Down the Shore….

If you live in New Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania,

every one ( even newscasters) refer to the beach as

“down the shore”.

It’s one of those colloquialisms every one uses and it doesn’t sound strange

until someone from out of state hears us say it .

Their reaction is always fun to watch .

W H A T?

I’ve been going “down the shore” since I was five years old.

It began in 1954.

My Grandfather took the whole family ( 10 of us)

to Atlantic City for a week, every summer.

That was  big time in the 50’s.

We stayed at a fabulous old hotel ….

Chalfonte/Haddon Hall

which was right on the Boardwalk,

near The Steel Pier.

The hotel even had a huge greenhouse which enclosed a salt water pool

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 A little research revealed it was listed as

one of the top 5 resorts in the world …in the early 1900’s.

We had all the rooms on one floor facing the ocean.

In the center of the bedrooms was a huge parlor,

the kind you see in Old Victorian Mansions,

complete with Grand Piano, Old Oriental Rugs and large Palm Trees.

In the Dining Room we had our own table and the same waiters every night.

At the Beach- we had our own Cabana and people who brought food and drinks all day.

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I was too young to understand how wonderful and unusual all that was,

but I was having a great time!

The Boardwalk was magical in those days.

I saw the famous horse dive off a high platform into a small tank of water.

There were world class acts at Steel Pier- like singer Bobby Darin.

There were dance parties at the hotels and on the Pier.

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We swam all day in the Cold, Blue Atlantic and then, red as lobsters,

We’d rush through dinner so we could

“Hit the Boards”.

There was Mr. Peanut ( with his ever-present monacle)

greeting and waving to every one.

Fralingers…..the legendary salt water taffy store was always giving free samples.

Taylor Pork Roll had it’s own store on the Boardwalk with huge pork rolls hanging

in the window .

(Don’t even ask.)

If you don’t know what Pork Roll is…. I can’t really explain it.

It’s another New Jersey/ Pennsylvania thing!

Then there were the rides on Steel Pier.

Every day was an adventure.

I still remember those poor men who carried white freezers around their necks, walking all day in the hot sand yelling:

“Fudgy Wudgies… get your Ice Cold Fudgy Wudgies.”

They were chocolate Fudgsicles and they were THE BEST!

I’ve been going to the beach  for over 60 years.

I love each and every day I spend there-

although I never went back to Atlantic City

as an adult.

I prefer the smaller, quiet towns along the Jersey Shore,

like Ocean Grove and Spring Lake.

But I will never forget the excitement and fun of

those  family trips to “AC”.

That Atlantic City is gone forever.

But I still have all my

wonderful memories that will last the rest of my life.

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