Sunday, June 15, 2014

Photo-of-the-Week #163 - Hurricane Sandy Recovery, Seaside Heights, New Jersey, June 13, 2014

Seaside Heights, New Jersey is one of my childhood memories. Most people who grew up in the Garden State spent some part of their childhood and adolescence at the Jersey Shore. I had the occasion, this past Friday (Friday the 13th) to visit Seaside Heights. The photo depicts part of the destruction that was dealt by one of the worst hurricanes to strike the New Jersey coast in history.

The iconic photo of the roller coaster is now a thing of the past. The ruined amusement ride was finally removed from its watery resting place after Sandy did her deed. The boardwalk is still being rebuilt, though most of it has been restored. There are a number of spaces where buildings that were not restorable have been removed. Some vendors have brought in cargo containers and small wooden yard barns to operate their businesses from. But, there is a certain vitality there. It will probably take another couple years before it's back to anything that resembles normal.

This was a uniquely fun trip for me. The young man on the right side of the photo just happens to be my 35-year-old son who had come east from his new home in Los Angeles for some business in New York City. But, he planned some hooky playing time to hang out with his dear old dad on Father's Day weekend. It was one of the best Father's Day gifts I have had since we haven't spent the holiday together in probably well over a decade, probably close to two decades. Pete had only seen his father's roots in New Jersey once or twice before, mainly when he was too young to remember much. So, we visited all my homesteads and schools and favorite food joints from my youth. Then we went to the Jersey Shore, where he had never been before. We ultimately ended up in Atlantic City before driving back to Hartford, Connecticut passing by the Newtown/Sandy Hook area where a very mentally ill young man snuffed out so many young lives.

This morning, I dropped him off at the Hartford, Connecticut (where I am currently) airport for his flight back to Los Angeles. It was great to spend the time with him and, of course, I was sad to send him back after only about four days of hanging out, but I'm happy with that and I'll take what I can get.

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