My mother's family moved from Brooklyn to Asbury Park in the
My grandfather owned the Sinclair gas station on Main Street in
My father worked as a soda jerk at North Asbury Drugs.
From 1960 - 1968, I lived in my family's house on the east
corner of Third Avenue and Bridge Street, (just a few blocks
from Sunset Landing). I attended Bradley Middle School on
Third Ave and Pine St. Although I have lived in Florida
most of my adult life, I have so many fond memories of Asbury
Park - my favorite are those of the Jersey Shore in Summer.
My family was a member of the Monte Carlo Beach Club
(formerly on 8th Avenue it's now the site of a 24-story high
rise). It was boasted as the world's largest salt water
To this day, I remember positioning myself just right to get
pelted by the salt water that intermittently spurt from the two
huge fountains inside the pool. I remember my
parents always wanting to take a summer night's stroll on the
I loved Kohr's frozen custard, the popcorn from the
vendors in Convention Hall, and the candied apples and salt
water taffy from Criterion Candies.
I remember the Greek ceremony that took place in
Fall, where the cross was thrown from the jetty and someone
would dive in and retrieve it. During winter, I too
loved ice skating on Sunset Lake.
I remember going downtown to Cookman Avenue to watch the
lighting of the Christmas tree in front of Steinbach's. My
aunt worked at Canadian Fur - oh, those beautiful coats!
My parents' friends owned the Le Plume card shop and the
Cooper's Creations jewelry store. My mother used to
school shoes from the Buster Brown store near JJ Newberry's.
A man named "Skippy" was the owner. I loved when he
measured my feet in that metal thing - it
used to tickle!
I remember the riots on Springfield Avenue during
summer of 1969. I remember sneaking into the Stone
Pony and Mrs Jay's when I was 16. As I grew older, my
family moved to neighboring Ocean Township and then finally to
Florida in 1977. I returned to Jersey to watch my
former classmates stand on the stage of Convention Hall to
receive their high school diplomas. My last visit to
Asbury Park was in 1998. It's been a sad sight to see what
once was, dilapidate further and further into despair.
Maybe one day, that diamond in the rough will regain it's former
Here's to a great town whose former spirit lives in my dreams
and has never left my heart.