elcome to midsummer. Here on LBI, the weather has been beautiful. With perfect water temperatures, balmy breezes, and cool evenings – LBI is 18 miles of glorious summer. Each of the seven boroughs of our 18 mile barrier island is unique – offering a different feel and history. Ship Bottom is the gateway to Long Beach Island. Stay in your favorite borough and explore the others by shuttle, bicycle or on foot. As you travel LBI, be sure to visit our museums on each end of the Island and enjoy the 18 miles of beaches in between. You’ll find Barnegat Light Museum in Barnegat Light at the north end and Long Beach Island Historical Museum in Beach Haven in the south. If you are there in the evening – be sure make reservations for the Ghost Tour that leaves from the Long Beach Island Historical Museum. Inside our special 10th Anniversary issue you will find a curated collection of key past interviews and stories – updated and expanded with new information, and additional original and historical photos. We want to thank those who generously share precious photographs from personal family archives and private collections. And we are grateful to those who graciously share their personal recollections and familial history with us. Each story is from personal interviews with individuals and families. Our staff takes the time to get to know the people and their story. Many times, one story leads to others. Each is a part of the collective history of LBI. Frequently, there’s an “ah ha” moment when small pieces of history gathered over decades come together to reveal something new. The history of LBI is alive and vibrant. Every family has a history. Every person has a story to tell. During my forty-four years as owner of Things A Drift many new and familiar faces come through my door every season. Many times, a conversation leads to the realization that we went to school together – though we don’t recognize each other after fifty-years or more. Moments like those are one of the reasons I continue to publish Echoes of LBI. Summer seems more fleeting as my grandchildren grow-up. This summer they spent most of their time in the water learning to kayak, paddle board, and surf. It’s a joy to have them living Island style in bathing suits and bare feet – if only for a few weeks. The days are wonderful, bittersweet, and never long enough. As we move toward the brilliant colors of autumn there are still so many wonderful things to do on LBI through the new year. Experience LBI's 18 miles of the arts and artists with Surflight Theatre, the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, the annual LBI Sea Glass and Art Festival and special pop-up art and design events at Things A Drift. Enjoy Chowderfest, LBI Fly International Kite Festival and Small Business Week. It takes an island to publish Echoes of LBI. Enjoy the sunsets.
Cheryl Kirby, Publisher Ghost Tour details and reservations, please call (609) 709-1425 Visit Things A Drift and Echoes of LBI online for event information. echoesoflbi.com issuu.com/echoesoflbi Follow us @echoesoflbi and @thingsadrift
Echoes of LBI Magazine • Cheryl Kirby, Owner & Publisher • (609) 361-1668 • 406 Long Beach Blvd. • Ship Bottom, NJ 08008 • echoesoflbi.com Advertisers: Readers collect Echoes of LBI – your ad has the unique potential to produce results for many years beyond the issue date. Email articles and photographs of history, nostalgia, poetry and art to firstname.lastname@example.org Magazine Designer – Sara Caruso • Copy Editor – Susan Spicer-McGarry Pre-press – Vickie VanDoren • Marine Science – Sara Caruso Photographers – Carole Bradshaw, Jonathan Carr, Sara Caruso, Dick Claffee, Kyle Costabile, Tony Desiderio, Tanek Hood, Ike Johnson, Bruce Kerr Ryan Paul Marchese, Jim O'Connor, Anthony Pitale, Megan Smith, Susan Spicer-McGarry, Diane Stulga, Sally Vennel, and Tonya Wilhelm Contributors – Cynthia Andes, Casey S. Bell, Janet Campbell, Jonathan Carr, Sara Caruso, Joyce Ecochard, Linda Feaster, Carol Freas, Joe Golding, Tanek Hood, Richard and Pat Morgan, Maggie O’Neill, Randy Rush, Linda Reddington, Reilly Platten Sharp, Lyn Procopio, Susan Spicer-McGarry, Diane Stulga, and Vickie VanDoren Cover photo by Jack Reynolds • Content photo by Cheryl Kirby Echoes of LBI MagazineTM Copyright© 2008-2018 Cheryl Kirby, Owner & Publisher. All Rights Reserved. The contents of Echoes of LBI MagazineTM are property of Cheryl Kirby, Owner & Publisher, and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. No portion of this publication can be reproduced, transmitted, or republished without the expressed permission of the publisher.
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he summer after the Great Storm of 1962 that cut the island in half, I took my family down the shore. We always rented a large square house in Harvey Cedars from the Okurowski family. The bay was quiet; the lisping splash of water against the dock was soothing. But the water beyond that was a ruin of garbage. The house sat atilt. Many houses were gone forever, taken by the ocean. Jumping into the water to tie up my boat, my foot hit a concrete block and I stubbed my toe. I pulled the block from the water. I also pulled out part of a stove that had somehow been blown there during the storm. I observed detritus floating for as far as the eye could see. Leon Okurowski and I planned to go fishing. But we had some serious work to do beforehand. We started pulling in flotsam and jetsam. Using our crab nets, we started on the smaller stuff; Coke cans, bottles, clothing, and such. Soon we were hauling in furniture, boards, batting, shingles, parts of houses; you name it, and it was in the bay sloshing past us. Among the odd debris were a few walls of old-fashioned brass mail boxes from the local post office. In those days, everyone had a post office box. We would send our kids to the Neptune Market, which also housed the local post office, for some bread and to pick up the incoming mail. Mr. Monk the postmaster wanted nothing to do with the old boxes, proclaiming them junk. A new post office was to be built now, along with a new municipal building. Looking at the boxes, I admired the brass fronts and ornate construction. Being an artist with a serendipitous eye, I envisioned them as a unique item. I washed, polished, and waxed them back to beauty. When they were finished, I gave some away. One last row serves as the wine rack in my cottage by the bay. The post boxes are now a prized and beautiful piece of furniture. It stands as a relic of the past and reminds me of a bygone era on Long Beach Island. â€”Photography and text by Marvin Levitt Page 10 â€˘ Echoes of LBI
hile here on vacation we look to the sea to find peace and tranquility from the rigors of life. Besides the sun, sand, and water to heal and relax us – Picasso said art could wash the dust of everyday life from our souls. The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies is just the place to do this: to try something new, to feed your hungry soul and relax in a new way. Situated on thirty acres of once empty, open marsh, the Foundation just celebrated seventy years of classes, lectures, film and musical programs for all ages and creative skills. While summering in Harvey Cedars in the early 1930s, founder Boris Blai (18931985), dreamed of a place for everyone to produce art using their hands as an outlet. He felt art was not just about making pretty things, but a way to know who we are, to learn what has happened to us in life. As an apprentice to sculptor Auguste Rodin in France from 1913 to 1918, Blai developed skill as a master sculptor, emigrating to Philadelphia after serving in World War I. With his strong ambition and aptitude for teaching, he became Director of the progressive Oak Lane Country Day School in 1927. He also offered private lessons and did bronze portraits of wealthy city patrons. Dreaming of a separate art school, Stella Elkins Tyler, a pupil of like mind, donated her fourteen-acre Melrose estate to open Tyler School of Art in 1935, with Blai as Dean. Tyler School of Art eventually became part of Temple University and built a new art facility on the main campus in 2009. Boris Blai was an education innovator whose philosophy was to provide individual expression for personal growth via art. In 1943, long before art as therapy became a discipline, he worked to heal soldiers suffering from psychological disorders at Fort Dix, New Jersey. When finding words isn’t easy, Blai knew a picture could speak a thousand. He firmly maintained, “Mental ability increases as the ability to use the hands increases.” This interest continued his entire life. In 1952, he worked in art therapy in the Psychology Department of the Temple University School of Medicine. He would be delighted to learn Tyler began offering an undergraduate degree in this field in 2017.
Blai and architect George Daubb designed the Long Beach Island Foundation for Arts and Sciences building. Daubb’s design called for a wooden slatted ceiling with exposed steel trusses to give the space unique character. Born in 1893, local building contractor Joseph William Oliphant welcomed the construction challenge. Commonly known as Joe Willy, he was a contractor throughout the 1930s and 1940s with a penchant for building unusual and original structures. Daubb’s design was an opportunity to put his skills to work. Later, Blai would memorialize Oliphant’s talent and their friendship by creating a bronze portrait of him. On June 17, 1950, along with other committed Island people, Dr. Blai’s dream was now a reality. The fifty by eighty-foot gallery – reminiscent of an airplane hangar – with two side structures was dedicated. An eleven by twenty-three foot area to the left is the Boris Blai Memorial Wall with five of his bronze relief pieces honoring Ocean County service men who died in the world wars. A portrait bust of an idealized soldier represents Emory E. Laslocky, killed in action in 1944, the son of Stephen Laslocky who was instrumental in establishing the Foundation.
Artist Marvin Levitt, teacher, and member of the Foundation since 1962, met Blai in Philadelphia when he was a boy, eventually working as his apprentice casting the bronze portrait busts at Blai’s studio. Built into the damp dunes in Harvey Cedars, the studio was destroyed in the 1962 storm and relocated to Loveladies. Marvin recalls his mentors powerful one-two-three mighty push of the chisel, his animated talk augmented with his hands and heavy Russian accent. Artists who came to work with Blai stayed in garages, lived in Loveladies, or visited with friends. To escape the heat of the city, members of the Philadelphia orchestra often came to LBI. Because it was such a small community, everyone knew each another. Dinners were most frequently pot-luck style serving up the ocean’s bounty, great conversation and occasionally a string quartet or brass quintet. Our Island was a blissful haven years ago for artists, writers, and musicians for summer frolic, to do creative work and share it with the public at the Foundation. It continues to welcome artists, vacationers, and residents with its expansive programs. While you sit by the sea, consider another way to relax and get back to me. A creative day at Dr. Blai’s dream Foundation may change your life one picture at a time. —Carol Freas, instructor at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences since 1992
o set foot on the sands of Long Beach Island for the first time in nearly two decades was coming home to Sheryl Leventhal and her mother Ruth Leventhal – granddaughter and daughter of world renown sculptor and founder of the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences – Boris Blai. “It was a real treat to be able to “come home” to LBI,” said Sheryl of their June visit. “It was one of the happiest parts of my childhood, and I’ve missed it ever since I moved to Texas.” Recalling Blai’s abiding affection for LBI, “The Island was very special to Boris,” said Ruth. “We spent a great deal of time here.” Having traveled the world for her work with various cruise lines, time spent on the 18-mile barrier island left a lasting impression on Sheryl. “I can honestly say no beach brings me as much joy and sense of “now THIS is a beach!” as the ones on Long Beach Island.” Resting comfortably in Blai’s chair, Ruth recalled days past of watching him work when it sat in his Loveladies studio. “I had many important conversations with Boris while sitting in this chair,” she mused. Their sojourn marked the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of Boris Blai’s formation of the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. —Susan Spicer-McGarry
ater is the ebb and flow of life. We need it to survive and find inspiration in its flow. The eighth year of Painting by the Sea featured the workshop “The Adventurous Watercolorist,” with instructors Janet Campbell and Pat Morgan. The class was intended to give students practice in painting spontaneously with abandon, focusing on color and texture, rather than strict form. Students from around the area learned to use different techniques and achieve unique effects between paint and paper. Each student was assigned to create six different paintings. First, they practiced mixing colors in small swatches and seeing which work well together. Then, the students created an underpainting by dampening the paper with a wet brush and allowing the paint to drip down the wet paper, mixing and creating shapes and forms with the natural flow of the water. To add dimension to the painting, students used different household materials to layer their work. Salt was sprinkled onto the paintings to create a snowflake-like pattern. Alcohol was sprayed on to create a separation effect and to help spread the paint into new areas. Cling wrap crushed into Page 16 • Echoes of LBI
bunches created attractive snowflake-like designs. A toothbrush was used to spray droplets of paint across the paper and create new patterns. The results forced the paint to mimic natural forms, such as the feathers on a bird or scales on a butterfly's wing. Once completely dried, the underpainting was ready for the final step. Students looked at their six paintings and tried to see a figure or form, such as an animal, within the drips and splatters. After choosing the underpainting that most inspired them, students worked to emphasize the forms by judicious painting with a brush, transforming the work into a three-dimensional piece. The final paintings have a whimsy that could only come from the seemingly spontaneous flow of water and paint. Our students come to LBI to find inspiration and enjoy their time at the beaches and local attractions. The class took place over three days and included a lesson on painting from memory and finding inspiration in the gardens of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents in Beach Haven. Like the splash of the next wave, this class became a lovely meditative experience. —Janet Campbell and Sara Caruso. Photography by Sara Caruso
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MIDSUMMER’S LULL In the summer before her eyes were open, she listened to the morning sounds of Long Beach Island. There was stillness mainly, with random breezes, mewing seagulls overhead, and crisp voices from the streets below. She knew, in seconds, it would be a golden summer day. Other mornings, she’d hear muffled voices, front and back the house, steady heavy rain gusts, sluggish cars at a standstill on the street. She knew the island would be wrapped in fog on this dismal day. On these rainy days everyone was sullen, bored and restless. they lamented that there was no sun. It was a “wasted” day to nearly all. She was glad. She didn’t have to “do” the beach, or work at the Polar Cub She could walk down to the bay, under her umbrella, hidden from the world and watch huge raindrops spread in circles across the bay. She could read another book from the knotty pine-clad shelves in their Ship Bottom Cape ten houses from the beach. She’d sit on the wicker seat sipping tea listening to the rain– reading and dreaming on this Midsummer’s day. —Lyn Procopio
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Over 40 years on Long Beach Island Nautical & Natural Design Home & Wedding Decor Original Local Artwork Shells & Shark Teeth Authentic Sea Glass Artisan Jewelry Books & Local Authors Gourmet Foods and more! Customize your living space Drop by for a consultation
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HAPPY THE DOLPHIN
Like Peter Pan we always thought our youth would last. We knew the Gods were laughing But we just laughed right back. Long ago we chose to journey Heart to heart and hand and hand. That's when our friendship started, That's where it all began. The time we share, the tears, the love, The road together, well traveled, Is the ancient answer to the riddle; The mystery unraveled. True friendship, built on love and trust Pledged so long ago, Unlocks the sacred of this life And reflects back to each, our soul.
