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photos by Dennis Barrett


The Sons of the Beach Sandcastle Wizards of South Padre Island are building more than fantasy castles out of sand these days. Using the power of the internet, they have brought their love of sand sculpture to the world -- and now the world is starting to take notice: The SOBs - also known as Lucinda "sandy feet" Wierenga and "Amazin' Walter" McDonald - are slated to be the focus of a nationally- televised TV ad for Best Buy Corporation.

The 30 second spot was filmed on the Island March 21-23 by a 17-member crew from Best Buy, and features the wizards on the beach and at their computers. The ad, which will begin its 3-week run on April 13, is the third in a series of Best Buy ads featuring interesting people doing interesting things on the world wide web. (The first two featured "The Hair Police" -- a hair salon that specializes in radical looks, and "FrogLand" -- a site for frog-lovers.)

"I'm totally amazed that they found our site with all the zillions of interesting sites out there to surf," says sandy feet, SOB webwizard. "Our location (SPI) probably improved our chances of being picked, however. The Best Buy folks up in Minnesota told me at the end it came down to a choice between here or New Jersey.... and what kind of choice is that?"

She added that the SOB site ( has been up about 2 years, and its "sister" site - - a community and business-oriented site that has also attracted a fair amount of attention on the web - about 5 months. Together they have garnered over 20,000 hits. "We offer a lot of interesting content and graphics covering all levels of sandcastling as well as South Padre Island, and I suspect our numbers will increase dramatically when the Best Buy ad starts running."

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