Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

All of you locals out there, think back to some of your best experiences at the Jersey Shore. Whether it’s walking around the Ocean City Boardwalk, going out for a night in the Atlantic City Casinos or relaxing on the beach in Cape May, the Jersey Shore has brought so many of us the best memories of our childhood.

But what if that place was not there anymore? For most of us it still is. Our favorite shore ice cream places, restaurants and stores are still standing with little damage and six months for them to recover from any damage before it is time for us to visit them again. However some people are not so lucky.

Sandy caused damage at some level to most of the shore points, such as pieces of the famed Atlantic City boardwalk torn up, and electrical damage to the rides at Morey’s Pier, but some places had it way worse than others. Seaside Heights was one of those places. Much of the town was destroyed. The roller coaster that children and adults alike ride every year is in the ocean. While most of us will still have that which we look forward too every summer, those who travel to Seaside Heights won’t, not to mention the people that live there all year long who just lost their homes.

The point of all of this is, if you are one of those people who spends their weekends at the shore each summer and has been doing so since a young age like myself, don’t take it for granted. Fifty or sixty miles south and the storm could have done away with Ocean City, Ventnor, Margate or Atlantic City. Our favorite places, after all, are located on an ocean. It only takes a freak storm to cause irreparable damage.

When you are down the shore next summer sitting on the beach you have sat on your whole life, think of the people who travel to Seaside Heights and other places that were hit hard. Think of the people whose beach is now located on top of their houses, and whose shore towns may not be back to normal for many years, if ever.

Have fun at the shore. Create memories and have nothing but good times in the towns you grew up visiting. Because someday you might say, “Eh, I didn’t go down this year, I’ll just go down the shore next year” and it might not be there. A storm can wash away a house or a boardwalk or even a town, but it cannot wash away a fond memory.

-Kenny Ayres

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