Echoes of LB I Magazine
2011 Midsummer Dream Edition
Long Beach Island Arts and Lifestyle Magazine
Sales and Rental Properties on Long Beach Island Located in the quaint fishing village of Barnegat Light, Inman Realty was founded in 1961 by Joseph W. Inman. Since 1990, it has been owned and operated by Sarah Ann Miller.
Inman Realty 17th and Central Barnegat Light 609 494-2776 inmanLBI.com Eco Friendly â€” People Friendly
Solar Powered Since 2004
rowing up on Long Beach Island makes you very aware of the changing seasons. And every season on the Island is a special one. But, of course, there’s nothing like summer on LBI! In fact, my family never took summer vacations, since we lived at our favorite vacation spot. And besides, I had a fear of missing something if I left, like a yacht club dance or a new boy in town. Those were the days! In my teens, June brought a change from winter friends to summer friends, and back again it went in September. Being raised on an island is different and wonderful, and every season holds a special memory.
In summer, my sister and I spent almost every minute in the water. From the ages of seven to 10, each morning we had swimming lessons with Mr. Small, at his estate in Harvey Cedars (now Maris Stella). Every afternoon, all five of my siblings and I were in the ocean. As we got older, Merry and I joined up with cousin Leigh at my grandfather’s home on Kinsey Cove. We learned to water ski from Leigh’s aluminum boat, with its ten-horse motor. Looking back, either motors were stronger then or we were really small! We would stay up on the skis forever and never let go, until Leigh got tired and stopped the boat. By the time Merry and I were 13 and 14 (I’ll never tell who is older), we had our own boat. We actually did our food shopping in it. Dad kept our boat in ship shape so we would not get stuck out in the Bay. My bothers had to take care of their own. We lived on Essex Avenue, and everything from 76th Street on we called “uptown.” That’s where we would go after dinner to hang out on the 77th Street dock. Each night was a race to get there. Merry and I could clear the table, wash the dishes, semi dry, and put them away in twelve minutes. We made it uptown in less than ten. And once a week, we would attend a dance at the yacht club. Every night, though, we created great memories. To this day, I still look forward to hanging out with my summer and winter friends. The last issue of Echoes brought many people into my store, thanking me for reminding them of memories from their youth and summers on LBI. Many find the magazine just by chance, others learn of it by word of mouth, and many are given a copy by a realtor, B&B, restaurant, or gift shop. It seems that Echoes has created a special ‘buzz’ on the Island. I want to send a special ‘thank you’ to Kevin and Christine Rooney. No matter what I ask, they never say no and continue to edit Echoes through it all. I so appreciate all their hard work. As we say in every issue, it takes an Island to create Echoes of LBI. Please ask for it at your favorite local store, hotel, B&B, or restaurant. Thank you, once again, for your support. Have a nice sunset, and go create a memory ...
A Shore Thing
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“Happiness is a summer breeze, sand between your toes, and your best friend by your side.”
(Clockwise from left) Olivia, Amelia, Amelia & Erin — Marjorie Amon photos
art, 10 photography, 16 living well, 24 poetry, 30 legends and lore, 36 beach reads, 44 lifestyle, 46 marine science, 66 50 and counting, 70 looking back, 80 why you should stay, 94 Echoes of LBI Magzine
Cheryl Kirby - Owner & Publisher • 609-361-1668 • 406 Long Beach Blvd • Ship Bottom • Echoesoflbi.com for online magazine and media kit All content of magazine & website remains copyright of Cheryl Kirby. No part of publication may be reproduced. Advertisers: People collect Echoes of LBI - your ad has the potential to be seen over & over again for years to come! EchoesofLBI.com Email articles on history, nostalgia, poetry or art to: firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor - Kevin M. Rooney • Designer - Pete Milnes • Photographers - Marjorie Amon, Ron Weise • Graphic Designer - Sara Caruso Contributing Editors - Rena DiNeno, Maggie O'Neill, Ryan Marchese, Christine Rooney, Vickie VanDoren, Elizabeth Weber, Diane Stulga Cover photo: Ron Weise: See Art section, page 13, for shell description
Majorie Amon photo Chefs right to left: Tim Olivett (The Plantation), Nick Frungillo (Daddy O Hotel & Restaurant), Jimmy Maugeri (Surf City Hotel), Rich Schobel (Black Whale Bar and Fish House), Allan Menegus (Buckalews Restaurant & Tavern), Dan Stragapede (LaSpiaggia Restaurant), Ray Hughes (Raimondo’s), Dru Scheidell (The Boat House), Bob Shannon (Tuckers), Kevin Carscadden (L’Assiette), Richard Diemer (Gables), Corey Kurica (Bayberry Inn), Christopher Sanchez (Black Eyed Susan’s Cafe), Howard Effron (Kubel’s and Kubel’s Too)
A good cook is the peculiar gift of the gods. He must be a perfect creature from the brain to the palate, from the palate to the finger’s end. — Walter Savage Landor Under The Sea, Page 96
Beach Finds Pure Sea Glass Meets Venus Comb Shell Sarah Caruso photo
Mermaids & Beach Bums
ost girls want jewelry for Christmas or birthdays, but these two gals would be just as happy with a high speed power drill as they would be with new pearls. Then again, you will soon understand that they may be even more pleased with broken shards of glass, once you know how they put together their cool creations. Judy Albert and Inge DeMaio are two self-described beach bums who spend their days making mesmerizing mermaids. These elegant art pieces are made of glass, wood, and other interesting things they find on the beach and feature one of the world’s most mysterious myths, the mermaid. Mermaids are mythical creatures usually associated with drunken sailors or, if you’re in Florida, manatees. These whimsical creatures, however, have taken on a new form in the hands of these artists, Kyle Costabile photo as beautiful glass mosaics. Standing at about four to five feet in length, these beautiful figures make an excellent addition to a home that needs a nautical touch or, perhaps, can help to change your fortunes with a good luck wink from a saucy sea girl. Judy and Inge prefer to work outside in the sunshine when making their mermaids come to life. Since the sea is their muse, they often create the mermaids and other marine life figures right on the beach, using whatever they find. The beach is a nice alternative to a cubicle or even a stuffy loft studio. They especially love to use glass because of its iridescent qualities. As light passes through it, glass is transformed into a unique prism, seemingly with a life of its own. “It is a material people respect and always has class,” says Judy. Indeed, glass has some interesting properties because it is so malleable. It is technically in a liquid state, rather than solid. This is due to the way its molecules are suspended, which allows glass to flex in changing temperatures and winds. We take it for granted in windows, fiber optics, televisions, and computers, but glass continues to shape our world in a multitude of new ways, just as we shape it into something wondrous. Judy and Inge’s mermaids may not be wooing sailors any time soon, but they are starting to win over the hearts of lots admirers on LBI. For more information, contact the Things A Drift decor shop at 609-361-1668. — Sara Caruso •
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Shells Are My Game. B
Natural Nautical Design by Cheryl
ring the beauty of the ocean into your home with Natural Nautical Design by Cheryl. Decorating your mantel, curio cabinets or room with natural gifts from the sea lends a special serenity to any home. Whether it’s a small arrangement of shells or a large design for your living room or patio area, Cheryl will enhance any space to your specification. For 35 years, Cheryl Kirby of “Things A-Drift” in Ship Bottom has been arranging nautical designs as well as selling precious treasures from the sea. Her expertise on design and knowledge of all things nautical has been sought by shore-loving homeowners both nationally and here on LBI. Things-a-Drift has the largest selection of high grade shells on the east coast, including a perfect specimen of a Queen Helmet and a 525 pound Tridacna. These rare and beautiful shells are a fitting addition for your spa or poolside area. Other popular design choices include table top corals up to thirty inches in size. Cheryl will visit your home personally, or consult with you via the internet. In fact, the wall pictured here is from a house in Florida. The home owners selected their shells from Things-a-Drift during a visit to the Island. Emailing her the dimensions and pictures of the room they were chosen for, Cheryl sent a layout of her design. Delighted with the plan, the owners had the shells shipped and the result was a beautiful, decorative display. Create your own feng shui with gifts from the sea and professional nautical design by Cheryl.
y love of the ocean and fishing all began about 30 years ago when my father took me on a night time blue fishing trip on The Miss Barnegat Light. All I can remember is that it was a super warm, calm starlit night and the fishing was amazing! People were catching blues, stripers, sharks — you name it! I was fascinated at the beauty and strength of the fish that were being caught. I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon, so I always brought something to draw with on long trips like the one that night. After catching a few blues I was exhausted! They were big for a 13 year old kid, so I took one out of the burlap bag hanging from the rail and took it to the front of the boat with my sketchbook Page 12 • Echoes of LBI
in hand and laid him down at my feet and proceeded to draw him — over and over again, in different postions, as though it were a school of them swimming and eating the little bunker that we were using for bait. I’m sure if I saw it today I would be completely embarrassed at how bad it may appear, but it’s what got me started painting and drawing my favorite subject matter. Spending time on LBI swimming, surf fishing, crabbing or just walking to the top of Old Barney carrying my first born daughter the whole way (what was I thinking?!) all add to my mental and physical photo library that serve as reference for many of my paintings. I grew up loving all things nautical, and LBI was a huge part of my life then and still is! — Edward A. Luterio, Illustrator •
My love of mermaids probably comes from my Danish heritage and my wonderful memories of stories my sea captain grandfather told me. Growing up in the Esther Williams era and the glory days of synchronized swimming made my fascination with mermaids even more intense. — Mermaid artist Karen Bagnard
Echoes of LBI Cover Shell Photo by Ron Weise
Mermaid - Karen Bagnard
he Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilus). For nearly 500 years, the Chambered Nautilus has remained evolutionarily unchanged. It is armed with tentacles surrounding a hard beak. Like all member of the family Nautilidae, it possesses a shell that separates it from close relatives such as the octopus, squids, and cuttlefishes. Using calcium carbonate (CaCO3), a chemical substance found in seawater, the Chambered Nautilus adds chamber to its shell over time. The animal lives in the largest and most recently produced chamber. The cover shows the Pearl Nautilus shell, which is a natural Nautilus shell polished down to the mother of pearl layer, a common feature of Pacific Ocean shells.
Carol Freas art, comes blank, you add your own badge!
hotographer Ron Weise fell in love with Long Beach Island many years ago while on his honeymoon with his wife, Deb, and has spent much of his time here capturing its uniqueness. While currently a denizen of Surf City, he originally grew up recreating on the Great Lakes and later spent a number of years as a first mate on the waterways of New Jersey. His affection for island living and all things nautical seems almost instinctive! Ron is a graduate of Antonelli Institute in Philadelphia with a degree in Photography, accompanied by the prestigious Alpha Beta Kappa Award. While there, he received several local awards as well as a First Place Award in the Antonelli Photojournalism Competition and was also chosen President of the Student Photographic Society. While Ron’s keen eye for creative composition began attracting requests for portraits, weddings, and commercial images, his true passion lies in shooting nature and waterscapes. He and his wife have travelled as far as Hawaii, California, and Maine in order to capture the variety of seaside living. But their hearts always remain here as the simple beauty of Barnegat Light, sunsets on the bay, and local fishing vessels have provided many opportunities to showcase all that LBI has to offer.
Art by Art mall houses on LBI: you have to look for them. They may be on a one house island; they may be overshadowed by a two story reverse living multi tiered building; they may be hiding like a house boat on land with the bow in a tree; they may be just next to some other little non-descript house; but they are there, if you look for them. And they’ve been here for years. Someone told me they were once railroad employee homes; someone told me they came from a Sears catalogue; someone said they were “shotgun” houses. Could be. — Art Liebeskind text & art •
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418 Long Beach Boulevard Ship Bottom, NJ 08008 â€˘ 609-494-1991 Family owned for more than 53 years, Walters Bikes is LBIâ€™s only full service bike shop. Check out our huge selection of mountain and road bikes, hybrids, cruisers, townies, and BMX bikes, all in stock. Famous brands like Trek, Schwinn, Giant and Eastern. Open all year with sales, service & smiles! Jade Avery Burrell photo
Barnegat Light Reflection â€” Having photographed Barnegat Light my whole life, I started to notice my photos were looking the same every year. Then last summer when setting up a shot, I looked down and noticed this beautiful reflection in the bay. I scrambled down the jetty and got my camera as close to the water as possible. There I found the full reflection of Barnegat staring right at me, with the bonus of the seaweed looking like dark clouds in the sky! â€” Leah Valentine Hill
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W. Kirk Lutz
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Left to Right: Anna Gawronski, Jessica Cherubino, Nicholas Cherubino, Ava Gawronski.
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Since 1974. Footwear, watches, dvds Womens, mens & kids clothing Surfboards, sunglasses, wetsuits Wave Riding Vehicles sales/rentals 609-494-3555 â€˘ Surfinglbi.com 1820 Long Beach Blvd Ship Bottom Largest distributor of Wave Riding Vehicles for over 30 years
Large Selection of Uggs & Wetsuits
Kelly Andrews photo
Life’s A Beach
oday, it’s a cappuccino morning. Cream colored foam tops off the waves, spreading out over the java colored sand. The early morning ground is cool under my feet, like iced coffee. Life is so much like my walks on the beach, I think, as I search the shore for sea glass. Some days, the coveted glass is right there before my eyes, and all I have to do is show up to claim it. Most of the time, it takes more effort than that; I have to really, really search, get down close to the sand, and sift through seaweed, shells, and twigs. Sometimes, someone else finds that piece of blue or green. No matter — it was not mine to find this day. Perhaps they needed it more than me. There are times I walk for miles, seeing nothing but an empty beach. Then, just when I’m about to give up, my effort is rewarded and I find a special shell or a starfish. The colors of the beach never cease to amaze me. Waves sweep up, spreading across the sand, changing it from ivory to deep cocoa. Minutes later, the ground slowly dries back to beige, like some sort of philosopher’s stone. Over and over, this Page 24 • Echoes of LBI
waltz of water, color, and sand dances on beneath my feet. There are so many lessons of life reflected in the beauty of the beach. Like the sand, life changes color a thousand times a day. Many events break upon our personal beach, leaving imprints that last but a moment. Others change our shoreline forever. Sometimes, it just feels empty. But that is when we must keep going, because it’s the journey that matters, after all. Whether or not I find my sea glass, whether the way is paved with shells or only seaweed, whether the sand is cold or warm, it is the walk itself that holds the promise. Recently, the sea gods were in a generous mood and I found an old, small, gray-green bottle buried in the sand. It was a miraculous find to me, like a vague hint from the universe. I had found a talisman of hope, reaffirming my belief that every once in a while, if we keep on walking, our journey offers us an extraordinary gift, like finding a special bottle on a cappuccino morning, in the java colored sand. Life is, indeed, a beach. — Maggie O’Neill •
Living Well Fill a Pool to Fill Hearts With Joy!
is the season to be giving, and one local business is giving back to the community in a big way! This next holiday season, Hutchison Pools and Spas will debut its very own parade float in the Ship Bottom Christmas Parade, and they are giving a pool full of toys and gifts (yes, literally, enough to fill a pool!) to the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Brant Beach. But they need your help! Starting now and lasting until December 1, Hutchison Pools will be accepting unwrapped gifts for children of all ages at their Surf City office. The idea began as a way to give back to the community, especially to the children who have been hit hardest during the holidays because of the lagging economy. The gifts will be given out to families in the area and will range from something as simple as a gift card to a bicycle and everything in between. The bigger the present, the better. After all, they have to fill a Viking pool! There is no need to wrap the gifts, as that will be taken care of by the folks at St. Francis. Gifts are currently being accepted, so please contribute as much as you wish to give at your convenience. The Christmas Parade float will feature an in-ground pool on a trailer filled with toys, pulled by a dump truck, and candy and treats will be handed out to parade watchers as the float carts the load of gifts down the road to St. Francis. Established in 2002, Hutchison Pools and Spas is a family-run business, located at 619 Long Beach Boulevard in Surf City. They specialize in the installation, service, and sales of Viking pools and Sundance spa systems and carry a full line of pool accessories, chemicals, and supplies. This holiday season, fill the hearts of our children with joy by helping to fill a Hutchison pool with a toy! — Sara Caruso •
The Healing Power of Art Therapy
s a student from a small town pursuing an art therapy major in college, I had a lot of questions thrown at me from neighbors: What is art therapy? Why are you doing that? What kind of money do art therapists make? Where will you work? It never occurred to me that my choices would be so confusing to others, but through answering their questions, it became even more clear to me why I was so interested in art therapy, not only as a field of study, but as a method of healing. Art therapy is the process of creating art as part of an overall rehabilitation effort after someone has experienced mental, physical, or emotional problems. Those who would consider themselves “creative” or “artists” know the healing power of art to which I refer. If you do not consider yourself artistic, however, you can still benefit from art therapy. The beauty of this therapy is the creative process itself. The actual product is secondary. Your drawings of human figures do not have to be anatomically correct, and it is okay if your trees appear to be drawn by a kindergartener. It’s the making of the art that is so important for healing. I can tell you from first-hand experience that art therapy Page 26 • Echoes of LBI
works. I, myself, use art as a means of stress-release in my life. After a trauma in my own life, I used art as my way to overcome my emotional baggage. It helped me to pick myself up and see that life was not over and that I needed to move forward. Not a day goes by that I do not realize how fortunate I am. It might sound crazy, but even when I am down, I still find joy in life, and art is one thing that brings me joy (although there are many other sources of my joy). For some people, music is their therapeutic medium. Creativity, in any form, seems to bring out the best in people. Expressive therapies, like art and music therapy, are becoming more popular in today’s society as methods of rehabilitation. Dance, theatre, and creative writing are also forms of artistic expression used in the healing process. All these forms of art, as I said, are not just for “artists.” They are for everyone, and age is not a factor. Kids, as well as elderly adults, can benefit. In my own personal experience, art therapy has proven to be exceptionally effective when working with people living with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, or physical disabilities. There are no boundaries: you don’t have to “color within the lines” ... it’s all
Lego Watches Sherry Tinsman Patricia Locke
Archipelago LBI Sand Beads Lafco
about being free to create. Now, you must keep in mind that you so much. That pride one achieves from creation is something probably should not give scissors to a child who is not yet capable special — that human figure may look like a deformed bobble of working them properly. Nevertheless, each person should be head on the dashboard of your car, but you made it with your treated as an individual and given as much room to grow as posown hands. sible. In my life, at least, I have found that it all has a lot to do Once I explain to people what art therapy is, and what it can with discovery — the discovery of myself, my talents, the love of do for people, they tend to forget about all of their reservations. those around me, and the beauty in life. We must give ourselves, Art is not about wealth, and it is not always logical. It is about and each other, the chance to discover that beauty. its impact and what it makes you feel. Art is everywhere, is in While working with some elderly residents in an Alzheimeverything, and can be experienced by everyone. An artist is er’s/dementia unit, I realized that creative expression was defined as one who practices in any of the creative arts. I am extremely successful as a form of therapy. The elderly are willing to bet that, at some point in all of our lives, we have all often discouraged from trying new things because “they been creative. Aren’t we all artists, then? I encourage everyone can’t learn anymore.” I beg to differ. I have found that, by to experience art, its healing power as a means of therapy, and encouraging growth and learning through creativity and art, just the immense joy and beauty it brings to one’s life. these men and women were able to make leaps and bounds — Rachel Barnhart text & photo • forward that many people who Troll Beads Lori Bonn Chamilia Miss Chamilia MOGO Soldier to Soldier work with this population believe are impossible. Elderly patients were able to memorize sequences and patterns within a piece of art that they themselves made and We have added many new lines! developed a sense of pride in their own capabilities. The unfortunate Visit our new Bath & Body truth is that Alzheimer’s disease is and Home Fragrance Section degenerative, but doesn’t it make with Archipelago, Lafco, sense to slow down the process Voluspa & Anthousa by stimulating someone’s senses and bringing joy into his/her life through art? I have heard of people bringing art therapy and physical therapy We NOW carry together to create an even better an extensive collection experience of rehabilitation. For of Ed Levin and instance, gait training can often be Patricia Locke Jewelry more creatively done if you walk on a large piece of paper with paint on the bottom of your feet (kind of like large-scale finger painting). People struggling with arthritis or recovering from New Home Accessories broken bones in the hands are including Etched Glass, often given stress balls or someMariposa, Michael Aram thing similar to squeeze ... so why and Julia Knight not clay? It helps your hand to heal correctly and gently, and you can continue to express yourself artistically when you’re done with therapy. The most rewarding part, I think, is seeing the progress in an individual. The first week you see a client, they may only be able to roll a spherical, head shape out of their ball of clay. By the end of the therapy sessions, though, they may be able to make an entire human figure because their fine motor skills have improved
OKA b Kaloo Plush Lafco
Vera Bradley Ed Levin Mariposa
Harveys Seat Belt Bags Candy Wrapper Bags Mary Frances Bags
Marjorie Amon photo
“Pause & Think About Our Paws”
uch, ooo, ouch,” my twin brother moans, as he runs up 92nd Street to check out the waves for surfing. These
phrases are common in July and August, as streets, sidewalks, and sand become very hot and uncomfortable to the
touch. Walking on these hot surfaces is not only a potential hazard for humans, it is also a danger for dogs. Most dog owners are aware of common summertime ailments — dehydration, fatigue, and sun stroke — but they often overlook burned foot pads. According to veterinarian Dr. Keith Warren of Doylestown Animal Medical Clinic, animal pads are thicker than the soles of human feet, and animals also advantageously limit contact with pavement through constant foot displacement. Nevertheless, heat pressure for over a minute can severely injure your dog’s foot pads. If your dog appears to be limping and licking at his feet, or if his pads appear to be darker in color or blistered, he may be suffering from pad burn. To avoid pad burn, precautions should be taken to limit your dog’s contact with hot pavement. Be sure to walk your dog in shady areas or on grass and stone, whenever possible. For more information, contact your local vet. — Elizabeth Weber • Page 28 • Echoes of LBI
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6 0 9. 492. 70 3 0
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Fireworks Finale KABOOM! Flowers of fire burst into the night sky– poofs of white dandelion seeds, drifting poppies of red, blue asters, golden starbursts. Swish... BOOM! Below, white buds of faces turn toward the blazing lights, absorbed by the night sky. An odor of gunpowder hangs in the air. Smoke lingers... drifts. The history of war & peace. INDEPENDENCE DAY. A temporary peace descends. The crowd cheers. — Frank Finale Ron Weise photo
Dolphins Down At The Shore First Faith I believed if I could float on the shore’s overcast into the spray-painted mist whose edge was the passion I had only observed in a sunken note not my own, in my skin’s inability to do anything but glow in a bronzed hue; the year when tee-shirts were first multicolored and bathing suits pink. I believed clusters of sand crabs would rise out of the oily sand to sink back down farther than the undertow. — Dylan Cecchini
Leaping in half moon arcs Over and over again Very swiftly moving with grace Eyes peeled on your wonder Leader does a couple circles Before the pod quickly disappears It’s early morning, the sun rising fast Down and just offshore at LBI Ocean acrobats are hard at work Look at their power and speed Placing short orders for baitfish Having whatever today’s menu brings Is there any chance they’ll return after noon? Now they are gone, an onlooker sighs Simply a joy to watch as it flies. — Patrick Paul Nicholas
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Sara Caruso composition
Poetry Sailboat Math I learned my geometry From a sailboat. Try Seeing what I saw: The mainsail, a right triangle, 3 sides and a 90 degree angle, The mast, a vertical, The boom, a horizontal, Met and married Perpendicularly Ever after. A straight line ran
From the top of the mast To the tip of the bow Forming a hypotenuse, The longest side Of a right triangle. Pythagoras probably Would have enjoyed The geometry scene Watching a sailboat Cross the horizon. — Richard Morgan
Pat Morgan art
“ CALIFORNIA AVE. BEACH “HOME” We have so many memories of our beach “home” it’s true, So many good days and nights spent there with all of you, We’ve all been coming to our beach “home” for so many seasons, It was more than a house it was our home for so many different reasons.