I think this dolphin loves me I might just be crazy But every time I set sail, there he is saying hi to me He follows me from shore to sea, showing me tricks in the sea I watch, I applaud, and he seems to be pleased I sail to take away the cares and his show helps them flee He swims to the boat for a pet and hug, his love and life are carefree His ways at sea remind me to be As loving and care free as he His name I gave him is happy Because happy he reminds me to be. —Casey S. Bell
BRANT BEACH SUNRISE The sea is nearly black Gentle waves rise and fall Frosted lace trims their crests As laughing gulls call An orange sun breaks the horizon Setting the clouds on fire I watch until it has fully risen And sated my morning’s desire —Randy Rush
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ANCHOR Give me a man who likes the land, but loves the sea, I will be his anchor; who hungers for a blue-blue sea, I will be his anchor; whose veins contain both brine and sea, I will be his anchor; who comes alive when all is sea, I will be his anchor; Give me a man who dreams he’ll be buried at sea, I will be, Yes, I will be, I will be his anchor. —Ricahrd Morgan Artwork by Pat Morgan
SHROOMS One side would make her smaller And one side would make her tall But I am not like Alice I won’t eat ‘shrooms at all. For one thing, ‘shrooms are fungus And multiply by spores They’re aliens among us And living right outdoors. I took these photos Sunday I really had to stoop. Can you imagine finding These folk floating in your soup? —Photography and poetry by Linda Reddington
SPIDER WONDER Drops of dew As if lit from within Sit on fragile, gossamer threads Reflecting light Spun into a pattern of beauty Between branches under Barnegat’s beam A labyrinth of perfection Web of precision Magnificent design Brushes up against my arm As I walk by Unaware of the splendid mosaic Silver net of awe Master builder of the universe Spider wonder —Maggie O’Neill
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have always admired the resilience of hermit crabs. Despite their size, they seem to be able to put up with whatever Mother Nature throws their way. Over the past eight years I have rescued and adopted hermit crabs that were the last of the summer season. Often these crabs are rejected because they are missing limbs. In 2015, one crab pulled at my heart strings, pardon the cliché. This little hermit crab in a brown striped shell wobbled when he walked and could not climb because he was missing his two left legs. With good care, a crab will regenerate its limbs by molting. By the time I arrived home I had decided on a name: Gregory. Molting allows a crab to grow larger and heal damaged areas of its exoskeleton, including missing legs. Like lizards that lose their tails, hermit crabs have the ability to drop a limb if attacked by a predator or if the leg becomes injured. This adaptation ensures the main body of the crab will remain safe while the predator ends up with an expendable limb. Sometimes missing limbs are the result of a fight with another hermit over territory or pecking order. Land hermit crabs, like Gregory, climb and live in trees in the wild. They can accidentally twist their leg in a fall, causing injury to the muscle inside the limb. If it bothers the crab enough, it will drop the leg or even pull it off itself. Once separate from the crab, the dead limb will calcify and eventually disintegrate.
Now it's time for the crab to begin the process of regeneration. Within a month of adopting him, Gregory began to form “jelly limbs” on the stubs of his missing legs. These little translucent limbs grow larger as a crab gets closer to molting. During this time, I fed Gregory lots of meals high in protein and calcium, including apples, chicken, beef, shrimp tails and eggshells to help him get the vitamins and minerals needed for constructing new limbs. Gregory had a relatively easy molt, and after about seven days, he was up and walking. The first thing he did was climb to the top of his enclosure, as if to say “Finally, I can climb again.” Gregory became the star of many of my photos, even sitting still on a piece of driftwood in a Yoda costume for 180 shots. After his molt he also changed his shell to a green turban, earning him the nickname “Pistachio.” Imagine if you could just remove a badly sprained ankle or broken arm, then regrow it within a year. Scientists have been researching regeneration for years to find a way for human tissue to heal faster. Maybe one day we will be able to regrow limbs with the speed of a hermit crab. Until then we should admire these little guys for their impressive adaptation and never disregard them just because they don't meet a standard of perfection. A hermit crab with missing limbs has won at life and is a survivor. —Photography and text by Sara Caruso
Summer is a fun time for dogs, but it can also be a dangerous one. On extremely hot days, don't take your best friend out on long walks. Even in a short amount of time, the hot asphalt can cause severe burns to your dog's paws. Make sure to keep walks short and always carry a bottle of water for both you and your dog.
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Sophie the octopug â€¢ Carole Bradshaw photo
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n elemental building block, silica is the main component in sand, it is found in traces in the human body and fundamental to life. “Glass is everywhere,” says retired attorney and glass artist Bill Geller. “It’s used for so many things.” Comparing it to the three phases of water, it is clear Geller is fascinated by the transformative nature of glass. Though static in form, in Geller’s hands glass is imbued with fluidity, color, and a deceptive appearance of the ease of transformability. Using bold colors and vibrant tones in textural layers, Geller introduces geometric and abstract shapes producing portraits in glass, glassware, and sculpture with an element of humor and surprise. Geller's work is performance art captured in glass. “Crossing the LBI bridge was like crossing the Rubicon,” says Geller. Vacationing up and down the Island since 1986, Geller and his family found LBI friendly. “We love it. It is a great place to be.” Eventually they purchased a home in Harvey Cedars, expanded it and settled into summers on LBI between the ocean and the bay. “My father was a Russian immigrant who lived the American dream,” says Geller. “He came here with two kopeks in his pocket and opened a butcher shop in East Orange, New Jersey on Main Street where my brother and I worked after school.” He describes Hillside, New Jersey as a working class one-square-mile town. “It was a great place,” says Geller. “Everyone knew each other.” A graduate of Rutgers and the University of Maryland Law School, Geller describes himself as “retired for the most part. I don’t do any of the heavy lifting,” he says. As a teenager, Geller enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school. “It quickly became apparent that I wanted more out of life,” he explains. After completing his obligation, he applied to Rutgers. “I was not a stellar student and was not accepted,” admits Geller. “I requested an interview where I literally begged my way into college on my knees.” Having been told he did not meet the Page 38 • Echoes of LBI
standards and rules for admission, in a moment foreshadowing a legal career Geller successfully posited, “Rules? Sir, you know there’s an exception to every rule. I am that exception.” Geller’s adventure in glass began more than three decades ago with his accidental destruction of a newly purchased Victorian stainedglass window. Cautioned by his late wife Elinor to leave it alone, his efforts to improve the wooden frame were less than successful. “I broke a section of the glass,” says Geller. With an eye toward repairing the antique window, he enrolled in a stained-glass class. Seeking advice, he brought the broken window to class. “The instructor told me it wasn’t possible to fix broken glass,” he says. With that, Geller went on to create stained-glass windows and intricate stained-glass lamps. Most handmade glass work falls into one of three categories or types of glass. Cold glass or cold worked glass involves any work done without heat, such as etching, cutting, and grinding. Warm glass is heated in a kiln to create slumped and fused glass. Hot glass work uses molten glass for blowing, sculpting, and casting. In a natural progression, Geller moved from cold worked glass to warm glass creating large-scale platters, bowls, and wall sculptures, eventually transitioning into hot glass. Presently, Geller is creating portraits in cold glass. Using small pieces of glass instead of paint daubs he creates impressionistic pointillism-like work. Unlike mosaic, his glass portrait work uses no grout. Instead, the pieces of glass are cut by hand and carefully fit into place “shoulder to shoulder to obtain the desired shading effect,” explains Geller. The results are astonishing.
heat of the kiln transforms the carefully laid pieces into unique works of art. With no formal training as an artist, Geller is almost entirely selftaught and self-deprecating. “I’m not even sure I’m an artist,” he says laughing. “I’m always just making it up as I go along. The world is divided into engineer-types who first work out all the details before doing something; and trial and error guys who jump right in, figure it out as they go along and then take it to the next level,” explains Geller. “It’s a good thing I’m a fast learner.” A visit to a hot glass studio in Mexico inspired Geller to expand his work into multi-media sculpture. Still in the planning phase, the piece presents numerous technical challenges. “I’m still working out the details,” he says. With a tone of excitement in his voice, Geller goes on to explain the project. “The major challenge will be creating one-inch thick tricycle tires from warm glass.” Once completed and combine with an authentic tricycle frame the pieces will become a multi-media sculpture. An avid runner, Geller participates in the Harvey Cedars 5 Mile Dog Day Road Race. In celebration of a milestone birthday this year, Geller will run 26.6 miles through the five boroughs of New York City on the first Sunday in November in the New York Marathon. “I’m cranked-up to do it,” he says. “It’s a definite event. I’m training and doing a lot of running.” According to The New York Road Runners Club, last year of the fifty-thousand runners that participated – only thirteen ran in Geller’s category. “I hope to complete it before the lights come on.”
Geller’s black and white glass pointillism portrait of his late wife Elinor was well received at a recent exhibit at Delaware County College in Media, Pennsylvania. Currently he is working on a color portrait – his interpretation of Vincent van Gogh’s The Postman.
At his studios in North Brunswick New Jersey and Harvey Cedars Geller continually works to hone his craft. He finds inspiration in a juxtaposition of personal memories, great artists and occasionally found objects. Describing himself as deeply inquisitive,” Geller laughs and says, “I’m also constantly worried I’ll run out of ideas.”
The transition phase of glass takes place in a heated kiln where it expands, contracts, and forms air bubbles. Geller’s slumped and fused creations require careful orchestration. Each piece of hand cut glass is meticulously positioned to allow air to escape as the
Geller describes his life much like the glass he works with. “I have these transformative moments in life that I go with –– that redirect my life in ways that I never expected or anticipated, and always surprise.” —Photography and text by Susan Spicer-McGarry
sk anyone on Long Beach Island to describe their version of an outdoor shower and you will get a different answer. Most homeowners will address the utility-driven features they desire – an “extra shower” for guests, a place to clean-up coming off the beach, or a dog clean-up spot. Over the last twenty years, showers built by some have become more sanctuary then utility. Gorgeous Page 40 • Echoes of LBI
escapes nestled into a landscape design to unwind and relax, these areas for cleansing your body become a place for cleansing your mind and reflecting on your time at the shore. It is essential, however, to create that haven without sacrificing function. At Reynolds Landscaping, we understand that developing an
Here are a few of our well-designed showers and the spaces surrounding them: Spray Beach oceanfront shower: This beach front shower was built of cedar wood in 2006 to house not only the shower stall and changing room but also storage space for surfboards and beach equipment. By nestling this space under the footprint of an existing raised deck no additions to lot coverage allowances were created – making the structure not only spatially efficient but highly accessible and easy to maintain as well. Loveladies multi-purpose spa/rinse-off station: Designed for a large family of outdoor sports enthusiasts, this outdoor cabana combines function and elegance to create both a quick rinse-off station after a day on the water and spa retreat inviting relaxation and reflection. By following the lines created by the adjacent curving pergola, the exterior walls of the shower structure – composed of varying hardwoods, custom-made ceramic tiles and glass block – create a flawless design and functional space. Beach Haven ocean front cabana: This outdoor cabana is more lounge than shower and provides a creative solution to maximizing lot coverage without compromising design and function. By leaving a portion of the roof open to the elements, all coverage guidelines were adhered to without compromising privacy or aesthetics. The resulting space creates a spa-like ambiance equipped with glass block shower stall, wood treatments and well-placed accent accessories and plants. Loveladies poolside shower/changing room: This combination shower/changing room sits adjacent to the poolside deck providing both easy access and cozy seclusion. Originally built as a basic utility shower, this new structure considered the changing needs of a young family from childhood into teenage and adulthood, and expanded into the ground level crawlspace and garage. Frosted glass privacy panels, pebbled flooring, granite benches and a combination of stone and wood walls create a spacious yet functional retreat. Holgate lagoon-front spa-shower: Originally part of a ground level utility garage/storage area, this spacious spa-like shower nestles discreetly into the corner of the residence and could easily be overlooked in favor of the other bolder outside elements in the multi-level backyard. Nevertheless, the combination natural rock and wood façade along with well-placed accent lighting create an inviting and intimate refuge. Things to consider when developing an outside shower as it relates to the space around it:
• Your shower use will change as time passes.
• Develop a space that maximizes your footprint.
• Make the shower stand out or blend in; both have a place in cohesive design plans.
• Create a shower that has features similar to those in the outside shower that fits into a small property with a large home and a small outdoor footprint – the norm on LBI – requires some creative thinking. Not only must the modification of the outdoor space create a spot for the shower, but it must also consider an oft-neglected element – the transition space. When well-designed, these transitional spaces work to highlight the shower, or to downplay or conceal it.
shower inside your home.
• And always remember that a relevant outdoor shower is a conversation piece, an escape, and your respite.
