Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (2 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Jersey Shore Before Sandy

By       Message Elayne Clift       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


Author 11635
- Advertisement -

Post Hurricane Sandy, people wonder if it's wise to spend mega-billions to reconstruct beach communities increasingly at risk for catastrophic weather events.   I wonder too in the face of devastation bound to repeat itself in an age when climate change should no longer be questioned.


Still, I'm a Jersey Girl, and I can't imagine my home state without Atlantic City. When I was a kid I went "down the shore" every Sunday during the summer in the 1950s. For those who have never had the pleasure, this is what it was like.


- Advertisement -

We piled into our big black Buick and eagerly headed east toward Philadelphia's playground and home of the Miss America Pageant.   My siblings and I watched as bumper to bumper, Jersey and Pennsylvania tags crawled to the ocean for the day.   My mother had packed a picnic lunch, towels, buckets with plastic shovels, soap, shampoo and dress-up clothes for dinner at Cap'n Stearns Restaurant and "walking the boards."


We parked at the Chalfont Haddon Hall where we secured showering towels, lockers, and a little key on a rubber bracelet.   Stuffing our belongings into the long lockers, we hung our evening clothes in plastic bags and stowed our shoes and accessories on the top shelf of the locker. Then we put on white rubber beach slippers, slathered suntan lotion, fought over sunglasses and hats, and dragged striped cotton towels to the beach.

- Advertisement -


There squawking seagulls strutted at the water's edge. White-clad ice cream vendors, cold boxes slung over their shoulders, pants rolled up at the ankles, bellowed "Pop-sicle!   Get your ice cold fudg-sical!" Ocean breakers slammed onto the beach, impatient parents scolded their children cranky from sand between their toes.   After a while, to sooth themselves, the parents wandered up to the boardwalk to eat salt-and-vinegar French fries in a paper cup, or the sticky sweetness of salt water taffy, or chocolate covered turtle candy.


Striped umbrellas dotted the terrain against a backdrop of endless baguette-shimmering sea to one side and boardwalk kiosks to the other.   The salt smell in the air complimented the humid breeze that cooled our dry bodies, lulling us into believing that we would not blister.


After lunch, compelled to wait one hour before swimming so that we didn't suffer fatal stomach cramps, we ran to the ocean's edge where frigid water attacked our toes.   We turned our backs to the breaking waves and jumped above the crests. Sometimes a wave was so big we couldn't get above its peak.   The wave washed over us while we held our breath, praying to survive.   Racing back to our umbrella, we lolled on the blanket, snacking and reading comic books.

- Advertisement -


At five o'clock my father grumbled "We'll be late for dinner!"   We folded the towels, shook the blanket, returned the umbrella, and trudged across the still-hot mini-dunes toward the Chalfont locker room. A half hour later, emerging squeaky clean and dressed "to beat the band" as my mother said, we headed for the seafood restaurant where we ordered the same thing every Sunday before walking the boards.   


Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It


Elayne Clift is a writer,lecturer, workshop leader and activist. She is senior correspondent for Women's Feature Service, columnist for the Keene (NH) Sentinel and Brattleboro (VT) Commons and a contributor to various publications internationally. (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What Happens When "Jane" Comes Marching Home Again?

Is America Really as Safe a Place to Live as You Thought?

Orifice Politics; What the War on Women is Really About

Why Are We Sexualizing Young Girls?

Beauty and the Beast: The Ugly Attacks on Activist Women

DSM-5 Could Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health