So thankful for all the time we got to spend there with you, We’ll never forget them and the endless traditions we knew, Like taking time to remember all the laughter and the tears, And remembering to thank God for all of those blessed years.
The holiday celebrations with us together have been unreal, Having all of us together for so long has been a great deal! Playing games, painting shells, and those endless beach walks, We’ll never forget all of our adventures and spontaneous talks.
For even after our parents had passed on, our cousin Mat, Told us to head south, he had no qualms about that, He said our shore ”home’ was the only place to go to get by, To reflect on memories looking at the stars, the sea and the sky.
Walks to the bay at sunset and the songs you would choose to sing, Always listening to your songs a smile to all they would bring. Blowing bubbles, sidewalk chalk and then a bike ride to end the day. Taking time to count our blessings and be thankful along the way.
Though our times at our beach “home” have come to an end, The message is it was the best of any time we could spend, Our memories on California Ave. have been there from the start, And they will always remain in our thoughts and in our heart. Thanks Mat for over 35 years of “California Dreamin” — Diane Stulga
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Foggy beach, misty night stirs my soul deeper than clear starlight. In day you smile, a child’s friend. In darkness, you send a different song, a long forgotten melody that haunts. I cannot let you go. You haunt my soul. What secret of me do you know? I walk your dark sand, hear the waves of your black sea and wonder why this foggy beach and misty night completes me. — Maggie O’Neill
Tanek Hood photo
Poetry A Tribute To Our Grandchildren “THE ICE CREAM TRUCK” We’re sitting relaxing and watching TV, When all of a sudden you turn towards me, In the distance you hear a familiar sound, “THE ICE CREAM TRUCK” is coming around! We jump off the couch and run to the door, I don’t even think that our feet touched the floor! Then down the road barefoot we ran as fast as we could, Hoping he’d stop for us - I prayed that he would! We were laughing and running with all of our might, It was dark as we raced together full speed into the night, We finally caught up with him and he stopped and got out, We ordered our ice cream and to see your smile is what my life’s about! — Diane Stulga Sands Of Time
I stood watchfully by as you ran in and out with the waves. You were 2. We built sand castles covered in shells. You were 4. I held your hand tight as you learned to jump the waves. You were 6. You waved to me from your boogie board, out on your own. You were 8. I bandaged your knee and your pride each time you fell trying to master a skim board. You were 10. I held my breath the first time you paddled out to surf. You were 12. As you sneaked peeks at the bikini-clad girls, I smiled, trying not to watch. You were 14. I hoped to heal the broken heart of a summer romance. You were 16. This summer, we walked the beach together and talked of your first year at college. You are 18. You turned and said, “Thanks, Mom, I will never forget all these summers on LBI.” I smiled. I thought those memories were only mine. — Kim Bald
This season beckons to come surf with me You in your slick red wetsuit, me in black Let’s fight the waves of life till we float serene Waiting with anticipation for the next big one That will glide us into the shore of contentment Everyday cares are now gone for a while An existence of always having to make it Silenced by the rhythm of the lapping waves Accompanied by sunshine and an age old friend Where only closeness of presence matters to each
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We long for these respites from life’s responsibilities And those narrow paths to follow dictated by others When the calm and quiet aloneness of the vast ocean Presents a solitude beyond any other known on land Matched only by the sea of space within the skies Another world exists out here with the seagulls floating One where we don’t always know what dwells below Yet always curious about the depth’s secret mysteries And wonder if they see us when we can’t see them Hoping they allow us to continue our use of their realm How we wish that all these days could be that simple Ability to just stop what we’re doing in the middle To then go out and ride the big ones that exhilarate us Focused on plugging into our own wavelengths When the best music to our ears is hearing “Surf’s Up” — Louis C. Baptiste
Prints available through Kelly Andrews at Thrukellyseyes.com or at Things A Drift in Ship Bottom, N.J.
Legends & Lore
Mermaid Artist Karen Bagnard
Pocket Full Of Tears “M
ermaid?” My brother Andy kept his gaze on me as he downed the last of his beer. I knew he thought I was drunk, or on drugs, or both. I was sure he’d call Mom as soon as he was out the door of the bar. “Never mind. I was joking.” I shrugged, finished my drink, and grabbed my jacket. The Island had turned cold, in that way that really ticks you off when you’re trying to squeeze a few nice early October days in before you have to admit that the season is over. The tourists were gone and it was time to get back to work, if there was any to be found, now that we closed up the family restaurant. As I headed for the door, he grabbed my shoulder and spun me around, staring again intently into my eyes. Sometimes it was like looking at my future, looking into my brother’s eyes. He was four years older, at 27. But he had something I didn’t — a personality. Women like personality. Women liked Andy — but they never seemed to notice I’m alive. “Dan, wait.” I pushed off his hand and shook my head. “I said wait, damn it. Sit. Tell me about your ... friend.” Andy looked pretty upset, and I didn’t know what to do. Let him worry that I’d lost it, or make him certain? Her name is Isobel, I thought. If I said it, I knew she would hear it, no matter how far away she’d gone. Back to Ireland, she’d said. Home. My Page 36 • Echoes of LBI
heart felt like it dropped an inch, heavy and aching. Gone. She’d said she’d return to me ... that we were fated. So I told Andy about Isobel, about the night I walked the beach to clear my head to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do with my life that didn’t involve making crab cakes or deep frying clams. Some nights, even in the middle of the summer, you can find a stretch of beach the tourists seemed to have overlooked. I don’t know why a guy would leave an expensive reel and rod in a spike, line still pulled by the tide, but some dude had. He’d also left a lantern on, gleaming like a lighthouse beacon in the darkness. I stared at the line for a moment and then scanned the beach, thinking he might come back from a beer run. It shocked me out of my daydreaming when I saw the pole jump. I did what anyone would do, I guess, reflexes taking over, and grabbed the pole. With a pull to set the hook, I felt it was a big one — maybe a drum fish, this time of year. Not much else to be had, blues and stripers long gone. After a few minutes I thought I might have hooked Moby Dick and wondered why the line didn’t break. What I saw emerge from the retreating tide made me drop to my knees on the sand. A woman — a naked woman. Let me rephrase that: the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, stark naked from the waist up, but covered from the waist down, rolled up onto the beach. And she was staring at me, her blonde hair
flowing away from her pale face in the surf. “Well?” She pointed to her tail. Yes, I said tail. “Are you going to stand there like a loon all night long, or will you get your stupid hook out of me? It hurts, you know. And I don’t like being shishka-bobbed with dead clam, either.” She was right; I’ll give her that. The clam was still on the hook, sandwiched against her glittering greenish blue scales. And she was bleeding. Now, put yourself in my shoes. You can’t think your way through something like that, something like seeing a pig fly or a ... , well, half human, half fish. You’re barely responsible for anything that comes out of your mouth. “Why don’t you get it out? You have arms.” Yep, that was my brilliant comeback. And to add insult to injury, literally, “How did you get hooked in the first place?” “Well, Einstein, I was just passing through, minding my own business, and you cast your line just perfectly.” “It’s not my line!” Actually, by that point, I was pretty sure I was going to pass out in the sand, but Isobel didn’t seem to think our conversation was unusual. We may as well have been trading insults at Nardi’s. “Right, not your line.” She sat up in an odd, half fish, half woman way and covered her chest with her long hair. “I see the beach is full of other suspects. Are you going to help me or not? As I said, this hurts like a son of a ... bloody hell ... .” I scurried to her side and did my best to help her wriggle up the beach a bit so she wouldn’t get washed back out to sea with a hook in her. Trying to ignore several things about her — her nakedness, her stunning beauty, and her scales and tail — I pulled out my penknife and held it up. “I don’t have pliers.” “What kind of fisherman doesn’t bring pliers? Don’t cut it out, idiot!” “Well, I’m going to have to work it through your, um, flesh, then.” I grimaced at the blood I now saw dripping from her ... , well, where her foot should be. “This is going to feel, um, not so good. Maybe I should get some help, a doctor or a vet? Maybe another fisherman ... .” “A vet!” She crossed her arms and glared at me. Honestly, I wondered if she could turn me into a mer-guy with that stare. “Sorry, let me see what I can do.” I knelt down and gently cut the clam away to reveal the nasty double-barb. Hell, that would hurt. I tried the strategy my Mom had used a million times while patching me up after one of my clumsy adventures — distraction. “What’s your name? Where do you, um, live?” “Isobel,” she sniffed in sharply, as I started pulling at the hook. Isobel rested her head against my shoulder, and I drank in the exotic scent and calming warmth she exuded. She should smell like the sea and be as cold as a fish. But the being clutching at me for support seemed all woman — enchanting, beautiful, and in a hell of a lot of pain. “Just do it,” she murmured, tears streaming down her cheeks and bouncing off my legs like pebbles. When I looked down, I realized they did turn to pebbles when they fell from her chin — green, blue, and white gleaming bits of glass the size of my little fingernail. “Isobel, my name is Dan. Tell me more about yourself ... .” And with a motion that made my stomach turn and her scream in agony, the hook tore through her flesh. By the time her sobbing subsided, a pile of pebbles littered the beach between us. I pulled off my t-shirt and pressed it against her wound while she lay against me, whimpering. “We have to get you sewn up, Isobel. I’m not sure where to take you ... .” She nodded and wiped a final tear away. “I can make it easier.” After closing her eyes for a moment, the bottom half of her began to shimmer in silvery waves. When the shimmering stopped, Isobel looked like any other woman I’d ever seen. Well, besides the fact that she was gorgeous
and naked. I helped ease my t-shirt over her head, which thankfully covered her, barely. I brushed her hair out of her gleaming green eyes. A hint of a smile crossed her lips. “Thank you, Dan. I’m sorry I called you an idiot. I don’t do well with hooks. You may now ask one favor.” I’m sure I looked pretty stupid as I knelt there, staring, shaking a bit myself. “Um, maybe you could have dinner with me sometime?” I winced, embarrassed as I always was as I waited for the inevitable brush-off. She laughed, the sound like a million tiny bells. “You do not know, then, what it is to catch a mermaid? I am your wife, should you want me. We would then have many dinners together. You have wasted your one favor!” “Wait, what?” “I must go to my people in Eire and announce my betrothal, but then I will return. Is that what you wish?” Was that what I wished? She was a stranger ... and a very strange one at that. But, to my amazement, I was pretty sure I wanted to be with her the rest of my life. “Yes, go do that announcing thing and come back.” She smiled, but I saw her face had grown pale and that she was still in a lot of pain. “Look, stay here and stay human, while I get some help, okay? You really need a doctor.” Isobel nodded and gestured me close. I leaned in and she pressed her lips to mine. “Go, and don’t ever forget your bride to be ... .” “You’ll be here, right? It may take a while to get someone down here ... .” She gestured for me to hurry, and I did, casting a glance back at the beautiful woman on the beach, illuminated by the moon and a fisherman’s lantern. I felt lost when I got to my car and my cell phone, my mind reeling as I dialed 911. When I realized my phone had lost its charge and I would have to drive somewhere to get help, I panicked a little. And that was the last time I saw Isobel. When I arrived with help at the beach twenty minutes later, all that was left of my encounter was a fishing pole, a bit of line, a hook, and a pile of mermaid tears, which I scooped up and put in my pocket. Andy squinted at me and rubbed his chin when I finished my story. He patted me on the back, me not knowing if he believed me. But we didn’t talk of it all winter. He watched me mope around, pretty heartbroken, I’ll admit. I walked the beach every day, hope fading as the weeks passed. I was like a zombie, dead inside, wondering if I was stupid for missing a woman who couldn’t even exist. It was a Friday — I’ll never forget the day. I was turning the tables upright and helping with the million chores that go with opening the restaurant for the season. Mom tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a “help wanted” sign to put on the door. I moaned, wondering what kind of slackers we’d end up with this year. Then, a flash of long, wavy golden hair made me catch my breath as I looked out the window. Isobel pushed open the door and walked up to me with a broad grin. She pulled the sign from my hand and examined it intensely, as if it had more than two simple words on it. “I guess I’ll be needing a job, then.” I choked back tears and smiled tentatively. “What took so long ... I mean, I waited….I wondered if I’d imagined it ... .” She put her hands on her hips and sighed. “You try swimming to Ireland and back in the winter sometime and see how long it takes you, Dan.” She was about to say more, but I pulled her into my arms, filled my nostrils with her wonderful scent, and kissed her. I still have the tears I collected on the beach that night. And, whenever Isobel cries, in pain or sadness, or from happiness, like on our wedding day, I collect those, too. Once in a while, I wonder who that chump was who left his line in the water and missed out on the catch of a lifetime. — Ciar Cullen (Ciar Cullen’s romances are available in bookstores and online, as well as at www.ciarcullen.com.) •
Legends & Lore
The Shell Reader
This is a continuation of The Shell Reader. The first half ran in the Spring into Summer Issue of Echoes of LBI. To catch up, you can view the first half of the story on line at www.echoesoflbi.com. Continued from Echoes of LBI, 2011 Spring into Summer Edition, pages 34 and 35….
ascinated, she read on, losing track of time. When her eyes became too tired to continue, she closed the book, astonished to see it was near 2:00 A.M. Ready to call it a night, she noticed 4 shells lying on the floor. They were not there 3 hours ago, of that she would swear. Tired and somewhat unnerved, Liz went to bed, her dreams filled with images of shells swirling to the melody of the strange song. The next morning the shells were still on the floor. Ok, she thought, whatever. It’s no big deal. Tonight I’ll get to bed at a decent hour and none of this will matter. I’m just overtired. Comforted by her logic, she was ready for coffee and her “to do” list for the day. As she started working, Liz noticed a CD played and hit the power button. The haunting song filled the air. While she worked, a calm came over her. By noon, Liz was at peace with the world, her mind in a dream like state. She felt she was where she was supposed to be. Where ever you go, there you are, she mused. After lunch, she decided to walk over to Bella’s house. She could use a break and wanted to find out about Mary’s shadowbox and journal. “Well, hello dear,” Bella smiled, opening the door. “Come in, come in, it’s far too cold out there.” Liz noticed Bella’s cottage was about the same size as Mary’s, but with a different feel. It’s quiet here. Mary’s house has energy to it, she thought. “I’m so glad you stopped by, Liz. I was wondering how you were making out over there.” “I’m progressing, Bella. Mary was very organized and it makes the job easier.” “Well, thank goodness you aren’t doing this house, then. Mary was always so much tidier than me.” Liz looked around, noticing the familiar black and white photos of the Island. Bella surprised her once again. “I took them. I quite enjoyed wandering the Island with a camera in my day. Mary had her shells and I had my photos.” Liz knew a perfect opening when she heard one. “Speaking of Mary’s shells, I was wondering if you could tell me about the shadowbox in her bedroom? There’s a shell with December 21, 2010, written on it.” Bella was quiet for a moment. “That date, Mary walked the beach and said it was the best day she ever had. It was also the last time she read her shells.” She wiped her eyes, managing a sad smile. “It’s nice to think her last beach walk made her so happy.” Page 38 • Echoes of LBI
“Bella,” Liz asked, “what do you mean by read her shells?” Bella waited a beat before answering, “Mary had a gift. She could read shells the way some people read tea leaves, or cards. She had quite a following of dedicated clients. She kept detailed records. The local people would show their thanks with a bottle of wine, flowers, or do some small house maintenance when needed.” Bella could see doubt on Liz’s face. “I know, dear, it doesn’t sound possible, but I assure you, it is.” “O-K,” Liz said slowly. “I found her journal. There are notes going back to 1954. Are you telling me she has been, what you call, shell reading, for all that time?” she asked, amazement creeping into her voice. “Yes, and long before that too. Mary had a special relationship with the sea.” “How did it work”? Liz asked, half afraid to know. “I’m not sure,” Bella said. “Whenever someone had a problem, or if Mary had to work something out, she would go to the beach. There was a particular song she would listen to…” Liz’s face went white. “What’s wrong, Liz?” Bella asked, concern interrupting her story. “I know the song you’re talking about. I’ve listened to it for two days. I even dream about it,” Liz confessed. “Oh my,” Bella replied. “Hmmm, well, if Mary’s song wants you, it will find you.” “What does the song mean? It sounds like it’s in a different language.” “Oh, dear, I don’t know. I only know every time Mary walked the beach, she would play that song. She once told me that was how she called shells out of the sea. They would wash up around her. Taking them home, she would do her readings.” “Are you saying she sang shells out of the ocean? Bella, that’s hard to believe.” Bella looked at her, a half smile on her lips. “Yes, I’m sure it is,” she said, “at least right now.” “I guess the shells from her last walk didn’t give any hint that she was going to pass away,” Liz said. “You said it was her best day ever.” Bella answered quietly, “It was Liz. And whatever those shells whispered to her, she did know. She shared that with me. We spent the next three weeks laughing, reminiscing and saying good bye.” Liz felt goose bumps cover her arms. “Oh, God, Bella, I am sorry. How sad!” “In a way. But when you reach our age, you’re not afraid of death. By 92, it’s not something that may happen, it’s a for sure. I’m at peace with her passing, because she was.” They talked for a while longer. As Liz was leaving, Bella walked into her bedroom and came out with an envelope in hand. “Liz, I‘m not sure what’s in this, but Mary told me to give it to the woman who would be staying at the house,” Bella said, handing it to her. On it was written the name, ‘Elizabeth’.