—Tanek Hood, Reynolds Lighting and Electric. Photography: Copyright Tanek Hood, reynoldslandscaping.com
risten Crepezzi feels right at home in her new job as librarian for Children’s and Teen Services at the LBI Branch of the Ocean County Library. A native of Barnegat and graduate of Southern Regional High School, she remembers what it was like as a teen to search for something to do. With that in mind, she is developing a year-round program to serve children from birth through age eighteen that will nurture young minds and help them discover and fulfill their passions. Kristen brings a lot of enthusiasm, ideas, and energy to her inaugural summer as a librarian. Kristen graduated from Rutgers in May 2018 with a Master of Information Services degree. Growing up, she had always used her local library, and as a teen came to love young adult literature. But after Hurricane Sandy, Kristen realized that libraries were at the forefront of community recovery where people had access to resources they needed, and assistance from staff in finding them. She discovered how libraries support their communities, and that being a librarian was a way she could do the meaningful work she sought. Kristen works at all levels with patrons of the library, developing programs for children and teens that serve their needs, as well as with adults, helping them find information, reading materials, and assisting with the use of technology, all of which provides variety and satisfaction in her job. With an ambitious and thoughtful lineup, Kristen Crepezzi is making sure there is always something to do at the library. This year’s summer reading theme is Libraries Rock! There’s Page 42 • Echoes of LBI
something planned for almost every day for children, teens, and their families. Live animals and unique creatures will visit the branch, picture book authors will read to children at Picture Book Bash, and the stories and sounds of the Pinelands will spark imaginations. Families can find out why Children Make Terrible Pets, by the OCL Puppet Players, and how to “build” smoothies. After watching Despicable Me 3, children ages three and up can build with LEGO® and DUPLO® blocks. And, no summer reading program called Libraries Rock! would be complete without rock painting, a Rock ‘n’ Roll paper craft, music bingo, Makey Music Fun – making music using circuits, a laptop, and food – and a drumming program for families called Bonk! An adventure designed just for kids aged nine through seventeen will be the Stranger Things Escape Room, where working together to solve puzzles sets you free. The branch’s partnership with Bayview Park will continue this year, featuring two StoryWalks® – a picture book walkway; three PJs in the Park – that will include story time and crafts; and a performance by Mr. Scott the Music Man. Libraries Rock! also has reading incentives where children keep track of the books they read. For each five books read children get to spin a wheel for a prize. The grand finale on August 16th will be celebrated with crafts, raffles, and snacks. Summertime can be a challenge for some as reading skills and purposefulness may also go on vacation. Many parents worry their younger children may fall behind without continued reading. Other parents worry their teens, too young for a summer job, won’t be spending their time in meaningful ways. The Ocean County Library has put those two challenges to work for each other. The Reading Buddies program matches up a teen volunteer with a younger child. During relaxed, friendly sessions at the library the younger child will read aloud to the teen. Children can maintain and improve their reading skills and be better prepared for going back to school, and teens earn volunteer hours they need for high school clubs and honor societies. Teens who have completed seventh grade can also volunteer at the library as part of the "Service and Achievement in the Library" or S.A.I.L. program where they help prepare crafts and assist with programs. When the time to apply for a job comes, participating teens can list their skills and experiences at S.A.I.L. on their applications. Ask about both programs at your branch. For the folks who live here year-round, never fear. Kristen will be visiting classes regularly at the Ethel Jacobsen School, LBI grade schools, and St. Francis pre-school. She plans to continue story and play times for babies and toddlers, and to start a new series – Explore, Create, Play, for two to six-year-olds, and after school STEAM programs for six to ten-year-olds. Books at the Beach, a book club for fifth and sixth graders will also be returning in the fall. The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) will be held on the third Wednesday of every month, with events such as board games, no-sew crafts, and paint parties for teens and tweens on the first and third Wednesdays. From books to playtime and games, to crafts and volunteering, there is always something for children, their families, and caregivers, and young adults to do and learn at the Island Library. —Linda H. Feaster, Branch Manager, Ocean County Library, Long Beach Island
etting everyone out the door – what a production! Does everyone have their sunscreen on? Check. Towels, beach blanket, umbrella, boogie boards, cell phone? Yup. Water bottles and snacks? Packed. Everyone accounted for? One, two, three... OK! Out the door!
to have keys made or given out? Go keyless with a Clare door lock, or one from several leading manufacturers compatible with ClareHome. You can assign a code to an individual, so you know who has entered your home. Activate or deactivate the code as needed, or let them in remotely from your ClareHome app.
Finally, you’re on the beach. But, WAIT! Did you remember to lock up the house? Take a deep breath. Dig out your phone, open your ClareHome app, tap the screen, and all is right with the world again.
Clare Controls aren’t only about safety and security. Clare also works with home automation and entertainment systems. You can create Clare scenes – custom, multi-task schedules for adjusting lighting, temperature, locks and more. Or make it look like you’re home even when you’re not by using the app to turn lights on and off in different rooms at various times. Clare’s smart energy management helps you save on utility costs, makes scheduling easy, and gives you remote access and control.
This is just one scenario of how ClareHome can simplify your life and ensure your security. ClareHome couples a full-featured smart home system with monitored security into one platform. One app on your iOS, Android phone or tablet controls your home’s temperature, lighting, home entertainment, cameras, and wired or wireless security systems, wherever you are. Clare Controls has a full range of products to support your needs and works compatibly with many other brands and existing systems. "Ding dong." Who’s at the door? Whether you’re at work, on the beach, or on the couch, you can see, hear, and speak with them with a Clare video doorbell. The motion sensor alerts you when someone is at your door, whether it’s a package delivery or the kids coming home from school. Keep an eye on the rest of your home, too, with HD indoor and outdoor cameras in a ClareVision system. ClareVision allows you to see who is coming and going with live access and recorded footage anytime, anywhere. Home security is always a concern when you are away, and cameras aren’t the only answer. ClareHome also connects with door, window and motion sensors, carbon monoxide detectors, alarms and more. Leaking toilets, sinks, utilities, and appliances can go undetected for a long time, especially if you close-up your house for the winter. A Clare water sensor helps detect leaks before it’s too late and can prevent the heartache and expense of water damage. Do you need to let service people in to do work, but don’t want Page 44 • Echoes of LBI
Heading down to the Island for the weekend? Have a Clare scene turn on the lights and adjust the temperature in time for your arrival. And, when it’s time for bed, you don’t need to go through the house checking all the doors and windows, adjusting the temperature, or turning out the lights. Create a scene that does all that for you with one touch on your phone or tablet – from bed. Good night! Or, ask Alexa to do it for you. Amazon Alexa works with the ClareHome systems, so you can speak with her through the app on your phone or tablet, or your Sonos One smart speaker. Create and name your scenes, and with a few words from you, Alexa will open the garage door, turn on lights, adjust the temperature, lock or unlock the door, play your favorite music, and a lot more. She won’t help carry everything to the beach for you, though. ClareHome systems are compatible with other leading manufacturers such as Nest, Honeywell, Lutron, Schlage, LiftMaster, Sonos, Denon, Amazon Alexa, and many more, and may work with your existing devices. Home energy, security, and entertainment – ClareHome controls all these systems with one app. Island Audio/Video is your authorized, factory-trained Clare Controls dealer on Long Beach Island. When your home is out of sight — you have peace of mind with a ClareHome system. —Linda H. Feaster, Island Audio/Video
Donna is a graduate of West Liberty State College in West Virginia where she lettered in field hockey, volleyball, and softball. She went on to become a Health and Physical Education teacher for Northern Burlington County Regional High School. It was her goal to return to her high school to set up an interscholastic program. She achieved her goal and more. Donnaâ€™s record shows the level of her success and outstanding coaching achievements. In 1972, Donna developed the girls league softball team. She coached varsity softball and varsity basketball from 1971 through 1984.
er mm u s Mark Hobson and Jack, a ven. neighbor at the brick pizza o Page 46 â€˘ Echoes of LBI
onna Stout Hobson began coming to L.B.I. in the early 1950s. Her Dad would bring her for day trips from her hometown Florence, New Jersey. In the 1970s, she rented in Surf City with college friends. After she met her husband Mark, they rented for one year in Beach Haven. Eventually, they began renting an apartment over a garage in Surf City. Over the years, they became life-long friends with the elderly couple who owned the place. When Mark and Donna married in 1983, they spent their honeymoon in that apartment over the garage. They continued to rent until they purchased their own home in Ship Bottom in 1990. Gary Jo hnson with
ch ea p his
From 1991 through 1996 Donna was the varsity soccer coach. In 1979 and 1982 Donna was named All South Jersey Coach of the Year. In 1979, 1980, and 1982 she was Burlington County Coach of the Year and in 1980 she was South Jersey Coach of the Year. From 1972 through 1984 her softball team won Freedom Division Championship awards. After fourteen successful years, Donna ended her coaching career in 1984. She achieved 210 total wins during her softball coaching career. In 2008 Donna was inducted into the Northern Burlington County Regional High School District Athletic Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the All South Jersey Coaches Hall of Fame in 2015 and the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016. Mark graduated from Trenton State College. He excelled in all sports, but his passion was baseball. After trying out for the minor league, he realized an education was his priority. With his degree, Mark worked as an Adaptive Physical Education teacher in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. It was when he was a student teacher and Donna was a Physical Education Teacher for Burlington High School that they met and fell in love. This August they will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. Today, Donna and Mark are both retired. At sixty-six years young Mark still plays in the 1960s and Over Softball League in Mercer County.
In 2017, family, friends and people off the street started to bring their own toppings to Donna and Mark’s backyard to create their own pizza. Donna and Mark supply the pizza dough, sauce, tomatoes, cheese, and seasonings. Among the seemingly endless combinations of pizza made are Margherita Seafood with scallops, shrimp, and crab; pulled pork; pepperoni; spinach; white peach; Donna’s special Nutella pizza and Mark’s famous taco pizza. A photo of each pizza is proudly displayed on their “Pizza Makers Wall of Fame” located in Mark’s man-cave – The Liquid Sunshine Pub. This year’s adventure is to have t-shirts made. Donna has a beautiful oil painting by Roberta – a local artist from Harvey Cedars that will be the design on the front of the shirt along with their logo for The Liquid Sunshine Pub. The back of the t-shirt will have their zip code 08008. Friends from as far as Florida want the t-shirts. Always happy to share great LBI memories and make new traditions – Donna and Mark will be mailing them out. Football season is when the pizza oven really gets fired up. Sundays at game time folks gather at Donna and Mark’s for B.Y.O.T. – BRING YOUR OWN TOPPINGS. It is good eats, good times, and backyard fun. You can’t top this, or maybe you can. Bon appétit! —Diane Stulga. Photography by Donna Stout Hobson
ld ona Barbara McD
In 2016, it was time for Donna and Mark’s next chapter. With the help of good friends and neighbors – Gary, Rich, Tony, and Rosalee, they built a brick pizza oven in their Ship Bottom backyard. Using cedar and wood chips, the oven gets up to 500 degrees. Their first pizza came out looking like a catcher’s mitt. No doubt with Donna and Mark’s background in sports it would somehow resemble something related to baseball. With practice, each pizza improved. In no time, the pizzas came out round and perfect.
Here's your chance to participate in the first ever Sea Glass Guinness World Record™ for largest pile of sea glass by weight. Pick up a net bag at Things A Drift starting August 15th and fill it with your authentic sea glass. Sea glass can be from anywhere in the world. Then, at the LBI Sea Glass & Art Festival on September 29th (rain date September 30th) sign up from Noon to 3pm. Your bag will be weighed, tagged and placed in the world's largest pile of sea glass. Pieces should be larger than 1/3 inch so pieces don't fit through the net holes. Must sign up to participate and only net bags from Things A Drift will count for the record. Event takes place at 3:30pm in the street. Particiapnts can pick up their sea glass after the event is concluded. Find out more about this and other events at thingsadrift.com/events and on Facebook @lbiseaglassfest and @thingsadrift • (609) 361-1668 Page 48 • Echoes of LBI
Jayden Toledo (Jose) on his journey on a section of Stafford Road. Mariano Cayo photo
ver since the shack succumbed to the bay waters after Superstorm Sandy, visitors to LBI have searched for another building that might welcome them to the Island and provide them with good feelings as they depart. Anyone who was lucky enough to be in the audience at the tenth annual Lighthouse International Film Festival, who saw the film short, Loser Leaves Town may well have found that new happy place. The Lighthouse International Film Festival took place June 7-10 on LBI. Eric Johnson, Executive Director of the festival, also produced and cowrote Loser Leaves Town one of the most entertaining, yet engaging films of the event. Because of his position, the film itself could not be considered for any awards, but anyone who saw it experienced a multitude of emotions by the time the twelve-minute film ended. Directed and co-written by Mark Nickelsburg, this short film contained everything a longer Page 50 â€˘ Echoes of LBI
film would strive for, including characters who tugged at the heartstrings, scenery that evoked strong emotions, and imaginative yet action packed glimpses into a world of excitement and power. Although the film itself focused on themes of isolation with each character isolated in his or her own way, the dynamic between the two young characters is the central story line of the movie. Eleven-year old Jose played by Jayden Toledo, and his nemesis, a twelveyear old girl named Jamie portrayed by Delphina Belle, who later begins the journey Jose is forced to abandon, appear to live in cultural isolation. Set in the bay area of Manahawkin, young Jose imagines himself a luchador, and conceals his mundane identity with a glimmering silver and cobalt blue mask and cape, ignoring the young girl who sits by the entrance to Lucille's Candies. Inside, Jose snatches bags of candy
from the shop owner to take home to his father, but the young girl runs after him, and forces him to spill the coveted gummy worms into the dirt of the marshes. Jose's father Francisco, portrayed by actor Elliot Villar, carefully washes the candies one by one back at the house. Later during a tender laundry scene, the audience realizes the colorful dress Francisco folds probably belonged to a wife and mother who abandoned them. Many exciting scenes occur, as Jose imagines himself as not only any luchador, but one of the most famous professional wrestlers in the sport, El Valiente. In real life, this dynamic superstar is Bronco Internacional who has been in the business for thirty-five years and heads his own Bronx Wrestling Federation. Bronco Internacional was not only a pivotal presence in the movie, but also made a guest appearance at the Lighthouse International Film Festival itself, along with the young people, the father in the film, and writer Mike Nickelsburg. El Valiente's superhero presence could be seen in action on the wrestling stage in Jose's imagination, and at one point his domination of the scene was complete as it rained gummy worms to reflect his glorious victory.
