It's September 1976 on the south shore of Long Island. Ads on the TV in the local bar announce "a change coming over America" with the upcoming Ford-Carter presidential election, but local clam diggers are more worried about losing their already-fragile trade to an encroaching corporation. Like his father and grandfather before him, Hunt is a digger, but one with a restless, imaginative side exemplified by the black-and-white Polaroids he takes. Hunt's lifelong buddies and fellow diggers include Frankie Lozo, a brash father struggling to support five kids and his longsuffering but spunky wife, Julie; laid-back local ladies' man Jack; and philosophy-spouting pot dealer Cons. A sudden death propels the four best friends to look at their lives, as it does for Hunt's recently-divorced (and "Hite Report"-reading) older sister, Gina, who works as a waitress at the local diner. Meanwhile, Hunt falls for a hip young woman visiting from Manhattan, Zoe, who wonders why his artistic impulses don't propel him out of a dead-end town.