Technically I should have posted this on Wednesday, but I guess the memory is one of the first things to go as we age … at any rate, today I wanted the throw back the memories today for a tribute to the Jersey Shore.
I am proud to be a Jersey girl born and raised, with a childhood spent on the not quite pristine but still wonderful sands of the Jersey shore.
My family lived in Point Pleasant for a while, and we spent a lot of time there. This surprises non-Jerseyites, but you have to pay to get on the beach. Imagine a beach packed full of people on a summer weekend or a holiday – all with a little badge you have to safety pin to your suit to grant you access.
The smell of the salt and the feel of the warm, worn boardwalk and the rides and games are all still vivid. One of my favorite games was the booth where you got a little fishing pole and tried to hook a fish out of a running current of water, then you got to pick a cheap prize from the bottom shelf. This would later be a lesson in value – despite the fact that the trinkets cost a nickel or a dime (or less), they seemed like great prizes to a kid.
But my ultimate fave game was skeeball – to this day, playing skeeball is the closest thing I have done that somewhat resembles a sport.
Getting a fistful of those yellow tickets and running over to the prize redemption counter was a sheer thrill. I can still remember the little plastic army men with parachutes, the Chinese finger traps, the googly eyed monsters to put on the top of a pencil. Stuff that today I would toss without blinking an eye but at the time, they were treasured tinkets.
The rides were also fun …
And don’t get me started on the food. Giant triangles of pizza, buckets of french fries, Orange Juliuses, funnel cakes … I can still taste it all.
I haven’t been back to the boardwalk since Hurricane Sandy, it makes me sad to think about the destruction that took place there to people’s memories, homes and livelihoods. But I hope to go back soon – and if you ever have the chance, I think you’ll enjoy it. Just don’t buy a hermit crab – it never ends well for anyone.
Have your own memories of down the shore? post them in the comments!