For me, the coming of summer triggers walks down lanes dotted with memories; picture postcards of the past.
I step back to the summer of 1970. Endless days spent sitting on the beach with friends, and hanging out in the snack bar at Loch Arbor Beach listening to, “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday,” playing Hearts or Spades. Nights that began with a walk from the Casino, at one end of the boardwalk in Asbury, and ended with pinball at Convention Hall, at the other end, until one of our parents would arrive to take us home.
And even earlier than that, I remember bike rides to Allenhurst Pharmacy for hot fudge sundaes, and trips to the Palace to ride the bumper cars, the ferris wheel and the carousel. I would try to grab the gold ring as the horses spun up and down and round and round. Way before the riots took down Asbury Park, the Palace, which was Tillie’s home before the Wonder Bar saved her, was an extravagant indoor amusement park.
And earlier than that, it was about catching fireflies. An empty jelly jar in hand, I was out for the hunt.
Flash 50 years forward – I never see fireflies anywhere; the Allenhurst Pharmacy gave way to a dress shop 30 years ago. But the Casino has been rebuilt from a battered shell, and Convention Hall continues to shine forever true.
And, of course some things refuse to change. Summer weekends I am sitting on Allehurst beach, albeit no longer playing cards, but still hanging with my card-partners from way back then.