In the final scenes, Jose goes back to Lucille's to be challenged by Jamie to a commonly issued challenge in the wrestling world, â€œloser leaves town,â€? as they both take their fight to a marshy area by the dock of Barnegat Bay. The ending of the movie may surprise the audience, but the vision of those young people and the gummy worms which fell like confetti filling the arena will remain, as Lucille's Candies offers glad tidings of island possibilities for years to come. â€”Cynthia Andes. Photography supplied by Eric Johnson
ometimes being in pieces is a good thing. Especially, for this phase of remodeling The Dutchman’s Brauhaus Restaurant – structure moving. Throughout the past few months, in preparation of the move, contractors reinforced The Dutchman’s building and cut it into two sections. In May 2018, Atlantic Structure Movers successfully completed the first part of this phase as The Quelle was lifted off its foundation and moved to a staging area in the former parking lot where it will undergo remodeling. Currently preparing to move the main section of The Dutchman’s, contractors are placing specially designed and engineered apparatus under the structure. The move is projected to take place in July. In the next phase, the existing substructure, including the pilings under the building, docking structures, and bulkheads will be extracted. —Susan Spicer-McGarry
Vivian Schug of Harvey Cedars is greeted by Dakota at Southern Ocean Medical Center.
hen Bob and Rosemary DeSalvo brought Dakota into their loving home, neither of them knew the extent of the comfort and joy he would bring to hundreds of patients at Southern Ocean Medical Center and other facilities throughout southern Ocean County. Dakota, a Golden Retriever, is one of the registered assistance therapy dogs who volunteers with his owner, Bob DeSalvo, at Southern Ocean Medical Center. Every Tuesday, he is a favorite around the hospital providing unconditional love – both for those Page 54 • Echoes of LBI
who work there, and for the patients receiving care. At the age of five and a half, Dakota is not only beloved by patients; he also helps improve their overall emotional state of mind and overall wellbeing. “There is no doubt that Dakota brightens everyone’s day when he’s around,” said Kristen Castro, supervisor of volunteer services at Southern Ocean Medical Center. “From a patient and family centered perspective, it’s amazing to see the positive benefits our pets bring to everyone’s lives – both clinically and emotionally during their stay at the hospital,” Kristen added.
Bob and Rosemary DeSalvo of Waretown and Dakota.
Bob DeSalvo and Dakota.
To become a registered therapy dog, Dakota spent fourteen weeks of comprehensive training before working one-on-one with Bob and patients. “Research confirms the positive benefits of animal assisted therapy,” said Bob DeSalvo. “I am so grateful to personally see how Dakota reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and makes patients forget about their problems,” Bob added. Since volunteering at Southern Ocean Medical Center, Bob has trained two more therapy dogs – Bella and Sadie – who take turns at bringing smiles and compassion to Southern Ocean Medical Center.
For more information about volunteer services at Southern Ocean Medical Center, contact the Volunteer Office at 609-978-3833. Dakota & Bob: Compassion in Action.
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ea glass collectors are always on the hunt for the rarest finds. To most, a sea glass stopper, marble, or whole bottle would be the find of a lifetime. However, one of the rarest finds out there often goes ignored by beachcombers or is mistaken for a button. Lightbulb Vitrites are the tiny insulator found on the bottom of standard incandescent lightbulbs. These colorful glass caps have found a home in the jars of many sea glass hunters' collections, but most do not know the history of their finds. In the late 1800s, there was a need for a dielectric material that could hold a lightbulb's electrical brass contacts in place and work as a sufficient insulator. By the 1880s, early lightbulb insulators were made of wood and secured in place with plaster of Paris. In 1881, the wooden insulator cap was eliminated in favor of the less costly option of using just the plaster. Unfortunately, plaster took too long to dry and had a tendency to re-absorb moisture in humid conditions. In 1900, molded porcelain insulator caps took the place of the plaster. However, this method was expensive and labor intensive because the contacts had to be added after the clay was fired. In 1901, a solution was found by Alfred Swan, brother of Sir Joseph Swan â€“ the inventor of an early version of the incandescent lightbulb. Swan created Vitrite, which acted as the perfect insulator for the bulbs because it could easily be molded around the contacts. Although referred to as glass, Vitrite is a type of enamel that contains a high concentration of lead monoxide and manganoc (manganese oxide) which gives it a deep purple color. From this point onward, lightbulbs featured the Vitrite insulator cap on the bottom of the bulb. As time went on, and more people expanded west, the need for Page 60 â€˘ Echoes of LBI
electricity and lightbulbs caused a surge in the production of Vitrite. One of the largest areas to produce the glass was the Great Lakes. They produced so much of it that the large balls of purple slag can still be found today along the shorelines. It is said these large chunks were used as erosion control in the 1950s. As with any mass-produced item, companies began to compete and patent the color used for their batch of Vitrite. This is why lightbulb Vitrite caps can be found in the colors fuchsia, red, cobalt, ice blue, deep green, and deep amber in addition to the more often found deep purple. Every time they made a batch of Vitrite, the glass manufacturer had to test the color to make sure they stayed within their patent. A tiny stamped seal of glass, similar to a wax seal, was made at the same thickness as the Vitrite cap and held up to the light to determine the color, then discarded. Compared to the caps, these stamped seals of glass are incredibly rare and mostly unheard of. In my thirty years of sea glass collecting I have only seen one. Lightbulb Vitrite caps are almost always found broken because the pin that held them in place tended to be pressed in so hard during manufacturing it caused the cap to crack. Many sea glass collectors who find one mistake it for a button or bead. On modern incandescent lightbulbs, the cap is only a few millimeters thick, where in the past it would fill the entire end of the lightbulb's metal ring. Vitrite is still in use today in some bulbs, but many have been replaced with acrylic. They are most often found in locations of historical significance, but you'll have to look very closely as most are the size of a nickel. Vitrites are easily missed because they look like black shells, so look closely on your next visit to the beach. â€”Photography and text by Sara Caruso
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I’ve traveled a lot and lived in many places. But no matter where I go...I’m always in an LBI state of mind – librettist and dramatist Andrew Flack
s a returning veteran of World War II, twenty-seven year old George Flack longed to resume living the life he hadn’t lost overseas. “In 1949, my father was offered the position of manager for Millside Farms’ Long Beach Island’s dairy operation,” said Andrew. George eagerly accepted the offer of gainful employment and the opportunity to return to the summer place of his youth. Visiting LBI in the early 1940s, George had developed a passion for surf fishing and had become good friends with realtor Ben Lacky. Later as manager for Millside, George filled-in for the regular delivery men on their days off, while Andrew’s mother Lucille served up milkshakes and sundaes at the Millside Dairy Bar in Loveladies near the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. “My father loved it,” says Andrew. “My mother – not so much.” For Collingswood, New Jersey native Lucille Prevary Flack, the isolation of life on the Island far out-weighed its beauty and charm. In 1951, only months before the birth of their son Andrew, George and Lucille left the Island, eventually returning to Collingswood where Andrew was raised. In a twist of fate, nine years later Andrew’s mother Lucille passed away. Gene Higgins, Lucille Prevary, and George Flack had been friends in high school. Eventually, Gene became the fiancé of George’s best friend Charlie. The four friends, now two couples, frequently got together on Saturday nights. In time, as their lives moved in different directions, the friendships waned. Some twenty-years later, after reconnecting at their Collingswood High School reunion, George and Gene married in 1963.
firsts of my youth took place on LBI,” said Andrew. While surf fishing with his father one night near Barnegat Light, the dulcet tones of feminine voices and music in the distance drew Andrew’s attention. Down the beach a bonfire burned brightly. Silhouetted by the light of the flames was a group of young women from Penn. “I must have been around eleven or twelve years old. The full moon reflected on the surface of the bay. The breeze was warm. It was a perfect summer night,” recalled Andrew. “Watching them in the distance, I had a sense of wonder and anticipation – I felt like a universal mystery was about to be revealed,” he said. “It was a peak event in my life.” In the late 1960s, Le Garage Discotheque Au Go-Go on 23rd Street in Spray Beach was a rock nightclub with live bands, psychedelic lights, dayglo posters, blacklights and throngs of sunburned kids dancing to deafening music. “My parents told me – never go there,” said Andrew. “I saw Vanilla Fudge at Le Garage. It was my first rock concert.” One night, Andrew’s stepmother came to Le Garage – searching for him. “I was fifteen or sixteen at the time. I saw her first – working her way through the packed room,” laughed Andrew. “There I was….in an undulating crowd of sweaty hippies. I hid in the bathroom and didn’t get caught.” At age sixteen, Andrew became a published poet. “The Beachcomber published three of my poems. They paid me $15.00 a piece,” recalled Andrew. “That $45.00 lasted me all summer. I used to hang around Kubel’s...just to see all the relaxed sophisticated people. To me, it had Greenwich Village style.”
Of one of the many coincidences in his life, Andrew mused, “I was born on my mother’s birthday. My mother, stepmother and I were all born in the same month. We are all Leos.”
“I’ve always written,” explained Andrew. “Nothing else would do. I’d take a promising job, work a year or two and continue writing.” Later, Andrew’s wife took a position that enabled her to hire him as a freelance writer.
In the 1960s, George purchased a house in Brant Beach. And with that, LBI became the summer place of Andrew’s youth. “All the
In 1995 Andrew established Buzz, Inc., a marketing and communications firm focusing on food and the arts. “We started
up just as organic foods were getting big,” he explained. The timing was good. Andrew wrote the pilot for "Bizarre Foods," at the time called "Food Freaks." “I knew Chef Andrew Zimmerman,” explains Andrew. “PBS shot the first episode for public TV.” "Bizarre Foods" was later picked up by The Travel Channel. Andrew manages Buzz, Inc. in Colorado and writes for stage, screen, and film. Through the years, he has written five full-length screen plays. His comedic works have been produced off-Broadway in New York and regionally. And his musical about the life of Paul Robeson continues to tour. In 2012, with nothing more than an artist’s brush, a devout matron in a forgotten village in Spain captured Andrew’s attention, changed the lives of many, and inspired an opera. When eighty-three-year-old amateur artist and self-taught conservator Cecelia Giménez attempted to restore Elias Garcia Martinez’ crumbling fresco Ecce Homo – Behold the Man, the result was initially suspected to be the work of vandals. No longer recognizable, the once deified image is beyond repair. “I’d read about an elderly woman in Borja, Spain, who attempted to fix-up a fresco in her village church,” explained Andrew. “Her biggest mistake was that she went on vacation and left it unfinished. The town, local press, and even her neighbors shamed her for destroying the fresco. She was shunned by the community and became an outcast.” The botched image quickly went viral and became an internet sensation. The ensuing internet maelstrom of shame soon had an unexpected effect – free publicity. “The Ecce Homo debacle proved to be a tourism boom for the economically struggling town,” said Andrew. Shortly after learning of the events in Borja, Andrew along with composer Paul Fowler embarked on the journey of creating their contemporary opera Behold the Man. Today, six-years later, Andrew Flack and Paul Fowler are ready to present their comedic opera Behold the Man to the world. “It's a story of faith and forgiveness," explained Andrew. "It’s about the effect of the internet on a small town in Spain and the faith that supported the woman at the center of the story. It's about how Cecelia's disaster became the town's miracle.” Though beyond restoration, since Cecelia’s transformation the much-ignored fresco Ecce Homo, previously destined to crumble into obscurity has been elevated to the status of profound pop icon and forever preserved in cyberspace. “I’m glad to still be doing what I’ve always done,” said Andrew. —Susan Spicer-McGarry
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n the 400 years since mariners first navigated the Barnegat shoals, man has fought nature there in a never-ending war for survival, a constant reminder that for all the technological advancements and the belief that humankind had conquered the seas, there remain forces beyond its control that vex and humble even the bravest. A beacon at the northern tip of old “Long Beach” has been one of the greatest weapons in humanity’s arsenal against the mighty sea. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, signal fires near Barnegat inlet were used to guide ships away from danger and lure them into it. Some of the most unscrupulous men among the so-called “Barnegat pirates” would use false signal fires to lead cargo-laden ships onto, rather than away from, the shoals to plunder their cargo for patriotic or personal gain. In 1834, after much complaint from sea captains, a lighthouse was constructed. Designed by Winslow Lewis, whose low-cost and quickly-built navigational aids populated the east coast in those days, the tower was woefully underpowered and undersized for the duties it would be expected to perform. Standing barely fifty feet tall, the fifth-class light, powered by Lewis’ patented lamp which used metal reflectors to amplify lighted wicks, was cursed by these same captains almost immediately. In inclement conditions, which were often in the most dangerous winter months, its visibility was of little more benefit than the signal fires that previously toyed with mariners. The beacon did not flash, as would become the method by which vessels could easily identify one light house from another. Often captains could not be sure which inlet they were near when they sighted the Barnegat light. By 1856, the advertised cost-savings and speedy construction of the Lewis lighthouse began to show its shortcomings. The poorly constructed lighthouse had begun to deteriorate as stonework regularly fell from its sides. What’s more, it was under imminent threat of collapsing into the encroaching inlet, a fate to which it would eventually succumb. On the heels of its increasingly troubled legacy, Lt. General George Meade was dispatched by the federal government to inspect the inlet situation and make a recommendation. No mere local aid, the light at Barnegat inlet was critical to Atlantic traffic. Incoming ships from Europe bound for New York’s bustling harbor would reach America either on eastern Long Island or about the central New Jersey coast. A reliable and capable navigational aid at this entry point was essential to the future of the United States. While plans were already underway to replace this light that failed, it would not come soon enough for the packet ship New-York and the bark Tasso on the night of December 19, 1856. Massive swells rolled across the ocean like mountains. Angry skies swirled just above the masts as a bitter, snow-driven northeast wind howled into the taught sails. Darkness surrounded the New York and Tasso as they approached the island of Long Beach from the south that long winter’s night. Captain McKennon of the NewYork, a three-masted schooner of the Black Ball line out of New York with 307 souls on board sailing from Ireland, recounted his ship’s arrival, one mirrored by Captain Goldsworthy of the bark Tasso and her fourteen passengers. Their stories were front-page news for over a week, most prominently in the pages of a new publication, The New York Daily Times. McKennon told The Times, “Just before midnight on the 19th, we were sailing on [northwest by north] when I noticed several vessels’ lights. I thought we were about one hundred and thirty miles from land. Soon afterward we noticed a light, which proved to be Page 70 • Echoes of LBI
the light-house at Barnegat. It came upon us all at once, and we thought it a vessel’s light. The mate and myself thought it might be a pilot boat.” A few hours later, the Tasso was in the same position. In a letter to the owners, Goldsworthy admits the wreck was a result of the same Siren’s call. “I took the light at Barnegat for the New-York Lightship and tacked and stood to the [southwest]. About half an hour after we [tacked] saw breakers forward.” Both ships fought the push toward the beach, but the force of the wind and swell soon grounded them on the outer bars. The New-York was about 150 yards from the beach two miles north of Barnegat inlet on Island Beach. The Tasso was about the same distance but three miles south of the inlet on Long Beach near present-day Loveladies. There they sat, passengers and crew of both ships, frightened and weathering the raging storm rocking the vessels while waves crashed onto the decks, waiting for sunrise and the possibility of aid. Later that day, word reached New York that a wrecker from Manasquan, Captain John Maxon Brown, and the crew of life-savers from a nearby station led by his son, John Ashley Brown, had assisted evacuating all 307 from the New-York onto the beach. “[John Ashley Brown] soon effected a connection with the ship by means of the mortar and line,” reported a Times correspondent who had raced to the scene, “at which practice he is said to be very expert. His own life-car was put immediately in use, and soon another was brought from the station next to the northward, when both were constantly plied in transporting the passengers from the ship to the shore; by this means the entire ship’s company were all landed without an accident, by midnight of Sunday.” To the south, on the Tasso, local life-savers had similarly done their heroic duty, but, sadly, paid the ultimate price when a life-boat rolled in the frigid breakers, killing four from the ship and two of the rescuers. For the survivors of the Tasso—local shelter and provisions on Long Beach would bring an end to their suffering. The wayward 307 survivors from the New-York on deserted Island Beach would not be so fortunate. Theirs was just beginning.
