As the shutter clicked my mind went back to a time of carnival rides, cotton candy, stuffed animals, water guns, and strolls along the boardwalk.
Hot balmy nights, seagulls trying to steal a left over slice of pizza, the smell of popcorn fills the air.
Waves rolling on shore, lifeguard whistle blows…kids with happy faces never realizing they were making memories that would last a lifetime.
My shutter clicks and the raw exposure is of the Wild Mousetrap roller coaster – I remember being so scared the ride looked and felt like it was going to run off the track and fall in the ocean.
I had no idea that 40 years later the whole ride would be submerged in the Atlantic Ocean – summits eerily rising out of the waters crest lapping waves, smacking the metal tracks, creaking with every movement.
Unthinkable as a young girl.
My beloved boardwalk looks like the skeleton of a train track…no boards…where did they go…a track to nowhere and yet a track to everywhere. Will it ever have a destination again?
Summer filled the air.
Sadness fills it now.
Bennies go home.
No, Bennies come back.
Please – it still lives – it will thrive – it will rise at the water’s edge like a phoenix.
My beloved Jersey Shore.
You are hurting and I feel your pain.
It is a funny thing with memories…do you get to keep the ones you like and throw the other ones back? I remember…I remember the sights, the sounds, the smell, the feel. And I pray that they are keepers.
Days after Super Storm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore we returned to check on our home. Our friend flew us in his plane and we made the mistake of flying up the coast at 1500 feet the entire length of New Jersey.
He asked me to take photos.
I have never looked at them, because I will never forget what I saw with my own eyes. It is hard to express the depth of my sadness at the images that were burned into my retinas.
The photo above is of the Belmar boardwalk. I have to congratulate that town because they had the entire length replaced by Memorial Day last year. That first summer after the storm came and went with the people looking out of hollowed eyes.
It is a time for regeneration, and everyone will rise to the occasion. As Memorial Day looms near I suspect that there will be more improvements to the affected areas. And hopefully more improvements to the people who have suffered.
I wish for you all to weather the storms, real and emotional, that enter your lives.