Liz looked up, astounded. “That’s my name. Liz is short for Elizabeth!” Bella gave her a knowing smile, “Is it, dear? How amazing. Then I guess there’s no doubt it’s for you.” She put her hand on Liz’s arm. “There are things in life between time and between worlds that we just can’t explain, Liz. Sometimes we shouldn’t even try. ” Liz, envelope in hand, left Bella’s house, her head spinning. As she started back across the street, she suddenly turned and headed for the beach. Standing at the edge of the sea, Liz marveled at the beauty of the January beach. She sang Mary’s melody, the wind adding music to her words. As the sun began to set, coloring the winter waves in iridescent silver, blue and grey, six perfect shells answered the song. Later that night Liz sat in the living room for hours, shells and unopened envelope in front of her. Sometime before dawn she fell into a deep sleep. Waking up on the couch, Liz somehow knew this day would change her life. She had a 10:00 A.M. appointment with a local realtor to discuss listing the house. For some reason, Liz did not want to open the envelope just yet. Walking into the real estate office, she was not surprised the name of the business was ‘Sea Shell Realty’. Of course it is, she thought. “Hello,” a woman said, extending her hand, “I’m Abbey, the broker. You must be Liz.” The two talked for a while, going over details and Liz was home within an hour. She would call Hannah’s mom and go over the sale points before lunch and overnight the papers for signature by the end of the day. Liz wandered around the cottage, feeling sad at the thought of leaving. She opened the door to Mary’s bedroom and just stood, looking in. There was a shell on the floor, and as she watched, it began to spin. It spun around three times, and then stopped. Liz stared, half amazed at how quickly she accepted the impossible. And then she knew. She knew with a strange certainty what the shells would say if she could read them. Walking to the phone, she dialed the real estate office. Next, she called Hanna’s mother. It was early evening before she had a chance to sit and reflect on the day. She negotiated a new job at Sea Shell Realty, the broker happy to find someone with Liz’s qualifications. Job settled, she arranged to rent the cottage for the next year. Mary’s family was thrilled. Finally, Liz was ready to read Mary’s note. Settling back into the deep, soft sofa, she opened the envelope. Dear Elizabeth: Welcome to the beach. I’ve enjoyed a full and happy life in this cottage, but my time here is at an end. The shells tell me a woman will find it and make it her own. They whispered that the beach will heal her and she will find love, filling this cottage with joy and life once again. I don’t know what has hurt you, but I can tell you that the ocean will mend even the most shattered heart. I hope you will be happy in this home, as I have been. So, whoever you are, welcome, Elizabeth. I wish you the gift of a lifetime friend, the warmth of family and the wonderment of the sea. May you always share back with others the joy the universe gives to you. In peace, Mary. — Maggie O’Neill •
"oh give me a house by the shining sea, by the waves and the sand and the sky..."
Maggie M. O'Neill Real Estate Sales Century 21 Mary Allen Realty, Inc. Ship Bottom, NJ 609-494-0700 www.njbeachhouse.net
Legends & Lore
Prince of Pirates A
t midnight on April 27, 1717, the Whydah, at the time the largest vessel ever apprehended by pirates, was in a struggle for life or death against a sailor’s greatest adversary, Mother Nature. At the helm of the Whydah was twenty-eight year old Captain Samuel Bellamy. Just over a year earlier, Bellamy was a penniless sailor in Eastham, Massachusetts. In the year that followed, Bellamy became arguably the most successful pirate of his time. He captured 50 merchant vessels, was voted captain of a pirate crew of 170, and stole treasures worth thousands of British pounds. Only weeks earlier, Bellamy and his crew had taken the Whydah without even firing a shot, thereby gaining a flagship unmatched by any buccaneer in the Golden Age of Piracy. Bellamy’s short life was filled with numerous accomplishments. He was a successful pirate captain who used psychological warfare, instead of risking combat, and he accumulated great wealth in a very short amount of time. Yet, his ideological and ethical beliefs were what characterized him best. Bellamy became known as the “Prince of Pirates” for his generosity and mercy towards captured captains and sailors. His pirate crew was branded “Robin Hood’s Men,” fighting against the oppression instituted against sailors by the Royal Navy, merchant captains, and the callous capitalist system itself. Bellamy saw himself, not as the captain of a pirate vessel, but as the captain of a revolution against oppression, persecution, and despotic governments. In Captain Charles Johnson’s famous work, A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, Bellamy was quoted as follows when a captured captain declined to join him and his crew: “Damn ye, you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all of those who submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security. For the cowardly whelps have not the courage otherwise to defend what they get by their knavery ... I am a free prince and have as much authority to make war on the whole world as he who has a hundred sail of ships and an army of a hundred thousand men in the field.” Before Samuel Bellamy attained the title “Prince of Pirates,” his life began in Hittisleigh, Devon. Like most villages in the English countryside during the transition from the feudal system to the capitalist system, Hittisleigh was plagued with poverty, malnutrition, and disease. Early details of Bellamy’s life are unclear, but it is believed that Bellamy left the countryside and headed towards one of England’s port cities in search of work. It is very probable that he served as a ship’s boy on a merchant vessel or a Royal Navy warship during the
Page 40 • Echoes of LBI
War of Spanish Succession. In this capacity, Bellamy would have learned the skills imperative to seafaring. It was between 1713 and 1715 that Bellamy most likely arrived in Boston, Massachusetts. According to legend, Bellamy then moved to
Eastham, Massachusetts and met Mary Hallett. They immediately fell in love and wished to marry. Mary’s parents were prominent and wealthy farmers in Eastham and refused the marriage proposal of their daughter to a poor sailor. Legend has it that Bellamy became exasperated at the denial by Mary’s parents and vowed to make his fortune and return to marry her. This story is legend, and it has been told by word of mouth for almost 300 years in the Cape Cod area. Nevertheless, records do show the existence of a Mary Hallett in Eastham, Massachusetts during the years Bellamy resided in the village. Whether or not the story of Mary Hallett is true, Bellamy did form a crucial relationship while in Eastham with Paulsgrave Williams. Williams was a thirty-nine year old husband and father of two from a wealthy and influential Rhode Island fam-
ily, with connections to piracy. The unlikely friendship became the perfect partnership, as Colin Woodard states in The Republic of Pirates: “With his wealth and connections, Williams was the senior partner, able to service supplies and a seaworthy vessel for use in a maritime undertaking. Bellamy brought mariner’s skills and knowledge of the West Indies.” Like many other pirates in the Golden Age, Bellamy and Williams began their career in 1716, searching for the Spanish treasure ships destroyed in a hurricane off the coast of Florida on July 19, 1715. By March 1716, Bellamy and Williams had a crew of forty men and a couple of flat-bottomed boats, known as piraguas, operating in the Caribbean. Their first major prize was the seizure of a French vessel, the Ste. Marie. Bellamy used psychological tactics to take the ship, as he, Williams, and their crew, dressed as savage natives, rushed towards the prize in their canoes and forced the horrified captain to surrender the vessel, without firing a shot. The prize was not entirely Bellamy’s for the taking, however, as he was working in unison with fellow pirates Henry Jennings and Charles Vane. Later, however, when Vane and Jennings were on other seized vessels, Bellamy and Williams took off with the Ste. Marie and all of the treasure in its hull, which amounted to 7,125 British Pounds. Shortly thereafter, Bellamy and Williams joined the crew of Benjamin Hornigold, an infamous pirate operating out of the Bahamas. Hornigold’s crew included another notorious pirate, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. Bellamy quickly rose up the hierarchy of pirate society. Hornigold made him the captain of a newly detained prize, the Marianne, raising him to a position above seasoned veterans of Hornigold’s crew, including Blackbeard. Within months of embracing piracy, Bellamy was a captain with his own ship and a crew of 60 to 80 men. By the summer of 1716, however, tensions were rising under Hornigold’s leadership. Hornigold, a former privateer during the War of Spanish Succession, refused to attack ships from England, his native country. Bellamy and much of the crew had a far different motivation and perspective. Unlike Hornigold, they were not concerned with English interests. They were fighting against oppression, against ship captains, against the capitalist system, and against monarchs. Hornigold’s crew voted him out of his position and elected Bellamy as their new captain. Hornigold left and returned to the pirate haven of the Bahamas, accompanied by Edward Teach and other men still loyal to his cause. Bellamy and Williams spent the rest of 1716 building their pirate enterprise, capturing over 50 vessels, commanding a crew of 170 men, and accumulating more wealth than any of the pirates would have seen in their lifetime employed as merchant sailors or in the Royal Navy. Bellamy began the year 1717 looking for a
Elizabeth Weber art
Legends & Lore formidable vessel that would increase the capability of his could reach the shoreline. Woodward describes the Whydah’s pirate fleet. In March of 1717, that opportunity presented last moments vividly: itself. Bellamy spotted the Whydah while off the coast of Long There was one last chance to save the crew, to do just as Island in the Bahamas. Bellamy’s two ships, the Marianne and the men on the Mary Anne had done ... Bellamy ordered the the Sultan, pursued the Whydah for three days before launching helmsmen to swing her all the way back around, to run face an attack. Again, Bellamy used psychological warfare, rather first into the beach. But the vessel didn’t turn. All watched in than unleashing an attack of cannon and musket fire. Bellamy terror as the ship slipped backward, stern first, over thirty foot had his crew, which included Africans and Native Americans, waves towards the white, misty chaos at the foot of the cliffs. stand on deck, flaunting their swords and muskets and exhibitThe Whydah ran aground with shocking force. The jolt likely ing hearts full of fire. The captain of the slave ship quickly shot any men in the rigging out into the deadly surf, where they surrendered, after firing only two shots. Bellamy had just won were alternately pounded against the sea bottom, then sucked the greatest prize of any pirate in his time, a three-masted, back away from the beach by the undertow. Cannon broke 300-ton frigate, equipped with 18 cannons and capable of any free from their tackles and careened across the lower decks, exploit Bellamy had in mind. Many of his crew knew the capcrushing everyone in their path. One pirate was thrown across tain of the Whydah, Lawrence Prince, and they knew he treated the deck so hard his shoulder bone became completely embedhis men equitably. In his usual generosity, Bellamy gave ded in the handle of a pewter teapot. Little John King, the Prince the Sultan and monetary compensation for the Whydah. nine-year-old pirate volunteer, was crushed between decks. After the capture of the Whydah, the pirate crew decided Within fifteen minutes, the violent motion of the surf brought to head north, along the east coast of the British Colonies. the Whydah’s mainmast crashing down over the side. Waves Williams, now in command of the Marianne, stopped in Rhode broke over the decks and water poured into the bedlam of Island to visit his family and to crashing cannon and barrels of sell some of the crew’s spoils to cargo below decks. At dawn the trusted associates. It is possible Whydah’s hull broke apart, castBellamy had intentions of visiting both the living and dead into ing Mary Hallett in Eastham, but the surf. his intentions are lost to history. Only two men from the Whydah Subsequently, the Whydah and survived. They were John Julian, the Marianne lost sight of each a Native American who served other in a storm around the Cape with Bellamy since the start of his of Virginia; Bellamy and Williams pirate venture in the Caribbean, would never see each other again. and Thomas Davis, a carpenter During the ensuing weeks, the forced into service on the Whydah. Whydah would add the Anne Bellamy and over 160 men, pirates The Jolly Roger that Sam Bellemy flew aboard his ship. Galley and Mary Anne to its pirate and captives, perished in the surf. fleet. On April 17, 1717, Bellamy’s fleet, now in the vicinity of Bellamy died looking at the cliffs of Eastham, Massachusetts, Cape Cod, entered a dense fog; they had trouble even maintainwhere his pirate career had begun, where he had met ing visibility of each other. Bellamy knew he needed a skilled Paulsgrave Williams, and, if local legend is correct, where he captain to maneuver the pirate fleet through Cape. By chance, had parted from his love, Mary Hallett, promising to make his a sloop named the Fisher came within the pirate fleet’s position fortune and return so that he could have her hand in marriage. and Bellamy inquired of the captain, Robert Ingols, knowledge Thus ended the career of a man who may have been the of the area, eventually placing him at the wheel of the Whydah. greatest pirate during the Golden Age of Piracy: Samuel The four ships proceeded through the impenetrable fog surround- Bellamy, the “Prince of Pirates.” None of his contemporaries, ing the Cape and, by nightfall, a nor’easter had made the Cape a including Blackbeard, Charles Vane, Benjamin Hornigold, or sailor’s greatest consternation, with zero visibility and thirty-foot Jack Rackham were able to achieve what Bellamy achieved ocean waves crashing upon the decks. in his short, but illustrious, career. Nor would they enjoy The Mary Anne was the first of the fleet to succumb to the the reputation that Bellamy held during his time as a pirate. nor’easter; the vessel dropped its anchors and ran aground Bellamy was a man who treated his captives with mercy, a man near Eastham, Massachusetts, with most of her crew perishwho tried at all costs to return a stolen vessel to a good captain ing. The Ann Galley and the Fisher dropped their anchors, or give him monetary compensation for taking his ship, a man stopped a few hundred feet from the shore, and survived the who treated Africans and Native Americans as equals, while storm. The Whydah’s fate, however, would not be so provimerchant captains bound them in chains, and a man who treatdential. It first dropped anchors to try to prevent the galley ed his crew with dignity, while Royal Navy officers and merfrom crashing into the cliffs of Eastham, but then had to cut chant captains treated their sailors ruthlessly. He was a man the lines when the ship was dragged dangerously close to the motivated by freedom and liberation, rather than opulence and precipice. Bellamy then tried to run the ship aground on the violence. Samuel Bellamy was, indeed, the “Prince of Pirates.” beach, but the Whydah ran aground on the rocks before it — Joseph John Crotty IV • Page 42 • Echoes of LBI
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I AM SEA GLASS You ask Who I am: I tell you I am Sea glass Noxzema blue Edges worn smooth One corner Jagged despite Erosion Dangerous Dark and translucent Mostly unknowable More artifact Than treasure. Surviving. — Richard Morgan
LBI Kid’s Book
LBI Kid’s Book Author & Illustrator: Rebecca Gee collection of verses, coloring pages and activities for every “kid” who loves and enjoys Long Beach Island, N.J. A Fish Lips Publication.
Gee By Rebecca
Reflect Your Own Personal Style
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Page 46 â€˘ Echoes of LBI
Make It Yours Bathing Heaven And
one are the days when “outside” showers meant sprinklers for the kids to run through to wash off the traces of salt and sand from their day at the beach, their dip in the Bay. Gone, too, are the days of a solitary showerhead hitched to a copper pipe coming from the side of the house. Not gone, however, is the thrill of showering outside, under sunlight or moonlight, all through the season — and, some might argue, beyond the season. A certain couple that I know, for example, tries to extend the outdoor shower ritual to the limit each year, jockeying to see who can take the very last shower before fall casts its chilly coat over everything. Although no-frills outside showers have been at the core of a perfect summer at the Shore for decades, the showers that now grace some yards on Long Beach Island from Beach Haven to Barnegat Light prove there’s no longer any reason why your outside shower can’t reflect your aesthetic, no reason the details can’t say this was made especially for “you,” and no reason it can’t be a designer’s dream space. Yes, functionality is the key, but there’s no reason you can’t add beauty to that functionality. Recent additions to the LBI shower landscape include one made with reclaimed telephone poles; another with skylights and a wall of sandblasted glass blocks; another with a changing area that transforms into a bar top, complete with a custom cedar pocket door beside a hot tub and patio; and one with a huge changing room, an angled louvre roof with joists running in a circle, diamond-shaped black glass inserts, and travertine tile floors. Every one of these designs includes a scene-stealer — the tile design, the glass inserts, down lighting that catches beads of water in its rays — and every one of them is its own unique self. Some outdoor shower projects require that the existing footprint be maintained. Others must fit into a small C-shaped space under a deck. Some people want their outdoor shower as a standalone structure by the water and others want to be able to transition from outdoor shower space to house directly. Whatever the preference, it’s all doable. It’s all about selecting the right features and materials — both Western red cedar and Brazilian mahogany have a strong tolerance for moisture and require minimal attention — and about envisioning how those features and materials will best come together for a particular family. If you have a houseful of boys, you may want a big space with multiple showerheads, which is an easy way to add tremendous function to the showering experience. If you will be using your outdoor shower for day guests, you might want a changing room with storage and shelves. You might want backlighting or down lighting and, perhaps, occupancy sensors to turn your lights on and off. It can be very simple, a refined application of light. You just need to choose the right fixtures to be able to create the mood, or moods, you want. But, more than anything, what you really want, mixed in with all that stunning beauty and attention to detail, is easy maintenance. This is summer on LBI, and the living is supposed to be easy — and, yes, of course, heavenly. — Annaliese Jakimides text, Tanek Hood photos •
Over the last two decades, Mark Reynolds of Reynolds Landscaping has designed and installed more summer showers on Long Beach Island than anyone else. That kind of experience means Reynolds can work with just about any requirement and deliver. All photos are Reynolds designs and construction, and all are on LBI.