“Nearly all the passengers,” according to Captain Brown, “were wandering about the beach – looking up shelter.” He reported that the station house was far too small to hold all of them and lacked provisions. The only other nearby house was a “miserable shanty” occupied by “Uncle” John Allen, a former keeper of Barnegat Lighthouse. “This poor old man is blessed with a large heart – out of his scanty stores he divided to the last with the unfortunates.” Amidst the deep snow and howling, biting wind, Capt. Brown went ahead of the party and harassed every home and wagon he crossed up the beach in search of anything to help the mass of humanity now in his charge. In those days, the southern end of Island Beach was isolated from the mainland for nearly twenty-miles until one reached Manasquan. No bridges had yet been built. And no ships could cross the ice-choked bay, let alone amidst the storm which lasted into Saturday, December 20th, followed by another a few days later. The unfortunate combination of circumstances meant no help would be coming from New York. No rescue boat of any kind, as those on scene presumed would come. What followed was a forced march for survival led by Capt. Brown and others. Stranded on the beach the poor passengers and crew had no choice but to walk to the nearest supplied shelter near Manasquan and, ultimately, the road to New York in Freehold, over fifty-miles from the wreck. Some did not survive the first day on the beach for cold and hunger. More still would not survive the march. Many of those who did finish their voyage to New York faced an uncertain future as Irish immigrants seeking a new life in America, now without anything but the wet clothes on their back. After handing off over 300 surviving passengers to others in Freehold who would guide them the rest of the way, Capt. Brown returned to the vicinity to complete his task of salvaging the wreck, if possible. He also made time for a pursuit. Amidst the chaos of the rescue, several of the crew took to robbing the passengers and looting the Captain’s quarters. Upon returning to his ship after securing a landing spot on the beach, McKennon was brutally assaulted by the mutineers and nearly killed. “Capt. BROWN,” The Times reported, “is said to be in pursuit of the other hardened villains concerned in the assault.” One was found in the course of the evacuation to have frozen to death on the beach and hurriedly covered with sand. The tragedies that unfolded those snow swept, bitter December
days on both sides of Barnegat inlet drew calls for reform and expansion of the Life-Saving Service and the improvement of navigational aids such as the Barnegat Lighthouse. In a story on a resolution offered by New Jersey Senator J. R. Thomson (D), The Times went further in identifying the problem, and did not hold back in doing so. “A few days since 300 men, women, and children landing, in a storm, from the wreck of the New-York, were compelled to pass nearly three days on the beach near Barnegat Inlet, wet and chilled, without shelter, fire, or food. Many of them, after having escaped from their stranded ship, perished from hunger, hardship, and the severe cold, only because a few well-appointed station-houses have not been established by the Government, upon a coast which is known to be the most dangerous section of our seaboard, and to whose dangers every ship approaching New York, in the Winter season, is exposed.” Because of the often-unforgiving weather and the frequency of such tragedies, the waters off Barnegat inlet earned a reputation as the “graveyard of the Atlantic.” But, following this latest loss of life, at long last calls for action had not fallen on deaf bureaucratic ears in Washington. Lt. Gen. Meade of the Army Corps of Engineers would be walking the dunes about Barnegat inlet a few months later devising not just a new lighthouse, but one of the first-class that would never again be the bane of vessels arriving to the new world at the Barnegat shoals. A light that would never fail. It would be a 169 feet-tall tower, equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens instead of the old Lewis lamps. Designed and approved for construction that same year, building began in early 1857. Erosion meant it would need to be constructed considerably farther south from the inlet than the first lighthouse, which finally fell into the inlet in 1858. The new location would require land to be purchased. This land would come from none other than the Manasquan wrecker, John Maxon Brown. At the time he was salvaging the New-York, Capt. Brown bought much of the acreage that became Barnegat Light. He and his son, Ashley, fixed up a local hotel, leaving the latter to run it after he left the Life-Saving Service. Renaming it the Ashley House, the Browns lived and worked on the north end of Long Beach for several years. The area became so synonymous with the family that locals even took to calling it Brownsville. But, just as man battled the sea in those waters, winning as often as losing, so too did the Brown family come face to face with mortality. In September 1874, while sailing north off North Carolina, a storm, possibly tropical, caught up with a ship Ashley was commanding and was sunk. The Brown family and locals were devastated. Capt. Brown sold his remaining lands in Brownsville and retired from life by the sea for the rest of his days. And so, the battle rages on to this day. It is a special kind of love-hate relationship humankind has with the ocean. A friend of Ashley’s, Thomas Applegate, whose family owned and managed the Barnegat Light general store for generations, eulogized his friend and summed up life by the sea at Barnegat inlet best:
“Down by the sea! Where the signal is flashing Far out on the wave, the light from the tower That tells me of the breakers of Barnegat, dashing With merciless fury and pitiless power— There my boy made his home; by the light of that beacon
He fought with the storm at the cry of distress; No hurricane blast his courage could weaken, And hundreds are living his efforts to bless. Every sound from the roaring surf tells me of thee, My brave-hearted boy that lived down by the sea”
The Barnegat Light Museum at 501 Central Avenue has documented this history and has more on the Brown family and lighthouses on display. For more information about the history and people of Barnegat Light please see facebook.com/ groups/barnegatlightmuseum. —Written by Reilly Platten Sharp. Photography courtesy of Reilly Platten Sharp and the Barnegat Light Museum Page 72 • Echoes of LBI
s the elected Principal Chief of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation and tribal leader, Mark Quiet Hawk Gould, represents his tribal nation, and related indigenous nations regionally, nationally, and internationally. He serves on the Chiefs Council of the Confederation of Sovereign Nanticoke-Lenape Tribes, and is a member of the Committee on Native American Ministries of the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church. “Quiet Hawk is my ceremonial given name,” explains Mark. “It describes my relationship with the Creator.” Soft spoken with an immediately apparent inner strength, he has been, and continues to be an impetus of change — bringing his people and their heritage into plain view. Born in 1942, Mark grew up on Buckshutem Road in Bridgeton, New Jersey near Gouldtown. He and his brother Bill rode bikes, fished, and found the nearby gravel pit to be an ideal playground. “We’d climb to the top of one of the tall thin saplings growing at the edge of the gravel pit, and hang on,” says Mark. Unable to support their weight, the slender tree would bow into a graceful arch, carrying them over the edge of the pit. “We’d ride that skinny tree top all the way down to the bottom,” he says with a widening smile. “We played hard and worked hard.” At an early age, Mark and his brother worked with their father, Wilbert Gould a building contractor. Mark’s mother, Marion Strong Medicine Gould was a tribal elder, well-respected herbalist and subject of the book “Strong Medicine Speaks” by award winning author Amy Hill Hearth. Historically prevented from selling what they made, his mother bartered her herbal remedies to help provide for her family. As a POW in a German prison camp during WWII, Mark’s father escaped with the help of a sympathetic German guard moments before he was to be executed. Mark served in the U.S. Army in Korea. A mixture of three regional tribes — Nanticoke of Indian River in Delaware, Lenape of Cumberland County, New Jersey, and Lenape Page 74 • Echoes of LBI
of Kent County, Delaware, the tribal families have always lived in the regions of the Delaware Bay in Southern New Jersey and Delaware. The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation has maintained an important relationship with The Religious Society of Friends for hundreds of years. Denied U.S. Citizenship until 1924, New Jersey’s indigenous people could not own property. Without land to live on and no way to survive, Native Americans were forced to leave. “The Quakers purchased property on our behalf with our money,” says Mark. “This enabled our families to remain where we are today.” For their safety, those who stayed made a deliberate effort to hide in plain view. ‘We were not allowed to talk about the history of our people,” explains Mark. In turn, thousands of years of tribal history, culture and identity were hidden. Inspired by his grandmother to serve his people, Mark found a sense of purpose. Over the past four decades Mark and other tribal leaders have brought the tribe into the light. No longer hidden in plain view, the community has been strengthened through education and outreach. The Nanticoke LenniLenape Tribal Nation is historically well documented. In the past, the State of New Jersey officially recognized the tribe. Since the advent of casino gambling, fearing competition, the state has arbitrarily refused to recognize the tribe, officially stripping the nation of its identity. The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation stands out as one whose constitution forbids participation in any business that profits from the promotion of vice. “We have always been a noncasino tribe. That can never be changed,” explains Mark. Official recognition by the state is required for most funding initiatives and protections relied upon by the tribal nation. The arbitrary change in status imposed by the state has caused the tribe to lose important grant funding and partners. It strains existing relationships with banks and funding sources and has placed a significant hardship on tribal operations. The state’s refusal to recognize the tribe has had a direct negative impact on its people. “Our youth no longer has access to Native American
college scholarships. Our elderly no longer qualifies for heating and cooling assistance,” Mark explains. “Access to essential medical programs for Native Americans with diabetes has been lost.” Without recourse, the tribal nation filed suit against the State of New Jersey. At age seventy-six, Mark continues to invest his energy into opportunities to improve the lives of his people. “I take one day at a time to continue to establish who we are and what we have accomplished with our own resources,” says Mark with resolve. “We have always been here. We are not going anywhere. We are survivors,” In the words of Mark’s favorite uncle, “Ain’t no hill to a climber.”—Susan Spicer-McGarry
n July 10, 2017, the New Jersey Appeals Court ruled the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation is a recognized American Indian tribe. The Appellate ruling reversed a lower court decision that had dismissed the case filed by the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Trial Nation against the New Jersey State Attorney General. In doing so, the Appellate court found that the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation had received official recognition from the state. The ruling allows the tribal nation to go forward with its civil rights action against the state. Though historically and legislatively well documented, in 2012 the State of New Jersey arbitrarily refused to recognize the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation. The lack of official recognition undermined the tribal nation and its people. The three-judge Appellate panel found the Mercer County Superior Court judge had errored when he determined the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape had no grounds for their suit because the State of New Jersey had never recognized them as a tribe and dismissed the case. Citing numerous resolutions passed over the years by the New Jersey Legislature recognizing the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation, including legislation creating the nine-member New Jersey State Commission on Native American Affairs, the Appellate Court finding said the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation is a “constitutionally organized, self-governing, inherently sovereign American Indian tribe” whose majority of members reside in the state of New Jersey. While the state and federal civil rights cases remain to be litigated the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribe perseveres. —Susan Spicer-McGarry
hil Hart’s maternal great grandfather Louis Patterson was a disabled Civil War veteran searching for work when he rode the train to Tuckerton – the end of the line. He found work in Beach Haven, where he and his wife raised their family and set down roots on LBI that have extended to four generations. “I was born in 1923 in Trenton,” said Phil. “We lived in Trenton – but always summered on LBI.” After Phil’s parents divorced, his mother Margaret moved her four sons to LBI. “We lived on 11th Street in Beach Haven,” he recalls. Eight-year old Phil quickly developed a life-long passion for the eighteen mile island his great grandfather had called home.
In the late 1930s, Margaret married Bergen – together they shared a love for LBI, fishing and lobstering. “Back in those days women didn’t go lobstering. But my Mom went all the way to Philadelphia to get a lobstering license that allowed her to go offshore during WWII,” said Phil. Most people in the United States were still feeling the effects of the Great Depression. Times were tough. Recalling how poor his family was in those days, “We ate a lot of lobster,” chuckled Phil.
“My stepfather, Inglebirt “Bergen” Amundson was a fisherman from Norway,” explains Phil. After arriving in New York in 1922, Bergen was informed there was work on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.
Bergen was a great role model for Phil and his brothers. “In the 1940s, I became a pound fisherman like my stepfather,” said Phil. “My brothers, Gurney, Walter, and James also were pound fishermen.” The catch consisted of whatever fish were running that day. Their fish were taken to the Beach Haven Fishery, loaded up on the train and sent to either Philadelphia or the Fulton Street Fish Market in New York.
“He got a job at the Surf City Fishery and later went to work for the Beach Haven Fishery in 1928,” said Phil. “He became a pound fisherman.”
