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memory lane

During a great lunch this week at Blue Water Cafe in Haven Beach, my husband asked me what was on this spot before the restaurant. My grandparents lived right down the street on Sunset Terrace, but I was stuck. Was it a children’s clothing store? What was there before that? I’m a Southender and he is a Northerner so I should have remembered. It got us thinking about all the things that we have loved and lost. But as they say, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, right? If you spent your childhood here in the early 80s you certainly remember the Surf City trampolines and wearing a burlap sack for the Beach Haven slide. But what else do you remember? (Hint: Great party topic!)

Disclosure: it’s not fair to make fun of me for things that go back further than I have been alive. But here are a few things I personally remember from back in the day that make me smile.

- The ship salad bar at the Port O’Call in Beach Haven. Lots of grape tomatoes and iceberg lettuce, which I adored. What little kid doesn’t like to create his or her own meal? I was really little when it was Gus and Whitey’s so no clear memories on that although I know I logged some hours there. (Current day – The mystery remains?)

- A baked potato at Wida’s in Brant Beach back when you picked baked potato or rice with every meal. (Current day Daddy O’s.)

- Walking around the shops in Beach Haven before Schooner’s Wharf was built. They were little shacks with wooden walkways and there was a chain link rope fence. The shell shack rocked! (Sorry Lucy Evelyn, I wasn’t alive in 1972.)

- Back to school shopping at Sur La Plage when it was in Schooner’s Wharf. I remember thinking surf gear was super cool to wear on the first day of school. Wonder how my mom felt about that. (And the discussion about the need to wear shoes to school). Was there also a Benetton? I have a vague memory of buying a red skirt there.

- “Slam dancing” at the Owl Tree in Harvey Cedars in the “mosh pit.” I’m not sure if people still find themselves in a “pit,” even with the Danksters. (Current day Plantation.)

- The Beacon and Mr. Tee’s golf courses in North Beach Haven. My brother and I would push to go to Mr. Tee’s because it had one more hole than the Beacon. Tee’s had 35 (and then later 36?) holes and claimed it also had the world’s longest hole. I remember this was probably the most painful night of the summer for my parents and grandparents. (Current day houses.)

- Express Restaurant. (Remember that train in Surf City? Current day Woodies?) I believe the train is in Manahawkin by the lake now, but it doesn’t serve tasty snacks anymore.

- The Village Pub, which turned into Touche’s in Beach Haven. My mom and her buddies and my sailing instructor went here for 50 cent drinks in the 80s. (Current day Marlin). And didn’t Joe Pop’s have the Greaseband? I still don’t know because I had to watch my brother, but it sounded like fun.

-Beale’s Market in Beach Haven for sandwiches to take on the boat. (Current day Murphy’s, but my parents sometimes still say “Beale’s”.)

-Watching the boats pass by at Morrison’s in Beach Haven while eating fried flounder. (Current day nothing on the water there due to the fire. What a great spot for a restaurant though).

- Marvels donuts! My dad and my Aunt Sandy worked here in the 50s! I remember the smell and the old greenish floor. (Current day new Wawa? I love turkey shorties so I can’t complain, but I do love the old markets). Luckily they have relocated on South Maryland Avenue across from it’s old home.

-The Chegg was the Stowaway. I had my last breakfast at the Stowaway before I went to college 3000 years ago. (But then I came to love the Chegg. Remember when you could roll a “party ball” into the Chegg)?

- Pier 18 was sort of a real mall and you could get a leather bracelet with your name on it? (Current day Silver Sun).

- Burger King in Ship Bottom (Did that really happen? Current day, no idea. Does anyone remember)?

- The Tide bar: The prefect place in Bay Village to hear “Come On Eileen.” (Current day Bistro 14).

- The idea that the Sunfish was the nicest boat you ever needed. (Current day Optimist Pram).

- Ship’s Wheel in Harvey Cedars. Apparently every child in a four-mile radius worked here and the entire town ate a few hundred pounds of Swedish fish each summer. (Current day Harvey Cedars Pizza Shack).

What do you remember? It will likely give you a giggle.

- by Beth Foster deTuro
Beth Foster deTuro believes Long Beach Island is the best little sand bar in the whole world. Passionate about clams on the half shell, sailing on Barnegat Bay and taking long naps on the beach are just a few of her favorite Island activities. When is she not busy staring at the ocean she can be found pulling weeds at her cottage in Harvey Cedars.