Container gardening begins with the basics and ends with
he roots of edible container gardening go deep — historically, not literally. In remarkably small amounts of soil, people have been growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs for centuries. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were masters of container gardening. Excavations of 5,000-year-old sites on Crete have revealed large terra cotta pots that were used for planting pomegranates and figs, as well as lilies and roses. One of the oldest surviving gardens in Europe — in Cordoba, Spain — dates from around the mid first century and bears containers in which fruits, vegetables, and herbs, for both culinary and medicinal purposes, were grown. The great French landscaper, Andre Le Notre, is responsible for many gardens and parks, but what we most remember him for are the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, built in the late 17th century, where he used over 250,000 pots for plantings. These plantings served both a practical and an aesthetic purpose — just as they do today. One does not have to face issues like limited growing space or poor soil conditions to choose container gardening for your plums, strawberries, pineapples, or potatoes. (Yes, potatoes, with their riotous blossoms and lush foliage!) Did you know that eggplants come in classic oval purple, round pink, long white, and white-and-pink striped varieties and that they, too, can be grown in pots? Almost any vegetable that would be part of a typical garden will thrive in a container garden. Often, people think that, although edibles can be grown in containers, their presentation would not be as strikingly beautiful as that of ornamentals. That, however, is definitely not the case. Beauty and utility go hand-in-hand, and the moveable feast — for both the palate and the palette — can serve many decorative purposes. As with anything artful, however, it all Page 48 • Echoes of LBI
Tanek Hood photo
depends on how you put it together. If you want to know how to create a harmonious whole in your garden, you might want to turn to a professional to sort it all out. There really are numerous things to consider. Do you want a container that’s round, square, or, maybe, triangular? Tall or short? Made of wood, brass, zinc, steel, terra cotta (glazed or unglazed), concrete, stone, or composite? What you want in your container is important, too. But where that container and its goods will be positioned really dictates the proper approach for shape and size. Proper placement
is essential to maximize the health of the planting and its impact on your house and the landscape. Will it be in sun or shade? Will it be used to transform your seating area or highlight the entrance to your home? Depending on your choices, you can jazz up a front entry with a design that contrasts with your home’s architectural style or you can subtly complement and reinforce it. Will the container mark a pathway or will a series of containers become a privacy screen? Is the purpose — beyond edibility — to create a tranquil space or to add drama to your landscape? Hence, the professional. Katie Hood of Reynolds Landscaping on Bay Avenue in Manahawkin not only knows what to put in the container, but also knows how a particular container will work in your space and whether it will create the look you’re after and produce what you want — basil, dill, lavender, black currants, peaches, a sea of greens, or whatever. Hood says that one of the most versatile aspects of container gardening is that you can control the environment so easily. If you’re growing something fragile and the wind comes up, just move it! If you want to use a container to create a new look for an area, just move it! Or, if you want to winter over that lemon tree, just move it — inside! Hood frequently emphasizes that the most important aspect for the well-being of container plants is drainage. “Make sure you have holes in the pot you use. We layer small stones at the bottom for water to drain through. And raising the container up off the surface on which it’s to rest is equally important. Pot feet or pot toes or all kinds of adorable and classy items, including doorknobs, can be used. Even a few river rock pieces will do the trick.” According to Hood, edible container gardening has really taken off. Reynolds uses blueberries and strawberries, vegetables, orange trees, and a wide variety of herbs, including Hood’s favorites, basil, cilantro, and Italian parsley. “They’re beautiful, but honestly,” she says, laughing, “I know I am drawn to them because they’re significant on my personal cooking list.” Tomatoes are great in containers, too, she says. “And heirloom tomatoes are stunning. Their reds, oranges, and yellows add such color. And, really, you can create amazing combinations. I think it’s important to remind yourself not to be afraid to mix and match.” And she also feels it’s important to think outside the box: “I love the look and the feel of a pineapple in a pot. It adds a Zen feeling, a clean, modern look. The leaves are long, simplistic. And figs are becoming very popular. The foliage is funky, and the leaves have a very cool shape, almost like a hand.” Another benefit of the container garden is your ability to really see the details of the leaves, the petals, the structure, up close and personal. You can’t help but notice the thick juicy lusciousness of a strawberry, the magic of a magnolia bud breaking open, or a fig’s skin splitting with ripeness. You have a window into a world we often take for granted and overlook. Whether simple, authoritative, calm, classic, or bold, your container garden can provide you one more way to add your fabulous self to your landscape! — Annaliese Jakimides •
Pete Milnes Photography LLC
Photojournalist since 1982 PeteMilnes.com
Shelldhwani Speakers More than the sound of the ocean comes from this seashell
uring a trip to Long Beach Island on a windy and cloudy day early this year, I strolled into an intriguing shop called Things A Drift. It was there that I met the shop’s owner, Cheryl Kirby, and she introduced me to her magazine, Echoes of LBI. I was amazed by the shop’s unique collection of seashells and by the magazine’s depiction of the spirit of coastal LBI, as the Island prepared itself for the upcoming summer season. In the midst of my excitement, I decided to tell Cheryl about my new invention — an audio speaker made of natural seashell. A seashell aficionado like Cheryl was just the kind of person with whom I enjoyed sharing my pride and joy. After a detailed discusssion, I promised to return and to bring an example of the seashell speaker, known as the “Shelldhwani” speaker, in order to demonstrate its unique acoustic experience for her. As promised, I returned during the 2011 Memorial Day weekend with my invention. Much to my delight, Cheryl immediately began to share in my enthusiasm for this unique audio device. A Shelldhwani speaker is created with a natural seashell, combined with a proprietary, patent pending audio technology. Dhwani means sound in Hindi. A flexible audio module, consisting of a number of speakers, is placed within the spiral cavity of the shell. A number of smaller seashells are then strategically placed in the main shell to enhance the audio quality. The natural seashell wonderfully amplifies the music echo of audio signals from various devices, such as MP3s, iPods, and Smart Phones. There are a variety of seashells found in nature with unique shapes, sizes, and acoustic characteristics, and mankind has used these shells for a long time to produce music for rituals and for communication. Seashells have been used in this way in India, the Far East, the Pacific Islands, and Central America. The Shelldhwani speaker carries on this tradition in a high-tech way, marrying the natural beauty of a seashell with sonic technology, to deliver a magical aural experience for the mind and the ears! A Shelldhwani speaker includes a decorative stand made of woven wood to increase the acoustic performance of the music. Each unit is unique and hand crafted in the USA. We have hand crafted a number of Shelldhwani units using Melo Melo, Tonna Oleria, and Triton shells. Each shell has its own unique acoustic personality. Indeed, the sound of any piece of music can vary widely, depending on the size, shape, and thickness of the shell walls. Each Shelldhwani speaker also offers a unique visual experience, based upon the color and markings of the shell. More Shelldhwani speakers are to follow in the future, using exotic shells, enhanced audio modules and unique stand designs. Page 50 • Echoes of LBI
CJ Kirby photo
A Shelldhwani speaker is a decorative piece that can be used in almost any room of the house or outside on a deck. These speakers have also been tested successfully in multi-unit configurations for larger spaces. The Shelldhwani speaker is perfect for facilitating the creation of a sacred, peaceful ambiance for yoga and relaxation. I am proud to be the “Gadget Grandpa” for my three grandchildren. In fact, they serve on my advisory board for various inventions, such as stuffed animal speakers, pizza box speakers, Christmas ornament speakers, and a water bottle flashlight. But nothing has excited us more than the Shelldhwani speaker. This project started during walks with my grandchildren on the white sands of Rosemary Beach in Florida. But when the Shelldhwani speaker eventually becomes available for purchase at Things A Drift, it is sure to become a “Shore Thing” on LBI! — Vinod Goswami •
Ron Weise photo
Beach House Builder A. Richard Aitken, Jr. has been building custom homes on Long Beach Island for almost 30 years. You could say he was built to do the job. His family has worked in the construction industry for over five generations, and five generations worth of toolboxes remain to chronicle this long history. Moreover, his grandfather helped build the Viking Village fishing industry with the lobster boat he operated out of the Barnegat Inlet. Originally from Toms River, Richard (Rick) vacationed on Long Beach Island every summer while growing up. As his family gathered their beach chairs and umbrellas for a day at the beach each morning, Rick went door-to-door selling the fresh Jersey tomatoes he picked from his family farm. And Rick’s entrepreneurial spirit only grew as he became older. In 1984, Rick began his own custom construction business. What began as a man in a truck with a mobile phone, a dog, and a couple of employees, though, has grown into a large and successful business. Rick became the first local service provider of Andersen windows and doors in 1995, and later became the first regional installer of James Hardie siding products. Rick’s business philosophy emphasizes the importance of delivering quality products and service to his customers, and he still draws plenty of inspiration and enthusiasm from the fact that he always finds a way to add a creative individual touch to Page 52 • Echoes of LBI
all of his projects. For example, in a renovation project Rick is currently doing in Harvey Cedars, he has designed and incorporated a beautiful scene into the siding, featuring seagulls under a mahogany sun. With a lifetime of experience on Long Beach Island, Rick also understands that Shore homes must be constructed with the highest quality products and that these products must be installed with expert care to protect against the severe and unrelenting weather conditions that are part and parcel of our beautiful Island. Rick and his employees take great pride in the quality of their workmanship and the long-lasting relationships they have built, and Rick believes nothing is more rewarding than seeing his ideas come to life in an LBI home. As a builder, contractor, entrepreneur, and artist, Richard Aitken, Jr. is committed to providing the residents of Long Beach Island with excellence. Our Island is dotted with Rick’s masterpieces, from Barnegat Light to Holgate, and we are a better and more beautiful community thanks to him. Keep up the great work, Rick! — Elizabeth Weber •
Burgers - Dogs - Sandwiches - Wraps and more - Frozen Treats - Drinks - Ice Cream
Woodies’ Drive-In 5th Street & Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom - 609.361.7300 Woodiesburgers.com “The Original!” Since 1994, Woodies has strived to serve you - our friends - the best food at affordable prices with unsurpassed quality. Our kitchen staff prepares each meal as it is ordered. Nothing is pre-cooked. Always fresh. See you real soon.
Tea For Two
Tea party with Ruby Scupp (left) and Emma Scupp.
remember carefully laying each American girl doll and beanie baby around my craft table, leaving four small chairs for my mom, dad, sister, and brother, as I set up for another family tea party. I poured jellybeans leftover from the Easter holiday onto little plates and filled little teacups with water, mixed with my special ingredient, Crest toothpaste. I, then, carefully cut out the appropriate number of construction paper hearts and wrote on them, “You are invited to my tea party, right after dinner.” Dinner always seemed to go by slowly, as I quietly anticipated my party. As soon as I was excused, I ran upstairs to check on the other party guests who had already been setup around the table and, then, I sat down in my own chair and waited for the rest of the guests to arrive. After everyone was seated, I told my guests they could eat their “delicacies.” Before sipping my own tea, I made sure each beanie baby and doll had taken a sip. I learned my tea time etiquette at a very young age. Drinking tea is a cultural tradition, a pass time embraced far and wide. Whether we are seven years old and serving tea to stuffed animals and dolls or 80 years old and pouring tea for our many children and grandchildren, we are always reminded of the friendPage 54 • Echoes of LBI
ship and love tea signifies. We drink tea with our girlfriends on a quiet summer morning before taking a walk on the beach to collect seashells. We enjoy listening to the simmering tea kettle on the stove and relish watching the tea bag quickly color the steaming water. Even as adults, we invite our friends over for tea parties so we can continue the elegant and regal tradition. For one afternoon, we can pretend to be grand English ladies in waiting. Even if we do not have waiting rooms or parlors in our homes or lace dresses and gloves, we can still find a way to celebrate the time-honored and revered tradition of taking tea — a tradition that extends far beyond England and the Americas. Tea plants were actually first discovered in South Asia. According to Chinese legend, the mythological Chinese Emperor Shen Nong accidently discovered tea in 2,737 B.C. While traveling to a distant region, he commanded his servants to boil water for him, something he often decreed because he believed it was good for his health. As the servants boiled the water, dried leaves from a nearby camellia bush fell into the liquid, creating a pleasing aroma. The Emperor drank the liquid and enjoyed its refreshing and rejuvenating taste. It was at first considered a medical beverage, before it became a daily drink around 300 A.D. The scientific name for the tea plant that dropped its leaves into Emperor Shen Nong’s boiling water is Camellia sinensis. The evergreen shrub is native to China and parts of India. Tea is made from the evergreen’s young leaves and leaf buds. The Indian variety, Camellia sinensis assamica, has larger leaves and has also been used to produce tea for centuries. Interestingly, herbal tea is not considered tea by the historical definition because it is made from a mixture of flowers, fruits, herbs, and spices, rather than from a tea plant. It took many centuries before tea established itself in Europe as the popular beverage it is today. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) granted a charter to the British East India Company. Initially, though, the company did not focus on the exchange of tea. It was not until 1670, when Charles II (1630-1685) married the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza (1638–1705), that tea entered English social circles. Catherine brought to England the largest dowry ever registered in world history. Among her lavish gifts was permission from Portugal for the British to use all Portuguese colonial ports in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. So began extensive trading of tea and the beginning of the beverage’s widespread popularity in Europe. Queen Victoria’s (18191901) lady in waiting, Anna Maria Stanhope, began the tradition of tea time. She used to sneak tea and bread around four o’clock every day, unable to go without food between breakfast and dinner. Eventually, she began to invite friends to partake in her afternoon ritual, and, soon after, the practice came to be emulated by other social hostesses. Once royalty begin a social ritual, it does not take long for the commoners to imitate the fashionable trend. And so, tea parties became an indispensible form of socializing. The tea parties I would hold as a little girl were certainly not like the elegant and much needed ones Lady Anna Maria Stanhope would hold for her friends. The tea I served did not contain antioxidants or any substance that would bolster the immune system (unless Crest toothpaste serves a mysterious purpose), nor did my guests dress formally or stick out their pinkies when holding the teacups. Nevertheless, my tea parties did do one important thing. They celebrated my love for my family and friends and taught me, at an early age, the value of giving back to the people I care about most. Sometimes, things can suddenly fall into perspective and show us the value of tradition and ritual. I am now 37 years old, and I am sipping the cup of tea my youngest daughter poured for me, alongside her favorite stuffed animals and my husband. Her tea is a little different than the tea I served many years ago. Instead of adding toothpaste, my daughter has added a dandelion to each cup. She calls it dandelion tea. The point is that we each add a little bit of ourselves to the gifts we share with those we love. The gifts may be small, but the messages are immense and timeless. — Elizabeth Weber text & photos •
Past Meets Present: Local Haunt’s Owner Hunts for History
veryone who heads down to the beach for a day of fun and sun knows they need a cool place to eat, but few ever know the story behind the restaurant they choose. The story of how Pete Paulas ended up owning Woodies DriveIn, Ship Bottom’s favorite hamburger place, is one of the oddest and most interesting of these little-known stories. One day while visiting the Island, Pete stopped at Woodies to use the restroom. Much to his dismay, the original owner told him that the restaurant’s facilities were for paying customers, only. After paying for a meal, Pete then challenged the owner, saying that one day he would own the restaurant and allow anyone to use the restrooms, paying customer or not. As Pete puts it now, “It’s just good for business. It makes people want to come back.” Of course, with its home cooked meals, delicious ice cream, and plenty of other delectable treats, Woodies Drive-In gets a lot of repeat business, bathroom use policy aside. Pete has another hobby, however, one that started about the same time as his entrepreneurial venture. For the past ten years, Pete has walked the shores of Long Beach Island, scanning the sands for unique treasures. Many beachgoers know all about sea glass, but few know that pottery can also be found by the seashore. Pottery is particularly interesting because it is most likely older than most of the sea glass we find. In his collection of some three thousand shards, Pete has found Page 56 • Echoes of LBI
Sara Caruso photos
everything from Blue Willow plate chips to old, hand-formed earthenware crocks. His favorite find is half of the face of a porcelain doll, dating from the Victorian Era (1837-1901). Pete prefers to hunt in the fall and winter months, when the tides are most cooperative for sea glass hunting. Other unique items in his collection include antique fish lures, bones, stones, and, occasionally, bottles, all found on the beaches of LBI. Among his favorite things to find are glass bottle stoppers, counting two thus far in his collection. Another interesting find is a small, triangular-shaped bottle that once contained poison. Perhaps it came from a forlorn lover who could no longer accept being alone or from a sailor lost at sea, unwilling to wait for a slow death. Both of these historical possibilities may be depressing, but making a connection to the history of LBI and its surrounding sea, no matter how dreary, is part of the thrill of hunting. Together with his new partner, Andy McClennan, Pete hopes to make Woodies Drive-In THE hot spot for year round food and fun. Chances are he will succeed. With an ever-expanding menu, new ice cream treats, and, of course, a public restroom, this restaurant is destined to become as much a part of LBI as the history Pete finds on its beaches. — Sara Caruso •
HAIR • NAILS • SKIN 609.207.6052 email@example.com 1406 Long Beach Blvd • Ship Bottom, NJ 08008
Tequila - Friend or Foe?
