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Senior scene

July 13, 2013

Looking Back: Teen years left lasting impressions of crustaceans and more

Must I always look back and reminisce? It seems I do that a lot, especially when trying to sleep or take a nap. Perhaps that’s normal, especially for us older folk, for who knows what the next day will bring? We can always hope for a better tomorrow, even at this age, and we can always relive many of the past good times as we dream away.

Enjoying and planning for weekends or holidays from school was always a bright spot in my life time. Looking forward to a summer vacation was usually planned months ahead with the hope that all would turn out as expected.

It was one interesting summer back in the late 1940s when our mom arranged to rent a small frame house down in the Island Heights area of New Jersey. It was on Toms River with places to swim, fish, boat and just relax. Our refrigerator was an old-fashioned wooden icebox, which was fed regularly with a block of ice from the iceman’s wagon. (Every once in a while I spot one similar at an antique shop, and memories pop into mind.)

Now, mid-1940 brings me to the age of starting many “teen-agerer-isms,” as I call them. One of the first “isms” is “boyism,” and of course having a younger brother by a year and a half gave me the opportunity of tagging along and just being one of the guys. This was not something that boys in that age group encouraged, so they would try to discourage me from always being in close proximity.

Time to “chum” was always a challenge. There were two long wooden docks going out into the river from the public beach. Fishermen used the deep end while others “chummed” along the dock sides around each of the pilings. 

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