Pound fishing is a fishing net system using posts and netting. Offshore, the fishermen drove posts into the bay or ocean bottom like fence posts. Netting was secured between the posts – like fencing
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to form pound nets. As fish swam into the nets, they became trapped. Fishermen went out in skiffs and claimed their catch. Independent cod fishing was done in the cold weather, and an abundance of lobstering was done in warmer months. Pound fishing was not done in the winter. During the winter months, pound fishermen worked as carpenters, painters, and construction workers to support their families. As a young boy, Phil hung around the pound fishermen and the fishery. Phil beams as he recalls, “Those men were the best of the best. They treated us like family. Along with my stepfather Bergen, they were the reason many of us – including me – became pound fisherman.” Phil smiled as he recalled Susie Salmons, the principal of Beach Haven School. “She was tough but fair” he states. Phil attended Barnegat High School where he played basketball and baseball. “The stage in the high school was also the basketball court,” recalls Phil. According to Phil, there were no late buses for students staying after school for sports. “I’d have to hitch hike back home to Beach Haven,” said Phil. After graduation from Barnegat High School Phil joined the U.S. Coast Guard. While stationed in Atlantic City Phil met Ruth. Ruth was a radio school instructor in the Coast Guard. As a student in her class – Phil fell in love with his teacher. They married in 1944 and had four children James, Paul, Tim, and Phyllis. Today, they have eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. They were married for seventy-two years. While serving in the Coast Guard, Phil was stationed near Little Beach between LBI and Brigantine. “We were on a large sail boat – a Dupont Yacht. Our assignment was to keep a look out for Germans,” Phil said with a laugh. “Thank God we never saw any because we weren’t armed back then.” He also remembers being lowered on a rope by his men from a third floor window of the Coast Guard barracks to sneak out to buy liquor for everyone. Phil recalls that as a teen in Beach Haven to start up a game of sandlot baseball he would head south on the island, and a friend would head north just to round up enough guys. He was quick to add there was always something to do on LBI that didn’t involve money. They fished, swam, and drove their cars on the beach. “LBI was a great place to grow up,” he said proudly. “Mom always had people gathered around her table to share what little we had,” Phil said fondly. “We didn’t have much, but we had everything. Whenever my Mom announced we were out of food, I’d go clamming.” Phil and his family saw the silver lining behind every storm cloud with the philosophy of “Where do we go from here?” Each storm was a renewal of strength. Phil recalled when the storm of 1944 hit. “We combed the beaches and streets to find treasures the storm had left behind,” he said. “I built an apartment over our garage on 11th Street from pieces we found of the Beach Haven boardwalk that washed away in the storm. At age sixteen, Phil and a friend decided to run off to Alaska
where the friend’s uncle lived. As the boys headed down the boulevard on a cold winter’s night there wasn’t a soul in sight. As they grew colder and more tired they decided the direction of the first car they saw would determine whether they rode off the island in that car or got a ride back home. A car approached them going South – hitching a ride, they jumped into the car and returned home – each to the warmth of their homes and beds. No one knew about their short-lived adventure.
by twenty-foot home with two of their children. In 1961, as their family grew, they purchased a home on Division Street. Today, Phil lives in the house on Hilliard Boulevard in Manahawkin where he and Ruth lived for the past thirty-six years.
After high school, Phil worked part-time for Mat Tomaso Electric. Later he was trained as an electrician by Ron Cox Sr. of Cox Electric in Beach Haven. In 1954, Phil started Hart Electric. During his career as an electrical contractor, Phil had over five-thousand jobs, which included water treatment plants, movie theaters, Beach Haven West, Mystic Island and LBI locations.
Sadly, Ruth passed away two years ago. She and Phil were active in the Manahawkin community. They were involved with committees that helped to establish the Cub Scouts, Stafford Township Little League, and the Oxycocus Elementary and Southern Regional High Schools. Two of Phil and Ruth’s children had attended the four-room schoolhouse in Manahawkin where there were no indoor lavatory facilities – just an outhouse. The lack of indoor plumbing made establishing modern schools a personal mission for Ruth.
In the summer Phil had twenty-five men on his company payroll. In the winter he had only one – his wife Ruth. Ruth was his bookkeeper and helped on job sites. Phil closed his business just four years ago. In 1951, Phil and Ruth built their home on the corner of Route 72 and Jennings Road in Manahawkin. They lived in their twenty Page 78 • Echoes of LBI
When he moved to Manahawkin in the 1950s his Beach Haven friends gave a party for him. He laughed as he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I was just moving over the bridge”.
Throughout his life, no matter what it was, Phil poured his heart into everything he did. “Life is a special gift that I never take for granted,” said Phil. “I always look up to the sky each day and ask if I am doing the right thing,” —Diane Stulga. Photography provided by Timothy G. Hart and Phil Hart.
How old is our cottage? I once asked a family member many years ago. It’s the oldest in Barnegat Light! came the reply. Wow! Really? Oh, we don’t really know. No one does.
or over 80 years, my family’s tiny summer cottage at 8 East 23rd Street in Barnegat Light has been the closest thing to heaven five generations have ever known. Like a place out of time, the old rope and pulley windows, large, heavy storm door, steep, narrow staircase to the attic sleeping space, wooden shutters that aren’t just for decoration, and a galley kitchen that would be quite at home on a Navy ship, have been kept virtually unchanged. Like most of the old fishing cottages, our roughly 1,200 square foot abode is cramped. It is way too small to fit all fifteen members of our family at once, although we try. The attic gets hotter than blazes during a summer day, and remains sweltering come midnight. Cooking dinner in the tiny kitchen is stifling and awkward. There are no washing machines for dishes or Page 80 • Echoes of LBI
clothes. No television or cable. And, there is always something that needs to be repaired, and paint that needs a touch-up. But, it is our cottage, and no one would change a thing about it…. other than solving the mystery of how old it is and who built it. A few years ago, I decided to try to find out. First, a visit to the old Barnegat Light Borough Hall on 10th Street. Out of a long searched for box, the gentleman handed me a piece of paper about our cottage. Looking at “year built,” I found it blank. Next, the bowels of the Toms River courthouse and pouring over old deed books awaited. It was there, on a cold and snowy January day, that the story of our cottage and, indeed, Barnegat Light, was partly revealed. In the late 1800s, Camden developer Benjamin Franklin Archer and his partners bought up vast tracts
of the area known locally as Brownsville or Barnegat Beach with the dream of a new seaside resort for the coal-choked masses of Philadelphia that could compete with the booming business of Atlantic City. Starting in 1882 they constructed The Oceanic and San Souci hotels, grand cottages, and a few wide boulevards. Along with other local hoteliers, they brought a new branch of the railroad from Whiting, New Jersey to the island of Long Beach. By the late 1880s, Archer and his partners had come up with a master plan for Barnegat City, known today as Barnegat Light, and began marketing building lots back in the cities. Archer himself bought land for his family. Alas, he would not live to see the dream through. Dying in 1904, the parcels he owned passed to his three children. By 1926, lots including East 23rd Street passed to an Archer for the last time, one Franklin Archer Develin, named after his great-grandfather. A few years later, Develin sold to the Mutual Benefit Building & Loan Association of Tuckerton for $1.00. There were a few brief owners of the tiny cottages at 6 & 8 East 23rd Street, but by World War II my family owned both. Later, 6 East 23rd was sold by my grandfather. For all the history I’d found in the courthouse basement, I still didn’t have an answer for when our cottage was built and by whom. Many months later, I told the short version of the story to another long-time resident of 23rd Street, Frank Byrne, and that is when serendipity smiled upon us. “I remember a man back in
Moorestown who had a paint shop,” Frank mused. “Behind the counter, on the wall, he had this picture of two identical little cottages. They sure looked like yours.” You must be kidding me, I thought. It’s a small world sometimes, but this is ridiculous! “But I can’t remember his name,” he lamented. I rattled off a few before he lit up when I mentioned Franklin Archer Develin. On a whim, I ran back into the cottage, grabbed my laptop, and looked in the online white pages. Sure enough, Richard A. Develin, Jr. was listed in Moorestown. I called and left a message. When the phone rang one morning about two weeks later the answers I’d been searching for were finally found. Arch Develin, age ninety-five, told me his father, Archie, built the two cottages a few years before the crash of 1929. They used a carpenter in town, though he couldn’t remember his name. Arch told stories of some fine years spent in the cottages as a young boy. Nearly a century ago, a young boy and his parents built and loved these little cottages and these beaches. Since then, generations of children have grown to discover this same love, returning year after year, eventually with children of their own who would quickly fall under this cottage’s spell and the magical attraction of our little town. Benjamin Archer’s dream did come true in a fashion. And for those lucky enough to know the seaside treasure we call Barnegat Light, it is still a place where dreams are born. — Photography and text by Reilly Platten Sharp
y love affair with LBI began at six months of age. Although my mind cannot remember that far back, my heart does. For on my first visit, I’m certain I left it there. Since then, Long Beach Island is where I find solace, relaxation, fun, and exhilaration. The smell of the salt air, the feel of the ocean waters washing over me, and the sight and sound of the waves crashing is a balm to my soul. The Island is my safe-haven. As a child, in the summer my family visited the Surf City home of my Aunt Alma and Uncle Fred Todt. My life found an even more permanent tie to the Island the summer between high school and college when I met my future husband, Robert Foster, while searching for a summer job. I found that job at Foster’s Grocery Store in Surf City. I was the cashier and Bob was the stock boy. The rest is history. Becoming part of the Foster family was a wonderful gift that I always treasure. Albert and Kathryn Foster, Bob’s parents, were year-round residents of LBI. Albert Foster had come to LBI as a young man in the 1920s, when the Island consisted of nothing more than the three fishing villages of Barnegat Light, Ship Bottom, and Beach Haven. He decided to stay and became the ice man and later the heating oil man for the Island. Albert soon married Kathryn Truex, the daughter of William Truex, Captain of the Life Saving Station in Ship Bottom. Captain Truex was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery along the shores of LBI. Gradually, Albert brought his brothers and sisters to the Island. Albert’s brother Lou married Kathryn’s sister Louvenia Truex. In time, Sid and Martha developed and owned Fosters Grocery Stores in Surf City and Brant Beach. Lou and Gus worked with Albert at Foster’s Heating Oil. Lena owned Schrayshuen's German Bakery in Beach Haven. Milch and Helene rounded out the bunch. Fosters Farm Market became and remains a staple on the Island.
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Sand between her toes. Kathy Foster on the beach in 1966.
Bob and I owned a home on the Island for over fifteen years on East 49th Street in Brant Beach. I taught music at Beach Haven Elementary School. Many hours were spent walking the beach and swimming. In the fall, when the crowds were gone, I enjoyed body surfing. Swimming out to the sandbar, I could ride the big boomers all the way to shore. In the off season we biked and spent cold winter evenings in front of the fireplace. I remember walking in the biting LBI winter wind, standing on top of the dunes and leaning into a wind that was blowing so strongly across the bay that it could hold me upright. My Uncle Fred and Cousin Rick, who ran Todt’s Sailing School in Spray Beach and later Harvey Cedars, taught me to sail. It’s a wonderful feeling to fly free as a bird across the bay as fast as the wind will take you. Albert and Kathryn had three children: Albert Jr., Joan, and Robert. The Foster compound remains on the bay at 49th Street in Brant Beach next to Saint Francis Catholic Church. Albert Foster’s house inside the compound is currently owned by Joan Foster Schwering and Dick Schwering. For a time, the family of Albert Jr. owned Albert Foster’s original house on East 49th Street in Brant Beach. Bob and I have four children Brian, Heather, Erin, and Kevin, and seven grandchildren. The greatest gift we were able to give
our children was the opportunity to spend their lives on LBI. For several summers our son Brian was a lifeguard on LBI. I had to pinch myself when I saw him sitting in the lifeguard stand. My parents Ruth and Howard McCarney, and my sisters Christine and Elizabeth were frequent visitors to our Brant Beach home. They came to love LBI as well. For all of us, summers on LBI continue. At the invitation of the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, and the Hershey Bears, I recently became the first woman permitted to work in the training rooms of the NFL, NHL and AHL as a massage therapist. I continue to teach voice, and piano, and founded Center Stage Opera. There is no doubt I have permanent sand between my toes, salt water in my veins and LBI forever in my heart. I remember all the years I brought my children to the Show Place Ice Cream Parlour for sundaes and song, never dreaming that one day I would have an opera company that would perform there. Center Stage Opera performed at Surflight Theatre in 2010 with Tosca, in 2011 with La Traviata, in 2013 with Aida, and in 2014 with Rigoletto. This year we will perform at Surflight again November 17, 2018. For more information, go to surflight.org and csopera.org—Photography and text provided by Kathryn McCarney Foster
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Ryan Paul Marchese photo
hange came to Long Beach Island in 1886 in the form of steam and steel as the first locomotive rumbled over the Manahawkin Bay on the Tuckerton Railroad bridge – bringing with it the era of modern transportation. Until then, transportation to the eighteen mile barrier island had remained unchanged since the beginning of time. No longer the sole means to reach the island, ferries that transported visitors and residents became obsolete. Construction of the Tuckerton Railroad bridge connecting Manahawkin to Long Beach Island connected LBI to Philadelphia and New York. The construction of the Long Beach Island Railroad extended track throughout LBI – dotting the island with train stations and waiting-sheds. The new ease of accessibility brought opportunity, development, and convenience, along with the materials necessary to bring them into being. “My father worked part-time for the Tuckerton Railroad,” said Ike Johnson whose father Daniel B. Johnson Sr. worked for both the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Tuckerton Railroad from 1917 to 1923. “He oversaw the tracks that ran from Beach Arlington
to Barnegat City. He was responsible for replacing tracks and was called when an accident occurred.” For the next eighteen years, nearly everything moved across the bay on the rails connecting Island and mainland. The predictability and ease of travel brought an influx of people and goods. A faster source of delivery, the U.S. mail now traversed the bay by train. “During the winter my grandfather, Rufus Cranmer took the mail by railroad handcar from Manahawkin to Barnegat City,” said Larry Oliphant. “A dirt road led to the trestle bridge in those days,” said Phil Hart of Manahawkin. Born in 1923, Phil recalls the distinct sound of riding over the bridge. A 1935 nor’easter would destroy the Tuckerton Railroad bridge severing the rail connection to Long Beach Island. No longer feasible or economically viable the railroad would slip into history. But by then, the car was king. The wooden Causeway bridge across Barnegat Bay introduced automobile traffic to Long Beach Island for the first time in 1914. The 1912 brainchild of Judge Maja Leon Berry was conceived
while traveling across the bay by train with his friend Charles W. Beck Sr. – the latter contributed $500.00 to form the Long Beach Turnpike Company. Beck, along with Ezra Parker, W. Mercer Baird and a host of others undertook the financing and realization of the “Automobile Boulevard.” Created by August Keil to market the desirability of the Island, The Long Beach Island Board of Trade embarked on a campaign that would over time prove more successful than his wildest dreams. On the Island and mainland, gravel roads were constructed to accommodate predicted traffic. A parade heralded the much-anticipated opening of the bridge that would connect the Island to the mainland. At 10 a.m. on June 20, 1914, change came once again to Long Beach Island as a procession of more than one hundred cars drove Page 88 • Echoes of LBI
across Barnegat Bay on the new Automobile Boulevard that would quickly become known as the Causeway. Greeted by decorated cottages and enthusiastic onlookers along the route, the procession advanced down the Island to Beach Haven. A portent of things to come, overhead a hydro-aeroplane, flown by E.I. Jaquith performed aerial acrobatics. “My dad, Joseph Allen Oliphant remembered watching the parade for the grand opening of the new bridge when he was eight-years old,” recalled Larry Oliphant. For a short period of time travelers paid a toll to cross the bridge. Tolls varied from five to fifty cents for foot-traffic, bicycles, horse drawn carriages, cars, and trucks. Randall Thompson was the
first toll collector. After taking over the bridge in 1923, the State of New Jersey would build a more modern drawbridge in 1924. Increased traffic in summer months necessitated the hiring of local children to operate the bridge gates. During bridge openings motorists would wait up to a half hour for marine traffic to pass. An impetus of change, the Causeway brought development, opportunity, and an increased year-round population. The Esso gas station on Bay Avenue in Manahawkin was symbolic of that change. “Between 1920 and 1940, my grandfather, Rufus Cranmer built and owned two gas stations in Manahawkin – one on each side of the avenue,” explained Oliphant. “My grandfather always said, “Coming onto the island or leaving the island – either way they’ll need gas.”
