Growing up in Newark, Asbury Park was a frequent summer destination for
my family. I remember how the beach where people laid their towels,
etc. was well above the water level. One year, when I was about 9 and
my brother about 4, we were being held by my mother and older sister
as we dallied at the water's edge. Suddenly, we were swamped. A huge
wave came in, so big that it broke up on the part of the beach where
people were lying on their blankets. It was so sudden and strong that
it tore me and my brother from my mother's and sister's arms. I remember
the undertow pulling me along the rough sand. I did come up, as did
my brother, and my sister and mother found us, both coughing the water
out of our lungs. We staggered up to our blanket to get our wind back.
People along the beach had been taken completely by surprise by the
sudden wave and those near the edge, along with their belongings, were
soaked. This would have happened in the mid-60's and I've remembered
it, fondly believe it or not, all my life. Also, with all the coverage of
tsunamis the past few years, I can't help but wonder if it was a
"small" one as it was much higher than the normal waves.
My family moved out of New Jersey when I was 16. It's been 34 years
and, next month, I am visiting for the first time since then. I'm
bringing my husband and hope to show him my old stomping grounds while
we have fun and I do a little bit of genealogy research.