ick, sip, bite. These three words describe an old tradition, steeped in legend and lore. No, it’s not a vampire kiss; it’s the popular way to drink a shot of tequila. Salt, tequila, lime. Tequila’s reputation is one of renown. It conjures up images of uncontrolled partying, endless calls for “shot, shot, shot,” wild abandon, and blank mornings after. But, despite its wild reputation, tequila has emerged as the up and coming drink of choice for many people today. For the young partying set, it has gained a new cache, and shots of tequila are all the rage. As for the “been there, done that” set, they are getting reacquainted with their old friend, sipping rather than slamming down the shots, and coming to a new appreciation for its complexities, flavor, and power. But what led to tequila’s tarnished reputation for wildness? Half legend, half myth, the truth about tequila probably lies somewhere in-between. At its most basic, tequila is an alcoholic, distilled drink made in the dry climate of central Mexico. It’s made from the agave, an indigenous plant related to the lily family. Today, most of it is made in Jalisco State, around the town of Tequila, using only one species of the plant, the blue agave. Tequila is technically a mezcal, as are all agave spirits. The blue agave can legally be grown in only five areas in Mexico: the entire State of Jalisco, plus small enclaves within the states of Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Guanajuato, and Michoacán. Blue agave may be grown elsewhere, but not for use in tequila production. For a product to be branded as tequila it must be produced in one of the above-mentioned territories of Mexico and the producer must follow the “Official Standard for Tequila” in its production. By and large, harvesting of the agave plant still remains mostly a manual effort, unchanged by modern technology. It is planted, tended, and harvested by hand. Agave is grown in lowland and highland areas. Where it is grown makes a difference in the taste of the product. The highland agave plant has more of a sweet, fruit flavor, and the lowland agave is earthier. There are over 100 distilleries making over 900 brands of tequila in Mexico. Over 2000 brand names of tequila have been registered to date. The price of these various brands range from modest to very expensive. So, ok, it has a long pedigree, much of it is still harvested by hand, the distilling is tightly controlled to assure quality, and it’s gaining in stature. That’s the truth of the legend. Now, what about the myth portion of its reputation? A lot of that comes from the stubborn worm-in-the-bottle fairytale. There is never a worm in tequila and there never has been. That not only is a myth, it is a persistent and unyielding one, started in the 1940s as a marketing ploy. Just goes to show what the power of unsavory marketing can do. If there is a worm in your bottle, it’s not tequila. A true claim to fame, specific to tequila, involves a ritual. One of the most popular methods of drinking tequila is doing shots with the three steps process: salt, tequila, and lime. We’ve all seen the lick the salt, down the tequila, and bite the lime scenario. It is this ritual that bonds people together as they go through this rite of passage. Perhaps that is why it is so popular as the shot of choice on special occasions. The ritual lends an air of importance to the act of slamming down a shot Page 58 • Echoes of LBI
of alcohol. It makes it more fun. And, if it is fun, you tend to do it more often. In fact, people usually do quite a few tequila shots as they bond together in their ever-increasing haze. Maybe we are starting to get at the heart of its reputation. Maybe the fun of drinking shots of tequila, with its buddy building ritual, more often than not leads to over indulgence, which can lead to wild abandon and blank mornings after. If you’ve been there and wish to avoid a repeat performance, I highly recommend the more sedate method of drinking tequila: the margarita. In order to experience a margarita in the proper fashion, I headed out to Rick’s American Cafe in Barnegat Light. Rick’s hasn’t changed much over the years; it’s like greeting an old friend when you walk through the door, relaxing in its familiarity. I introduced myself to Donna, the bartender, and told her I was looking for information on margaritas. Donna, having tended bar for over 20 years, was happy to help. According to her, a proper margarita has to be a classic mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice (fresh, not the mix). She prepared my libation to perfection, topping it off with a bit of Grand Marnier and Cointreau. The rim of the glass was salted, of course. The result was heavenly. Tony, one of the guests at the bar, said he likes to drink margaritas for special occasions, but doesn’t do tequila shots anymore. “Tequila will boil your brain,” he laughed. Donna, Tony, and I all agreed margaritas are a wonderful summer drink; not too sweet and very refreshing. Donna explained that tequila is not any more potent than other hard liquors, as many believe. The myth part of its reputation strikes again. We did theorize that perhaps Jimmy Buffet had something to do with the persistent labeling of tequila as a villain. But, in the end, even Jimmy B admitted it was his own damn fault. I can tell you I was very sad when I finished my margarita; it was that good. I thanked Donna and Tony and headed out. The next day, I decided to see what the tequila scene was over at Joe Pops in Ship Bottom. The bartender, Cassie, said they do a lot of frozen margaritas, especially outside at the tiki bar. If the temperature hits 90 degrees, I can see the logic to that. At the indoor bar, Claire, Nicole, and Rose had come in and ordered margaritas. Perfect! I introduced myself and they were more than happy to help me with my tequila research. The ladies gave various reasons for choosing margaritas as their specialty drink of choice. They like the taste, it puts them in vacation mode, they like the effect, and they enjoy the salt. That pretty much covers any and all reasons for drinking a margarita (or anything else, for that matter). I asked one patron who was sitting at the bar if he ever drank tequila. He looked down, gave a slight smile to himself, and said, softly, “Not in a long, long, time.” What memories provoked that half smile, I can only imagine. Ah, tequila, were you friend or foe to him, all those years ago? It was time to go, so I thanked the pensive patron, said good bye to Rose, Clair, and Nicole, and headed home, having gained a new found admiration for tequila. Wild reputation or not, you just have to love a drink that is so fondly remembered by so many people for so many years. I guess, in the end, tequila, you are a friend of mine. — Maggie O’Neill •
o, you think you don’t like blue fish? Well, after following these filleting techniques, you may very well change your mind. Mark Simmons recently shared his filleting finesse with me after returning from fishing for “blues,” and it sure was some tasty advice! Mark and his wife Merry live in Kinsey Cove, in Harvey Cedars. Mark has lived on LBI almost all of his life, and Merry was born and raised in Harvey Cedars. Mark, like so many residents and visitors, enjoys fishing Barnegat Bay. I visited with Mark the day he had just returned from fishing for “blues,” just as he was preparing to fillet his catch under two umbrellas. The umbrellas keep the area cool and prevent seagulls from getting a free lunch. Mark wasted no time educating me on how to fillet bluefish in order to ensure the best taste. After the fish are caught, they need to be put in a live well or, as Mark prefers, immediately on ice. In fact, he actually keeps
close to the belly, without slicing into the stomach. Once that portion of the fish has been removed, immediately turn it over and rinse off the blood. Spray the work surface to get rid of any blood or slime and place the fillet, skin side down, off to the side of your clean work area or in another bucket of ice water. You’ll trim the skin from the meat later on. Turn over the fish you just filleted, spray the work area, and repeat the process on this side of the fish. Discard the carcass in a bucket and use it for crabbing in the Bay. As Mark emphasizes, in order to ensure a quality fillet, do not allow the skin side or any blood to touch the meat side of the fish. There are now two fillets that need the skin removed. Spray the work area clean again and place the skin side down on the fillet table. Holding the fillet, slice into the meat so there is a piece that can be held while removing the skin from the meat. Using a continuous motion, pull the knife through horizontally, while simultaneously pulling the side you are holding in the opposite direction. Still holding
them on ice through the entire filleting process. And it’s important to have the fillet table at a comfortable height. This prevents back strain. Over the years, Mark has settled on Corian for his table of choice. It doesn’t dull his knives as quickly as a stainless steel tabletop and is easier to keep clean than wood. Surrounding the workstation is a cooler filled with his recentlycaught blue fish in ice water, a bucket for the carcasses, and a container with more ice for the blue fish fillets. There is also a hose set on the shower setting, hanging nearby and ready to spray the fillets and to wash down the work area when the job is done. Now, comes the finesse part. Follow Mark’s steps carefully and you, too, can prepare incredible blue fish fillets. Take one fish out of the ice water and place it horizontally on the filleting table, fairly close to you, in order to maintain the best control. Grab the head, preferably by the gill (bluefish have teeth), securing it to the table. Now, with a sharp filleting knife, placed at a 45- degree angle behind the front fin, press down until you feel the skeleton under the knife. Turn the blade and flatten it over the skeleton, making a continuous, horizontal slice over the bones, toward the tail. You want to be close to the dorsal and
the fillet, discard the skin in the carcass bucket and spray off any blood and scales from the fish and work surface. Next, remove the belly meat, which may contain PCBs, and slice out any red meat, which has an unpleasantly strong taste. Finally, place these fillets in clean ice water until you are ready to refrigerate. Now, all that’s left is your big decision: bake, grill, broil, or fry? Mark made the process look easy, so I decided to put his lesson to the test, under his supervision. While I wasn’t quite as proficient, I certainly felt more comfortable with my newly acquired knowledge. Blue fish are more delicate than I realized. The trick is to keep them cold, use a sharp knife, rinse them and the work surface after each step, and be sure that the final fillet is free of the strong tasting red meat. Later that day, after marinating the fillets Mark gave me in coconut oil and lemon juice, I chose to broil them. The result of Mark’s expert work was quite incredible. I enjoyed the most tender, flavorful blue fish I have ever eaten. Thanks, Mark! — Vickie VanDoren text & photos •
All Things Always be careful when using a knife during the filleting process.
Page 60 • Echoes of LBI
by Ed Luterio
Bluefish Burgers Three cups cleaned, fresh Bluefish 1/2 cup diced sweet onions 2 egg whites 2/3 cup of Blue Cheese 1/4 cup heavy cream Sauté onions in coconut oil, until translucent. Put bluefish in blender, set on chop for 40 seconds, put in med/large mixing bowl and add all ingredients, mix well and form into patties. Cook for two minutes on each side, turning carefully. Lay on salad greens, garnish with lemon.
Cheryl Kirby photo
t all started with a heart-shaped stone that I found on the beach about eight or nine years ago and then placed on a shelf in our kitchen. This was our first and only heart for a number of years ... but then I really got into beach combing! At first, I did not set out to look for heart shapes, but it just seemed as if I kept finding shells, sea glass, and stones shaped like a heart almost every time I walked the Shore. Since my wife, Kaye, does not share my passion for walking the beach for hours, however, I eventually started feeling guilty about being gone for so long on my own. So, I decided that I needed to put things into perspective for her and to justify my persistent quest. I explained to her that every time I went out it was with the specific purpose in mind of finding another Page 62 • Echoes of LBI
heart-shaped treasure for her. This explanation had the dual advantage of being both convincing and true! The explanation worked like a charm, and I have claimed many a heart-shaped reward since that day. We now have about 40 hearts, mostly from Barnegat Light and Holgate on LBI. One can never guarantee success on a search for heart-shaped beach treasures, but I can tell you that both Kaye and I are disappointed if I come home without one. All that can be guaranteed is that, in time, persistence will pay off handsomely. So, if there is a special person in your life, perhaps you may want to consider a long walk along our beautiful Shore. You may be able to win their heart all over again with a heart-shaped memento from LBI! — Frank Grasso •
LBI Pink Clam Chowder
y husband likes to say that I’m good at mixing things up ... not in a confused way, but rather in a creative way. And one of the many avenues for my creativity is experimenting with food. Most of my culinary experiments are worth repeating, but every once in a while, one is not. Rest assured, though, here’s one culinary mix-up that is definitely worth sharing. Everyone has a preference. Some like it red. Some like it
white. I like it pink. I’m talking, of course, about chowder. Clam chowder! New England clam chowder is a little too heavy for me, and Manhattan chowder is a little too acidic. But there is a tasty solution to this conundrum. Combining the two chowders lightens the New England chowder and cuts the acid in the Manhattan. At first, I shared this concept with friends, and they loved it. Then, with their nod of approval, we started to order this pleasing concoction in restaurants. Initially, some of the wait and kitchen staff questioned the combination ... but not any more. We no longer have to explain that, yes, we really do want the two chowders in the same bowl. Indeed, it has even started to catch on in our favorite local eating establishments here on LBI. Presentation is key for this chowder blend. Combining equal parts of red and white and mixing them thoroughly will create a delectable “pink” chowder. When introducing someone to this new concept, though, it’s probably best to swirl the red and white in a flat bowl, at first. This will give the diner the opportunity to sample a little of each before taking the plunge and mixing the two chowders. There are many very tasty, award-winning New England and Manhattan clam chowders served here on the Island, but very few people seem to be aware of this third chowder possibility. Moreover, I am not aware of any official name for this hybrid combo. So, let’s give it a name! The next time you are either undecided about whether to order the red or white chowder, or just want to try something a little different, order some “LBI Pink Clam Chowder.” You may have to explain it at first, but I’m confident we can start a new trend and create our own local specialty — LBI Pink Clam Chowder. Bon Pictured is Greenhouse Cafe’s award winning New England Appetite! — Vickie VanDoren white and Manhattan red clam chowders which when mixed creates LBI Pink. text & photo •
Sand Pail Magic
As early as the 1870s, children have been hitting the beach with that fascinating toy known as the sand pail and shovel. Back in the day, these toys were made of tin and were embossed with elaborate designs of the times. Some were covered with advertisements for the local shore towns, like Atlantic City or Long Beach Island. Others were painted with whimsical cartoon characters of the day. These toys, purchased by a loving parent, held hopes of keeping a young child occupied as they sat and enjoyed the sand and surf of a summer afternoon. Over the years, the little sand pail and its uses have not change much, except for a significant change from metal to plastic in the late 1960s that guaranties a longer life span. As we all know, salt water and air will rust metal eventually. On the other hand, I have seen many old pails and shovels over the years at flea markets, and the rust often serves actually to add character to the toy, as it sparks curiosity as to its original owner so long ago. I often stroll the shores of LBI in my ritual search for the shells and sea glass that I use to make natural sea pendants. On any given day, you will see many children, as well as adults, playing for hours with their shovel and pail. Fill it with damp sand, turn it over, and ... voila ... the start of a magnificent sand castle! Or, it can be filled with water and brought back to shore in order to create a castle moat. Personally, my favorite use is to collect and hold all those beautiful shells Mother Earth washes ashore. No matter what its use, though, the sand pail and shovel seems to maintain a timeless, magical hold over beachgoers everywhere. Last summer, I was pleased to witness the perfect example of the magical powers of the wonderful sand pail on the beach at LBI. I set up my umbrella and chair close to a young family. I had a new book I was just about to begin reading. The day was perfect: blue skies,
S u m m e r o f L o ve Barnegat Bay
warm sun, and calming surf. Shortly after I had gotten settled in, though, their toddler became restless. She started crying and fussing. Herein lies the amusing part. Earlier, the mom had taken the older children into the water and the dad was left in charge of the baby. The little girl soon became a sight to behold. No matter how hard the father tried, there was no settling her, as she went from sweet little girl to hellion. About that time, the mom and siblings came trudging back through the sand. As soon as the mother heard her little girl, her pace quickened and she soon had the little girl in her arms. Without missing a beat, the mom went to their beach cart and pulled out a pail and shovel. She and her daughter sat in the sand and, despite her wet bathing suit, the mom began shoveling sand into the pail. Like magic, the little girl stopped crying, reached for the shovel, and began scooping sand the way her mother had done. It was less than two minutes before she was all smiles and giggles. I watched with a smile as the dad seemed not only relieved, but also a little jealous, that his wife was able to work what appeared to be magic. I knew, however, that he had been fooled. As a mom, I certainly agree that we do often have the magic touch. But this time, it was not mom’s magic at work. It was the magic of the little sand pail — the magic that transports us all back to our wondrous childhood memories of the Shore. — Kim Bald text & photo •
LBI locations for sales, repairs, slip rentals Surf City Marina • 325 S 1st St, Surf City • 609-494-2200 Surf City Marina Boat Sales • 337 W 8th St, Ship Bottom • 609-361-5200 Bombardier Dealer • Sea-Doo personal Watercraft • Showroom in Ship Bottom
Ancient Animal Faces Uncertain Future
omething truly amazing washes up on our beaches every year. It is literally a living fossil, as it has been around since beore the dinosaurs. A creature with a helmetshaped head, sharp tail, and blue blood, the horseshoe crab is a common sight on East Coast beaches. Centuries of over harvesting the horseshoe crab for bait and blood, however, have left this thick-headed oddity in a precarious position. Moreover, a new threat may lead to extinction. The phenomenon of rising tides and increasingly strong storm surges is making the oceans an increasingly threatening environment for the species. With ten eyes, you might suppose the crabs would
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see this coming, but global temperature changes are causing big problems for the species. Recently, a scientific expedition to a beach on Cape May, where several thousand crabs mate and lay their eggs every year, revealed a startling problem. About one hundred of the crabs from the previous night were stranded on the far side of the beaches, far away from the water, due to the increasingly harsh oceanic conditions we face today. Several were completely buried, with nothing more than their tails wagging out to show they were still alive. More were tangled amongst the reeds and dune grass, clumped together in heaps and unable to maneuver over the harsh
landscape. Normally, horseshoe crabs arrive on the first full moon of May, during the highest tide. The females, which are more than twice the size of the males, come to lay anywhere from sixty thousand to one hundred thousand eggs, each. Contrary to a common belief, horseshoes do not die after they mate, unless they become stranded and cannot make their way to the water. (Myth states that horseshoe crabs are immortal. While this is not true, the myths are likely based upon their strange blue blood.) Horseshoe crabs are not technically crabs. They are actually arthropods and are more closely related to scorpions and spiders. They are essentially huge bugs — bugs that have evolved for more than 450 million years. This bug, however, has an interesting trait. Unlike humans, horseshoe crabs do not have hemoglobin, or iron rich blood cells, in their body. Instead, they have copper laden hemocyanin and, so, their blood is blue. Their blood also contains amoebocyte, which protects them from disease, and it is this factor that has scientists very interested. Researchers have looked into how the blue blood of the horseshoe crabs fights off dangerous bacteria such as E. coli and how it may be used in sterilizing medical equipment and
pharmaceuticals. A synthetic form of the blood has been manufactured, but it has thus far not proved to be highly effective. Moreover, while the process of “bleeding” the live animals usually does not cause any problems, scientists have been reluctant to use this alternative in order to reduce the amount of stress bearing upon this already challenged species. In any event, horseshoe crabs will need to survive as a species if they are to be of any use to human medical science. Unfortunately, ever-rising tides from global climate change may be the killer of these crabs in the future. As the seas rise, more and more beaches are being swallowed up, thus eliminating valuable breeding spaces for the crabs. Furthermore, these increasing tides are simply carrying the crabs so far ashore that they are literally being stranded, as well. Though it is still rather unusual to find horseshoe crabs in as much trouble as they were that day on a small Cape May beach, it is clear that this observation should point to a serious concern that this species may well fall victim to what is actually happening in the oceans, as our global climate changes. So, if you ever come across a live horseshoe crab on your beach walk, please consider returning it to the sea. Even though it will not be able to express its gratitude, you will be sure to feel the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your part to help this ancient species survive. For more information, go to http://horseshoecrab.org/. — Sara Caruso text & photos •
Ron Weise photo
Friend or Foe? N
ature has a funny way of lending a helping hand. Some of the most unsuspecting places on the planet have yielded incredible advancements in the medical field. Thanks to the accidental contamination of a Petri dish by Sir Alexander Fleming, penicillin has become probably the most widely used antibiotic on the market. Nature also played its role in the involvement of morphine in medicine. Synthesized from the opium poppy, morphine is used prior to surgery and to reduce severe pain. Now, researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered that one of the most venomous invertebrates in the ocean contains a peptide which can be used as an analgesic. Normally, the toxins produced by members of the genus Conus are used in both defense and predation. When alarmed or hunting, cone snails deploy a modified radula from a proboscis and inject neurotoxins that affect the CNS (central nervous systems). Approximately 30 reported cases of human envenomation have occurred worldwide. Most envenomations occur on the hands or legs as a result of disturbing the animal, whether intentional or not. There are thousands of species of cone snails found worldwide, yet only about 20 are considered dangerous to humans. The w-Conotoxin, a neurotoxin found in Conus marmoreus, the marble cone snail, exhibits the ability to provide relief from constant, chronic, pain without the side effects of conventional drugs. — Ryan Marchese •
Global Voyagers Endangered sea turtles may not live to foretell our future