The late Robert Potter recalled the old Causeway bridge from below and above, having sailed his sneakbox through the open drawbridge in a hail of garbage rained down by an annoyed bridge tender, and by the flat tires that were a result of driving across its wooden deck. Believed to be improperly nailed down, the wooden deck of the old Causeway bridge was notoriously the cause of flat tires. “The bridge tender used a big hammer to pound the spikes back in,” laughed Robert. “It never helped. When you drove over the boards, they flew up and gave you a flat tire.” As a teen, in an effort to avoid the inevitable flat tire, he’d once driven his car across the bay on the old railroad tracks. "Releasing some pressure from the car tires allowed the wheel rims to fit over the track rails," Robert explained. With the car straddling the tracks Robert ventured out into the darkness over the bay. Recalling his unusual
journey, “There wasn’t much for the headlights to reflect,” said Robert. “It was like driving off into air.” Two miles long, two lanes wide, the Causeway had a mean elevation approximately five feet above the waters of the bay. Though just a few feet above the high tide line, the two-lane bridge was high enough to allow for the passage of boats carrying salt hay and the harvest of pound fishermen. A state-of-theart hand operated drawbridge incorporated into the span between Ship Bottom and Cedar Bonnet Island allowed for the passage of larger vessels. Storm winds frequently drove the swollen bay onto the lowlying bridge deck. Shirley Lamson of Beach Haven recalls an experience with flooding on the Causeway bridge while a student at Barnegat High School. Pushed by the winds of an approaching storm, “the bay was flowing right across the bridge.” According to Shirley, the Barnegat High School bus was forced to turn around. Change arrived in an unexpected manner for the parents of Bill Cordray of Long Beach Island. “My parents were on their way with the midwife to Pinewald Hospital in Toms River,” mused Bill. “They never made it. I was born on November 11, 1942 on the old Causeway right near Charlie’s Bar where The Dutchman’s stands today.” Believed to follow the footpaths of the Lenni-Lenape, New Jersey Route S40 ran through the Pine Barrens from Four Mile Circle in Burlington County to Manahawkin in 1927. Improvement in 1941 extended it to Ship Bottom. “In 1953 S40 was officially renumbered Route 72. “The state allowed Ocean County to use the original rightof-way granted for S40 for the new construction,” explains Larry Oliphant. “The old S40 roadbed became the foundation of Route 72.” Route 72 remains a twolane undivided highway through the Pine Barrens. Further improvement in 1957 expanded it to four lanes at the Garden Page 90 • Echoes of LBI
State Parkway exchange in Manahawkin and over the original Manahawkin Bay Bridge. Heralded as The Road of Tomorrow, the Garden State Parkway was designed to provide an esthetic and direct path through New Jersey. The ease of access to and from shore towns has been deemed to have had an immeasurable positive impact on the economy of Long Beach Island. Constructed between 1952 and 1957, the Parkway arrives in Manahawkin at exits 63A and 63B. Lester Cranmer was the last person to open and close the wooden drawbridge. A padlock was put on the engine control room marking the end to the era. Barges transporting material for construction of the new bridge were the last to pass under the old wooden drawbridge. The four lane Manahawkin Bay Bridge replacing the old wooden Causeway was constructed in 1957. Known locally as the Causeway, it was formally renamed the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge in 2007 for the inventor of the unique handrail lighting system. Seen from a distance the lights appear as an illuminated strand of perfect pearls spanning the indigo bay and evening sky – “The String of Pearls”. Over the past fifty-seven years the old bridge has connected Long Beach Island to the mainland. Change has come again to Long Beach Island, this time in the form of steel and light. The new Manahawkin Bay Bridge opened to eastbound traffic in May of 2016. Once renovated, the Old Manahawkin Bay Bridge will carry travelers westbound. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, “The String of Pearls” lighting formerly seen on the old Manahawkin Bay Bridge at night will be replicated on the outside of both spans. Construction is expected to be finalized by 2021. When completed the old and new bridges will stand side by side. As they carry Long Beach Island into the future two Strands of Pearls will illuminate the way. —Susan Spicer-McGarry and Vickie VanDoren
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David Wark Jr. (front left) along with cousins and his sister Darlene (far right) at Bay Beach in Ship Bottom. Circa, 1930.
They say that everything happens for a reason. – Pat Wark
ith tears and smiles she reminisced about how she met her late husband David. One night, Pat did something out of the ordinary and attended youth group with a friend at the Presbyterian Church in Barnegat. “David was the leader of the youth group,” recalls Pat. “It was love at first sight.” Recalling the unusual way The Tuckerton Beacon titled their engagement announcement Pat said, “It was big news. The heading read “Barnegat Girl to be Married to Island Guy.” It was big news in those days because it was unusual that Pat and David ever met. David was from the Island – Ship Bottom. Pat was from the mainland – Barnegat. Like many towns in those days, Barnegat and LBI were dotted with small churches, local grocery stores, movie theaters and neighborhood schools. Generally, young people didn’t need to travel far from their own town for daily life. Teens from the Island and mainland frequently never met until they attended high school together in Barnegat. Somehow, David had decided to be involved in a church on the mainland in Barnegat. If he hadn’t, Pat Page 98 • Echoes of LBI
and David may have never met. On December 6, 1958, Pat and David were married in the Methodist Church in Barnegat. It was a marriage that lasted fifty-four years. Pat was born in 1940 to Winston Newman Sr. and Mary Thompson Newman. For Winston, making a living as a clammer was hard. To help pay for school clothes and other necessities, at eight years-old Pat worked in Chatsworth picking blueberries. It was a job she did for many summers. “Around 1955, my Dad began dragging for scallops in the bay,” recalled Pat. Eventually, Winston built a scallop house. “I worked long hard hours there to save for my wedding,” said Pat. A plaque in the Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum bears the name of Pat’s dad. David Jr. was born in 1931. David’s parents, David Sr. and Anna Vance Wark lived on 21st Street in Ship Bottom. “While David’s parents were away getting married, locals decorated their house with ribbons, bows, signs and congratulation wishes,” recalls Pat. David Jr. and his sister Darlene grew up in the house on 21st Street. David Sr. was a carpenter by trade. Anna was a tax collector for Ship Bottom. “David’s mom bought their land and
the land across the street for $500.00 each,” says Pat. “David Jr. built a house on part of it in 1956.” Pat and David Jr. made their home and raised their four children, David III, Kevin, Michael, and Lisa in the house on 21st Street. All their children still live locally. The family now includes eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. David Jr. was an avid fisherman, clammer and crabber. “When each of our sons turned twelve-years-old, David Jr. bought them a rowboat,” said Pat. His passion was passed on to Kevin and Michael. “Both of them are commercial fisherman,” Pat said proudly. Their son David III tried his hand in the sea food industry at an early age. “When he was just a boy he decided to start his own crab business. He caught crabs, brought them home, cleaned and cook them. Then he sold them for $3 a dozen,” said Pat. “He saved the money and put it toward his first car.” Pat went on to talk about their daughter Lisa. “She has a true passion for the beach and ocean. Lisa was a huge help to me when I ran our appliance business.” For years, David Jr. was an electrician and worked for a builder in Harvey Cedars. In 1967 he started Dave’s Appliances. “He just came home one day and announced his plans,” said Pat. “I ran the business for over twenty-five years while David did all the repairs.” The store was located in Beach Haven on the corner of Bay Avenue and Amber Street. “We were proud of our customer service and we were never open on Sundays,” said Pat with a smile. Today, the building is owned by their son Kevin. David Jr. was proud to be a member of the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Department, and for a while he served as Fire Chief. During the infamous March 1962 nor'easter, a house was swept into the bay with the family trapped inside. “The family was in the floating house in the only room that hadn’t taken on water,” recalls Pat. “David Jr. and his crew rescued the entire family by boat.” David Jr. was also a janitor for the Union Church in Ship Bottom, He helped to build the addition when the church expanded. Pat and David Jr. also helped to start their church – Anchor Christian Fellowship in West Creek. The only thing David Jr. loved more than a good story was sharing it with family and friends. Pat went on to tell one of his favorites. “Between 21st and 22st Streets in Ship Bottom there was a little sand beach where people who lived nearby kept their rowboats. Three men lived in a little shack near the rowboats. During the season, the men would rent out the rowboats for twenty-five cents even though the rowboats didn’t belong to them. The men would make a bit of money, and head over to The Port Hole for a drink. If any of their neighbors came for their own
boat, while theirs was rented out, the men would tell them to just take one of the other rowboats. And they did. They’d just take someone else’s rowboat and go. No one ever complained or called the police. They didn’t mind. It was just the way it was.” As a teenager during WWII, David and a neighbor George spent a lot of time on the beaches of LBI. One day George cut his foot badly when diving into the ocean. “They needed help right away,” said Pat. The driver of a Cox and Cox Ice Company truck gave the boys a ride to George’s house by the bay. When George's mom couldn't stop the bleeding, they knew he needed emergency medical attention. But without a car they had no way to get George to the first aid station in Brant Beach. At that time, the Coast Guard had set up a first aid station next door to Widas Restaurant, currently Daddy O’s. The only car in sight belonged to two women who were renting the house next to George’s house. Somehow, David and George got the car to run and they were off to the first aid station. As they drove down the street they saw the owners of the car. “The two women were walking down the street,” said Pat. “As they drove past them, the boys waved to them and the two women waved back. They didn’t realize the boys were driving their car.” Later, George’s mother explained the emergency to the owners of the car. “They were fine with everything,” mused Pat. Most wedding gowns are worn once or twice, then packed away and forgotten. The beautiful wedding gown Pat had worked so hard to save enough money to purchase was worn twenty-three times. “David and I were married by Reverend Evyn Adams,” explained Pat. “He and his wife were missionaries on furlough from Japan.” Reverend Adams asked Pat if they could take her wedding gown to Japan when they returned. “He wanted to have my wedding gown for Japanese brides who were married in his church to wear for their weddings.” “David taught me to drive in his 1957 Chevy,” Pat said smiling through tears. “Driving over the old wooden bridge for the first time was a free and easy feeling that’s still with me.” Today, driving over the bridge that connects LBI to the mainland always brings back special memories for Pat. For Pat and David, the mainland and Island were connected then and forever by their love and the legacy of their life together. —Diane Stulga. Photography supplied by Pat Wark Page 100 • Echoes of LBI
hese feelings and memories hold special places in my heart. This is Viking Village as I’ve always known it, an amazing and timeless fishermen’s village. To the general Long Beach Island visitor this is a smelly alley to generally keep away from. To me it represents several phases of my life that I’ll always happily return to in memory. Before I was old enough to bluefish on Miss Barnegat Light, Carolyn Ann III sufficed for a day of “deep sea fishing.” My father and I would always get there early in the morning. This locked in our favorite back Page 102 • Echoes of LBI
corner spot of the boat and allowed for a bacon egg and cheese sandwich from Carolyn Ann III’s galley. Before hopping on the boat, we would always walk down the docks towards Viking Village. We would look down this particular alley together and share our love of rustic old nautical wooden fishermen’s stuff. Well at least that’s what my dad enjoyed. To me it was just simple. It was cool. To share the feelings together was most important. The smell of a scallop packing area is not for the faint of heart. However for me this particular smell meant a day fishing with my dad. I wasn’t even ten-years-old yet. I had no idea how much
this smell would mean later in life. Once in my teens I could finally stomach a bluefish trip. My dad and I shared many memories fighting blues on Miss Barnegat Light. He would always take my best friend and I just before school started each year. My mother, as a teacher, was always back a day early. This gave us a chance to enjoy one last day of summer. Just like when I was younger, my father and I would sneak in a stroll to look down this alley and whiff in the nostalgic smell. The time of year was usually early September which typically features a nostalgic combination
of temperature and dew point. It’s the cool and crisp feeling at the bus stop on the first day back to school. This feeling was much better at Viking Village than the next day at the bus stop. At eighteen-years-old I had just graduated from Southern Regional High School. My father was suffering from a series of medical complications stemming from a bad motor vehicle accident earlier that year. Life had completely changed. My father could no longer come out fishing. I found myself working as a mate on Miss Barnegat Light that summer. I found
myself looking down this alley before my shift began. It looked exactly as it always had. The only thing I could focus on at first was holding back tears. Yet the scene grounded me. It gave me strength to move on in life, remembering the good times. The alley became my totem and got me through a summer of hard work. It got me through the feeling of being there without him. My father eventually passed away in 2010 after twelve years of fighting medical complications – harder than I’ve ever seen anyone fight. I’m very grateful for the extra time with him this allowed. He’s been gone now for eight years but every time I peak
