhouse. Good girl; that's eight pounds off in two weeks!" A speculative look appears in the eyes of the stout gentleman. He is almost inclined to try it himself. And the next morning he appears in a bathing suit and plunges in, amid the laughing encouragement of his friends. Then there is the bather -with the two little daughters, miniatures of their lovely mother, whom the onlookers soon discover to be a popular actress, patiently day by day going through a little advertising "stunt." There are a couple of this seasons debu tantes, as frolicsome as young kittens, tumbling over the sands behind the back of their stately chaperon. There is the fra gile young girl who is taking the bathing fpr her health and who follows the gambols of the other bathers with pathetic inter est until her eye glances upon the plump gentleman who is exercising for reduction, and then even her mcl ancholy gives way to amusement. The little waves that lap up on the beach sing a quiet little "come on" song to every body, and all the bathers listen and believe and come again next day. No one has ever been able to interpret the song exactly, but an intelligent mermaid has rendered it some thing like this: "This is beauty's bath. Come away from the cold and mist of the north; Come away from the sioam heat and the electric lights; Come play a while with the waves In the sunshine; It will make you feel like a frolicsome young thing." The mermaid told this to the plump bather and he told it to the beach crowd not long ago, and everybody said the song was true.