Scent & Sound of the Sea: An historic look at my favorite seaside spot

October 12, 2009 in Theory & Opinion | Comments (0)


As a child I spent every summer along the seashore of Southern New Jersey in a small town perched on a tiny 7 mile long strip of sand called Absecon Island. The town – Atlantic City, NJ
Well, technically I spent my summers in Ventnor, NJ – which is one of three towns along that wedge of land. To be even more specific, I spent my summers in the yellow section of the Monopoly Board – between Ventnor and Atlantic avenues not too far from Marvin Gardens.
Southern Jersey is the usual summertime stomping grounds for folks from Philadelphia and its suburbs (from whence I came), but in my family’s case, this place had particularly special meaning.
My father was born and raised there. These days you don’t find many folks who fit that category (though I did meet someone at Jeff Pulver’s 140 Character Conference in New York last June from there!), but back in those days, it was a lovely community and called by some “the vacation spot of the nation”.
My parents met in Atlantic City. The summer after my mother graduated college, she went “down the shore” with her family as they did every summer. Some family friend said to my grandparents, “Have we got a boy for your Doris,” and thus the match was made.
Years later my parents bought a beach house – just before I was born – and so every summer of my life we’d pack up from our suburban Philadelphia home and head for the beach. My father would come down on weekends, usually for long weekends, and my mother and I would camp out there until Labor Day.
This idyllic place hit the skids in the late 60s and 70s but even as a child, I recall the magnificent hotels that still stood lining the coast – sentries of a time gone by. Many of the “old time” practices, like post dinner strolls along “the boards”, trips to the amusement piers and fishing along the coast – were still in full swing.
Though it’s been many years – probably close to two decades – since I even set foot on the glistening white sands of Southern Jersey, but to this day, the scent of sea takes me back.
The other day my mother forwarded this YouTube video … it made me smile … and remember.


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