New Jersey is up because
WE’RE STRONGER THAN THE
|not so FUNTOWN|
myself, and a revolving parade of sisters, nieces, children and grandchildren
are down on the Jersey Shore for a well-deserved vacation from the world of
We have been
bombarded by TV and radio promos that the Shore is open and vacationers are
welcome because “We are stronger than the storm.” On first glance that appears to be true. Driving down rt. 35 to Mrs. Cranky’s Aunt’s
house where we rent a ground floor apartment behind the garage, “The Shore”
seemed unchanged. Familiar landmarks
were still present and seemed untouched by Sandy. Then we passed the sign marking the entrance
This is an
area of beautiful mansions right up on the beach. Now some people might be jealous of the
owners of these mansions as they are out of the reach of 99% of the world. I loved this area of fantasy beach
homes. They are beautiful; they set you
a-dreaming. I’ll never own the Empire
State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, but they are mine to see and admire. I felt the same way about the Mantoloking
Mantoloking was devastated. I saw it on
TV; but driving by and seeing just sand where multi-million dollar homes once
stood took my breath right away.
devastating as the loss of these fabulous homes is at least the owners are probably
still rich! That does not mean I do not
feel for their loss, most of these people earned their treasure through hard
work and risk taking, still as much as I feel for their loss, it was the
ordinary beach homes that were lost that really choked me up.
the road to our summer retreat are small homes and tiny bungalows. Most appear fine at first glance, but then
you realize they are gutted from water damage and mold. They probably cannot be replaced by their
owners who face tougher building standards and higher insurance costs. These homes were purchased by people of some
means, but they were probably still bought on a shoestring and the owners
relied on rentals to help defray the costs of their dream vacation home.
And then you
see homes of yearlong residents. These are homes gutted and unlivable. Where are these residents living? Will they ever return to their little piece
of heaven on the shore? My heart goes
out to them the most.
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the destruction. Some blocks, like the one where we rent, were untouched, while ten blocks to the south the homes are in ruin.
Jersey stronger than the storm? There is
rebuilding all over. There are also many
houses for sale. The boardwalks are
back. Businesses are reopening and there
is a sense that yes the New Jersey Shore will recover and be better than
ever. Still there is much pain and
plenty of sorrow. The shore will
recover, but many people’s lives will never be the same.
meantime, the beaches are not crowded and there is plenty of parking.
|There used to be a ride here|