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The Dart Guy - Bobby Vetrano, Memories of

Every so often I cruz across your web site, and your reference to The Dart Guy in Convention Hall. I must have thrown thousands of darts there, all little pieces of my youth spent in Asbury Park. The Dart Guyís name was Bobby Vetrano. He and his wife Aneva, and his brother, inherited that spot from his dad who ran the darts and wheel in the 1940s. His smile and laughter could light up that entire lobby. As the years rolled by, the boardwalk took on a sadness for me, I felt my youth absorbed by those rotting boards, and things began to disappear. I would walk from the Casino to Convention Hall, as if I were trekking across a lonely dessert with that massive mirage getting closer and closer. The times had gotten hard, yet Bobby was almost always there, still managing that great smile. This was not his only job, he was a heavy equipment operator for the state, and even did paving on the side, from his home in Neptune. I donít remember the exact date or time, I once again found myself gliding through those heavy doors to ravage his goods again ( he said I was the best he had ever seen), and there he was! My wife Kathy couldnít keep up with me I was so glad to see him. I got to within 2-3 ft. of him before I realized something was dreadfully wrong, and he told me. His beautiful 17 yr. old daughter, Little Neva, had flipped her new sports car near The Collingwood Auction, and had been killed. I knew her because she sometimes ran the game during the day. I didnít throw any darts, I knew my arm would not even lift, that was the last time I ever saw Bobby. Bobby, wherever you are, I want you to know that you and those darts will always be part of my life, Take care.

Asbury Park, the same goes for you, and the Palace, and Madame M, and even Berkeley Candies (I actually bought one of the two big window signs from the owner when he was closing, it needed some minor repairs, it is now proudly displayed in my dining room). I have Parkinsonís, I am crippled by spinal stenosis, and I have suffered a stroke, but I will never forget you.

P.J. Merola Ė Middlesex, NJ

Thank you PJ, I was a lopusy dart thrower.

The Cement Steps - 

The cement steps up to the boardwalk as a teenager was entering a fairyland of all day entertainment so far the steps are still there and the only last reminder of a wonderful time in my life. Norma Jackson

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