ur ancestors believed the mysterious markings on the sea turtle’s shell foretold the end of civilization. The intriguing lines and patterns mapped and defined the course of our existence. The depleting number of sea turtles left in our oceans every year, however, suggests that these aquatic seers may not live to foretell our future. Sea turtles have quietly glided through our seas for over 100 million years. In the past century, though, demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin, and shells has rapidly depleted populations, and the destruction of their feeding and nesting environments due to overfishing and pollution has brought the species close to extinction. Today, all six species of sea turtles are either endangered or threatened. The Kemp Ridley sea turtle is among the most threatened because it spends its entire life in the Gulf of Mexico, waters recently polluted by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform spill. The BP-controlled burnings following the spill reportedly killed many sea turtles, but the far-reaching effects of the oil spill on the species cannot yet be determined at this time. Only time will tell the extent of the damage. What we do know, though, is that, if a sea turtle happens to surface in oil slick waters, it is liable to swallow or inhale the oil, thus damaging its ability to absorb nutrients. The oil spill has also potentially contaminated the habitats of various crustaceans, the sea turtle’s main source of food. With these problems in mind, we need to take a close look at what should be done to protect the sea turtle. What role do these mysterious, ancient creatures play that make them so essential to our planet’s environment? Besides their mythical role as future tellers, sea turtles are essential contributors to two ecosystems: the marine ecosystem and the dune/beach ecosystem. Sea turtles act as the primary grazers for sea grass beds; marine life relies on these sea beds for protection during breeding and early Page 68 • Echoes of LBI
development. On land, sea turtles occupy lower dunes in order to nest and lay hundreds of eggs throughout the summer nesting season. These eggs that do not hatch provide essential nutrients to the dunes, thus positively affecting the entire beach and dune ecosystem. Sea turtles also provide humans with valuable insight on the conditions of the planet’s environment. A world in which sea turtles cannot survive may soon become a Copyright Pete Milnes world in which humans struggle to survive. But the complete demise of the sea turtle is not certain. Our awareness and our actions can make the difference in saving it from extinction. Organizations such as the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC), based in Brigantine, New Jersey, has rescued and rehabilitated numerous threatened sea turtles and other marine mammals, since its establishment in 1978. According to its founding director, Bob Schoelkopf, the MMSC has rescued more than 3,500 injured whales, dolphins, seals, and sea turtles. Individuals are taking action, too. Lynn McKernan, of Rightside Design, a manufacturer of sea-inspired home décor, learned of the devastating effects of the oil spill on sea turtles and decided to help. She created the elegant, hand-made “Turtle of the Sea” pillow and donated 10 percent of the sales of the pillow to raise funds for the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program (LMMSTRP). The sea turtle pillows are available at Things A Drift in Ship Bottom. Lynn has also donated products to the MMSC store and its fundraising events. As her company grows, McKernan expects to expand the sea turtle product line and to continue donating a portion of the proceeds to marine life conservation. As she emphasizes, “People don’t realize the extended care marine life, and especially sea turtles, require in the aftermath of last year’s oil spill.” On the other hand, our efforts do render positive results. The LMMSTRP recently released 30 sea turtles back into their natural habitat, after caring for them
all winter. Lynn hopes that her story will inspire others to fight for sea turtles and all other threatened species of marine life. While it is not likely you will come across a sea turtle on Long Beach Island, it is possible you will find a Diamondback Terrapin. Terrapins are often confused with sea turtles. A clear distinction is that sea turtles have flippers suitable for swimming, whereas terrapins have claws fit for land. Terrapins inhabit the brackish marshes along the Long Beach Island shoreline. Often times, though, they will establish nests along the base of homes or on highly-frequented beaches that humans will disturb, thus harming the developing embryos. Accordingly, the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences (LBIF) has teamed up with John Wnek, a pioneer of terrapin research and conservation in the Barnegat Bay area, to develop a hatchery for terrapins. The purpose of Project Terrapin is to protect the embryos from human interference during their early stages of development. The LBIF hatchery incubates the eggs for 6090 days and then returns the eggs to adjacent marshes, where the mother terrapin originally nested. Project Terrapin was launched two years ago and continues to attract support and momentum as the need for terrapin conservation expands. The program trains 15-20 volunteers each year to locate nests throughout the Barnegat Bay area. LBIF recommends you call its main office (609-494-1241) if you ever come across a terrapin nesting site. Handling the terrapin eggs is illegal in New Jersey, primarily because the eggs are very vulnerable. According to John Wnek, moving a nesting site after it is in place for more than 24 hours can seriously interfere with embryo development. For more information about the LBIF Hatchery and Project Terrapin, visit
Ocvts.org/matesbulletinboard and enter “project terrapin” or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many different ways to help conserve and protect our environment’s turtles. Make a difference in your community today by telling one person how human interference harms the life of a Kemp Ridley sea turtle or Diamondback Terrapin. That one person will tell another person and, gradually, the story of these endangered species will spread. It is our hope that the story will continue to spread far and wide, so future generations will be able to enjoy these remarkable creatures. — Elizabeth Weber •
50 & Counting
onnie Harris Hutchinson is a Jersey girl who grew up in Rancocas Woods. She spent her summers on Long Beach Island, where her family history goes back to the 1920s. Bonnie recalls how her grandfather loved to fish in the waters off Barnegat Light and Cedar Bonnet Island. He especially liked fishing for oysters and cod. In 1968, her family moved to the Island as year round residents. Bonnie attended high school at Southern Regional. When she moved to LBI, Bonnie had no idea she would soon become part of the Island’s history. In the summer of 1972, Bonnie decided to enter the Miss Magic Long Beach Island contest. Entrants were asked to submit a 5” x 7” photograph and an application to the Long Beach Island Board of Trade. When The Beach Haven Times announced the results of the current weekly preliminary round, Bonnie was thrilled to see she had won. She was now headed to the Finals. Pageant festivities began the weekend before Labor Day. That Saturday, there was a motorcade consisting of the ten finalists riding in Cadillac convertibles. Their first stop was for breakfast at Hannold’s Restaurant in Manahawkin. The girls then toured the Island, from Beach Haven to Barnegat Light. Crowds of people cheered them on as the motorcade passed by. They stopped in all the local towns to be greeted with gifts and words of encouragement from the mayors. Stopping, lastly, in Barnegat Light, everyone enjoyed an early dinner at the Lighthouse Inn. (Today, the Lighthouse Inn is Rick’s American Café.) On Sunday, the judges and contestants were treated to a picnic party, hosted by Miss Magic 1971, Ruth Lodgek, at her home. There, the judges and the contestants had the opportunity to mingle and chat. Finally, on the Friday after Labor Day, the night Bonnie and the other contestants had been waiting for all summer arrived — Pageant Night at the Ship Bottom School. Bonnie won the Bathing Suit Competition wearing a one-piece black suit. Bonnie and her mom had disagreed on her choice of a navy blue and white dress, but Bonnie was confident of her decision. Apparently, the judges liked her choice, and she was ultimately named Miss Magic 1972. She still remembers the night fondly: “I cried when I was crowned. I was holding the roses and thinking I cannot believe this chubby little kid from Rancocas became Miss Magic. Quite a feat!” The following year was very busy for the newly-crowned Miss Magic Long Beach Island. Bonnie met with Governor Cahill and gave him the first Striped Bass Derby pin. She participated in many grand openings and ribbon cuttings for local businesses, such as Grant’s and Bennett Chevrolet. The Beach Haven Fire House invited her to the celebration for their new fire truck. She presented the Christmas Display Awards at the Caravell Inn, where the US Coast Guard won first prize. Bonnie was also Miss Sea Queen and a runner up in the Miss New Jersey World contest that year. As wonderful as the year was, it was not without a final mishap. At the Ship Bottom School, Bonnie was poised to give her farewell speech and to wish her successor the best, and the local cable company was filming the entire event. Unfortunately, though, while Bonnie was ascending the steps to the stage, she tripped and fell flat on her face. An embarrassing moment caught on tape forever! But Bonnie had learned a lot of poise and confidence during her reign, and so she picked herself up and went on to complete her farewell speech with aplomb. In 1974, Bonnie graduated from Cooper Hospital with a nursing degree. She began working at Southern Ocean County Hospital in 1975, where she still works as a registered nurse today. Bonnie is married to Jim Hutchinson, a retired Southern Regional English and Latin teacher, who still serves as its assistant athletic director and head baseball coach. They have five children. The youngest son, Clark, plays professional football for the Cincinnati Bengals. — Madeline Rodgers •
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50 & Counting
A Cycle Not Meant To Be
ecently, I had the opportunity to meet with Tom Walters, the owner of Walter’s Bicycles in Ship Bottom. His family has owned this business for 53 years, with Bob and Margaret Walters (Tom’s parents) serving as the original owners. Our conversation in the bicycle shop soon led to Tom reminisce about his parents and about life on LBI in days gone by. Many years ago, Bob and Margaret were out for a drive that ultimately led them to LBI. They were originally from North Jersey, so it was really “just a fluke” that they discovered LBI during that ride. They instantly fell in love with the Island and began vacationing here every summer on 26th Street in Ship Bottom. Eventually, though, their love of LBI intersected with Bob’s dream of owning a bicycle and beach rental shop. So, some fifty-three years ago, Bob made his move and bought a garage on 5th Street. At first, it was a part-time adventure, when he converted the garage into a bike shop. Eventually, though, after Bob retired and the Jade Avery Burrell photo
family moved to the Island, it became a full-time adventure. The rest of the story is now a part of local history. Through the beginning years, the family vacationed in the living quarters above the shop. Bob spent those first summers doing all the renovations for both the shop and the living quarters. When speaking with Tom, he looked around the shop and shook his head at the thought of all his dad had done. He said his dad was a great electrician and that a lot of what he did here is still in place today. Tom said he worked for his dad throughout the years. It was hard work and he did not get paid much. That’s how things were back then! But Tom always felt that he was destined to work and live here permanently on LBI. Since his dad passed away some 20 years ago, Tom has been the owner of Walter’s Bicycles. When reflecting on his life in those years, Tom remembers the Island when it was a much simpler place. He’s lived through a number of hurricanes and hurricane parties ... and survived them all! He mentioned with regret that the turtles that were once a familiar sight on the Island have disappeared. He is also concerned that the amount of people that have recently populated the Island has also changed its way of life. It used to be that you could just walk or ride a bike right down the middle of the street! He even remembers blocking off the road to build things as a child, even though Officer Peppy would catch him every time. Indeed, he has fond memories of Officer Peppy, and one can just tell by the way Tom smiled that the officer was respected by the entire community. Tom is eager to add that Officer Peppy taught the local kids to have respect for others, as well as for themselves. Tom’s favorite places to eat are still The Dutchman’s and The Gateway. Of course, he can ride his bike to both places!! After Tom’s dad passed away, his mom started a daily journal about Tom’s three boys and the personal journeys in each of their lives. She was an important part of their family, and Tom considers it a blessing that she left behind such an invaluable keepsake for them to treasure forever. Tom’s eyes misted over as he discussed the journal, admitting that some days he has a difficult time reading it. He went on to say that his mom was an artist and that he has some of her artwork in his home today. She was so proud of Tom and so happy to live on the Island. Everyday, he added, you could just tell that this is where his mom wanted to be. Toward the end of our chat, Tom shared with me one of his family’s favorite traditions on LBI. The whole family would go on picnics to different parts of the Island and wile away the time, enjoying tuna fish sandwiches and Tawny port wine. Ah, life is good on LBI! Throughout his years on LBI, Tom has felt the same connection his parents had to the Island all of those years ago. He loves being surrounded by water. He surfs and enjoys the beach as often as time permits. He misses his parents everyday and, at times, he can feel their presence with him in the shop. He is happy for those encounters and feels that they are proud of him and of the way he has carried on the business so successfully. As Tom continued to recollect the events surrounding his life, we headed outside to the front of the shop. Here, there is a beautiful garden and bench. He went on to explain that this bench is in memory of his older sister, Cindy Walters Mittelstaedt. She also worked in the bike shop when they were growing up. She then went on to spend many years teaching special needs children in Arizona, before passing away at the age of 54. Tom remembers her as being so supportive and caring, and he is thankful that he has such fond memories of their life together and that he remains very close to her husband. In the garden, there is also a World War II plaque in remembrance of Tom’s dad. He was a Waist Gunner and flew on B54s. The war experience was a very important part of his dad’s life and so the plaque is a heart-felt, daily reminder to Tom and his family of how proud they are of his dad. When I asked Tom if he had any regrets about taking over the family business, he just smiled and said, “No way. It really doesn’t feel like work. I love what I do. We’re open all year long. It’s a simple life that I’ve known and loved for years. My philosophy is to count my blessings, to help people out whenever I can, and to live by the principle that honesty is the best policy.” Tom has a great passion for life on LBI and for his bicycle shop, as well. When I asked him if one of his boys might one day take over the business, he said his son Brandon seems to be showing some interest in doing just that. I could see in his eyes that he was focused on a thought buried deep in his family’s tradition: This is a cycle that should not be broken. — Diane Stulga •
50 & Counting
The Poggi Family, June 1982 (L to R): Joyce, Lynne, Alison, Babe, Rosemarie, Jim.
here’s Long Beach Island?” asked Dad. “I never heard of it.” “I don’t know,” said Joe. “Let’s go find out. My father just got a house in Beach Haven.” It was the late 1940s. Little did my father know this trip with his best friend would be the beginning of years of happy memories. Joe’s father drove Dad and Joe from West Philadelphia to LBI in his Buick sedan with porthole windows. They crossed the rickety wooden drawbridge, drove south on the Boulevard, and noticed nothing but tall grass to their right. Oceanside, most of the houses were built in the modest Cape style. The only traffic light on the Island was in Beach Haven. Further south, toward Holgate, the paved street ended and gave way to a dirt road. Page 74 • Echoes of LBI
Dad was in his early twenties when dating my mother, who was still a teenager. He brought her to LBI soon after his first visit and she was immediately smitten. After they married, Joe and his wife would invite my family to Beach Haven to celebrate the 4th of July weekend with their seven children. Dad would open the hatch to our station wagon, jammed with luggage and summer paraphernalia for our family of six, and jokingly say: “We can only stay for a week.” Our friends’ house was full of adventure and happy commotion: lots of kids, neighbors’ kids, card games, ball games in the middle of the street, beach toys, sandy floors, dirty feet, a long line of cereal boxes on the oversized dining room table with a big bowl of blueberries, slamming screen doors, plenty of food, drinks, and, more than anything, laughter.
Theirs was the fourth house from the beach, and so we kids were free to roam back and forth whenever we wanted. I can’t remember rain or foul weather — only blue skies, hot sand, salty waters, and a lot of smiles. Late afternoon, we’d head for the outdoor showers, shouting to each other between the stalls, while being careful not to drop the soap onto the wet concrete. Then, we’d grimace, walking barefoot across the stones to hang up our wet bathing suits on the clothesline. We struggled to keep a towel wrapped around our naked bodies before dashing indoors to get dressed for dinner. Dinner was usually barbequed meat, corn on the cob, and watermelon. In the early evening hours, we’d play street games until it was time for bed. We slept on cots, the boys in one room and the girls in another, giggling into the wee hours. The highlight of our visit was going to The Wharf (Bay Village, now) to watch the fireworks display over the Bay. We’d lean against the post-and-rail fence or try to balance on top of it to get the best view of the nighttime spectacular. One year, on our drive back home to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Mom turned to Dad and mused: “All these hous-
Dad would open the hatch to our station wagon, jammed with luggage and summer paraphernalia for our family of six, and jokingly say: “We can only stay for a week.” es and I can’t have one?” While Dad never disagreed with Mom’s dream, they didn’t pursue it because they weren’t risk-takers. She’d repeat her wish for a house at the Shore for years. Finally, one night in November of 1980, as they lay together in bed, Mom wished again out loud. In that moment, Dad recalled a 40 year old memory of his father saying no to his wife, who wanted to purchase additional row homes on Girard Avenue, the street in West Philadelphia where they lived. My grandparents had the money, but my grandfather wouldn’t take the risk. Dad vowed in that moment to fulfill Mom’s dream. “Buy one,” he said to her. Mom was startled and speechless. “What’s the worst that can happen?” Dad asked. The next day, Mom and my older sister Lynne drove to LBI and found a little ranch on Julia Avenue in Holgate, listed for
fifty thousand dollars. The day after, Mom showed Dad the house and they made an offer of forty-seven thousand dollars, which was accepted. They sold the house seventeen years later for one hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars. Mom had a new love. She scoured the house and furnished it in garage sale chic, adding a coat of paint or an ornamental detail to spruce up a side table, a lamp, or a bench. Dad built a deck out back and wooden walkways around the perimeter of the house, added a shed, and enclosed the outdoor shower. My two sisters, Lynne and Alison, and I, then in our twenties, pitched in during weekends. Mom and my brother Jimmy cleaned the empty lots across the street and behind our house, filling bags with weeds, trash, and debris. Mom then threw wildflower seeds on those lots so the view would be pretty. Behind the house was a “paper street” (i.e., an area zoned for residential development), now known as Magnolia Avenue. When my daughters were toddlers, they’d fly kites with my father back there in the sand and brush. Mom and Dad made lifelong friends in Holgate. They relaxed on the beach and cheerfully served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on their back deck (dubbed the “north portico”). Mom started a tradition on the block that lasted a few years called the TGIS party: Thank God It’s September. All the tourists and renters were gone, and so the owners would celebrate by bringing a dish to our house for a neighborhood gathering before autumn arrived. In the fall of 1997, my parents decided to sell both the Holgate house and the house in Drexel Hill where I grew up. They retired on the Island and bought a house in Ship Bottom. “Five years,” Mom told Dad. “That’s all I want. If I can have five years here on LBI, I will be happy.” Again, they put lots of tender loving care into renovating this house to make it their home. They frequented local businesses, loved patronizing the library, and especially enjoyed slow drives to the lighthouse, weaving up and down streets to admire the architecture of the houses and resplendent gardens. Mom joined the Garden Club and Dad joined the Kiwanis, where he is still active. Mom had eleven joyful years in Ship Bottom until she passed away in the fall of 2008. Donations from our family and friends to the Friends of the Library in her memory enabled the purchase of a new circulation desk. The library has kindly recognized my dear mother, Rosemarie Poggi, on a wall plaque hanging behind the desk. During Mom’s last few years, she and Dad would occasionally go to Sunday mass at Maris Stella in Harvey Cedars. Once, before mass started, Mom was seated on a folding chair next to the window overlooking the Bay on a breezy summer morning. The water was rippling, the sun was shining, and the week ahead was full of promise. Mom gazed toward the Bay as she meditated. Then, she turned to Lynne and, with quiet certainty, said, “This is where I feel closest to God.” My brother, sisters, and I still travel to LBI to visit Dad. The visits are heartwarming, yet different, now, but the lure of the Island never wanes. And this is where we feel closest to Mom. — Joyce Hager •
50 & Counting
A Real Jersey Girl
Page 76 • Echoes of LBI
ary Jane (Loreaux) Holland was First Runner-up in the 1948 Miss New Jersey competition. She was 18 at the time. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Jane in May, while she was visiting with her son John and his fiancé Lauren in Ship Bottom, and it was very easy to see how she must have impressed the judges. Mary Jane, at 81 years young, still takes a lot of pride in her appearance. She has beautiful white hair, a hint of pink lipstick, a slender figure, and a marvelous personality. She told me she hadn’t really thought about the Miss New Jersey contest in years, but as she reminisced, she was able to tell me all about it as though it had all happened yesterday. Mary Jane won the Miss Palmyra crown before she competed in the Miss New Jersey pageant against all those “debutantes” from North Jersey. The girls from North Jersey were all enrolled in modeling and finishing schools. Mary Jane never expected to win anything against those girls. She modestly says she was “just a girl from Palmyra, with a nice voice and a pleasant personality.” She was so nervous prior to the competition that she had to stay in her motel room with “anxiety and a 102 fever.” As a result, she wasn’t able to ride in a Cadillac convertible through Camden with the other contestants in the parade. Fortunately, though, she was able to compete in all three portions of the pageant: the bathing suit, evening gown, and talent competitions. In the talent portion, she sang Spring in My Heart. As she recalls, this young woman from Palmyra was quite surprised when she heard her name announced as First Runner-up and was thrilled to receive luggage, a travel clock, a watch, and other prizes from various merchants. She was proud to tell me that she earned some modeling jobs as a result of her success in the pageant. She was also glad to mention that the 1949 issue of Music In The Air, a popular publication of the time, was dedicated to her for winning the 1948 Miss Palmyra title. Shortly after her successes, Mary Jane and some friends got together on Long Beach Island, and it didn’t take them long to come up with the idea of inviting “the boys” from the Surf City Yacht Club to a party. Love must have been in the air that day. At the party, she met Robert Joseph Holland, and they married a little over a year later. She and her late husband have six children, four boys and two girls, and many of the family’s years were spent right here on LBI. Mary Jane currently lives in Marlton, New Jersey, but she is currently considering a move back to the Island. The girl from Palmyra still has that nice voice and pleasant personality that won her First Runnerup in 1948. — Vickie VanDoren •
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50 & Counting
Harry Colmer hangs a movie poster.