down this alley, I know he is with me. Today, I have thirty years of Viking Village memories and all is the same in this alley. The smell. The feel. Only this time, I was picking up scallops for a charity fundraiser called Fun(d) the Dream. The founding of Weather NJ was dedicated to my father, the Honorable Paul J. Carr. A main pillar of it will always be paying it forward. Even though I wasn’t there to go out fishing, I couldn’t help but take another peak down this alley and reflect on several tiers of happy life memories. —Photography and text by Jonathan Carr
he modern Olympic Games were established, in part, by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894. The five interconnecting rings on the Olympic flag symbolize the continents of the world and the friendships formed at the international competition. The Olympic Creed reads: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” To level the playing field, only amateurs were allowed to participate in the Games. Pam Behrens, who vacationed in Surf City since childhood, and now is a resident in Beach Haven West, decided in 1972 to learn to row at the Vesper Rowing Club in Philadelphia. Despite being twenty-five years of age, out of shape, and never having rowed, she seemed to be a natural. Pam worked hard, and success came quickly. Over the next three years, Pam would win Nationals three times and participate in the World and European Championships. In 1976, she was chosen to attend the U.S. Olympic Selection Camp. At the time, athletes from the U.S. were true amateurs. Expenses often came out of the athletes’ pockets or fund raisers. Friendships were quickly formed both on the water and in the Vesper clubhouse. Ultimately, Pam and five other female rowers from Vesper were chosen to represent the U.S. in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Page 104 • Echoes of LBI
After the 1976 Olympic Games, Pam decided to devote more time to her profession as a cardio-catherization nurse. She still, however, competed in Masters rowing events. Masters is a polite euphemism used for older people in age group competitions. Pam was an assistant coach for the U.S. Rowing Team at the World Championships in Amsterdam. She served on the committee responsible for establishing the athlete selection process for the 1980 Olympic Games, was involved in establishing two sports festivals for rowing, and was elected to and served on the board of directors of the U.S. Rowing Association for several years. Pam now enjoys knitting, kayaking, and ballroom dancing. To this day several members of that Olympic team and their friends meet once a month to play bridge. Pam always hosts the group in the summer, so friendships and memories can be shared in a day on the bay behind LBI. Cathy Menges competed in the same boat as Pam at the Olympic Games. They were in the first ever women’s rowing event in any Olympic Games. When their oars touched the water for the first time, Pam and Cathy became a part of Olympic history. Cathy rowed in the 1975 and 1976 World Championships. She later married Robert Zagunis, who also rowed in the 1976 Olympics. Their daughter, Mariel Zagunis, a fencer, competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and won one silver and two gold medals. Cathy, a retired nurse like Pam, now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Diane Braceland competed in the 1974 and 1975 World Championships and the 1976 Olympics. Like Cathy, Diane also married a 1976 Olympic rower, Darrell Vreugdenhil. She taught for many years at the Gladwyne Montessori school. Her father, George Braceland, set the world’s indoor rowing – ergometer record for the age group ninety to ninety-five. Today, Diane still lives in the Philadelphia area. Twin sisters, Ann and Marie Jonilk served as alternates on the 1976 Olympic team. Their mother, Mary, helped establish The Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club in 1938, and, of course, their father was a rower. The twins have four brothers who also row. Ann and Marie were both on the U.S. national teams in 1973 and 1974. Ann and Marie are still members of the Vesper Boat Club and continue to compete at the Masters level and still excel in these events. Ann lives in Philadelphia, while Marie lives in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Anita DeFrantz was the captain of the U.S. rowing team at the 1976 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the women’s eight. In 1980 the U.S. government boycotted the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia. DeFrantz played a prominent, but unsuccessful role in fighting the boycott. Many years later she received a Congressional Gold Medal for her efforts. Anita continued her association with the Olympic Games, as she was appointed to lifetime membership in the organization in 1986. She became the first vice-president of the International Olympic Executive Committee in 1997 and served until 2001. Later she returned to the executive committee and was elected to a four-year term as vice-president in September 2017. Anita now resides in Santa Monica, California. These Olympic athletes from the Vesper Boat Club were coached by John Hooten. John coached at Vesper for many years and
helped eighteen women reach the Olympic Games, including his future wife, Susan Morgan, a now retired pediatrician. Susan also became a member of Vesper after the 1976 Olympics. John, like Ann and Marie, participated in competitive Masters rowing. On March 5, 2018, John was doing what he loved, rowing in his single on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, California to prepare for a competition when tragedy struck. John had a heart attack and fell out of his boat. Most of the Vesper Olympians attended his funeral in California or a memorial held on Boat House Row in Philadelphia. Recently, Pam Behrens and seven other Vesper girls rowed a boat in Philadelphia dedicated to the late John Hooten. Susan Hooten lives in Granite Bay, California. Starting slowly, after the last great amateur victory, “the Miracle on Ice” in 1980, professional athletes were allowed to participate in the Olympics. In the U.S. professional athletes are not paid to be at the games, but, there are financial rewards if they perform well. U.S. Olympians earned $37,500 for each gold medal, $22,500 for each silver, and $15,000 for each bronze won at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. In team sports, each team member receives an equal share. Pierre De Coubertin would be proud of these athletes. The friendships made continue. The places visited, people met, and memories made will accompany them for the rest of their lives. They represented an entire country with grace and dignity on the biggest stage in the world, the Olympics. Despite no monetary incentives and little financial aid, the 1976 Vesper Boat Club Olympians, had a priceless experience and proudly represented the true definition of the Olympic Creed. —Photography and text provided by Joe Golding
hen it opened in the spring of 1927, the sprawling building on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and East 44th Street was known as The Brant Beach Hotel. Originally slated to be called The Plantation it was to be a portent of an exclusive summer colony of elegant hotels, lush private homes, exclusive shopping and a onemile beach boardwalk envisioned by William J. Noonan Sr., Charles Durborow and Robert Osborn. The stock market crash of 1929 brought an abrupt end to their ambitious undertaking with only a fraction of the project realized. In 1931, at the height of the Great Depression The Brant Beach Hotel was purchased by Martin Wida, a young local butcher turned restaurateur. A Hungarian immigrant, Wida came to the Page 106 • Echoes of LBI
United States in 1911 where he apprenticed in a Philadelphia butcher shop. He moved to Beach Haven with his wife Anna and mother-in-law Grace Kapazsi in 1925, where he opened a butcher shop on the east side of Beach Avenue near Centre Street. Frugal and hardworking, by 1927 they purchased the Clearview Hotel on New Jersey Avenue in Beach Haven Terrace. Success and a devoted customer base followed Wida to his new venture in Brant Beach. In the late 1920s, early 1930s, New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards made good on his campaign promise to keep the state “as wet as the Atlantic Ocean.” The coastal areas surrounding LBI became a leading national receiving center for bootleg alcohol. LBI was alleged to host several speakeasys
including Martin Wida’s Clearview Hotel in Beach Haven Terrace. After purchasing the Brant Beach Hotel Wida allegedly operated a speakeasy in a room on the southwest corner of the building that eventually became a liquor store. After the repeal of Prohibition in April 1933 the north side of Wida’s Restaurant became the elegant “Silver Grille.” In the decades that followed Wida’s Restaurant would become synonymous with fine dining on LBI. As a venue for special occasions, a destination for visitors, a background in countless photographs of those who gathered to celebrate, or a quiet Sunday dinner with family – Wida’s became a part of each intimate memory, and a part of the collective history of the Island. In 1911 Martin Wida, Anna and her mother Grace Kapazis immigrated to the United States from Hungary. Though they had lived in the same Hungarian village, Martin and Anna met for the first time at a dance in the Philadelphia area. Drawn to Beach Haven by the same forces that drew them together, Martin and Anna raised their family on LBI and continued to operate Wida’s for many years. Their daughter Theresa Wida married George Schnell Jr. the son of a local building contractor. After Martin Wida passed in 1965, members of the family continued to run the restaurant. Grace Kapazis retired at ninety and would live to be one hundred and five, outliving her daughter Anna by many years. In her later years, Grace lived on Cedar Street in Tuckerton in the home of her great-granddaughter Anna Schnell Stevens and her husband Alfie Stevens. “They treated me like family from the very beginning,” said Alfie Stevens, referring to Martin and Anna Wida, the grandparents of his late wife Anna Schnell Stevens. When Alfie and Anna announced their engagement, Martin handed him a blank check to purchase a new car. “The only requirement was that I buy her an automatic,” said Alfie.
Alfie remembers the Wida family with great affection. “Great grandma Kapazis was at the restaurant working in the kitchen every morning,” recalled Alfie. “She had her first slice of pizza at our house in Tuckerton. She never had pizza before and it was only after she retired from the restaurant.” Over the years, multiple generations of devoted customers dined at Wida’s. Known for excellent sea food and good service, “The
restaurant was always busy,” said Alfie. The sprawling building on the boulevard between 44th and 45th Streets in Brant Beach that was once Wida’s Brant Beach Hotel and Silver Grill still stands. The restaurant and the Wida family live on in the memories of many and the collective history of LBI. —Susan Spicer-McGarry and Vickie VanDoren. Photography supplied by Alfie Steven
aturally occurring, or wild pearls are exceedingly rare. Clam pearls are even more unusual. The odds of finding a clam pearl are roughly 1 in 15,000. The changes of finding one of gem quality are infinitesimal. Unlike the more familiar nacreous pearls produced by oysters and mussels, clams produce porcelainous pearls with a surface like the interior of their shell. Created in similar ways – both are uniquely beautiful. Quahog pearls vary in color from white, pink, lavender, purple, deep blackish purple to reddish-brown. Porcelainous pearls may display a flame pattern or chatoyant effect, similar to a star sapphire or cat’s eye. The silk-like surface may also display an unusual honeycomb structure.
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As a boy, Tuckerton resident Alfie Stevens worked with his father clammer Ralph Stevens. With the odds against them – over the years they found pearls tucked in the clams they harvested by hand from area bays. In the 1940s Alfie began collecting the odd pearls found in their haul. Symbolic of the hard work of her husband, his father and nature, Alfie’s wife Edna cherishes her wild quahog pearl pendant. —Susan SpicerMcGarry. Photography by Cheryl Kirby
Best friends from infancy through eternity Althea Fredrickson and Ruth Aker, 1918
ver the years, Althea Fredrickson shared memories from her life that spanned nearly a century. Last winter, over lunch with close friends Althea did as she had so many times – shared stories from her life. Told with ease, that afternoon her memories were of sandy dunes, and childhood friends. At ninety-nine, Althea vividly remembered the particulars of things – who previously owned a certain old house in town, the location of the first drug store, and the names of businesses and their owners from ages past. She recalled the days of unpaved roads, gas-lighted streets, horse drawn carriages, and when the railroad connected LBI to Manahawkin.
Many of Althea’s recollections included fond memories of her lifelong best friend Ruth Aker who passed away a few years ago. Best friends since infancy, Althea missed Ruth very much. Althea left a legacy of memories. Those memories and her generous retelling of them enriched the lives of those around her. Recollections shared with her friend of many years Merry, were frequently preserved within the pages of Echoes of LBI and will continue to enrich the lives of countless others. Althea will be missed by many. We are privileged to have known her. —Her friends at Echoes of LBI Magazine
he beach was calling me on a balmy October day. I arrived shortly thereafter, carrying my folding chair, visor, and magazine. After following a well beaten path through the dunes, I sat on a slight hill overlooking the glorious ocean. The air was sweet, the sun strong, and the bright light instantly warmed me as I settled down beneath the sharp blue sky. I leaned my head back, a calm feeling enveloped me – I did not have a care in the world. I kicked off my sandals, and every muscle in my body simply melted. Small movements caught my eye: a sailboat on the horizon, gulls gliding low, and a man with his dog. Then – I saw the butterflies, lots of Monarch butterflies! They were gathering among the wildflowers on the dunes and migrating down the coast. A few fluttered around me, nearly landing on my nose. I
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watched mesmerized as they went about their business, seemingly unaware of my presence. I walked down to the water, which still held the summer’s warmth. As I waded in ankle deep, around one hundred butterflies flew over my head in single file heading south. I lifted my sunglasses and gazed at them in delightful disbelief. Orange, yellow and black, the monarchs danced over the waves – their movements depicted joy and happiness. I felt as if I had been caught up in the air with them – flying free! After a while, I went back to my chair and sat down. The magazine I had placed in my lap remained unopened. It was a day at the beach that will forever be etched in my memory. —Joyce Ecochard, Brant Beach, 2001
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Long Beach Island's arts and leisure magazine. This edition features new updates to some old favorites, alongside new stories. Also inside:...
Published on Aug 8, 2018
Long Beach Island's arts and leisure magazine. This edition features new updates to some old favorites, alongside new stories. Also inside:...