Harry Colmer I
f you are a long-time visitor to LBI, you may remember watching summer movies, like Jaws, at the Colonial Theater in Beach Haven or the Colony Theater in Brant Beach. If you’re a real old-timer, you may even remember free Sunday movies or a paper bag filled with an orange and candies at Christmas, courtesy of Harry Colmer, the original owner of the theaters. Both of these theaters are beloved features of the summer memories of thousands of LBI regulars, and they occupy an important place in the history of the Island The Colmer family has a long history of providing entertainment to summer visitors and year-round residents here on LBI. Harry and Elvie Colmer came to LBI from Camden, New Jersey, soon after being married in 1914. Harry had always been fascinated with moving pictures, which at the time had to be turned by hand. Nevertheless, it was not the movies that brought Harry and Elvie to Long Beach Island. It Page 78 • Echoes of LBI
was a job with the Beach Haven Water Company. Harry got his start in the entertainment business when he and his partner, Lee Cranmer, ran the Colonial Opera House in Beach Haven in 1916. For a mere fifteen cents, theatergoers were treated to a live performance and a silent film. In 1922, though, Harry decided to take a big step forward and opened the Colonial Theater in Beach Haven. Six years later, in 1928, he then opened a second theater, the Colony Theater in Brant Beach. Pianist Frieda Cranmer accompanied the silent films, and Harry and Elvie’s three children, Elizabeth, Jeanette, and Bud, worked in the family business, as well. The children ushered, hung posters, cleaned up, and sold tickets. Times were tough during the Great Depression, however, and the family business struggled to survive. In the late 1920s, LBI’s theaters took another bold step forward. In an attempt to stay current with rapidly-changing film
The Man Who Brought “Talkies” To LBI technology, Harry, who also had an electrical business, installed a sound system to screen Mary Pickford’s first sound film or “talkie.” Unfortunately, though, the sound was garbled for the first performance and all ticket sales had to be refunded. A series of phone calls were made to the National Theater Supply Company in Philadelphia, and a frantic search for a solution ensued. Eventually, a solution did emerge, and the theaters’ walls were covered with felt and damask. The theaters were now back in business. Talkies had arrived on LBI! Harry Colmer was a true pioneer and innovator, as well as a pillar of the LBI community. Every Sunday, he opened his theaters to the Catholic Church and two masses were held. During the Christmas holidays, he offered free Laurel and Hardy movies and cartoons to local children, along with a bag of candy and an orange on Christmas Day. Every Easter, lilies were delivered to the elderly and, at Christmas, Harry treated them
to poinsettias. During World War II, he offered the US Army free use of one of his parcels of land, which is now the site of the Ship Bottom CVS, to assist in their efforts to patrol the Island. Many remember his generous acts of kindness. Harry Colmer passed away in February, 1956, but his family continued to operate the theaters until 1964. The passage of time changes everything, however, and the relationship of the Colmer family to the movie business on LBI was no exception. In a move that ended an era on LBI, the Colony and Colonial theaters were sold to a competitor, Frank Theaters. Sadly, the Colony Theater was torn down in 2003, and the Colonial Theater building, which still stands at the corner of Bay and Centre Streets in Beach Haven, currently lies vacant. These theaters, like Harry Colmer, exist now only as important memories in LBI’s history. Fittingly, many of Harry Colmer’s descendents still live on LBI. — Marguerite Jones •
History In The Waves
Clay pipes washing ashore on LBI
hen we go to the beach and look down at the sand, we are used to seeing shells, stones, or, maybe, a piece of sea glass wash across our feet. As we sift through all these things the sea delivers ashore, however, many of us are not aware of the history that we may be holding in our hands, in search of the next elusive treasure. Indeed, if you are sufficiently persistent in your search of the beaches of LBI for bounty, you may be fortunate enough to come across a strange, yet archeologically interesting, find: a clay pipe. More commonly found in the United Kingdom, clay pipes were a fashionable and cheap way to spend leisure time in the 17th and 18th centuries. The least expensive ones were made of a clay slip and were very fragile, while those for the wealthy often featured sculpted faces and were made from molds. Thousands of clay pipe makers came to the New World and began manufacturing them in large quantity for the colonists. Usually, clay pipes are found in the remains of old settlements, but several beachcombers have found them washed ashore after a storm, entangled in the seaweed. Unfortunately, they are such fragile items that they are rarely found intact. Although, some archeologists believe the stems of many of the recovered pipes may have been broken off by their owners, before they found their way into the ocean. The shaft of a typical old pipe is extremely narrow and would have eventually become clogged with soot from the tobacco, and the only way to solve this problem was to break off a part of the stem. Due to the pipe’s fragility, however, the procedure would often result in total ruination and, thus, the user would have found it best to throw the damaged pipe overboard and buy a new one. In fact, clay pipes were generally seen as a disposable commodity, and many were just thrown into the ocean by sailors and beachgoers, alike. Clay pipes were especially popular in Ireland and, when the mass of Irish immigrants began to arrive in the New World, they brought their love of smoking pipes (as well as their pipes) with them ... provided, of course, they did not end up falling into the ocean before
Wooden smoking pipes, circa 1892-1920, found near Barnegat Inlet. Unlike these, pipes today are made from synthetics.
landfall. But, as we all know, everything must end, and this was also true for the popularity of clay pipes. By the early 1900s, a new and more popular way of smoking tobacco came out of Turkey — the cigarette. Clay pipes, naturally, passed into history. Who is to say that you are not the next person destined to find an old clay pipe lying on the dunes or by the water’s edge? Someone, surely, will be. If you are the lucky one, it is certain that you will feel a strange connection to the people who once held it in their hands, as nothing can summon up our sense of history more poignantly than our own little archeological finds. As any amateur maritime archeologist will tell you, the historical treasures we find on the beach do more than provide us with interesting pieces for a curio shelf. They remind us that time is preserved in the surf. — Sara Caruso text & photos •
Clay smoking pipe found near Barnegat Inlet, circa 1780-1800. This kind of pipe was very fragile, made for middle-class smokers. This photo shows a bowl along with stems from three different pipes to show size and shape.
Page 80 • Echoes of LBI
or nearly 40 years, Long Beach Island has served as my family’s summer vacation destination. On my most recent getaway to LBI, I began to ponder the history of our family’s journeys to the Island and how it became a family tradition. On a typical evening beach walk, my grandmother began explaining to me our story from the very beginning. Her first vacation on Long Beach Island was during the summer of 1972, with her husband and two daughters, at the time aged 3 years and 9 months, respectively. They stayed in a tiny cottage at Colonial Court, just steps away from the ocean in Brant Beach. She immediately fell in love with the Island and knew it was a place she wanted her girls to learn to know and love. Every year, they would head to the beach with umbrella, stroller, sand toys, and lollipops in tow — all the makings for a perfect day. Trips to the lighthouse and Andy’s allowed opportunities to gaze at the newly-built homes in the mostly undeveloped grassy dunes of Loveladies. The girls enjoyed shopping at a quaint surf shack in Colonial Park for 25 cent novelty toys to stuff into their suitcases and visited the Colonial Movie Theatre on rainy days to make up for the loss of sunning time. When in need of a treat or to beat the summer heat, the family would go to Dom’s for ice cream. When the classic horror flick Jaws was released in 1975, my grandmother and most beachgoers sat on the sand refusing to go in the water out of fear of a killer shark attack. The last day of vacation was always spent beachcombing in Holgate for unique and interesting shells to bring home as tiny treasures, used to decorate the fireplace mantle. In the early 1980s, they moved to an ocean front house in Ship Bottom. With the girls growing older, they changed their likes to kite flying, boogie boarding, and beach walking. On a special evening, my grandmother and grandfather would
take the girls to the Surflight Theatre, which at the time was housed in a barn-like structure equipped with folding chairs for the audience’s viewing pleasure. For us, the plays were performed as well as any Broadway rendition. Unknowingly, the summer of 1982 proved to be a summer of special memories. In the winter of 1983, my grandfather passed away. As a new summer approached, it came with the fear and the need to return to the Island. As soon as my grandmother set her feet on the sand and saw the ocean roaring, as if welcoming her back, she knew she loved this Island. It was a place of happy memories. It was home. Not only was the Island growing in population during the 1990s, our family was growing, as well. Now, there were sons-in-law and grandchildren in the picture. The Island continued to welcome us with open arms, offering the promise of a perfect sunrise over the ocean, crashing waves, warm sand, and the call of seagulls, and giving us the opportunity to play, laugh, love and end the day with a magnificent sunset on the Bay. As the youngest member of my family, the traditions that my grandmother shared with her children have become a part of me, as well. I always make a point to visit Andy’s and to climb the lighthouse every summer. I spend countless hours with my grandmother and mother, just relaxing on the beach or occasionally surfing, taking in the beauty of LBI. The iconic theme song from Jaws can often be heard echoing throughout our beach house, and picking up shells and sea glass is still a cherished family pastime. The love for the Island that my grandmother, mother, and I share is a bond between us. Together we have created nearly 40 years of memories here that have kept us so close. When we are struggling, in need of a good laugh or relaxation, or wanting to reminisce about times spent at the beach with lost loved ones, we think of LBI. As my grandmother had planned from the start, Long Beach Island has become a place that her whole family has come to know and love, and it will continue to be loved as our family and traditions keep growing. — Lauren Blum •
4 Decades on LBI Page 82 • Echoes of LBI
An LBI native, Carol Freas recreates historic landmarks and vacation memories in watercolor. She is a talented teacher, signature artist in national Philadelphia Water Color Society, and available for commission work.
Pat Morgan and her husband Richard have retired to their much loved LBI where Patâ€™s passion for watercolor and the island will be her constant inspirations. Robert Sakson is one of New Jerseyâ€™s most accomplished watercolorists. Robert is a Fellow of the American Watercolor Society and the New Jersey Watercolor Society. His art portrays LBI scenes and landmarks.
All artwork available at Things A Drift in Ship Bottom, N.J.
Ron Weise photo
ave you ever been inspired by something in Nature? Maybe its color, its shape, or something else has given you an idea. Seashells have provided inspiration for individuals for centuries. Their different shapes, sizes, and colors often fan the fires of creativity in artists. Each shell is different, and a rare find can provide true motivation. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), the brilliant American architect, was one such artist. Up until the 1930s, the Japanese Wonder Shell (Thatcheria mirabilis Angas) was, indeed, a rare find. Come the 1940s, however, more and more people began to find Wonder Shells, making them easier for collectors to obtain. The spire of the Wonder Shell gives it a distinct and unique form. It can even be screwed into the opening of the Sundial Shell (Architectonicidae), giving it the appearance of wearing a sugegasa or Japanese hat. It was this shell that provided the muse for Wright, as he contemplated a design for one of the most famous museums in the world. Wright was asked to design New York Cityâ€™s Guggenheim Museum in 1943. It had to be different from any other mu-
seum in the world, and it took Wright 15 years and hundreds of sketches to make it so. The Guggenheim rises out of the landscape in the heart of Manhattan, its conical shape giving it instant recognition. The museum was completed just after Wrightâ€™s death in 1959. Many believe Wright used the symmetry and internal design of the Japanese Wonder Shell for inspiration. Visitors take an elevator to the top of the building and meander down a spiraling ramp to view the artwork on display. The walls slant back slightly in order to replicate the experience of viewing a painting as it would have appeared on the easel on which the artist created it. Skylights and incandescent lights illuminate each piece. This unique method of lighting the artwork lends a different appearance to each display, depending on the season, time of day, and weather conditions. Clearly, Wright was a prolific designer. According to information received through the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, he designed over 1141 works, including houses, offices, churches, schools, libraries, museums, and other
many of the design concepts still used today. He believed in the open concept of living and embraced the new materials and technologies that were evolving in the early part of the 20th century. He used poured concrete floors and ran heat under flooring, claiming that this saved energy when heating a home. Wright also believed the only rooms that needed to be closed off were bedrooms and bathrooms. This concept is popular today in what we know as the great room. Wright’s plans used windows as art and as walls, encouraging the outdoor vista to blend with the interior of the house. This constituted a significant departure from earlier design theory, where windows were merely holes in the wall to look through. His use of decks was another way to transition into the outdoors. Lighting was another element Wright used creatively. Many of his home designs had lower ceilings than the box style designs of the 19th century. By placing skylights in the ceiling and lights behind grillwork or in “trays” close to the ceiling, he was able to create the illusion of more space overhead. Up a private lane in Loveladies, here on LBI, there is a newer home reminiscent of a Frank Lloyd Wright inspiration. At first glance, the home appears to have been built in the early 1900s. The owner, Brian Jacobs, and his family were looking for an oceanfront house and found this masterpiece. They are the original owners, having purchased it from the builder in the spring of 2008, and believe it is the only home of this style on LBI. The builder used many of the concepts that Wright employed. The home was built using natural eleVickie VanDoren photo ments. It has a slate roof, cedar shakes, walls of glass windows, and full glass doors. buildings in his 70-plus year career. Nevertheless, only 532 of The beautiful front door is tucked away under an overhang, off these projects were ever built, and a total of only 409 of those to the side of the house. The living area is based on an open are documented as still standing. There are Frank Lloyd Wright concept, where one room flows easily into the next. Every room designs standing in 36 states and a few foreign countries. Most is welcoming, inviting outside views of the ocean and beach. of his designs are in the Midwest, with the largest number of his The glass doors on the ocean side of the house open to decks works appearing in Illinois. Donna Yeaw, the Public Access Man- and patios. One of the bathrooms has a “rug” built into the tile ager of the Foundation, pointed out a local connection to the great floor made from rounded stones. These stones massage your architect: “There was a house/studio designed for Franklin Watfeet when you walk on them. No detail, no matter how small, kins in Barnegat City (now Barnegat Light) in 1940, but it was was overlooked in building this home. never built.” Moreover, she went on to relate Wright’s connection Frank Lloyd Wright always believed that his best work to the State of New Jersey: “There are only four still-standing was to come in his next project. He paved a creative road for Wright houses in New Jersey. All documented.” These houses architecture. He was a pioneer, and one hundred years after he were built over a 14-year period and are located in Bernardsville, started designing houses, his concepts still live on. Great ideas Glen Ridge, Cherry Hill, and Millstone, respectively. are spawned when we challenge ourselves to think outside the Wright did not strictly limit his creative ingenuity to architecbox, or inside the shell, as the case may be. Frank Lloyd Wright ture. He designed furniture, lamps, dinnerware, art glass, and was a master of that kind of creative thinking, giving the world other items, and was a rebel in his time, believing that there were a new look and a new twist on building design that, even now, no obstacles, only challenges. Wright was an early pioneer in touches homes right here on LBI. — Vickie VanDoren •
An American Treasure ... Frank Lloyd Wright
A Shore Thing
W a t e r M a A n LBT’s Legacy in Lifeguarding
Page 86 • Echoes of LBI
s Long Beach Township Beach Patrol celebrates its 75th Anniversary, its supervisor Don Myers reflects on almost half a century of his own career. As rookies, returning lifeguards and beach patrol veterans of over twenty years gathered one early June morning for summer orientation; their attention was drawn to the front of the auditorium. An enthusiastic, seasoned leader began announcing everything from what was to be expected from them, to this year’s officers and safety concerns; so began Don Myer’s 45th year as a member of largest beach patrol on Long Beach Island. When Myers started out patrolling in 1967, “Things were different” he stated. “There was no lunch break; no training, no liability issues, you made a fire on the beach if it was cold, and you had to be 18 to guard. People didn’t just stay for a week” Don said,
Marjorie Amon photo
“They stayed the whole summer and you really got to know the people. They would give you lunch and invite you to their houses for dinner after you got off duty.” A typical day for Myers running the Long Beach Township Beach Patrol is a full one. Whether Don is addressing the youth program called Lifeguard in Training (LIT) which is now in its 24th year, answering dozens of calls, or responding to staff needs to what he believes is to “Ensure safety to the public as much as humanly possible.” The most important value Don can teach his employees is professionalism. He said “It keeps you focused, reliable, accountable, and changes your work ethic.” Placed promptly on his desk was a plaque saying “The secret to successWork!” This is a motto that is carried through day to day operations. “If you work hard but you’re not successful, I tell my employees not to give up and they will eventually rise to the top, given time.”
The Long Beach Township Beach Patrol was established in customer service orientated making sure that everyone has a 1936 and secures 12 of the 18 miles of LBI’s beaches. With life- pleasurable experience. As a teacher in the winter, he enjoys guards posted on both ocean and bay, the organization includes coming back and seeing familiar faces and spending the suma SCUBA Search & Rescue Team, an mer at the shore. Another member going Inflatable Rescue Boat Program, the Beach on to his 20th year being a part of the paWheels Program, which provides wheeltrol is Mike Dancha. He is a LIT instruc“If you work hard but you’re chairs to disabled beach goers and the tor, assistant director for LIT, and is a Lifeguard in Training Program (LIT). Don part of the scuba surf and rescue team. He shared a letter from 1937 written by Buddy believes the most important part of his job not successful, I tell my Peck, Captain; asking residents to contribis giving back to the community and using ute money so the lifeguards can be paid. his talents, ambition and knowledge from Myers added that 1933-1935 the lifeguards previous jobs like being a swim instructor employees not to give up and in the township were volunteers and not and a previous pool lifeguard. paid until 1937. Giving back to the community is someProfessionalism comes through when thing Myers has done for decades, “My dad they will eventually rise to interviewing other members such as Scott was involved in Rotary, and my parents Heilman, Director of Scuba Search and were very involved in the church.” His Rescue; who started out in 1968 in Ship philosophy for keeping himself motivated the top, given time.” Bottom. “Kids must know this is an imis being around positive people such as portant job, that it is not a summer party, Rotarians and his other activities like the 18 and be aware that lives are put in their mile Run and the Ship Bottom Christmas hands.” Don and Scott started around the same time and saw Parade. As he reminisces on his ongoing antidotes and stories, he it go from unruled to organized and saw what Don did to make talked about all the relationships he’s made and how he’s reached it become a great well equipped establishment. Patrol member, out to so many people. He summed it all up as being a “Mosaic Joe Howarth began as a guard in Holgate working at the beach of Memories.” After all, aren’t the best memories made on the for $13 a day, he says that as the LBT Beach Patrol hits its beach? Of course they are, as Don puts it “It’s a family room just 75th year, it faces the highest standards of certification and is add the sand.” — Jessica Pepenella •
Life is good ... Number one in getting it done.
Broker Associate, ABR,SRES
Prudential Zack Shore Properties
1000 Long Beach Blvd. Ship Bottom, NJ 08008 office 609-494-7272 cell 609-226-6113 email@example.com
A Shore Thing
Life Is Short, Eat
Ice Cream O
n a hot summer day, what is the favorite treat of most people? Ice Cream! As that old childhood ditty proclaims: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! But did you know this familiar refrain actually comes from a real song with that exact phrase as its title? It was performed by Harry Reser’s Six Jumping Jacks and was recorded on January 14, 1928. Let’s face it. We love ice cream. So, it should have its own special day, shouldn’t it? Wait! Should it not have its own special month? Well, it should ... and it does! In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day! But there are other connections between ice cream and politics. In 1986, for example, Clint Eastwood, an ardent ice cream fan, ran for mayor of Carmel, California, partly because of his opposition to a local ordinance forbidding the selling and eating of ice cream on public streets. Eastwood won and eventually helped overturn the ordinance. Perhaps actors make such good politicians because they know we love ice cream! Did you know that Charles E. Minches of St. Louis, Missouri is credited with inventing the ice cream cone? On July Page 88 • Echoes of LBI
23, 1904, at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, he filled a pastry cone with two scoops of ice cream to make what some believe was the first ice cream cone. There is some controversy over this claim, though. Italo Marchiony of New York City filed a patent for the ice cream cone just months before the Fair opened. He had been selling lemon ice in cones since as early as 1896. Either way, though, the ice cream cone has served as the perfect American treat for more than a century! Even Albert Einstein loved ice cream. That’s right! Indeed, his first act upon arriving at Princeton in 1933 was to buy an ice cream cone. He ordered a vanilla ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles. John Lampe, the Princeton student who served him, is quoted as saying, “The great man looked at the cone, smiled at me ... and pointed his thumb first at the cone and then at himself.” So, for Albert Einstein, deciding upon the perfect treat was a no-brainer. But then, as we all know, you don’t have to be a genius to figure that one out! The history of ice cream stretches back for centuries. In fact, a frozen mixture of milk and rice was first used in China around 200 B.C., and the Roman Emperor Nero had ice brought down to Rome from the mountains and combined it with fruit top-
pings in the first century A.D. Arabs were the first to use milk as a major ingredient in ice cream and to sweeten the mix with sugar. As early as the 10th century, ice cream was widespread within many of the Arab world’s major cities, such as Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo. Ice cream recipes were first published in the 18th century in England and America, with the first one appearing in London in 1718. Ice cream was first introduced to the United States by Quaker colonists, who brought their ice cream recipes with them to the New World. Confectioners sold ice cream at their shops in New York and other cities during the colonial era. Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known to have regularly eaten and served ice cream. First Lady Dolly Madison is also closely associated with the early history of ice cream in the United States. As the wife of U.S. President James Madison, she served ice cream at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in 1813. In the modern age of mass commercial production of ice cream, we’ve come a long way from the hand-cranked churn which was still being used to make ice cream in the first half of the 20th century. This process involved ice and salt for cooling and required someone to manually turn the crank handle to create the mixture of frozen delight. But ice cream was no less a treat in the old days. Depending on your age, you might have heard your grandpa or great-grandma say, “Back in our day, we made our own ice cream and we liked it!” And they weren’t kidding!
One of the first large scale operations to make ice cream was owned by Jacob Fussell of Baltimore, Maryland. His dairy products came from farms in York County, Pennsylvania. He built his first ice cream factory in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, in 1851. Two years later, he moved his factory to Baltimore. It was not until 1926, however, that the continuous-process freezer enabled the commercial mass production of ice cream. This innovation marked the birth of the modern ice cream industry. We now export 40 million gallons of ice cream to other countries annually. But don’t worry about not having enough ice cream left over for you. We make millions and millions of gallons for us to enjoy here at home! Americans spend a cool $20 billion a year on ice cream, and the U.S. produces 1.6 billion gallons of frozen concoctions annually. Wow! So, as you sit sweltering in the sun, I want you to imagine that hot fudge sundae, ice cream cone, root beer float, or milk shake that’s waiting for you somewhere here on LBI. And, of course, you must keep in mind that things always taste better at the Shore. Yum! So, what are you waiting for? Grab the family, get into the car, and head for some ice cream! What? You’re reading this after National Ice Cream Day? Well, no need to worry. No matter what the day or month of the year, it is always a good day for ice cream! Who wants ice cream? I do! I do! — Patrick Paul Nicholas •
Pete Milnes photos Left ti right: Matthew, Elizabeth, Chelsea, Michael, Haley
A Shore Thing
SALE-ing With Friends
et’s head north, first. Good antiques in High Bar Harbor. The ad says they start at eight o’clock.” It’s 7:00 AM, Saturday. YARD SALE DAY! Dolly Parton’s song, Working 9 to 5, with my own special yard sale lyrics, breezes through my mind. By 7:30, the five of us meet at Jane’s car, clutching our garage sale ads from The Sand Paper. We’re ready to share the weeks news ... and shop! “But wait! Look, here in Surf City, there’s a listing for antiques from a 95 year old collector.” We know from past experience to arrive early for the choice items, but it can be a real dilemma trying to map out an efficient route, especially on a holiday weekend. So, there we stand, counting and plotting a course, while trying to envision all the treasures just waiting for us! So many choices! Which one first? There can be as many as twenty-five sales on a holiday weekend in just one town, alone. We scope out the ads on Friday night, color-code each town, and then number each address in driving order. We hope the sellers got themselves organized the night before and are out front by seven for the serious buyers. We want to move through as many as we can and use our quarters on treasures, not gas. Like the UPS driver, we try to minimize left turns, while we watch out for cars, bikes, strollers, dogs, and walkers who share the road in abundance. We envision all that stuff just waiting for us. Did they remember that it’s a garage sale, not Antiques Roadshow, when they priced their cast offs? Unless pickings are slim, our focus usually centers on the north end of LBI, although we can be enticed by a good ad toward Beach Haven. In that case, a “must stop” will be made for fresh hot cinnamon donuts at Marvel’s in Beach Haven Terrace. These are a real treat, while we watch bright morning smiles appear on young and old faces and as the donuts tumble off the conveyer belt into a mountain of granulated sugar. We’ve lost count of our years together, but even we disPage 90 • Echoes of LBI
cerning yard sale shoppers are continually enthralled by each week’s ads. Early on, we looked for treasures for our own summer homes: kitchen gadgets, Depression glass, and mis-matched chairs for Joann. Later, our kids were off to college, so we looked for alarm clocks, bookshelves, and other goodies for a dorm room or apartment. This natural progression of life for us soon led to Grandbabies! We became infatuated with our special, wonderful little gifts from God and started searching furiously for baby toys and small cups. As they grew, alas, the rolly ducks led to Legos, tea sets, dress up clothes, picture books, and, eventually, wet suits and bikes. Our Jane has a 6th sense and bionic eyes for the good stuff. This classy lady can spot Waterford crystal from the curb. She has picked up a signed Steuben vase for 75 cents and new, still-boxed Lenox candlesticks for a few dollars. Now, there is another generation of teens in Dolores’s house, so we’re looking for a fridge for the garage to hold cases of soda and ice cream. Once in a while, we’ve had a yard sale of our own in order to de-clutter and recycle the stuff we no longer needed (some bought at yard sales!). Barb moved several times and down sized with big, big sales. My sales always feature a box labeled “Free Stuff,” as I don’t have the heart to throw away anything. People help themselves and make a donation to Habitat for Humanity in a nearby container. I’m happy that this stuff has a new home, instead of resting in a landfill. Our yard sale mornings together are about a whole lot more than just acquiring stuff. Even with a houseful of company, we go out. We talk about the roller coaster ride of life, listening and supporting each other during the “whoopee wee” and “oh no, what will you do” times. The car may be bursting with newly acquired stuff, but more importantly, we are bursting with the mellow joy of shared friendship, as we yard sale. — Carol Freas text & art •
LBI Film Fest 2011 Look Back
Top 10 Reasons to See the Film Dying to do Letterman
ong Beach Island’s annual, cutting-edge film festival, the Lighthouse International Film Festival, recently featured an inspiring and hilarious documentary film entitled Dying to do Letterman. Before I get to the story behind this wonderful film, though, perhaps it would be best to introduce it in the way that Letterman fans will best understand. So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Reasons to See Dying to do Letterman: 10. Be inspired to chase your own dreams 9. Learn that you never have to pursue your dream alone 8. Find out if Steve Mazan does get on the David Letterman Show 7. Learn some great jokes to impress your in-laws 6. Laugh really hard (maybe even snort a little) 5. Learn what jokes are appropriate and which jokes should be saved for ‘special’ audiences 4. Discover the crucial difference between performing comedy on the Letterman Show and the Leno Show 3. Discover how important it is to love 2. Learn how to get the most enjoyment out of a really not fun doctor’s appointment 1. Learn that the American Dream is way better than the American health care system “I love stand-up comedy. I love that I get to spend my life making other people laugh. I don’t think there’s a better job in the world.” Steve Mazan, the star of Dying to do Letterman, speaks passionately about his career. But it’s more than a love of comedy he hopes to share with his audiences; it is a love for living life with a purpose by setting goals and accomplishing them. Steve Mazan was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer at the age of 35. The doctor told him he might only have five years to live. But Steve had a dream, and this news was seriously threatening to interfere with it. Steve had dreamed of performing stand-up comedy on the David Letterman show ever since he was 12. He had performed at local bars and clubs for a few years, but had not gotten any closer to his dream. After the diagnosis, Steve made a promise to himself that he would stop waiting for it to happen and start actively pursuing it. He gave himself one year to make it on the Late Show with David Letterman. Immediately, he started his grassroots campaign; he developed a website with a tape of himself performing stand-up comedy. He asked all visitors to the site to send an email to Letterman, if they liked what they saw. He asked the same favor of his live performance audiences, but still he wasn’t really getting anywhere. Next, Steve decided to create a documentary so that he could share his dream with as many people as possible. He asked film producers Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina to film his pursuit. Joke and Biagio are best known for co-producing Beauty and the Geek and for creating and co-producing Scream Queens on VH1. Steve first met the talented married couple in 2003, when he needed a tape recording of his comedy act to send to local bars and clubs. When Steve approached the couple again in 2005 with his documentary request, Biagio and Joke were eager to help out, but had some emotional concerns. Page 92 • Echoes of LBI
Biagio said it was difficult at first getting over the fact that, even though his friend had an incurable disease, he would need to approach the documentary objectively. He couldn’t stop the filming if Steve and his wife Denise were having a bad day; everything had to go on camera. Steve also had some worries before going ahead with filming. He wondered how difficult it would be to share his personal life with the camera during the most difficult times. Despite the concerns, both Steve and his producers were excited to go ahead with the documentary. Their intention was never to make a depressing film about cancer; nor did they ever intend to tackle the larger emotional and physical issues that accompany it. Simply, they wanted to show that dreams do matter. Throughout the journey, Steve wrote letters to many individuals in the comedy community and successfully scheduled sit-down interviews with comedians Ray Romano, Kevin Nealon, Brian Regan, and Jim Gaffigan. The interviews provided him with advice and hope that he, too, could make it big in the comedy world. Joke and Biagio filmed for five years. They cut 300 hours of footage down to just 78 minutes. By the end, they had created something truly remarkable. The film serves as an inspiring call to action to everyone waiting on the sidelines, encouraging them to stop waiting and to act. Steve lives by the personal motto, “It’s not how long you have to live, but what you do with it.” At the end of my interview with Steve and Biagio, Steve asked me what I was dying to do. I told him I wanted to start a business, and he took out one of his signature “I am dying to ___” pins and wrote my dream in capital letters with a Sharpie marker and handed it to me. I looked at the pin and smiled, realizing, once again, that his dream really had become larger than itself. Dying to do Letterman has traveled the country and won accolades at many different film festivals. It won best documentary at the Cinequest Film Festival, the audience award at the Cleveland International Film Festival, honorable mention for film comedy at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, and the closing night film award at the Great American Comedy Festival. Not surprisingly, it was an overwhelming audience favorite at our own Lighthouse International Film Festival in June 2011. Moreover, we have recently learned that Dying to do Letterman has been chosen by the International Documentary Association to compete for an Academy Award. We wish Steve and Joke Productions the best of luck as they continue journeying across the country promoting their film, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for that Oscar! Try to see this amazing film, you’ll love it ... and you WILL be inspired! — Elizebeth Weber •
The Booty! Pillage & plunder for all-things pirates at Things A Drift in Ship Bottom. Real pirates flags, Booty Soap, picture frames, T-shirts (all sizes extra small childrens to 2x adults), & more!
Talk Like a Pirate - Sept. 18 At Things A Drift in Ship Bottom Show Off YourPirate Booty, Sea Glass & Things From The Sea
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Why You Should Stay
nything interesting out there?” “A few shorebirds, some scoters, and an occasional eider.” This is a typical exchange you’ll hear at the South Jetty on Barnegat Inlet in the off-season. When the tourist season ends on Long Beach Island, another season opens in Barnegat Light. Migrating wildlife suddenly appear, as do thousands of tourists, hoping to catch a glimpse and take a photo or two. Harbor seals, shorebirds, geese, sea ducks, and diving ducks are just some of the visitors that spend the “off-season” around Barnegat Inlet. What’s out there is a standard topic of conversation on a daily basis. Although it is not commonly known, harbor seals are ever present in the Inlet during winter. They are there, but seeing them is another story. Your best chance to catch a glimpse is when wind and current offset each other, giving the water a mirror-like appearance. When a head pops up that looks like a dog out for a swim, chances are it is a harbor seal. If there is any chop in the water, though, your chances of seeing a seal are greatly diminished. Page 94 • Echoes of LBI
Shorebirds, like dunlins, ruddy turnstones, and purple sandpipers, are usually found on the rocks of the jetty. You’ll see them pecking away at the moss trying to extract food. Dunlins are the familiar birds found in large flocks that seem to change color from light to dark as they execute their mid-air turns. The purple sandpipers are not all that purple. Rather, they are dark birds, with black beaks that are yellow at the base. But if you catch just the right light, you will see light purple tips at the ends of their wing feathers. Watching the turnstones and sandpipers encounter an incoming tide provides an entertaining acrobatic show. Each incoming wave causes them to take flight, but only for so long as it takes them to land again and resume their search for food. Sea ducks, including common eiders, black scoters, and surf scoters, are seen by the hundreds off the east end of the South Jetty. But the diving ducks found in the Inlet — long-tailed ducks and mergansers — draw the most attention. These colorful birds drift and dive to feed. Then, much like savvy fluke fishermen, they fly up-current to begin anew. Astute photographers get action shots
Lou Gura photos
of their take offs and landings. Photogenic as these two birds are, however, it is the multicolored harlequin duck that is unquestionably the star diving duck attraction. Barnegat Inlet is at the southern end of the migratory path for harlequin ducks. It is one of the premier spots on the East Coast to see these birds up close and personal. The birds congregate along the rocks of the jetty and are easily approachable. It is not unusual to get within 10 feet of these striking birds. But it is not just the wildlife that visits LBI in the off-season. Thousands of people also visit the Island in order to partake of this unique display. The visitors range from the casual walkers (“What kind of bird is that?”) to expert birders, replete with binoculars and sighting scopes. On a typical day, one might encounter a birding group from New York, with field guide in hand: “I think that’s a sea gull.” Or, it may be a honeymoon couple from Quebec who is spending the week at Ella’s and currently sitting at the end of the jetty, with cameras and binoculars at the ready, hoping to see that one bird of a lifetime.
On the other hand, you may encounter three guys from Erie Pennsylvania staying at the North Shore Inn. They are out birding early on a rainy Super Bowl Sunday, making sure to check the time after each photo in order to assure they will have enough time to complete their 9-hour drive home before the opening kick off. Or perhaps you’ll encounter someone like the birder from Bucks County who fell head first and out of sight between the jetty rocks. Fortunately, through the marvels of cell phone technology and the persistence of the Barnegat Light Rescue Squad, this enthusiast suffered only minor injuries trying to get that one special photo. But, more likely, you will encounter one or more of the Harlequin Paparazzi — dozens of photographers with cameras, tripods, and enormous lenses, trudging through the sand or lumbering across the rocks to photograph the Island’s most colorful visitors. “Anything out there?” “Oh, a few birds ... and lots of interesting people!” — Lou Gura •
A ShoreThing - Under the Sea
Thank you to all those who braved the Man Eating Clam: (this page, clockwise) Alexis & Sophia; Lia Ann & A.J.; Kasey; Lauren; Nicole & Frank; Elisabeth, John, & Michelle (triplets); Amanda; Andrew; Stan; Lisa & Kerianne; Olivia & Kelly â€” Cheryl Kirby photos, Sara Caruso compilation
(Clockwise, this page): Megan; Jessica; Florence; Amanda Buonomo, Gwen; Pat; Steve Mazan; Biagio; Michelle; Lin; Richard
Music From The Sea
any of us have enjoyed the magic of hearing the sounds of the sea by simply holding a large shell to our ear and listening intently. But did you know that these shells are capable of producing sounds in other ways? For centuries, many cultures have learned to create a variety of sounds by blowing into conch shells, using the results as signals, entertainment, or means of communication. And here on LBI, the ancient practice of conch blowing is alive and spreading! We Islanders relish the sight of a beautiful sunset hovering over the Bay. It’s the perfect end to a day in Paradise. But Mark Simmons, a life-long resident of Harvey Cedars, not only partakes in this custom from his back yard on Kinsey Cove, he announces it to all his neighbors with an ancient call on his conch shell trumpet. Best of all, Mark is looking for others to share in this ritual. In fact, he would like to find enough participants to accompany him in an effort to set a new world record for the most participants in a conch orchestra! Now retired, Mark and his wife Merry spend part of their winters in Florida, where Mark discovered the musical magic The Greek god Triton was a sea god who was said of the conch shell ritual in Key Largo. to calm the oceans with On a winter’s visit there some 12 years a blow of his conch-shell ago, he witnessed nearly 200 participants trumphet. Later, people of competing to see who could hold a note the Pacific and Caribbean longest while blowing into the apex of a used it during religious ceremonies centuries ago. conch shell. When done correctly, blowing into a conch shell will produce sounds similar to those of a trumpet or saxophone. In Key Largo, people anxiously await the nightly conch shell ritual. With much practice, Mark can now hold a note on his conch trumpet for up to 63 seconds. When interviewing Mark, I attempted to do the same, after he gave me a mini lesson on how to form my lips and how to grip the conch properly. Unfortunately, though, I was only able to produce an odd, but thankfully brief, noise, somewhat like that of an ailing beagle. I could see immediately that much practice was needed to reach the level of expertise he has attained. Mark’s neighbor across the Cove, Ginny Cheryl Kirby photo White, looks forward to the nightly ritual, and other neighbors have started to share in this calling. At sunset, when Mark steps outside to say adieu to the day, he receives responses from other neighbors who share his trumpeting passion. Mark is hoping that if he can assemble enough people here on LBI who have learned to make music from a conch shell, they can not only rival the conch-blowing contest he witnessed in Florida, but surpass it. Conch shells are easily transformed into musical instruments by creating a hole in the apex, which is the oldest part of the shell (i.e., the place where the snail started growing). An alternative method is to make a hole in one of the whorls or spirals to the side of the spire, but that is less common. The history of using the conch as an instrument dates as far back as the Neolithic Era, long before the trumpet or saxophone were invented. Shell trumpets have been used through the centuries as a herald’s call for a multitude of events, such as daily prayers, military engagements, public gatherings, dinners, and sporting events. So, attention all horn blowers! Come to the first annual LBI conch-blowing event on Saturday, October 1 at noon. It’s all part of the Art and Sea Glass Festival, which will be held at Things A Drift, located at 406 Long Beach Boulevard in Ship Bottom. If you are interested in competing, pick up your conch shell and start practicing. For more information on this upcoming event, please contact Echoes of LBI at 609-361-1668. Who knows, maybe we’ll get together enough conch blowers to set our own Guinness world record! — Rena Dineno • Page 98 • Echoes of LBI
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Published on Jul 30, 2011
Published on Jul 30, 2011
A magazine dedicated to the local stories of Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Includes photography, events, poetry and more!